Album: Sparrow’s Wing

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1. Cricket Dance 1:16
2. Next Turn of the Wheel 7:49 (lyrics)
3. Under the Summer Moonlight 4:31 (lyrics)
4. All That Is 3:47 (lyrics)
5. Edge of the Earth 3:15
6. 11:11 7:31 (lyrics)
7. These Broken Hills 4:12 (lyrics)
8. Come Againe, Sweete Love Doth Now Envite 4:59
9. Stormfront 7:05 (lyrics)
10. Threshold 8:10 (lyrics)
11. Sparrow’s Wing 7:19 (lyrics)
12. Untitled Track 2:00


©1999 Snowgoose

Next Turn of the Wheel

It could break your heart to watch the sun
Strike gold along this shore
where the little boats still bump and spin
As they did long years before

The harbour lights burn dim tonight
They’ve closed these boats all down
And the men all stand in silence
on the corners of the stand

And they stand and smoke by empty stores
And they watch the cars roll by
they stare into the distance
with hard and angry eyes

So it’s farewell to the harbour
farewell to the fields
farewell to deep salt water
that swells beneath your keel
What’s gone is lost forever
I pray someday we’re healed
and that we’ll meet again some brighter day
next turn of the wheel

And the houses here look much the same
well perhaps a bit more worn
and the shingles gleam like silver
as they did when we were born
and the scent of pine and moss and vine
yes and rose and bayleaf too
still spice the warm and fragrant air as they did back in my youth

So it’s farewell to the harbour
farewell to the fields
farewell to deep salt water
that swells beneath your keel
What’s gone is lost forever
I pray someday we’re healed
and that we’ll meet again some brighter day
next turn of the wheel

I dipped my hand into the sea
and raised it to my mouth
and a sudden warm breeze stirred the air and
blew up from the south
and the air was sweet with blossoms
and the sea was salt with tears
and the sun danced on the water
I was swept back through the years

I climbed the hill and I paused for breath
yes and one last backward glance
down by the green and emeralds hill
where the fragile cornflowers dance

and I stood once more and I crossed the ridge
of that dear familiar hill
and the beating of the waves was lost
like a heart forever stilled.

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Under the Summer Moonlight

Well Dougie was a soldier
he brought home a bride
Cicely crossed the ocean wide
All these years now at his side
through the good and the bad times together

and they had a little house
made it a home
both worked hard till the kids were grown
Finally now they’re on their own
though it seemed like it took forever

Cause when the sun beats low and the day is through
Hurry through dinner no time to lose
Time to polish up their dancing shoes
and head to the hall together

So start up the fiddle and watch them go
High stepping on the dance floor
heel and toe
eyes so bright, faces aglow
Under the Summer moonlight

Well some days are good and some days are fair
and some days make you want to tear your hair
but tonight she’s Ginger and he’s Fred Astaire
Cheek to cheek on the floor so lightly

So here’s to the moonlight
Here’s to the band
here’s to the fiddler who plays so grand
here’s to the couple dancing hand and hand
Under the summer moonlight

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All that Is

Who can tell when in love you’ll finally fall?
Some live in vain and never love at all
but as lightning strikes
or as a small insistent voice
if we are blessed
we will hear and heed the call

Give your love and never count the cost
Lose your heart and never call it lost
May your love be your shelter
to the ending of your days
love is all that is, all that ever was

May your love grow strong and always kind
May your hearts grow forever more entwined
In the brightest day or the stillness of the night
May it be each others hand you seek and find

Never more to be alone
Ever closer you have grown
Forever now may no distance come between
And in each other’s loving hearts you find a home

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Ah the glorious few are all the few here
in the cold November air
the crowd draws silent
their collars raised
to the edges of the square
The children’s choir sings “In Flander’s Fields”
the band plays “Over There”
the old heroes still try to dress the line
As the chaplain leads the prayer

For the glorious few no longer stand so straight
As they did long years before
when they faced a hard and cruel fate
on a far and distant shore
their tunics faded green and blue
poor shelter from this cold
the memories made yet raw and new
at the calling of the roll

The heads are bowed in silence now
at the tolling of the hour
The first few falling flakes of snow
drift gently on the flowers
all piled and stacked against the stones
petals fluttering in the air
The eyes that stare down through the years
at the one no longer there

The taste of lost and wasted years
so bitter on the tongue
white breath in clouds in the autumn cold
Fail chest with medals hung
in battle ribbons red and gold
in the pale November sun
the hands and faces grown so old
while the heart stays ever young

For the glorious few are the fewer here
the old soldiers from the square
the wind blows hard and shakes the leaves
and stirs the white thin hair
of these fading brave and fragile souls
as the bugler plays “Last Post”
the snow falls thick and faster still
and turns them white as ghosts

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These Broken Hills

Twenty years ago today
I left my town, I ran away
Nothing left to do or say
But pack it up and go
The winter sun was cold and bright
I nailed the doors and windows tight
And with a cigarette set that boat alight
And burned down all my past

I drifted through these western towns
No kind of work there to be found
Just men like me who stand around
With their hands shoved in their jeans
And the stories spread from time to time
“They’re hiring further on down the line
Some burnt out mill or run down mine if you dare to go below”

But the jobs were rumours or plain lies
Or the mines closed when men died
Or sickened from the fumes and the dyes
And the poisons in the air
No more to stand in line
Ashamed to beg for what was mine
Listening to some lawyers lying
About how no one’s to blame

Like broken dreams these broken hills
These broken men bereft of will
With haunted eyes and time to kill
In the barroom’s neon glow
Night slams a fist down on this day
The dancers on the floor all sway
Laughter harsh as an asses’ bray
Or the calling of a crow

So come on now and fill my glass
Help these empty hours pass
I’m sick I’m empty I’m dry as ash
Fill it up, come on, let’s go

Twenty years ago today
I left my town and ran away
Looking for that brighter day
And the dreams that never came

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As silent as the voice of God
these empty barren hills
they hover above the dry plain
they shimmer in the distance
I feel a sudden chill
The ground is dry and cracked like an old mans skin
stretched across the plain
Lightning flickering across the thunderhead
Empty promises of rain

Some kind of stormfront on the move tonight
Feel the tension in the air
Dust devils dance on the side of the highway
Leaves and garbage everywhere
Mothers call their kids from the door
“C’mon get inside, shut the windows, lock them tight”
The sun has burned its bridges
plunged into the mountains in a sea of steam
and poison light

I hear thunder bumping boxcars in the valley
the wind is laughing up my sleeve
the cars have turned their headlights on
It’s way past time– I should be gone

We’ve turned our towns into a filthy joke
like a theme park built for swine
We bulldoze farms, fields turn them into strip malls
Nobody seems to mind
Who elected these cheap hustlers anyway?
This worthless pack of pimps and whores
The developers come smiling with their pockets jingling full of change
We get down on all fours

And I don’t want your Black Hills gold
Not at any price
we built a trail of tears and broken trees through here
then swarmed the earth like lice
Townhouses, casinos and trailer parks
Cheap neon light up the falling night
I saw the Four Horsemen ride through here about an hour ago
They were sickened at the sight

These highway signs are full of bullet holes
Burnt rubber cross the road
Someone’s angry about something somewhere here
They’re just waiting to unload
We’re putting bombs in buildings
Bombs in letters, bombs in trucks
We’re drowning kids in the backs of cars
We’re dressing killers in Armani suits
We turn them into TV stars
We become a race of leering voyeurs
We’re big on progress sex and death
Something evil is lurking in the darkness here with me
and I can smell its stinking breath
It’s in the blankness of our children’s stares
It’s in a courtroom in a suit
It’s in the hand that holds gun that made these bullet holes
It’s a secret pocket filled with loot

It’s the soft white faces
of these soft white men
with their soft white grasping hand
who laugh and sneer at those who have to stand and wait in line
and never got their chance

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First warm day of spring
in last year’s sneakers
how they felt upon his feet
so light and cool
Playing in the shade beneath the bleachers
Waiting, praying for the end of school

He remembers how the field would smell at twilight
when the clover hay was sweet and freshly mown
breathing in the perfume and the mystery
All those years ago before the boy was grown

And the summer sky was high and bright above him
and in the evening it would turn a cobalt blue
The stars hung in a net above the forest
the palest summer moon came into view

His little world was new and freshly minted
in colours bright of gold and blue and green
and he listened as the evening breezes hinted
of a world beyond that he had never seen

He was standing on the threshold of a mystery
waiting for his whole life to begin
The world was out there with its motor running
He had but to find the door and climb on in

And so the young man the he grew to be was restless
the road was calling out there in the night
Shining in the darkness leading somewhere
somewhere anywhere
would be alright

But as the years wore on the man became weary
and the road that once beckoned at his door
was just another door he’d seen sometime
the towns were all just towns he’d seen before

and the wonder and the mystery dimmed and tarnished
Days were filled with whiskey, smoke and din
No memory now of silence or of sweetness
No way to retieve it from within

How his world it seemed to shrink and darken
Choices poorly made and chances lost
So the face that stared back from his mirror
was a pale and haunted portrait of the cost

Of no longer even looking for the mystery
waiting out his days it seemed to him
trying to fill the empty ticking hours
no sign or memory of the boy he’d been

Who’d been standing on the threshold
of a mystery
Trembling in his eagerness to live
Someone was out there
waiting for him somewhere
to accept the love he wanted so to give

He remembered now the evening that he met her
How the sunlight played upon her hair
the tricks it played around her like a halo
how noone in the room seemed to be there

How the others disappeared and the music faded
How his breath grew short and how his heart was stirred
Stirred again with hope and longing
His courage failed
He couldn’t find the words

But as he talked with her he felt his heart reopen
her eyes green as the fields were in his youth
Her hair was sweet and warm like fresh cut clover
and in her eyes he recognized the truth

That he was standing on the threshold of a mystery
Trembling in his eagerness to live
Praying she could somehow see and know him
and accept the love he wanted so to give

And that night beneath the light beneath her stairway
they clung in that first brief and awkward kiss
He reached out in love and hope and hated longing
what he’d waited for his whole life, had been this

To be standing in the wonder and mystery
And that hopeful boy he’d lost so long ago
Had returned and should he live a hundred lifetimes
This would be the only love he’d ever know

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Sparrow’s Wing

Talk to me
Touch my face
Can it be
We’ve lost our place
Listen, closely
hear my heart
So long parted yet not apart

We wait so long
You and I
Hold me close
So strangely shy
Reaffirming what we always knew
Hearts together
Forever True

Shadows Fall
Lights burn low
Branches dance outside
as the night winds blow
and we touch softly
like a sparrow’s wing
this breath moment
is everything

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