I have often told you stories about the way
I lived the life of a drifter
Waiting for the day
When I’d take your hand and sing you songs
Then maybe you would say
“Come lay with me and love me”
And I would surely stay
But I feel I’m growing older
And the songs that I have sung
Echo in the distance
Like the sound
Of a windmill going round
Guess I’ll always be a soldier of fortune…
“Soldier of Fortune”: A sentimental ballad
Written by David Coverdale and Ritchie Blackmore in 1974, “Soldier of Fortune” is a folk rock and blues rock ballad originally released on Deep Purple‘s 1974 album Stormbringer.
Though Deep Purple has never released the song as a single and it has never placed on the record charts, it has developed a cult following over the years. In addition, cover versions have been released by Whitesnake, Opeth, and Black Majesty to name a few.
The Opeth cover was included as a bonus track in the “Special Edition” release of Ghost Reveries (2006) and was subsequently released as a single in March 2007, which is available from iTunes. Roadrunner Records lists Opeth’s version among their 13 wildest covers, calling it a faithful cover and noting Mikael Åkerfeldt’s “unexpectedly soulful vocals.”
Thoughts about the song
In the Jerry Bloom biography, Black Knight, former lead guitarist Ritchie Blackmore says of “Soldier Of Fortune” it is “one of my favorite songs. It’s got a few of those medieval chords.”
Unfortunately, the rest of the band didn’t like the song, but Blackmore continued to play it after leaving the supergroup, including with Blackmore’s Knight, where the soft feminine voice of Candice Night although obviously not as fitting as David Coverdale’s, does not sound out of place.
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Deep Purple, Soldier of Fortune