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Lakeside
Lyrics
656_Glen Avon Swans.bmp

Scarecrow

His mother left him on the porch

When he was still too young to walk

Beneath the bawdy sun.

 

He crawled into the woods that day

And he got lost could not find his way.

His mother shouted from the porch

But could not see him left or right

in the growing dark.

Meanwhile in the woods he crawled,

could not stand, nor walk, nor cry:

"Here I am."

That lost little boy is stealing my show

Lost little boy is stealing my show,

Stealing through the wheat,

On his sharpened feet.

Making it look like a sasquatch home,

Or the landing site of a UFO.

 

Somebody has to die, I know.

 

He ate his berries, roots and nuts

And soon grew strong but still could not

Stand up.
 

And he still can’t walk, still can’t run,

Can’t keep up with anyone,

Now he’s the Creeping Man.

 

He still can’t speak, cannot sing,

Cannot dance or anything,

Now he’s The Creeping Man.

"Here I am."

 

But that lost little boy is stealing my show

Lost little boy is stealing my show,

Stealing through the wheat,

On his sharpened feet.

Making it look like a sasquatch home,

Or the landing site of a UFO.

 

Everyone has to die, I know.

Baba Yaga of the Chimney Stacks

The flock is growing. She decides

to draw her wings across her eyes.

Time will pass without a grain

of sand falling.

 

Her shadow slides across the doors on a winding, cobbled road,

Hoping that whoever follows her won't get too close.

 

Her house grew long stork legs

And wings like Baba Yaga’s hut

She’s shaking the blood from her wings

Shaking the blood from her wings.

 

She draws her wings back from her eyes

While behind her little Baba Yaga huts fly.

The flock departs without a sound,

Slowly falling:

 

Little things that sparkle with their self-made inner light,

Striving for eternity so they can get it right.

 

The droplets fall on chimney stacks,

And open like flowers, turn smoky black.

As she's shaking the blood from her wings,

Shaking the blood from her wings.

 

Moonlight spilling from her eyes as

Something following she surprised.

Harvest Parts I - IV

I

 

The cornfields sway to the deft movement of druids picking thistles with their silver knives in time for the next season they will come to know.

Something like wind is in the air, but this is far sweeter to feel on the face and the hands, and the leaves do not settle, but scuttle along, carrying our footprints with them as we crinkle and die.

The jars are on the shelves, some already stuffed with pickled cherry blossom, but the white, gummy arms of hunchbacked trees smote the morning stones of the catacombs that crawl into mountains and keep the blossoms dry while amber sweats from people between the walls across the town.

II

 

And the lunatics and prophets gather in the fields organizing their vials and bottles of coloured potions as they walk through the rubble around them to speak to creatures who they have summoned and left waiting in the  dungeons imprisoned by crudely chalked circles and a ring of stuffed braziers which will try to burn all night.

 

Timeless again crack the chimes of autumn bells, struck by proud and eager farmers who run to hide in their warm cottages, fermenting their wine, with yeast and hops sitting

in barrels in the cellars, first sipped by the Clauricauns. And in the farmers' place in the fields are hung corn dolls, strangely repulsive in their human wrappings.

Though the colours are few the Autumn Crocus is in bloom, and the puffed manes of the dandelions brace for the breezes of Autumn to carry them to a new field where less crows will hunt for them and the ground corn left behind by one of the druids, who stumbled on the rock thrown by the farmer's son who was caught just in time with the nightshade in his hand.

 

And amber burns a spreading fever in something that awakens in the halls beneath the town.

III

 

And a merchant has taken refuge from the coming storm in a temple choked with mistletoe in the chamber where the night before a prince raped a princess and placed her bleeding body in a well where she screams for water to drench the blood stains, but her white robes muffle the sound and the merchant doesn't hear her as he shuffles through his wares.

And amber walks like crystal that disappears in the cracks in the stone to live beneath the fields.

The alchemist watches his simmering brew of marigold and honeysuckle as the squirrels and rats in the ceiling, infumed by the sweet smell, are dancing foolishly with knowing grins, poking at the bubbles as they float up to the rafters, each and all reflecting the fields of barley, wheat and corn that spread for leagues in all directions.

And amber speaks for crystal as the crowd inside the chamber recover from their orgy and drink from the broth of oblivion and scuttle away into the walls of halls that talk to death.

IV

And the fields are set afire by a Homunculus that had escaped from his bottle where he had been swimming in a mixture of chives and garlic much to his distaste, and as the alchemist returned to greet the creature with the rites of Autumn, it stole closer behind and slew him with a shard of it's crystal bottle, and then escaped through the sewers into the village where it will spend it's precious time with the squires until they grow too old for such games and forget him, and when he dies he will rot in one of the

King's cellars.

Lakeside

Let me take you down to the water's edge

To see scenes stolen from another season

Prepare to battle with the autumn rains,

Pitted bough to stone against ranks of human steel.

Let me drown you deep down in the black water

During ungodly hours of resting to rise.

Come watch me play here at the lakeside

To take your mind of the steel, until I fall in.

 

Faces looking up through the water,

My face looking down through the water,

Where's the bottom of the lakeside water?

My face looking up through the water,

Faces looking down through the water,

Where's the bottom of the lakeside water?

Paper boats twist and turn on the water

Through invisible wind to takeaway my steel.

Don't turn away from what I see here

Because when I cry you might not look around.

Say Goodbye to Mary

Mary Merryweather waited out another day at her stall.

She waited by her boxes and the rain beat her cold head low.

Her bright wares turned as grey as their cardboard boxes,

And her shawl blew away to be lost somewhere in the sky.

But no one said a word when she fell upon the street or saw the red that hung upon her lips.

Say goodbye to Mary...

 

I walked behind a red brick wall

and stooped to take her shawl,

Saw her name upon the edge

in faded silken thread.

I knew the red upon her lips

Was strawberries from her stall,

And that she slept contented,

Having pushed so many down, so fast.

 

And that I know,

For I was watching her

With a bouquet in my hand.

And that I know

For the bouquet 

Hid the knife against my palm.

 

I'd seen her there on days before

But always had just left alone

The peace of her possession

So she could her life done.

 

Say goodbye to Mary, say goodbye . . .

 

But as I'm kneeling down at Mary's side I see the red of her blood

And see the knife she holds into her broken ribs and heart.

I never would have thought that Mary Merrweather was one

Who could kill herself without even saying goodbye.

I'd been watching that stall and her for so many years

But I never told her what that life really means to me.

Say goodbye to Mary, say goodbye . . .

An Offering to Sam

Hay work in December, it's cheap work I know,

But I have to have me some money to go

Back down to the door of my friend Sam,

To knock and say that it's him that I am.

 

Sam has travelled much farther than me.

He's wiser and braver than I'll ever be,

But how can I show him how tall I can stand

When his shadow weighs on the man that I am?

 

People are late as always but their worries are mostly the same.

Any hour by a mirror brings them closer to their names.

An offering for Sam.

 

I have to give an offering to Sam,

So we can both come to understand

He's but the man that stands behind me.

Together we are just more of the same Sam.

 

Behind very human eyes is a voice that only knows

We're more than the men we've seen at odds without their clothes.

An Offering for Sam.

 

I have to give an offering to Sam,

So we can both come to understand

He's but the man that stands behind me.

Together we are just more of the same Sam.

An Offering for Sam.

Fisherman

Pain means nothing to these fishermen:

The old men bait their hooks with the flesh they can.

They push their skiffs to the trade winds,

And cast their lines, hefting the weight in their hands.

 

“Last for me,” they say of their hands and arms,

“Meet the marlin strong and be true to me.”

 

The fisherman’s ball never ends . . .

Though they should never bait another hook

They are and always will be fishermen.

The sea pushes back each time they look away,

They feel its weight behind every wave that breaks.

Their mind dwells always on the cold and empty deep, 

But not as a home, just curtains that fall away.

“Last for me,” they say of their hands and arms,

“Meet the marlin strong and be true to me.”

The fisherman’s ball never ends . . .

Though they should never bait another hook

They are and always will be fishermen.

Swan Over Water

They say the swan can ride much higher on its waves

When it is older and much wiser of its wake,

And when seen in a certain way

Swan over water looks tired.

 

"How can the young hold themselves

Higher than their heads

Before they've nearly drowned

Getting it right?"

 

"How can the young know not to

Dance out of step

Until they've got it wrong

And lost their way?"

 

They say the swan can carry his wings higher when

It's swam a thousand lakes and knows the names of them,

And when seen in a certain way

Swan over water looks tired.

 

"How can they call themselves wise

When they can't yet say:

'I've seen the sun go down

And know it will return?'"

 

"How can they have fear of death

If they can't yet say:

'I saw the shotgun fire

Chase my flock away?'"

 

They say the swan will always bride its love for life

'Cos they've never seen a pair that did not look alike.

They say the swan does not care for its wealth of water

Because its webbed feet care not whether they are wet or not.

They say the swan looks this and that as though they knew

Just what it would be like to be floating in its shoes,

But when seen in a certain way

They look as tired as that too.

 
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Album Notes

Some of the songs on this album were written while I lived in England for a year when I was 18, and I associated those that were not with the same period. All of them are characterised by a naive naturalism or Anglophile pastoralism, but I was hoping for some instrumentation to distinguish them from the more restrained, layered acoustics of Draggle Glade and Garden. They all were an indirect attempt to capture the haunting quality of beauty at the moment of its decay or loss. Several other songs that initially were written for this album ended up on Opaline, Penny Crossings, Dwellings and The Horde as a consequence of its length as well as, to a lesser extent, tonal consistency.

  

Lakeside was written in Cornwall, though the middle eight was added later, and was, like ‘Fisherman’, adapted from an old poem of mine. While it was written with the image of black lakes in browning autumnal marsh, on retrospect I was probably also thinking of the Black Marshes in the Lord of the Rings.

Say Goodbye to Mary was written in Norfolk, inspired by images of the London marketplace and the notion of a despairing woman with a strawberry stall and a discreet observer. While it was never explicit, the observer was variously intended to be a slighted lover, a deranged obsessive, or (my preferred inference) Mary's abandoned son.

Offering to Sam was written in Cornwall. While I would by lying if I said it doesn't reference Sam in Lord of the Rings, I was not thinking of the character per se but of a loyal alter ego or internal figure, that is, an inner projection of a supportive quality within oneself.

 

Fisherman was a reworking of an old poem of mine. I recorded a second version with different melody and without lyrics and ended up combining the two versions.

Swan Over Water was, from memory, written in Norfolk. It perhaps best captured the lullaby quality I was working on at the time.

  

Scarecrow was written about the same time as ‘Offering to Sam’, though I think while I was in Norfolk or the Lakes District.

Baba Yaga of the Chimney Stacks was a very early song whose lyrics were rewritten as a reworking of the Baba Yaga myth as a kind of giant predatory bird over a English urban landscape caught at sunset as the sky bleeds orange and red over chimney tops.

  

Harvest was mostly written in Perth but I finished it in Norfolk. At about twenty minutes it was a successor to ‘Garden’ as an extended attempt to put lyrics a to a free form poem. I always wanted to arrange it for a full orchestra, though also liked the naïve charm of attempting grandeur with the modesty of multi-tracked guitar and vocals.

Glen Spoors, June 2006

Korelai Music is a brand of Lost Isle Media
korelaimusic@gmail.com
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