Richard Thompson: 20 great covers of songs by other artists

richard thompson covers



Richard Thompson is one of the greatest songwriters of his generation. But he has also, throughout his career, covered an incredibly wide range of songs, on recordings and in concert. I’ve put together a collection of 20 of the best: Or, at least, the 20 best that I could find videos for, on YouTube. You can watch them below.

Thompson will perform at a benefit for, Jan. 14 at the Outpost in the Burbs in Montclair, with his son Teddy Thompson opening. Tickets are available at

Following the strategy of Thompson’s 2003 album 1000 Years of Popular Music (on which some of these songs are, in fact, featured), I have listed the songs in approximately the same order in which the original versions (not the covers) were created.

If you think I have missed a good one, please let me know in the Comments section, below.

(For a look at great covers of Thompson’s own songs by 20 other artists, click HERE.)

Here are the videos, with writers and recording artists noted. Obviously, many of the songs have been recorded by others as well.

“King Henry V’s Conquest of France,” traditional

“She Moved Through the Fair,” traditional

“I Live in Trafalgar Square,” written by C.W. Murphy

“Rockin’ in Rhythm,” co-written by Duke Ellington, Harry Carney and Irving Mills, recorded by Ellington

“Dirty Old Town” (with David Byrne), written by Ewan MacColl, recorded by The Dubliners and The Pogues

“Orange Colored Sky,” written by Milton Delugg and Willie Stein, recorded by Nat King Cole

“High School Confidential,” written by Jerry Lee Lewis and Ron Hargrave, recorded by Lewis

“Run Rudolph Run,” written and recorded by Chuck Berry

“Girl From the North Country,” written and recorded by Bob Dylan

“Here Without You” (with Clive Gregson and Christine Collister), written by Gene Clark, recorded by The Byrds

“We Gotta Get Out of This Place” (with Shawn Colvin), co-written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, recorded by The Animals

“I’m Down” (with Fairport Convention), co-written by John Lennon & Paul McCartney, recorded by The Beatles

“A Legal Matter,” written by Pete Townshend, recorded by The Who

“Substitute,” written by Pete Townshend, recorded by The Who

“Season of the Witch,” written and recorded by Donovan

“White Room,” co-written by Jack Bruce and Pete Brown, recorded by Cream

“Who Knows Where the Times Goes?,” written by Sandy Denny, recorded by Judy Collins and Fairport Convention

“Woodstock,” written by Joni Mitchell, recorded by Mitchell and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

“Kiss,” written and recorded by Prince

“Runnin’ Down a Dream” (with The Band of Heathens), written and recorded by Tom Petty


Since launching in September 2014,, a 501(c)(3) organization, has become one of the most important media outlets for the Garden State arts scene. And it has always offered its content without a subscription fee, or a paywall. Its continued existence depends on support from members of that scene, and the state’s arts lovers. Please consider making a contribution of any amount to via PayPal, or by sending a check made out to to 11 Skytop Terrace, Montclair, NJ 07043.


Custom Amount

Personal Info

Donation Total: $20.00

Explore more articles:

Leave a Comment

Sign up for our Newsletter