Bleaching Bones

by Landless

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Smugo
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Smugo If you dont believe in ghosts, these songs will change that.
Lute FP
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Lute FP Purging my BC wishlist I realized it was time to pull the trigger on this one. Not my typical go-to, which is why it was parked in my wishlist so long.

Irish folk songs done A Capella, one of the best examples of the sheer beauty of the human voice. Compelling lyrics and trance-inducing vocal harmonies. This should be in everyone’s collection just because it is so beautiful, even if it just gets tucked away for those occasions when it is just what the doctor ordered.
Chris Beausang
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Chris Beausang Landless are easily one of the most interesting acts coming out of what I've seen or heard referred to as the Irish folk or trad revival over the past number of years. Every time I listen to a song off this record I wind up listening to the whole thing cos its just so singular sounding and unearthly. Up there with some of the best choral, chant, music in general, Bleaching Bones is just class and I can't wait to hear what they do next
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1.
The trees they grow tall and the grass it grows green; The time has come and past my love since you and I have been. It’s a cold and bitter night, my love, that I lie here alone; My bonny boy was young but he’s gone. Oh, father, dearest father, you did to me what’s wrong When you married me to the bonny boy whose age it was too young. For he was scarce sixteen years and I was twenty one; My bonny boy was young and growing. Oh, daughter, dearest daughter, I did to you no wrong When I married you to the bonny boy whose age it was too young. For he’d prove to be a man to you when I was dead and gone; Your bonny boy was young and growing. But, daughter, dearest daughter, I’ll tell you what I’ll do: I’ll send your love to college for another year or two. And whilst he’s at college he’ll wear a ribbon blue So the girls will all know that he’s married. As I went down by the college wall, I spied four and twenty college boys all playing with a ball. And it’s there I spied my own true love, the fairest of them all; My bonny boy was young and growing. And at the age of sixteen he was a married man; And at the age of seventeen, the father to a son; And at the age of eighteen years, over his grave the grass grew green; Cruel death had put an end to his growing. I’ll make my love a shroud of the oriental brown And whilst I sit and sew it, the tears they will roll down. I will weep and I will mourn him until the day I die, But I’ll rear his bonny son whilst he’s growing.
2.
01:58
Behold with awful pomp, The judge prepares to come. Th’archangel sounds the dreadful trump, And wakes the general doom. Nature in wild amaze, Her dissolution mourns. Blushes of blood the moon deface, The sun to darkness turns. The living look with dread, The frighted dead arise. Start from the monumental bed, And lift their ghastly eyes!
3.
There’s been a maid by a washing well Green grows the lily-o; There’s been a maid by a washing stone In the well below the valley-o. There’s been a man and he rode by, Green grows the lily-o; There’s been a man and he rode by In the well below the valley-o. He asked for a drink as he felt dry Green grows the lily-o; He asked for a drink as he felt dry In the well below the valley-o. Come in sir and drink your fill Green grows the lily-o; Come in sir and drink your fill In the well below the valley-o. What would happen if I fell in? Green grows the lily-o; What would happen if I fell in The well below the valley-o? Your body would make a floating boat Green grows the lily-o; Your body would make a floating boat In the well below the valley-o. If that should happen then God help me Green grows the lily-o; If that should happen then God help me In the well below the valley-o.
4.
Lang hae we parted been, lassie my dearie; Nou we are met again, lassie lie near me. Near me, near me, lassie lie near me. Lang hast thou lain thy lane; Lassie, lie near me. Frae dread Culloden’s field, bluidie and drearie; Mournin’ my country’s fate, lanelie and wearie. Wearie, wearie, lanelie and wearie. Become a sad, banished wight; Far frae my dearie. Loud, loud the wind did roar, stormie and eerie; Far frae my native shore, dangers stude near me. Near me, near me, dangers stude near me. Nou I’ve escaped them all; Lassie lie near me. All that I have endured, lassie my dearie; Here in thine arms is cured, lassie lie near me. Near me, near me, lassie lie near me. Lang hast thou lain thy lane; Lassie lie near me.
5.
Ca’ the yowes to the knowes, Ca’ them where the heather grows, Ca’ them where the burnie rowes, My bonnie dearie. As I went down the water side ‘Twas there I met my shepherd lad, He row’d me sweetly in his plaid And he called me his dearie. Will you go down the water side To see the waves so sweetly glide? Beneath the hazels spreading wide, The moon it shines full clearly. (Chorus) You shall get gowns and ribbons meet, Calf leather shoes upon your feet, And in my arms you’ll lie and sleep And you shall be my dearie. If you’ll but stand to what you’ve said, I’ll go with you my shepherd lad, And you may rowe me in your plaid And I shall be your dearie. (Chorus) While waters wimple to the sea, While day blinks in the lift so high, Til clay-cold death shall blind my eye, You shall be my dearie. (Chorus)
6.
In the town of Springhill, Nova Scotia, Down in the dark of the Cumberland Mine; There’s blood on the coal and the miners lie In roads that never saw sun nor sky, Roads that never saw sun nor sky. In the town of Springhill, you don’t sleep easy, Often the earth will tremble and roll; When the earth is restless, miners die, Bone and blood is the price of coal, Bone and blood is the price of coal. In the town of Springhill, Nova Scotia, Late in the year of fifty-eight, The day still comes and the sun still shines But it’s dark as the grave in the Cumberland mine, Dark as the grave in the Cumberland mine. Down at the coal face, miners working, Rattle of the belts and the cutter’s blade; Then a rumble of rock and the walls close round Living and the dead men two miles down, Living and the dead men two miles down. Twelve men lay two miles from the pit shaft, Twelve men lay in the dark and sang; Long hot days in the miner’s tomb, It was three foot high by a hundred long, Three foot high by a hundred long. Three days passed and the lamps gave out and Caleb Rushton he up and said, “There’s no more water nor light nor bread, So we’ll live on songs and hope instead, Live on songs and hope instead.” Listen for the shouts of the bare-face miners, Listen through the rubble for the rescue team; Six hundred feet of coal and slag, Hope imprisoned in a three foot seam, Hope imprisoned in a three foot seam. Eight days passed and some were rescued, Leaving the dead to lie alone; Through all their lives they dug a grave, Two miles of earth for a marking stone, Two miles of earth for a marking stone.
7.
There were two sisters going to school, All around the loney-o, They spied a lady by a pool, Down by the green woodside-o. There was a lady sitting there, All around the loney-o, And at her baby she did stare, Down by the green woodside-o. She held the wee baby on her knee, All around the loney-o, A cruel penknife they did see, Down by the green woodside-o. For weeks and months she was pale and wan, All around the loney-o, But what did ail her no one could tell Down by the green woodside-o. She held the wee baby to her heart, All around the loney-o, And said dear babe we both must part, Down by the green woodside-o. She held the wee baby to her breast, All around the loney-o, And said dear babe we’ll both find rest, Down by the green woodside-o. There is a river wide and deep, All around the loney-o, And it’s there both babe and mother sleep, Down by the green woodside-o. She’ll be seven long years a bird in the wood, All around the loney-o, And seven long years a fish in the flood, Down by the green woodside-o.
8.
O sleep not, my babe, for the morn of tomorrow Shall soothe me to slumber more tranquil than thine; The dark grave shall shield me from shame and from sorrow, Tho’ the deeds and the doom of the guilty are mine. Not long shall the arms of affection enfold thee; Not long shalt thou hang on thy mother’s fond breast; And who with the eye of delight shall behold thee, And watch thee, and guard thee, when I am at rest!
9.
What will you have for dinner now, my own darling boy? What will you have for dinner, my comfort and my joy? I had bread, beef and cold poison, mother, will you dress my bed soon? I have a pain in my heart and I long to lie down. What will you leave your mother now, my own darling boy? What will you leave your mother, my comfort and my joy? I’ll leave her the keys to my treasure, mother, will you dress my bed soon? I have a pain in my heart and I long to lie down. What will you leave your father now, my own darling boy? What will you leave your father, my comfort and my joy? I’ll leave him the coach and four horses, mother, will you dress my bed soon? I have a pain in my heart and I long to lie down. What will you leave your wife now, my own darling boy? What will you leave your wife, my comfort and my joy? I’ll leave her the long rope for to hang her, mother, will you dress my bed soon? I have a pain in my heart and I long to lie down. What will you leave your children now, my own darling boy? What will you leave your children, my comfort and my joy? I’ll let them follow their mother, will you dress my bed soon? I have a pain in my heart and I long to lie down. Where will you be buried now, my own darling boy? Where will you be buried, my comfort and my joy? I’ll be buried in Kilkenny, where I’ll take a long sleep, With a stone to my head and a scraith to my feet.
10.
05:04
If you were the restless sea and I the steadfast stone, You the waving kelp above, I the bleaching bones, Your little waves to lap my feet, Advance and kiss, encroach, retreat; Surround, submerge, at last complete, Oh, you and I truly one. And were you then a yellow bloom, dancing in the grass, I, the hunting honey bee pausing e’er I’d pass, And as I’d sip your nectar sweet, Your pollen grains cling to my feet, In that ecstatic moment meet, Oh, you and I truly one. And were I, then, a single seed of all the millions in the field, You, a gentle raindrop from the sky, And as you fall upon my breast and Waken me from my long rest, In that moment, by the old gods blessed, Oh, you and I, truly one. And were you, then, the last wild leaf on an autumn bough, I, the wind, a wanton thief, blow as I blow now, And if you’d fall as fall you must, And I to be the waiting dust, Free from sorrow, pain, or lust, And lie, forever, truly one.
11.
02:35
12.
04:32

about

Traditional, unaccompanied singing in 4-part harmony.

credits

released March 16, 2018

Recorded and mixed by John Murphy and Ian Chestnutt, Guerrilla Sounds Studios, Dublin.
Mastered by Christoph Stickel and John Murphy, 2018.

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Landless Dublin, Ireland

Landless are Lily Power, Meabh Meir, Ruth Clinton and Sinead Lynch. Formed in 2013 and based in Dublin and Belfast, they sing unaccompanied traditional songs in four-part harmony.

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