Folk icon Linda Thompson Plays DJ, Parties til Dawn

British folk-rocker Linda Thompson admits she's not a big fan of dinner parties - but she sounds like she's having a blast as she selects a few songs to play at a shindig.

Photo Credit: Annabel Vere

My name is Linda Thompson and I have a new record that’s called “It Won’t be Long Now,” and I have been asked to do a soundtrack for a dinner party. I am having a good time, but it is funny that I am doing this because I really hate dinner parties and I hate cocktail parties and small talk. I like big talk. So here is my dinner party soundtrack.

Erik Satie – Gymnopédie No.1

I think the first person I would have is Erik Satie, a French musician from the earlier 20th century, a great pianist and a great eccentric. I probably have him play “Gymnopédie No.1.” I can’ even pronounce that, but that’s what I would have him play.

I first heard this when I was a teenager, and I am not a classical music person, as such. He is so different and so vibrant, and he was also crazy – I love that about him too.

He didn’t change his sheets for something like 40 years but he wore a clean shirt everyday. He would buy a million shirts at a time. A completely mad Frenchman, but such, such great music.

I think I would have to play it as they came in. Erik Satie is a good thing to play at any time,but especially at the beginning. It would get your appetite up, it was very uplifting, which is one of the reasons I like him so much.

Teddy Thompson – Sorry to See You Go

Then next song I would play is Teddy Thompson, and I’d play a song called “Sorry to See You Go.” This is nepotism gone wild because he is my son, but I love, love, love his work and I love this song.

Actually, you’ll love this, guys. I saw him play it while I was sitting with Sean Lennon and Bijou Phillips – who he was going out with at the time – and I just I burst into tears. I hope he didn’t hear me… I probably put him off his singing.

But you know, I find this song very moving. It is sort of saying goodbye to a lover. He says “I’m going to catch a train, and this is the time it will be,  just in case you are sorry to see me go.” So I guess he’s hoping the girl will say “Don’t go,” but she doesn’t. That ‘s what I take from it because I have been through it.

Sandy Denny – Banks of the Nile

The next song I would have is Sandy Denny singing “Banks of the Nile,” which is a traditional British song. I am sorry both these songs are kind of sad, but what are you going to do. I was very influenced by Sandy because she was just my favorite singer.

It is a song about a lover going off, and the girl wants to dress up and join the army to be with him, which is a very familiar song in British folk songs for some reason. I don’t know, what were these women thinking? Why would you want to go to war?

This is a beautiful, beautiful ballad. It has got about 743 verses so I don’t think they will play it on radio, folks. For a dinner party, we would play Sandy’s track right at the end and then would have breakfast afterwards because, you know, these English ballads go on.

Linda Thompson – Won’t Be Long Now

I have been asked to choose one of my own songs for a dinner party. Let me tell you, I would never do that. Ever. But as I have to, I would pick the title track “It Won’t be Long Now” because it is the way I feel.

My gracious host says I don’t sound as old as I think I am, but I am. I’m careening towards 70 with the breaks off. So now is the time to drink a lot of coffee and cocktails as well.