Seven Star Green

by Rebsie Fairholm

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about

When I was working on Seven Star Green I told people it was a straight follow up to Mind The Gap ... but it isn't, of course. It evolved into something I would have found difficult to imagine beforehand and was a constant voyage of discovery. This album is darker, richer and lusher than Mind The Gap. The music lost some of its innocence but gained a unique voice.

Some of the change was down to circumstance. I found myself without a mandolin player or a fiddler, and ended up replacing them with a rock guitarist and a cellist. Both of whom are brilliant musicians who brought their own vision to the project.

So it has the usual ethereal psych-folk ambience rooted in the British landscape, and soaring, haunting vocals. But this album finds a new complexity and sophistication, particularly in the instrumentation. Daniel Staniforth brings expressive cello to some songs, sumptuous flamenco guitar to others, while Dick Langford contributes fire-fingered electric guitar and some wildly original arrangements. And once again there is a "surprise" track which doesn't fit any definition of the genre ... but we like to raise two fingers to genres don't we?

credits

released August 1, 2009

Rebsie Fairholm: voice, piano, 12-string guitar, synths, percussion
Daniel Staniforth: cello, acoustic and classical guitars, bass, midi instruments, backing vocals on Central Line.
Dick Langford: electric guitar, bass, midi instruments

Produced and engineered by Daniel Staniforth with some mixing by Rebsie Fairholm and Dick Langford.

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about

Rebsie Fairholm Cheltenham, UK

Dark haunting psych-folk, inspired by the English landscape and the lingering spirits of the ancestors. I play 12-string guitar, harp, piano whistle, psaltery and whatever else comes to hand. My solo albums so far are "Mind the Gap" and "Seven Star Green". I work with cellist and multi-instrumentalist Daniel Staniforth. ... more

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Track Name: The Cursing Song
Cursed be they that have ruined a fair land,
And cursed be they that have sealed up the wells,
And cursed be they that abandoned the Gods hands, 
And build a strange place for their people to dwell.
 
Cursed be your breath and cursed be your breathing,
Cursed be your eyes and cursed be your sight,
Cursed be your hands that have blackened the harvest,
And closed the old ways to the joy and the light.
 
Cursed be your name all cursed and forgotten,
Cursed beyond memory, place, or recall,
And dust be your souls out of Nothing begotten,
Nothing to no-thing, and Nothing to All.
 
Now cursed are they that have ruined our fair land,
And cursed are they that have sealed up our wells,
And cursed are they that abandoned our Gods hands,
And built a strange place for the children to dwell.

Lyrics © R J Stewart
Track Name: Our Captain Cried
Our captain cried all hands away tomorrow
Leaving us girls behind in grief and sorrow
What makes you go abroad fighting for strangers?
When you could stay at home and free from dangers

You courted me a while just to deceive me
And now you've gained my heart you mean to leave me
Oh there's no trusting men, not my own brother
So girls if you would love, love one another

I'd roll you in my arms my dearest jewel
So stay at home with me and don't be cruel
Down on the floor she fell like one that was dying
The house was filled with grief sighing and crying

The drums are beating love the pipes are playing
I must be on my way no longer staying
Dry off those briny tears and leave off weeping
And happy we shall be at our next meeting
Track Name: Molotov Spongecake
See now how a city street condemns
As the drizzle thickens on the Thames
You're counting the railings like missed chances
While the public don't give second glances
Through the haze of the wine you know where you should be
And a monocled dandy wants you round for tea

Power is what luxury affords
Ten thousand gets you in the House of Lords
Or plied with cake and a dose of tea-time violence
Served with a slice of permanent silence
Please don't take it personal my dear
It's how they deal with rebels here

The night slips down the drainpipe with the rain
And shadows brush the floorboards once again
Wheel the bedstead back over the carpet
And nothing ended here and nothing started
Track Name: Let No Man Steal Your Thyme
Come all you fair and tender girls
That flourish in your prime
Beware, beware, keep your garden fair
Let no man steal your thyme

For when your time it is past and gone
He'll care no more for you
And every place where your thyme was waste
Shall spread all o'er with rue

For a woman is a branchy tree
And man a clinging vine
And from her branches carelessly
He'll take what he can find
Track Name: Perigee Organdie
Dawn alchemy
Rises to be
Pauses in the window
And sets herself free
A vision on a fragile thread of chi

Star of delight
Ploughed beyond sight
In the murmurs of longing halflight
A song of wisdom sweet
Cracks like twigs
Beneath our horses' feet

Perigee
Organdie
Alchemy

Roses borne of night
Lilies spun from light
Twine on the bowers of love
As imagination sings
An alchemical angel takes its wings

Green in the tree
Dream to the sea
And the nautilus deep in the sand
With its spiral hid inside
Silken rainbow burnish
With its face towards the tide

Perigee
Organdie
Dream to Be
Alchemy
Track Name: Pavane
Belle qui tiens ma vie
Captive dans tes yeulx
Qui m'as l'ame ravie
D'un soubz-ris gracieux
Viens tost me secourir
Ou me fauldra mourir

Pourquoy fuis tu mignarde
Si je suis pres de toy
Quand tes yeulx je regarde
Je me perds dedans moy
Car tes perfections
Changent mes actions

Tes beautéz et ta grace
Et tes divins propos
Ont eschauffé la glace
Qui me geloit les os
Et ont remply mon cœur
D'une amoureuse ardeur

Approche donc ma belle
Approche toy mon bien
Ne me sois plus rebelle
Puis que mon cœur est tien
Pour mon mal appaiser
Donne moy un baiser

Je meurs mon Angelette
Je meurs en te baisant
Ta bouche tant doucette
Va mon bien ravissant
A ce coup mes espritz
Sont tous d'amour espris
Track Name: Minstrel Boy
The minstrel boy to the war is gone
In the ranks of death you'll find him
His father's sword he hath girded on
And his wild harp slung behind him
Land of Song! cried the warrior bard
Tho' all the world betrays thee
One sword, at least, thy rights shall guard
One faithful harp shall praise thee

The minstrel fell, but the foeman's chain
Could not bring that proud soul under
The harp he lov'd ne'er spoke again
For he tore its chords asunder
And said No chains shall sully thee
Thou soul of love and brav'ry
Thy songs were made for the pure and free
They shall never sound in slavery
Track Name: Central Line
Central Line
Everybody loves the Central
We know why
It'll get you east to west
The quickest and the reddest

It's the Central Line
No potential deviation
It's flat and horizontal
The line of least resistance
A crime to call it crimson 'cause it isn't

It's the Central Line
Goes from Epping to West Ruislip
Hear it's nice there
It used to be much longer
It used to go to Ongar

It's the Central Line
London's very own equator
But it's not that straight
It's got the sharpest curve along it
Between Shepherd's Bush and White City

It's the Central Line
Forty-nine different stations
Stationed on it
And as for Oxford Circus
The busiest station on the network, maybe on earth

Lyrics © Praveen Manghani
Track Name: Love is Pleasing
Oh love is teasing and love is pleasing
And love's a treasure when first it's new
But as love grows older at length grows colder
And fades away like the morning dew

I left my mother and I left my father
I left my brothers and sisters too
I left my home and my fond relations
I left them all for the love of you

Now if I'd known before I courted
That love had been so hard to hold
I'd have locked my heart in a box of silver
And bound it fast with a key of gold

Oh love is teasing and love is pleasing
And love's a treasure when first it's new
But as love grows older at length grows colder
And fades away with the morning dew
Track Name: The Bitter Withy
As it fell out on a bright holiday
Small hail from the sky did fall
Our Saviour asked his mother dear
If he might play at ball

“At ball, at ball my own dear son
It's time that you were gone
And don't let me hear of any misdoing
At night when you come home"

So it's up the hill and down the hill
To play with the ball ran he
And there he asked three rich young lords
“Come play at ball with me”

Oh, we are lords and ladies sons
Born in a bower and hall
And you are nothing but a poor maid's child
Born in an ox's stall.

“If you're all lords and ladies sons
Born in your bower and hall
I'll make you believe in your latter end
For I'm an angel above you all”

So he made him a bridge of the beams of the sun
And over the water crossed he
These rich young lords followed after him
Drowned they were all three

So it's up the hill and down the hill
These rich lords' mothers run
“Oh Mary mild, fetch home your child
For ours he's drowned each one"

So Mary mild fetched home her child
And laid him across her knee
With a handful of green withy twigs
She gave him slashes three

Oh withy, oh withy, oh bitter withy
You've caused me to smart
And the withy shall be the very first tree
That shall perish at the heart
Track Name: From a Coffin
Don't go
No, no, my love
I hear you above
Don't go

Don't know how long since I died
Or how I can know I'm shut inside

But I hear you above
And I'm longing
For the world that I love
For belonging

I can't forget
I can't let go
Let me return
Don't go

Oh, to see the birth of Spring
Feel it soften
Or even to feel the earth
Just outside my coffin

I dream of the sky
Of ascent
And I ache for your skin
And I'm helpless within
This torment

I need to breathe
I need to be free
Of this body

I cannot scream
Can only dream
Even the dreams they smother

I can't break through
Can't reach you
Or any other

I can't forget
I can't let go
Let me return

Don't go
No, no, my love
I hear you above
Don't go

To all strangers passing by
Here lies a ghost that cannot fly
So sing her a lullaby
That she may rest

Lyrics © Slumbering
Track Name: Lyke Wake Dirge
This ae nighte, this ae nighte
Any nighte and alle
Fire and fleet and candle-lighte
And Christe receive thy saule

When thou from hence away art past
Any nighte and alle
To Whinny-muir thou com'st at last
And Christe receive thy saule

If ever thou gavest hosen or shoon
Any nighte and alle
Then sit thee down and put them on
And Christe receive thy saule

But if hosen or shoon thou ne'er gav'st nane
Any nighte and alle
The whinnes will prick thee to thy bare bane
And Christe receive thy saule

When thou from hence away art past
Any nighte and alle
To Brig o' Dread thou com'st at last
And Christe receive thy saule

If ever thou gavest meat or drink
Any nighte and alle
The fires will never make thee shrink
And Christe receive thy saule

But if meat or drink thou ne'er gav'st nane
Any nighte and alle
The fires will burn thee to thy bare bane
And Christe receive thy saule

This ae nighte, this ae nighte
Any nighte and alle
Fire and fleet and candle-lighte
And Christe receive thy saule

glossary:
this ae nighte = this one night
fleet = floor or hearth
Whinny-muir = moorland covered with nasty prickly spiky stuff
hosen and shoon = socks and shoes (useful for crossing prickly spiky moorland)
whinnes = gorse spikes
bane = bone
Brig = bridge