Norwood Gothic

by Lily Bentley

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1.
The wind has come, catching the line The tide is turning white White as our bed, the day you set sail And the mainsail when you died Your father’s ship was laid with gold And jewels from Mandalay And all these riches held you down And wrecked you in the bay The sun was torn by falling mast And turned the sea to flame And I looked out for rescue boats Boats that never came And in my dreams the gold’s cast free And lost, your life to save But oh my love, those rubies made A pretty kind of grave The young men come, with dreams of gold Their eyes are bright with plans But all I seek Is one small gold ring In the absence of your hand
2.
My young love said to me: “My mother won’t mind, and my father won’t slight you For your lack of kine” And she went away from me And this she did say: It will not be long, love Til our wedding day She went away from me And moved through the fair And fondly I watched her Move here, and move there Then she went away homeward With star awake As the swan the evening Moves over the lake The people were saying No two were e’er wed But one had a sorrow That never was said And I smiled as she passed with her goods and her gear And that was the last That I saw of my dear Last night she came to me My dead love came in So softly she came that Her feet made no din And she laid her hand on me And this she did say It will not be long, love Til our wedding day
3.
Her family rolled in in ’79 (They’ve seen her walking on the river bed) Lily-white girl from the Black Country (Waters part to let her through) And it don’t take much hindsight to see (Behind the stream is running red) Just what was on his mind Part the earth to let him down Throw down the stone to keep him under Even so I shouldn’t wonder If death is not the end He caught her ‘neath the willow tree (They’ve seen her walking in the pale moonlight) Witnessed by the birds and the rolling tide (Gates swing back to let her through) Her last words preying on his mind (God and the Devil on her side) Nothing comes for free Part the earth to let him down Throw down the stone to keep him under Even so I shouldn’t wonder If death is not the end Found him in the morning light Secrets lost in hollow eyes Just her footprints on the floor And her perfume in the air… Part the earth to let him down Throw down the stone to keep him under Even so I shouldn’t wonder If death is not the end
4.
When I was no but sweet sixteen With beauty just a blooming-oh It’s little, little did I think At nineteen I’d been greeting-oh Oh the ploughboy lads, they’re gay braw lads But they’re false and they’re deceiving-oh They’ll take your all, and gang awa And leave their lasses grieving-oh Oh I was fond of company And gave the ploughboys freedom-oh To kiss and clap me in the dark When all my friends were sleeping-oh Oh the ploughboy lads, they’re gay braw lads But they’re false and they’re deceiving-oh They’ll take your all, and gang awa And leave their lasses grieving-oh But if I had kent, what I now ken And taken my mother’s bidding-oh I wouldn’t be sitting by our fireside Crying hush-a-bye my bairnie-oh Oh the ploughboy lads, they’re gay braw lads But they’re false and they’re deceiving-oh They’ll take your all, and gang awa And leave their lasses grieving-oh So it’s hush-a-ba, for I’m your ma But the Lord knows who’s your daddy-oh So girls take care, and you beware Of the ploughboys in the gloaming-oh Oh the ploughboy lads, they’re gay braw lads But they’re false and they’re deceiving-oh They’ll take your all, and gang awa And leave their lasses grieving-oh
5.
He rises into life, breathing out, breathing in Another soul been left behind, in Brookmill Park Fountain He shakes the algae from his hair, feels the green against his skin They can watch but they can’t know all the things he’s seen He doesn’t know the way out Doesn’t remember the way in And one day they’ll find him floating And trace the footsteps back in snow There are perhaps worse ways to live There are perhaps worse ways to go The heron stands unmoved, as ruined shoes sink deeper in While other men may pan for gold, in Brookmill Park he wades for tin The signs talk proudly of renewal, while the leaves turn brown from green And here beside the Ravensbourne, the trolley catch is wearing thin “Council can’t leave things alone!” Seems the last exception’s him And one day they’ll find him floating And trace the footsteps back in snow There are perhaps worse ways to live There are perhaps worse ways to go The winter steals in slow, leaving just the cold and him He sees the river flow below, wonders what it’s like within His shelter rises from the bank, cardboard walls and wire and pins Brighter scales flash and glow, beneath the ice, beneath the wind He sends his prayer into the deep Oh God, grant me fins And so he goes The water rises to meet him And so he goes The fishes welcome him home All the things he never had He won’t need them again And one day they’ll find him floating And trace the footsteps back in snow There are perhaps worse ways to live There are perhaps worse ways to go And one day they’ll find him floating…
6.
Fear a Bhata 04:16
Théid mé suas ar an chnoc is airde Féach an bhfeic mé fear an bháta An dtig thú anocht, nó an dtig thú amárach? Nó muna dtig thú, idir is trua atá mé A fhir an bháta, is na hóró eile A fhir an bháta, is na hóró eile A fhir an bháta, is na hóró eile Mo shoraidh slán leat gach áit a dtéid thú Tá mo chroíse briste, brúite, Is tric na deoir a rith bho mo shúilean An dtig thú inniú nó am bidh mé dúil leat Nó an druid mé an doras le osna thuirseach? A fhir an bháta, is na hóró eile A fhir an bháta, is na hóró eile A fhir an bháta, is na hóró eile Mo shoraidh slán leat gach áit a dtéid thú Thug mé gaol dhuit is chan fhéad mé athrú Cha gaol bliana, is cha gaol ráithe Acht gaol ó thoiseacht, nuair bhá mé mo pháiste ’s nach seasc a choíche mé gus chloigh an bás mé A fhir an bháta, is na hóró eile A fhir an bháta, is na hóró eile A fhir an bháta, is na hóró eile Mo shoraidh slán leat gach áit a dtéid thú
7.
She heard him call from mortal shore A place where they had met before And in his eyes she plainly saw a luckless soul She asked what deed must you perform Or what is it you run from Oh, Danilo “The Prince will have an Easter coat, sable fine and braided gold And dead am I, for needlework I do not know She took him in her snow white wings And thought men died for such small things Oh, Danilo “I will sew your sable fur With stitches fine as maidenhair And all this if you’ll only swear to keep your word: I ask you do not boast of me And pique men’s curiosity” Oh, Danilo He gladly took her coat’s reward To taverns where the vodka flowed And washed away her every word like melting snow He spoke of wings and golden thread He spoke of feathers on the bed Oh, Danilo And every word grew wings and flew And every hour the story grew ’Til every man believed he knew her to the bone She woke at dawn and rose to find A hundred men sitting outside Oh, Danilo She found him in the morning dew And said “I asked one thing of you. Even though I always knew we’d end alone” Spread her wings and left behind A luckless man beneath the sky Oh, Danilo
8.
Down in yon forest there stands a hall The bells of paradise, I heard them ring It’s covered all over with purple and pall And I love my Lord Jesus, above anything And in that hall there stands a bed The bells of paradise, I heard them ring Scarlet the coverlet over it spread And I love my Lord Jesus, above anything At the foot of that bed there grows a thorn The bells of paradise, I heard them ring It blooms, ere it blossoms the day he was born And I love my Lord Jesus, above anything And under that bed there runs a flood The bells of paradise, I heard them ring The half it runs water, the other runs blood And I love my Lord Jesus, above anything And over that hall the moon shines bright The bells of paradise, I heard them ring Denoting our saviour was born that night And I love my Lord Jesus, above anything
9.
Where Lagan stream sings lullaby There blows a lily fair The twilight gleam is in her eye The night is on her hair And like a lovesick leannan-sidhe She has my heart in thrall No life have I, nor liberty For love is lord of all And often when the beetle’s horn Have lulled the eve to sleep I steal unto her shieling lorn And through the dooring peep There on the cricket’s singing stone She spreads the bog wood fire And hums in sad soft undertone The song of heart’s desire Her welcome, like her love for me Is from the heart within Her warm kiss is felicity That knows no shame or sin And when I stir my foot to go ’Tis leaving love and light To feel the wind of longing blow From out the dark of night
10.
Of all the money that e’er I had I’ve spent it in good company And all the harm that e’er I’ve done Alas! It was to none but me And all I’ve done for want of wit To memory now, I can’t recall So fill to me the Parting Glass Goodnight and joy be with you all Of all the comrades that e’er I had They’re sorry for my going away And all the sweethearts that e’er I had They’d wish me one more day to stay But since it falls unto my lot That I should rise and you should not I’ll gently rise, and I’ll softly call Goodnight and joy be with you all And man may drink and not be drunk And a man may fight and not be slain And a man may court a pretty girl And perhaps be welcome back again But since it has so ordered been By a time to rise and a time to fall Come fill to me the Parting Glass Goodnight and joy be with you all Come fill to me the Parting Glass Goodnight and joy be with you all

about

Lily Bentley is a folk singer and songwriter from South London. Drawing on traditions from both sides of the Atlantic, she focuses on the lesser-heard voices of the folk genre: the feminine, the marginal, the supernatural.

Spanning five centuries and multiple musical traditions, Norwood Gothic brings traditional songs together with original material drawn from such varied influences as Irish love songs, American murder ballads, Russian folk tales, and a small park near Deptford Bridge.

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released February 1, 2019

Vocals: Lily Bentley
Everything Else: Gerry Diver

Produced by Gerry Diver

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Lily Bentley London, UK

Folk singer, songwriter and Crystal Palatian

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