Witches’ Ladder

I’ve been called out to the Indies

I will not tarry long

The voyage is a safe one

I’ll soon be sailing home

With a hold stuffed full of cotton,

Opium, spices and teas

With a good fair wind behind us

Soon be blowin’ back to thee.

 

(Chorus) Fair winds for a penny, a trading wind for two,

A roaring gale for thruppence I’ll conjure for you

For I have stood on cliff-tops and bound them with these yarns

Unpick each twist and you enlist good Mother Ivey’s charms.

 

“But love, I might die waiting

My poor heart, it may yearn

For this love is my treasure

And my heartache now will burn

For one year I must tarry

My mind so full of care

While father presses me to wed

Lord Falmouth’s son and heir.

 

“So how much for your ladder?

Old lady, pray do tell

For I’m in need of speed and God’s speed

May not do me well.

For my love she sits a-waiting

A longing in her heart

She dreams of our sure union

But yearns to see it start.

King Of Bodmin Moor

At the midnight hour the torches sway

The white quartz glistens to mark the way

Ahead the priestess, her face is set

In silence the procession-but all in step.

 

Oh, Rough Tor, spread your energy right over the moor

Oh, Rough Tor, sacred king of Bodmin Moor

 

Pacing the serpent path to the top

The priestess reaches the guardian rocks

On her signal the drumbeat pounds and pounds

Til a bright light appears above the ground

 

The bright star descends on the plateau below

The old gods return in the torches glow

They meet with the priestess til the sunrise

The people stand in silence, averting their eyes.

 

New lessons passed on from the gardeners of old

New ways to use the energy the tor doth hold

Build circles to contain it and intensify

To radiate it out for miles and miles.

The Unseen Hand

Chorus:

Beware, oh, man, of the unseen hand

Twill charm thy feet to the old enchanted land

Wild music and song May last til dawn

But one night of theirs is a thousand of yourn.

 

Old Tom raised his lantern, the darkness lay thick

He’s spied dancing lights at the top of the ridge

Wild fires or wild witches, he could not be sure

As he turned up the path that led to the tor.

 

On reaching the summit old Tom rubbed his eyes

A banquet magnificent lit by lamplight

And dancing together small lords and ladies

In frock coats and ball gowns on daintiest feet.

 

Come hither one beckoned and join in the fun

As Tom stood enchanted unable to run

But fortune lay with him that wild stormy night

As he stepped in the ring and extinguished those lights.

 

No more tinkling laughter no fiddle and pipe

No more magic lanterns, just darkest of nights

With feet heavy and weary Tom trudged down the path

Awake or dreaming he dared not to ask.

 

His tale is remembered though few he did tell

Twas believed and recounted by those he knew well

To this day the summit bears witness to it all

Long known by the locals as old laughter tor.

 In Millook Wood

 

In Millook Wood by the celandines I saw a dark shape pass behind

It was no man, stood about knee high

I saw it from the corner of my eye.

 

Oh listen, man, why do you step here?

You have taken all that we hold dear

Once forest spread from coast to coast

 You’ve cut down what we love the most

 

Oh I believe when the world was young that man and nature lived as one

And spirits all he could plainly see

As they danced around from tree to tree

 

Oh listen, man that you may perceive

Without us you would have no trees

Our sacred task has been all along

To keep the greenwood healthy and strong

 

No sight have I no way to perceive how nature sprites their magic weave

But if I try maybe I’ll succeed

And Millook wood will welcome me.

Water’s Edge

 

I want to drive on a rainy day to the end of the road, far away.

No motorway, no yellow line, just single track and open skies.

 

Oh, to the water’s edge,

to throw a stone and watch the ripples,

the ripples spread.

 

Take the path to the river source, fill my cup and drink it pure.

Then toss my bag to the other side and jump across, it’s not that wide.

 

Oh, to the water’s edge,

to throw a stone and watch the ripples,

the ripples spread.

 

Like a rock in a river I was out of sight, just hunkered down and held on tight.

Now the rain has eased and the current has gone, here’s my chance, I’m moving on.

 

I’m going to the water’s edge,

to throw a stone and watch the ripples,

the ripples spread.

 

I’ve been here since time beyond, you know my face, now hear my song.

The rain has washed away my tracks but that’s alright, I’m not going back.

 

I’m going to the water’s edge,

to throw a stone and watch the ripples,

the ripples spread.

 

I want to drive on a rainy day so come with me,I know the way,

No motorway no yellow lines just single track and open skies.

 

Oh, to the water’s edge,

to throw a stone and watch the ripples,

the ripples spread.

I’m going to the water’s edge,

to throw a stone and watch the ripples,

the ripples spread.

Becoming

all lyrics C.Coltart/Hytch

Rain on a Black Hat

 

Rain on a black hat that’s my song,

money come and money gone,

I choose to walk wrong side of the law and

I’ll take my chances on Bodmin Moor.

Gorse that tears and rain that stings,

silent step through the purple ling,

hide my face from the silver moon and

I step to the shadows, he’s coming soon.

 

(Chorus)

Granite heart I’ve become, I’ve become,

I answer to no one, to no one.

I’ll take my chance on Bodmin Moor, Bodmin Moor,

for my true love she is no more, no more.

 

She was a beauty true and fair,

danced with the trees and tied ribbons in her hair,

they called her a witch and they called her a liar,

they condemned her soul to eternal fire.

Too late I heard and too late I came,

but he who condemned her I know your name,

revenge will be mine in face of the gallows

your name is carved down the shaft of my arrow.

 

(Chorus)

 

Galloping hooves on black soil wet,

smell and snort of a horse in sweat,

comes the accuser with his whip held high,

I take my aim and let my arrow fly.

 

Granite heart I’ve become, I’ve become,

I answer to no one, to no one,

revenge is mine on Bodmin Moor, Bodmin Moor,

but my true love’s still no more, no more.

 

Rain on a black hat that’s my song,

revenge is mine but my love’s still gone,

I choose to walk to the highest tor and I fall to the shadows

and to my lover on the moor,

on Bodmin Moor,

on Bodmin Moor,

on Bodmin Moor.

Wreckers

 

The oil is burning, I hold my lamp up high,

Wind is howling, it’s a dark and stormy night,

I’m up on the cliffs, but down on the sand,

The waves are crashing, breaking as a ship’s run aground.

 

Hey ho wreckers, get yourselves down to the shore,

There’s enough barrels of whisky for a hundred men or more,

You can work the mine all day, a penny’s what you’ll get,

Or come join the wreckers you’ll be a rich man yet.

 

The ship she moans as she sinks beneath the waves,

She’s taking many souls to watery graves,

But she had a secret, that only I was told,

She wasn’t just carrying whisky she had a belly full of gold.

 

Hey ho wreckers, get yourselves down to the shore,

But you can keep the whisky ‘cos there’s something I want more,

Lord Trelawny’s daughter, with the aquamarine eyes,

When I’ve got that gold, she’ll be my wife.

 

Fate is cruel, but crueller is the sea,

The first wave threw the gold to him, he pocketed it with glee,

He cried “I am a rich man”, but the next wave pulled him under

and the gold is weighing him down now to Davy Jones’ Locker

 

Hey ho wreckers, get yourselves down to the shore,

There’s enough barrels of whisky for a hundred men or more,

You can work the mine all day, a penny’s what you’ll get,

Or come join the wreckers you’ll be a rich man yet.

 

 

He’s swimming with the mermaids now, he’s swimming with the sharks,

Lord Trelawny’s daughter, well she got a broken heart,

She cried “He was a poor boy, but he meant the world to me”

And she threw away her riches and she jumped into the sea.

 

Hey ho wreckers, get yourselves down to the shore,

There’s enough barrels of whisky for a hundred men or more,

You can work the mine all day, a penny’s what you’ll get,

Or come join the wreckers you’ll be a rich man yet.

 Browney In The House

 

I swear there’s a browney in this house

It can’t be a spriggan or a sprite

He helps with the building work, that’s true

But nearly all by night,  nearly all at night.

 

Who’s that steppin’ on my roof at 1 o’clock in the morning?

Checking the chimney’s waterproof

Has to be that browney, oh, keeper of Bell cottage.

 

Who’s that sanding my new door at 2 o’clock in the mornin’?

Finishing the work that’s gone before

Must be Mr Browney, oh, guardian of Bell Cottage.

 

Who’s that crunching in my yard at 3 o’clock in the morning?

Checking the concrete’s nice and hard

Has to be that browney, oh, keeper of Bell Cottage

 

Who’s that scraping down below at 4 o’clock in the morning?

Checking the fire has lost its glow

Must be Mr. Browney, oh, keeper of Bell Cottage.

John Strong

 

John Strong was a puddler,

cold water on reddened hands,

against the fire and sweat of steel

he dreamt of foreign lands.

He said “The dock life it’s a tyrant,

it can tear a man apart,

or he simply fades away

from the greyness in his heart.”

He said, “Go pipe your dreams”

he said, “Go sail the oceans wide,

keep your face towards the sun

and your back against the tide.”

So I’ve revelled in the freedom,

of the anchor hauling high,

sweet breeze against my face

as I breathe in endless sky.

 

He told me to sail on,

to sail on alone,

he told me to sail on,

searching for a home.

 

I know one day I’ll find it,

it’s where the oaks reach to the shore,

and their aged branches guide me,

the way to my front door.

There I’ll light a fire,

and watch the smoke rise to the sky,

and I’ll think of John Strong puddler,

who knew the reasons why..

 

To go sailing on,

to sail on alone,

to go sailing on,

searching for a home.

 

It’s a lustrum that I’ve been here now,

down Glendurgan Cove,

here I’ve cast my anchor,

for here I’ve found my home.

John Strong’s in his grave now,

his heart succumbed to grey,

but I still hear his voice

and I still hear him say...

 

To go sailing on,

to sail on alone,

to go sailing on, searching for a home.

To go sailing on,

to sail on alone,

to go sailing on,

searching for a home.

Like the Roses

 

Neath an oak I watched the rainfall, pulled my coat up tight and stood, like a frightened snail I hid there trying not to see the good, but the roses loved the rainfall, turned their faces to the sky, grateful for the drink of water, looked at me and wondered why.

Oh rain fall on me, I can’t even say why, it might free my soul, liberate my mind. Rain fall on me till I almost drown, I need to feel my life turn around.

I can see a double rainbow but I don’t know how it’s made, could it be I’m not supposed to think about that perfect shape, If I try I might remember how to look and how to see, possibly I might just realise how to live and how to be.

It is so hard to remember what it’s like to walk and run, thinking only of the moment under wind and sky and sun, if I could be like the roses there would be no need for grief, thankful for the simple pleasures, feeling happy, sweet relief.

If Wishes Were Horses

 

If wishes were horses then beggars would ride,

and I’d ride straight over the sea,

for if dreams could come true my horse would fly too,

we’d soar to the Isles of Scilly.

 

Where the white sand it glitters like mermaid dust,

and the green sea bewitches your soul,

Oh I’ll never leave these magical Isles

if you’re broken on Scilly you’re whole.

 

If wishes were boats then paupers would sail,

they’d follow the stars over to Bryher,

dreams long trodden down once again could be found,

they’d rise up like sparks from the fire.

 

Where the white sand it glitters like mermaid dust,

and the flowers they dance at your feet,

Oh I’ll never leave these magical Isles,

here all loose ends they can be complete.

 

If wishes were flowers it’s easy to see,

why so many grow here on Scilly,

her waves beat to my pulse, my soul soars up with the gulls,

if you’re lost then you’re found here on Scilly.

 

Where the white sand it glitters like mermaid dust,

and the green sea bewitches your soul,

Oh I’ll never leave these magical Isles

if you’re broken on Scilly you’re whole.

Bal Maiden's Wish

 

Chorus:

I can buddy and rocky,

I can walk like a man,

I can looby and shakey

and please the old Jan

 

I rise in the dark with the morning stars

mist lies low over slag heap scars,

towser folded, hoggan warm,

Wheal Jewel waits me in the dawn.

Nodding Bob goes up and down,

pumping the water from underground,

I’m rising kibbles for I spalled my hand,

but I’ll hold pace with any a man.

 

(Chorus)

 

Twenty years and ripe am I,

many a glance from a miner’s eye,

but it’s the richest square mile in the land,

a mineral lord will have my hand.

I won’t rock cradles, tend the tables,

light the fire nor spin,

miner take your cup and drink it up

this Bal Maiden shall win, hey

 

(Chorus)

 

I’ve spalled, I’ve jigged

I’ve kibbled, I’ve framed,

every miner knows my name,

to the Knockers I’ve thrown my wishing crust,

Mineral Lord after me shall lust.

At  Perrantide I’ll frame his gaze,

as he rides by on visiting day,

from Bal Maiden with the copper eyes

 to gentle lady I shall rise.

 

(Chorus)

 

Come all good Bal Maidens walk in,

there’s whisky, rum and shrub and gin,

we’ll do no less than drink success

to copper fish and tin, hey

copper, fish and tin, hey

copper, fish and tin.

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