Avalanche & Landslide 

 

Bailouts for bankers handouts for the rich

Blue collar man gets a kick in the teeth

They’re buying us cheap and selling us short

Taking us for everything we got

 

Bridge: I’m just one small rock, and I’m sliding downhill

Gotta roll with the country, I can’t go where I will

I’m just one stone solo but I’m picking up speed

Moving along just hoping to meet

Another small rock and another small rock and another small rock

Now we’re rolling thunder and we’re never gonna stop

 

Construction work was destroyed by the suits

Timber trade was torn up by the roots

Seems like the good jobs are no longer made

Not much call for an honest trade

 

Ch: Cos together we’re a landslide

Together we’re an avalanche

Together we’re a landslide

You’re never gonna stand a chance

We’re moving like a freight train

Pulling like a riptide

Together we’re an avalanche

Together we’re a landslide

 

Steel mills slumber turning to rust

Farmlands tilled and crumble to dust

Even the oceans and the air that we breathe

Poisoned, polluted for greed

My Bonny Boys Have Gone 

 

My bonny boys have gone,  there was nothing for them here

They thought about it long   and their choices were so clear

They could work the stubborn land  or an unforgiving sea

Or they could go in search of hope and grand opportunity

 

So my bonny boys have gone and I hope they send for me

I don’t want to be alone  with just my memories

Their father died last year a bitter broken wreck

And I know that they all feared to follow in his footsteps

 

CH: To Canada, America, Australia

Scattered to the wind like thistle seeds

When the sons of Scotland sail into the distance

The heart of Scotland bleeds

 

So my bonny boys have gone  and my heart is feeling sore

A mother so afraid   she’ll see her sons no more

But I smiled and said farewell as I kissed them one last time

My bonny boys have gone and I am left behind

 

My bonny boys have gone  the miles and time don’t fade

My fierce and tender love for the children I have raised

I hope that they’ll be fine,  they’re good and brave and strong

But I cannot help but cry  for my bonny boys have gone

John Rae’s Welcome Home 

 

To Canada you sailed but the winter held you prisoner

So you signed on as a doctor for the Hudson Bay

A  humble man prepared to learn the ways of native wisdom

And Canada’s first nations still respect you to this day

 

CH: John Rae, Orkney shines a light upon her son

And in Canada your name  forever lives on

Your wandering is over, you don’t walk this world alone

John Rae Scotland welcomes you back home

 

You learned the cruel fate of the Franklin Expedition

And the truth of how those brave men met their doom

You found the final answer to the Northwest Passage question

The Arctic route at last revealed for all to sail through 

 

M8: You mapped the Arctic coast, by foot and sled and boat

A thousand miles and more, through lands of ice and snow 

To survey and explore where few white men had gone before

Took the heart of a true Scottish hero

 

But for credit well deserved your claims were cast aside

Stripped of your glory for the part you played

Your good name trampled down by a widow’s pain and pride

Who did not care to sample of the truth that you conveyed

 

It’s not a name I ever heard at school in history books

Just Livingstone, some kings and queens and Burns

But John Rae’s exploits in the north demand a closer look

His place in history he most surely earned

Letter From San Francisco

 

Dear mother I wish I could tell you that I made my fortune in gold

But I squandered away all the money you saved to send me out here with your hopes

 

I was driven here by despair and hunger

Hard times for family back home 

By wind in the sail and wheel upon rail

I came here with fire in my soul

But I never got past San Francisco

Saloons and the opium dens

The card games and girls became my whole world

And I got me a load of new friends

 

I bought all my comforts with money

For all of my pleasures I've paid

The whores and the whiskey, the tears of the poppy

I spent much more than I made

My friends left along with my money

And the money left a long time ago

It went along for the ride with my health and my pride

Now I’m sick and I’m lonely and cold

 

Ch: Now all the gold in San Francisco

Won’t buy back the life I wasted away

I’m gonna die here in San Francisco

Please send this letter back home when I’m in my grave

 

I’ve sold the watch that you gave me

I sold my warm winter coat

I’ll buy one last night of earthly delight

With women and whisky and smoke

My heaven’s a whorehouse in Frisco

An opium pipe is my dream

A bottle of booze and a hand I can’t lose

Will give me back my self-esteem


 

So mother I wish I could tell you that I made my fortune in gold

But I squandered away  all the money you saved an that story’s about to be told

The Miller’s Daughter 

 

Well I’m in love with the miller’s daughter

But the miller said I could not court her

So we would climb where the gears would hide

Words of love and her sweet sighs. My words of love and her sweet sighs 

 

She was young but resolute

Seed could spill but not bear fruit

For the miller had made his plans

To wed his girl to a rich old man. That’s just the way it was and I could understand

 

CH: When the wind was up and the sails spin round

When the miller worked and the grist was ground

We’d be rolling round and around

Just me and the miller’s daughter

 

We carried on for a year this way

Until finally came her wedding day

So we kissed our last goodbyes

Then she became another’s wife.  He was rich but he was not kind

 

So every time when the wind was high

And the miller he had corn to grind

We’d be up where the gears would hide

Secret love and secret sighs. You see our young love it had never died

 

One fateful day we were discovered

The wind had made us careless lovers

The miller climbed up into the gears

His rage and shame were crystal clear and his shotgun warned me to get the hell out of here

 

So I hear news from time to time

She has a son I suspect he’s mine

Her husband’s rich but he’s getting old

So I’ll just wait till his body’s cold. Then one fine windy day I’ll be going back home

Banjo Lullaby

 

Intro: My daddy liked the whiskey

My daddy liked to drink

My daddy played the banjo

Or that banjo would play him

When drinking and a frailing

He’d let out a rebel yell

And we all knew that we were due

A night of living hell

 

Go to bed now my sweet children

And I will play something to help you sleep

Then he’d put metal picks upon his fingers

That’s when ma would start to weep

That banjo was so loud could wake the devil

So we would close our eyes and say our prayers

Sweet Jesus save our souls and all the while his fingers rolled

And all our dreams were nightmares and despair

 

CH: My mama would wail, my brothers would cry

And all the while daddy smiled and played his banjo lullaby

We would lie awake afraid and wild eyed

And all the while daddy smiled and played his banjo lullaby

 

Mama said he used to play the guitar

Said he used to be a righteous man

But one night he walked down to the crossroads

And he came back with a banjo in his hands

The Curse of Molly MacPhee 

 

There once was a lass called Molly MacPhee and she came came from my home town

Her hair was black as the northern sky and her eyes were a bonny nut brown

And when she smiled she could turn the coldest winter to high summer

Oh Molly McPhee will you marry me for I cannot love another

 

The single men and the married men all wanted her the same

And the preacher lusted after her much to his mortal shame

One by one she turned them down and they could not understand

Why a woman would want to live without the guidance of a man

 

Molly McPhee was a witch some said and the rumours spread like fire

Her dark charms could snare your heart and fill it with desire

Her bed’s a certain road to hell where your soul will never return

Oh Molly McPhee will you marry me my soul already burns

 

CH: Molly oh Molly won’t you come away let’s leave this place right now

The men are making a gallows rope the same men you turned down

If you’re a witch I can live with it we’ll dance ‘neath a Halloween moon

Molly oh Molly come away with me and come away real soon

 

But Molly McPhee stood her ground and said this is my home

And I’ll not run like a thief she said for I’ve done nothing wrong

And if I’m the devil’s daughter as this holy preacher claims

Then why does he come round begging for me to lift my skirts for him

 

That’s a lie, a lie the preacher screams oh people can’t you see

This witch has cast her demon’s spell to catch my sacred seed

And all the men looked at the ground and said the preacher’s right

Let’s hang this bitch, aye she’s a witch, let’s hang the girl tonight

 

So they dragged Molly to the hanging tree and there they strung her high

The women cut her long black hair and the crows plucked out her eyes

And some still say if you stand beneath the tree and  listen well (you’ll hear) 

Remember me I’m Molly McPhee and I’ll marry you all in hell

Trespass

 

I’m up before the sun

I don’t ask leave of anyone

With a good dog by my side

The game is on and we steal out into the wild

 

You say you own this land

Your fence gives you the right to bar and ban

Your signs offend my eyes

Your bill of sale is only paper I don’t recognize 

 

CH: So give me a lurcher and the dark of night

Give me the woods and a moonlit weald

Give me a river where the salmon bite

And I will give you trespass through forest and field

 

Gamekeepers kills the mountain hares

And every bird of prey that they see in the air

With poison trap and gun

At war with nature so rich men boast and have their fun

 

There was a dairy in this town

Butchers and bakers now they’re all closed down

Now supermarket forces rule

Shrink wrapped and sanitised but the car park’s always full

North Atlantic Summer

 

Looks like a war is going on between the ocean and the land

A violent sea is clawing at the earth with angry hands

And a cruel arctic wind is whipping up a sandstorm

That blasts across the beach in a cloud of silica and salt

I’m standing on a rocky shore my arms stretched out like wings

Seaspray burns my eyes and  flying sand nips at my skin

I’m powerless against this force can’t even stand upright

I know that this is what the song of god must sound like

 

CH: In a couple of hours the wind will drop 

and the sun will turn the sea from grey to green

And the sky will go from black to blue 

And a golden light shines on the mountain peaks

Then the sun will run away and hide

Behind a thundercloud that’s darkening the sky

And a wind blows up to make you shiver

This is a North Atlantic summer

 

Somewhere high in a shady holler snow defies the rising sun

Clinging on against the odds for another winter still to come

And down below the broom turns from green to yellow blossom

Vanilla fragrance sweet and heavy in the air so warm 

But the waters all run deep and cold from streams of melting ice

Take the plunge and you’ll come up for air with your skin on fire

And all too soon long daylight hours shorten and cloud over

And as the sun sets lower in the sky winter’s shadow grows longer