...the Pebbles Wish
Released August 2018
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Call and Answer - this was written as a pseudo love song, sung in parlor style with large vibrato. Our version is taken from the amazing Chris Drever (son of Ivan Drever). His pumped up rhythm and jerky chords is perfect for our ears!

 

Hosie's Well/View From the Top - The Battle of Harlaw took place in 1411 on the sloping land to the north of Inverurie. Here the Earl of Mar and his men fought the Highlanders in a bloody battle.Hosie, a local man, was on his way to marry his bride when he was persuaded to fight in the battle instead, postponing his wedding. After the battle, he was imprisoned in a Hebridean dungeon for several years. Eventually he escaped and went to find his bride to be. While he was in prison though she had married someone else.Hosie was heartbroken, and with nothing to live for, he died and was buried on the hill overlooking Mither Tap. A well near where he was buried is called “Hosie’s Well” because it was believed that the water in the well is “nothing but Hosie’s tears”. If you are going up to Mither Tap via the Maiden Causeway from the Rowan Tree car park, you will pass it.  View from the top - Mither Tap is most commonly known as 'Bennache'. there is a Pictish stone fort at the top, and a large metal marker pointing out all the things you should be able to see from this prominent place. We waited for a clear day to hike it, only to be overtaken by a cloud. We still never saw a thing from the top!


On the Road to Drumleman - (The local way of pronouncing Durmlemble, which is on Kintyre).  The nearest place to nowhere and the furthest from anywhere .....Willie Mitchell wrote the words in 1948, and Tony Cuffe put it to this particular melody. The flat ground which lies between Drumlemble and, at the far end, Westport, is known as The Laggan. only 14 miles across the Irish sea, from Northern Ireland, but 140 to Glasgow.

 


Banks of the Seaway - a Canadian love song

 

... the pebble's wish... - How I love rocks. I was communing with a particularly wonderful group of rocks when I noticed the pebbles...  the ones who get ignored.  This poem came from that conversation:

 

I could wish to be a mountain

To be lofty and grand

To set awe in the eyes

Of those who look up at me

To have different weather

At my head and feet

But I wish

To be pebble-like

Of any plain color of gray or brown

So I could slumber in the scented shade of a cedar

Or be slime covered at the edge of a singing stream

Perhaps plucked by a small child's hand

And gleefully tossed into a puddle

Or... my very best wish...

To be lowly, insignificant and plain

To be pushed gently aside

By the blades of a glacier lily

Pushing up in spring

Then to abide near the green stalk

For the growing season

To lie on the Mother's breast

And feel her heart beat

Peaceful - content

Among all her jewels

 

False Knight/John Stenson's #2 - a song collected by Alan Lomax in Northern Ireland. The singer told him, that children were not to go out at night for fear of 'meeting the devil'. If they DID meet the devil, they were to stand perfectly still. Thus 'she stood, and she stood, and fare well she stood'. It is an amazing Appalachian sounding piece on the dulcimer! Thanks to Mary Tulin for sharing this one!

 

The Viking's Bride - a tale of woe for the Sea King and the bride

 

Maggie Walls - A monument of stones approximately 20 feet high, stands near the village of Dunning Scotland - Perthshire, with these words "Maggie Wall - burnt here 1657 - as a witch".  While she is a mystery as there are no records of her. The earliest record of the monument itself which lies inside 'Maggie Walls Wood', is 1829.  It is possible this stands as a memorial to all 1500 women burned as witches in Scotland. A reminder of the injustices and a powerfully dark time for women...

 

Dublin Lady - One of the very first songs we learned together, still love it.

 

Comb Your Hair/Lads of Lois - thanks to Jim Schulz for teaching us these fine tunes!

 

The Dutchman -   Ken played this before I ever knew him. He taught it to me during our time in little local restaurants near our home in Montana. We even played it for the man himself (Michael Smith) one night!  It just never fit the 'Celtic' mold we made for ourselves, but now...  it just needs to be sung!


Thereafter... peace... - I was asked to write a dulcimer tune for a film production about the ending of the Civil War at Appomatix.  I needed to come up with a melody that sounded true to the story but didn't interfere with it.  It didn't really have a title... Then we had our summer from hell...  fire raging within a mile of our home, evacuated for 9 days. Then my mother passed away. When August finally ended, the name came to me...  thereafter... peace...  please.

 

Saints and Sinners - I find this message SO very powerful.  Religion has caused so much death, destruction, misery...  and yet people turn to it in time of need.  I feel just like Mr. Francey...  I see no sign of a greater plan, just the joy and the sorrow of my fellow man.

 

Song for Yesterday - We used to be drawn to songs about youth, and true love. Now, aging musicians really connect with songs about aging.  This is such a beautiful sentiment.  A 'dunter' is a wee bird who feeds along the ebb when the tides go out. My Orkney friends tell me it is an amazing singer...  can't wait to return and hear one!