This Land

by The Moonbeams

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released August 3, 2018


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The Moonbeams Long Preston, UK

The Moonbeams sing their ‘Songs from the Dales’ telling tales of life and loving, and of laughing and enjoying life. Their contemporary folk based music skilfully evokes the beauty of their homeland, carrying you on a lyrical journey through the fells and dales of Yorkshire. Songs of rain, sun, and fells capture that elusive feeling of what it means to escape from the humdrum of everyday life. ... more

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Track Name: The Flags Beneath Our Feet
All our world is made of stone from the first big bang in the great unknown
From the rock hard crust down to the molten core
We scrape the top soil off the land, dig and blast with quarry gangs
And drag the stones down from the moor
For building churches, building mills
For spinning yarn and weaving tweed
For dressing querns for grinding corn
and the workers in the factories trod the unforgiving
Flags beneath their feet

She wakes to the sound of the factory bell from a dreamless sleep to a living hell
To struggle through streets of ignorance and shame
She’s 10 years old and she works all day a 12 hour shift for a pittance pay
A slave again in everything but name
And see her face, is that the face of a child
Those worn out eyes and those sunken cheeks
And see her feet are raw from walking the cold mill floor
In the dirt and the grime and the grease that swills and gathers on
The flags beneath her feet

Now we can run out into the fields far from the groaning grinding wheels
Our fruit and flowers are piled high at our doors
We can wander out across the fells, no clattering looms, no waking bells
We’re free to ramble over the open moors
And beneath our feet see the old stone flags
Like tombstones lined out across the peat
And with every step we take we tread on the memories
Of the ones that who before and were the first to tread
The flags beneath our feet
Track Name: This Land
When I was a boy I went out with my father
On summer days when i should have been at school
I’d work in the sheep pens whilst he was clipping
Rolling and tying the greasy wool
And many’s the day that I’ve spent gap walling
High up on the limestone fell
Learning the skills with which I’d make my living
Learning to do things right and well

I learnt to do the mucking, the harrowing, the haytime
]When to cut, to turn and to bale
I learnt to do the dagging, the gathering, the fothering
To clip and to dip and drive a nail
I was out in winter blizzards poling the snowdrifts
Searching with the dogs for stranded ewes
And if anyone had asked me if I’d like to change my living
I’m sure that I would have refused

And I know every stone, every syke, every valley
Every clint, every gryke, every tree
For when all’s said and done I’m a part of this land
And this land’s a part of me

Now I’ve farmed this land through good times and bad times
Taking the rough with the smooth
There’s times when I’ve felt like shutting the gate and walking
When it’s seemed like there’s nothing else to lose
But now that I’m older I look across the fellside
At my home, my stock, my family
And I’m thankful that when I was stood at the crossroads
Fate chose the right road for me
Track Name: Brother
Brother come take my hand
I’ll share with you my house my land
The green fields and the open moor
A warm fire and an open door
Brother, come take my hand

And when they says they’re shutting the gates
It’s not done in my name
And when they say they’re putting up the fences
I will help you tear them down again
Brother, come take my hand

Sister, come take my arm
I’ll lead you away from this pain and harm
I know that you wish you could’ve stayed home
But I’ll try and be your shelter in this storm
Sister, come take my arm

And when they say they will turn you away
I say enough is enough
And when they say that we should look to ourselves first
We’re from the same source, of the same blood
Sister, come take my arm

Brother and sister take my hand
Track Name: My Girl From The North Country
One day as I was out walking,
Chasing the clouds up the Fell
I saw someone coming towards me,

Coming down through the mist on the hill
It was a young girl that came striding
With a gait that was easy and free
At one with the wind and at one with the land,
A girl from the north country

I stopped by the wall to bid her good day,
She spoke and I drowned in her smile
We passed each other and went our own ways,
But she’s here with me now for all time

She could charm the sheep from the mountain
Coax the deer from the glen
She whispers to horses at midnight
She’s as bright as a jenny wren
She could tempt the birds down out of the trees
Make the fish swim out of the sea
She’s as sweet as a flowered filled meadow in June
She’s my girl from the north country

Now she’s always with me when I’m walking the fells
She’s my muse, my mentor, my guide
We met only briefly, one moment in time
But she’s constantly here by my side
Track Name: Haytime & Harvest
The snow was still falling as I walked to the farm
To the home of my fathers and childhood
There were no dogs to greet me or to sound the alarm
As the yard gate clos-ed behind me
I remember the stories, the laughter we shared
The dairy and byres where we worked long and hard
The clatter of clogs on the cobbles in the yard
When we gathered in the evenings of summer

I can see the hay meadows where the butterflies danced
The barn is still standing where we frolicked and pranced
As we raised our jugs high and we offered our thanks
At the end of the hay time and harvest

There are gaps in the walls aye they’ve all tumbled down
The land is quiet and deserted
I remember a time when the fields all around
Were alive with children’s wild laughter
But the old school stands empty at the top of the hill
There are no children running from the farms and the mill
For the big wheel’s stopped turning and the water is still
A silence hangs over the valley

The houses are quiet in the village below
The gardens overgrown and forgotten
The shop’s boarded up and the forge has gone cold
There’s grass in the chimneys and gutters
And the church bells are silent, they no longer chime
For there’s no one to worry about Sunday or time
And there is nobody left to make the long climb
To the rusty old clock in the tower

They’ve finished the dam at the foot of the dale
They are moving out men and machinery
A two hundred foot wall of concrete and steel
Will tame the wild life of our river
Soon the waters will rise and they’ll cover the walls
They will wash through the houses and through the cow stalls
Then we’ll hear the old church bell give a last drowning call
As the water floods over the tower
Track Name: Gathering Day
Gathering Day

He ties his coat and looks at the sky
Pulls his cap tight over his eyes
We’ll happen get wet before it’s night
And this gathering day is done
He strides up the fields and onto the fell
His stick in his hand and his dogs at heel
Waits for his neighbours from over the hill
And this gathering day to begin

Then it’s ‘Get away Gyp’ and ‘Come by Fly’
‘That’ll do Jess’ and ‘Lie down Guy’
They fix the ewes with unblinking eyes
And gather the fell sheep in
They come together by the fell wall
And he rolls the stone from the cripple hole
Counting them through as they go
Yan tan tedera pedera pinth

Then sorting them through the gathering pens
There’s the mark of Billy and the mark of Ken
And that one’s John’s from across the Dale
And on until the last one’s in
Then it’s back to the farm for a crack and a drink
The men dog tired and the dogs done in
We’ve had a good day lads we’ve gathered them in
Yan tan tedera pedera pinth
Track Name: Lady Luck

Many’s the time I’ve stumbled, too many to recall
Many’s the time I’ve sailed close to the wind and it’s been to tight to call
But I’ve always kept my chin up high and my feet upon the floor
Yes many’s the time I’ve stumbled but I’ve yet to fall.

The road is long that I am walking, keep on going, I keep on talking
I always find that there’s another tale to tell
Every tune leads to another and every song has to come from somewhere
And every heart has a tone just like every bell
I come up slowly like a deep sea diver and every slip is a timely reminder
That you never know what is just around the next bend
So I hang on tight to my St Christopher, thank my stars and cross my fingers Spin the bottle, throw a penny down the well

Sometimes when I feel things slide, it reminds me that time is passing by
And I have to work harder to keep the train on the track
But then I shoot the suns out of the sky, become immortal learn to fly
Ride through the night hanging on the full moon’s back
In every man there is a lover and I’m the same as any other
And every day is a new rose ready to pluck
So I never look at a new moon though a glass, step under a ladder, let a black cat pass
I’m happy to be riding with Lady Luck
Track Name: Blackbirds & Thrushes
Blackbirds and Thrushes

If I could sing like the blackbirds and thrushes
I’d sing to you from the highest bough
If I could sing from the blackbirds and thrushes
I’d sing a fine song and I’d sing it loud

B. If I could run like the hare on the mountain
I’d run to you from my heathery moor
If I could run like the hare on the mountain
I’d run straight down to be at your door

If I could swim like the fish in the water
I’d swim the rivers and the oceans wide
If I could swim like the fish in the water
I’d leap any foss to be at your side

If I could dance like the rushes a-growing
I’d dance all day in the summer breeze
If I could dance like the rushes a-growing
I’d dance for you where’ere you may be

So I’ll sing out with the blackbirds and thrushes
I’ll run o’er the mountain with the wild hare
I’ll dance all day with the rattles and rushes
And I’ll swim the rivers and oceans to have you near

And where’ere you be you will find me there
Track Name: Slow Down
Slow Down

Slow cities, slow food, slow art, slow mood
Slow down – we’re all trying to slow down
Slow down – we all need to slow down
No more rushing, no more huffing and a puffing – slow down

Slow eating, slow talking, slow reading, long walking
Slow down – its good to slow down
Slow down – does you good to slow down
No more racing, no more running, no more chasing – slow down

Let’s get together in one endeavour
Help each other every sister and brother
Step aside and take your time
And you might find that it’s just fine if you – slow down

Take it easy, take it slow, take no more than you need and go on
Slow down, just need to slow down
Slow down, come on slow down
Ditch the fast lane and take a slow train – slow down

Let’s get together in one endeavour
Help each other every sister and brother
Step aside and take your time
And you might find that it’s just fine if you – slow down – slow down – slow down
Track Name: Ginny Bickerdyke
Ginny Bickerdyke

I remember so well the days of that summer
When we hung the dead hen from the bridge for a traitor
A bundle of feathers wrapped in barbed wire to keep the foxes out
We spent the days looking for adventure
Roaming the moors through the bracken and heather
Lying by the beck with our arms in the water
Idly trying our hand at tickling trout

We climbed up the ghyll past the bees and the cowslips
Lightly skipping through the trees and the orchids
To the gap in the wall were the beck tumbled down
Off the moor by Ginny’s door
But Ginny’d long gone and the cottage was empty
So we pushed on the door and stepped into the kitchen
There was a range, a rag rug and cups on the table
It looked like she’s just popped out for something forgotten

We thought she was a witch, a sorceress or maybe
A spellbinder or a little bit crazy
But I now know Ginny Bickerdyke was just an old lady
Who fell on hard times in hard times.

One day we went up and Ginny’d come back
She was chasing the cows from the yard with her stick
Scrubbing the step and sweeping the flags
And beating the rug on the wall
Then we woke one night as the dogs started barking
To the sound of a noise outside in the dark, it
Was Ginny taking some coal from the barn
But my Dad just laughed and said everyone needs to keep warm

I remember so well the days of that summer
Days that we thought would go on for ever
I didn’t know then that it would soon be over
And that I’d be leaving it all behind
I set out on a road I’d not travelled
Losing my way as the old ways unravelled
But Ginny was taken off down to High Royd
And shut away out of sight and out of mind
Track Name: Syke As Thee
Syke As Thee

I would I could give you fine houses and land
With horses and carriages all at your command
Gardens of roses and arbours of sweet smelling trees
Gifts such as these would be worthy of one syke as thee

I would I could give you bright diamonds and pearls
Presents from the orient from all across the world
Ships laden with treasures from over the wide southern seas
Gifts such as these would be worthy of one syke as thee

I would I could give you rings of beaten gold
Rich hangings for your parlour, rich silks for your clothes
Soft leather for your sandals and silver cups for you to take your tea
Gifts such as these would be worthy of one syke as thee

But the truth I have to tell you is that I have none of these
I have no house nor horses, no gardens, no trees
No treasures from the ocean and my ship is just a ship of dreams
But what I have I’ll give you for there is no other syke as thee
Track Name: Springing The Hill
Springing The Hill

Remember the waggoners, the horsemen, the drovers
Who travelled the lanes up dale and down gill
When faced with a sharp climb they’d step up the pace in time
To get to the top and that’s springing the hill
And each climb’s like a piece of time, and each time you’re sure to find
A way to tackle it just believe that you will
Take your reins tight in you hand, ignore the trickling sand
There’s only one way and that’s springing the hill

I won’t hear his stealing steps, won’t lay no final bets
I’ll throw him in the corner to lie quiet and still
Dark clouds may gather but I’m not afraid of shadows
I can see my way clearly to springing the hill
As they seem to get steeper you have to dig deeper
For there’s races to run and dreams to fulfil
You may get slower but put the wheel to your shoulder
And hope for some help when you’re springing the hill

I’m ready for the raging not frightened of changing
I’ll keep the fires burning for as long as they will
This is no pigeon-chesting, no empty gesturing
It’s the only way I know and it’s springing the hill
There’s only one way and it’s springing the hill
I hope for some help when I’m springing that hill
Track Name: The Yorkshire Tup
e Yorkshire Tup (Trad, arrangement The Moonbeams)

As I was going to Skipton, all on a market day
I saw the finest tup sir, that had ever been fed on hay

And it’s true me lads, it’s true me loves
I’ve never been known to lie
And if you’d gone down to Skipton you’d ‘ve seen the same as I

He had 4 hooves to walk on, on 4 hooves he did stand
And every one of those hooves sir why they covered an acre of land

Now the horns upon this tup sir they reached up to the moon
A man climbed up in April and he never came down til june

Now the fleece upon this tup sir it grew up to the sky
The eagles built their nests in it you could hear the young ones cry

Now the man that stuck this tup sir he feared for his live
So he sent away to Sheffield to get a longer knive

It took all the men in Buckden to carry away his bones
It took all the women in Grassington to roll away his stones

Now Coverdale’s good for horses and Wensleydale for cheese
And Dentdale folk are knitters and terrible for to see
But if it’s sheep you’re after and be that tups or ewes
Go over the hill to Swaledale, there’s plenty there for to choose

And it’s true me lads, it’s true me loves
I’ve never been known to lie
And if you’d gone down to Skipton you’d ‘ve seen the same as I

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