Incredible String Band

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Pagina ereditata dal sito di Atheia

Uno dei gruppi mito a cavallo di dieci anni, tra il '65 e il '74, che sapientemente iniziarono con una originale rivisitazione del folk celtico, a Edimburgo, per poi miscelare sonorità orientali e mediterranee, influenze rock, blues, dixieland ed altre ancora, a volte appesantendo le proprie composizioni fino a renderle quasi noiose, a volte invece creando momenti veramente unici, a volte ancora esagerando con le vocalità ardite di Robin Williamson, uno dei due leader con Mike Heron, ma sempre trascinando, dal vivo, migliaia di persone strabiliate da tanta ecletticità. Un monumento alla cultura hippie, acida e alternativa di quegli anni e ancora dopo, nelle produzioni solistiche e nelle riscoperte e negli incontri.

Discografia di Incredible String Band

THE INCREDIBLE STRING BAND, 1965 (alcuni indicano il 1966) (nelle due edizioni e copertine inglese e americana): il primo e ultimo, fino alla recente reunion del 2000, con il banjoista Clive Palmer, col cameo di "Empty pocket blues" e "Dandelion blues". Disco stupendo.

A sinistra, qui sotto,  la copertina dell'edizione americana, per lungo tempo la più conosciuta sul mercato italiano: da sinistra Clive Palmer, Robin Williamson e Mike Heron. A destra la foto utilizzata nella copertina dell'edizione inglese.

THE 5000 SPIRITS OR THE LAYERS OF THE ONION, 1966 (alcuni indicano il 1967). Entra Christine "Licorice" (Licky) McKechnie, compagna di Robin, corista.

La copertina:

THE HANGMAN'S BEAUTIFULL DAUGHTER, 1968. Collabora la compianta Dolly Collins al clavicembalo, organi e tastiere varie. Il primo disco che riesce a vendere molto bene. Da alcuni critici questo è considerato il migliore prodotto del gruppo e l'apice assoluto: come sempre un tale giudizio è difficile e dipende molto dai gusti personali dell'ascoltatore.

Le due copertine: a sinistra l'edizione USA, a destra l'edizione UK

WEE TAM

e THE BIG HUGE

prodotti nel 1968, venduti anche insieme come doppio (nell'edizione americana). Entra Rose Simpson, compagna di Mike. Entrambe le ragazze, oltre a cantare, suoneranno qualche strumento.

CHANGING HORSES, 1968

I LOOKED UP, 1970, editato con front cover diverse nelle edizioni UK e USA

U, 1970. Album doppio su una rappresentazione teatrale che, così dice la stampa, non riscosse successo e fu, addirittura, fallimentare. L'album ha comunque pezzi eccezionali, come la strumentale di Robin "Astral plane theme", veramente incredibile per il virtuosismo alla chitarra, "Hirem Pawnitoff" di Mike ed altre. L'album, nel suo complesso, è veramente molto bello.

BE GLAD FOR THE SONG HAS NO ENDING, 1970. Questo invece é la colonna sonora di un film, che si può ordinare consultando il sito omonimo che suggeriamo alla pagina dei Link. Il film é breve, spezzettato, due brevi interviste ai due leader, due pezzi dal vivo e la pantomima finale. Rivisto oggi é deludente.

nel 1971 Rose Simpson se ne va e arrivano nel 1972 Malcolm LeMaistre, basso, voce e danza, che poi scriverà splendidi pezzi, e Gerard Dott, nel 1973, tastiere e reed.

Nel 1971 viene pubblicata la doppia antologia RELICS OF THE INCREDIBLE STRING BAND,

Mike Heron realizza il solo SMILING MAN WITH BAD REPUTATION, molto interessante, con J.J. Cale e parte degli Who, e Robin Williamson nel 1972 il mitico MYRRH, disco a volte fastidioso per i vocalizzi dell'autore ma comunque, per l'atmosfera orientaleggiante, mitica e favolistica e per le melodie, veramente affascinante.

LIQUID ACROBAT AS REGARDS THE AIR segue, nel 1971. Sembra di capire che gran parte dei fans (perlomeno quelli che maggiormente scrivono nella mailing-list su Yahoo dedicata al gruppo) ritengano che già con "Be glad..." inizi la fase calante del gruppo e che non abbiano gran ché in simpatia Malcolm LeMaistre. Il curatore di questo sito dissente da questo giudizio e, guarda caso, apprezza molto Malcolm Le Maistre.

 

EARTHSPAN, nel 1973, porta l'inconfondibile impronta di Malcolm LeMaistre, dalla splendida voce. Personalmente il curatore di questo sito lo ha tra i preferiti.

NO RUINOUS FEUD, del 1973, é considerato da alcuni "critici" e da gran parte dei fans il peggiore. Naturalmente non per noi. E' molto eclettico, ha varie influenze più moderne e quasi tutto é godibilissimo. Si può forse dire che è più "commerciale" degli altri, questo sì.

Una foto di un concerto (circa 1973): da sinistra Malcolm, Robin e Mike:

HARD ROPE AND SILKEN TWINE, del 1974, é l'ultimo album. Presenta due pezzi dal vivo, "Cold february" di Robin Williamson, dall'impianto tradizionale, chitarra e flauto, e il sempreverde "Black Jack Davy", ufficialmente di Mike Heron, su cui i critici hanno fatto molta confusione. Sembra un tradizionale, ma la firma di Heron induce a credere che sia una composizione nuova. In realtà l'avevano già incisa prima gli Steeleye Span e anche altri gruppi. La seconda facciata é interamente occupata da una suite di Heron in più movimenti, "Ithkos", con un impianto sostanzialmente rock. Tutto l'album e' molto interessante.

 

Nel 1976 compare la doppia antologia SEASONS THEY CHANGE, con l'inedito di Heron "Queen Juanita and her fisherman lover".

Dopodiché il gruppo si scioglie (pare che si sia sciolto, di fatto, nel 1974),  i suoi componenti prendono strade diverse. Mike Heron e anche Robin Williamson si fanno irretire, subito dopo “U”, da Scientology, anche se sembra che l'unico a rimanerne sempre influenzato rimane Robin. Mike Heron prende con se LeMaistre, John Gilston alla batteria e Graham Forbes alla chitarra e fonda i "Mike Heron's reputation", incidendo l'omonimo LP nel 1975, seguito da "Diamonds of dream": opere di rock gradevole anche se non eccelso. Robin Williamson va a Los Angeles e inizia una interessantissima nuova strada alla riscoperta del folk celtico, con pezzi nuovi, antichi testi a cui aggiunge la musica, antiche musiche a cui aggiunge i testi e così via.  Basti dire che dopo lo stentato "Journey's edge" Robin produce lo spendido "American Stonehenge", che darà l'inizio alla sua fortunata produzione ulteriore.

Nel 1991 viene pubblicato ON AIR, registrazioni eseguite esclusivamente negli studi della BBC britannica per le sue trasmissioni radiofoniche, sembrerebbe, leggendo il libretto interno, nel 1970. Le uniche due composizioni mai pubblicate in alcun album, precedentemente, sono "Jane" e "1968" di Mike Heron.

E nel 1992 sempre la BBC pubblica LIVE IN CONCERT, registrato nel '71-'72 al Paris Theatre di Londra.

Nel 1997 viene pubblicato, a cura di Robin Williamson, THE CHELSEA SESSIONS 1967, incisioni effettuate quando Robin tornò dal Marocco e si riunì con Mike per incidere altro materiale dopo l'album di esordio.

Mike Heron ha pubblicato, nel 1996, "Where the mystics swimm" e una "reunion" dal vivo, nel 1997, con Robin, dal titolo "Bloomsbury 1997", in edizione limitata. Di entrambi e della ISB sono state pubblicate diverse edizioni di pezzi inediti, di concerti dal vivo e di prime incisioni (vedi di seguito).

FIRST GIRL I LOVED, 1998. Concerti canadesi del 1972

BLOOMSBURY 2000, 2001. Una edizione limitata con il concerto di Londra del 2000 dopo la riformazione della band con Robin e Bina Williamson, Mike Heron, Clive Palmer e Lawson Dando.

Nel 2003 Robin Williamson non riesce più a conciliare i propri progetti solisti, con la moglie Bina, e tour permanenti con la band, almeno per tutto il 2003. Il gruppo e il sito decidono, per questo motivo, di cambiare in Incrediblestringband2003. La decisione viene contestata e comunque non viene gradita da molti dei fans che, in questi ultimi anni, sono aumentati considerevolmente di numero.

HERITAGE, 2003, un'altra antologia con alcuni brani particolari e dal vivo.

NEBULOUS NEARNESSES viene pubblicato nel 2004. Viene registrato negli studi di Peter Gabriel Real World di fronte ad una elite di fans invitati per l'occasione. Contribuiscono il percussionista islandese Steini Gudmundsson ed il bassista Gavin Dickie. Alla formazione si è comunque unita la musicista Fluff. Il CD è una antologia, senza materiale nuovo: è bello, interessante, pulito, con la bella voce femminile di Fluff e quella, un po' acciaccata, di Clive Palmer. Il gruppo prosegue nel 2006, sempre assente Robin Williamson.

INTRODUCING THE INCREDIBLE STRING BAND, luglio 2006. Sinceramente non si vede l'utilità di questo cd, una ennesima antologia dei vecchi pezzi del gruppo.

Nel 2006 pare che la nuova avventura dell'Incredible String Band si sia conclusa: il sito internet è sparito, non si hanno notizie di concerti e di progetti.

Discografia di Robin Williamson (LP e CD album)

Myrrh, 1972

come "Robin Williamson & his Merry Band"

Journey's Edge, 1977

American Stonehenge, 1978

Glint at the Kindling (1979)Selected Writings 1980-1983; (pubblicati in origine separatamente), 

Songs of Love & Parting/Five Bardic Mysteries (il primo è con la Merry Band, pubblicati separatamente), 1981

The Merry Band's Farewell Concert at McCabe's (1979) (edizione limitata, pubblicato nel 1997)

come "Robin Williamson"

Music for the Mabinogi, 1983 (rappresentazione teatrale sull'antico poema gallese Mabinogion)

Legacy of the scottish harpers, 1984

The dragon has two tongues, 1985 (colonna sonora della serie di documentari TV della HTV Wales sulla storia del Galles)

Legacy of the scottish harpers, volume two, 1986

Winter's turning, 1987

Songs and Music, 1977 (Merry Band Compilation, 1986)

Ten of songs, 1988

Songs for children, 1988

Music for the newly born (edizione limitata di incisioni strumentali del 1990)

A glint at the kindling/Selected writings, 1992

Songs of love/Five bardic mysteries, 1994

Songs for children of all ages, 1995

The island of the strong door, 1996, in CD nel 2000

Songs for the calendarium, 1996

Dream Journals, 1966-1976, 1997

Celtic harp airs & dance tunes, 1997

Mirrorman Sequences 1961-1966, 1997 (appunti musicali durante il periodo della ISB)

Dream journals 1966-76, 1997 (seconda parte di Mirrorman Sequences, appunti musicali durante il periodo della ISB)

Memories/Errinnerungen, 1997, (un'edizione di sponsorizzazione della Opel veramente limitata)

Gems of celtic story-one, 1998

Gems of celtic story-two, 1998 storie recitate con accompagnamenti saltuari di musica

Ring Dance, 1998 (canzoni scritte tra i '60 e i '70)

A job of journey work, 1998

Pig’s Whisker Sampler, 1998 (edizione limitata con 15 pezzi promozionali di Radio USA)

The Old Fangled Tone, 1999 (due edizioni diverse)

Music for Macbeth, 1999

Songs for children of all ages/Winter’s turning, 1999

Robert Louis Stevenson's EDINBURGH, 2000, non proprio accreditato a Robin Williamson ma nella sua discografia. Robin legge brani dall'opera di Stevenson, con musiche da, come recita il sito di Williamson, Edinburgh Lothian Buses Classic tour of Edinburgh

The seed at zero, 2000

Gems of celtic story-three, 2001 (o 2002?)

Skirting the River Road (Songs and Settings of Whitman, Blake and Vaughan), 2002

Four Gruagach tales, 2CD, 2006

come "Robin & Bina Williamson"

Carmina, 2001 

Skirting the river road, 2002 (accreditato in alcuni siti solamente a Robin Williamson)

come "Robin Williamson & Mike Heron"

Boomsbury 1997, 1998 (la reunion dal vivo con Mike Heron, edizione limitata e bootleg ufficiale del concerto di Londra)

come "Robin Williamson & Clive Palmer"

At the pure fountain, 1999, atteso ma improvviso, la reunion con Cive Palmer dopo trent'anni 

come "Williamson Palmer Dando Williamson"

Just like the ivy & other favourites songs, 2000, di nuovo per uno splendido disco con Clive Palmer, la moglie Bina e l'ottimo tastierista e chitarrista Lawson Dando. Nel sito di "Be glad" http://makingtime.co.uk/beglad/ alla pagina della discografia di Robin Williamson questo cd viene accreditato come "Robin nWilliamson & Clive Palmer".

come "John Renbourn & Robin Williamson"

Wheel of fortune, 1993

attualmente si ha un po' di difficoltà a reperire eventuali nuove uscite di Robin Williamson. Il suo sito non fornisce la sua discografia completa......

Discografia di Mike Heron (LP e CD album)

Smiling men with bad reputations, 1971

The Glenrow tapes, 1993 (editato in CD solo pocoo prima del 2006, precedentemente accreditato come "Incredible Acoustic Band" o come "Mike Heron's Incredible Acoustic band"

Where the mystics swimm, 1996 (due edizioni, la seconda ri-arrangiata)

Conflict of emotions, 1998 (vecchie incisioni tra i '60 e i '70)

Casablanca, prima pubblicato in LP nel 1979 e poi ri-editato in CD nel 2002

Futurefields, 2002. Contiene registrazioni in studio di pezzi eseguiti dal vivo da Mike Heron e Lawson Dando nei concerti dell'Incredible String Band

Echo coming back, 2005. E' una compilation che si riferisce alla produzione di Mike Heron dopo l'Incredible String Band, con sei pezzi inediti

Discografia di Mike Heron's Reputation

Mike Heron's Reputation, 1974

Diamond of dreams, 1976

Discografia di Incredible Acoustic Band (Mike Heron)

Incredible Acoustic Band: official bootleg, 1993

Discografia di Mike Heron's Incredible Acoustic Band

The voiceprint radio sessions, 1993

Discografia di Malcolm LeMaistre

The enid-The fool, 1980, un singolo co-scritto da Malcolm

Strangeways, 1994 Indigo1203-2, un CD Extended Play pubblicato in Germania, di cui non si sa nient'altro

Nothing strange, 1994, album veramente splendido!

Sono in attesa dell'annunciata uscita del nuovo disco di Malcolm It's never that simple, previsto per aprile 2007. Ho ascoltato nella pagina di Malcolm LeMaistre http://www.myspace.com/malcolmlemaistre i quattro brani presenti, Passengers, Where the whales sings, My mother was a liberal e Frida Khalo: al di là del testo, che andrebbe letto con calma, mi sono piaciuti molto e, come spesso mi accade con i brani di Malcolm, ho provato una inspiegabile emozione ascoltandoli...

Il CD è uscito in giugno del 2007, ai primi ascolti è molto bello ed è più personale del precedente, come Malcolm stesso conferma in questa intervista http://www.trilogyrock.com/descarregues.php , che è più o meno di luglio 2007.

It's never that simple, 2007

Biografia da http://www.answers.com/topic/malcolm-le-maistre

Malcolm Le Maistre (born 1949) is a British musician, experimental artist and theatre director, who was a member of The Incredible String Band in the 1970s.

He was born in England, his father a French-born journalist and his mother an American writer. After they split up, he attended boarding school in Surrey where he developed an interest in experimental theatre. In 1966, with friend John "Rakis" Koumantarakis, he moved to London, where they promoted one of the first concerts by Pink Floyd, and then joined David Medalla's Exploding Galaxy counter-cultural dance troupe.[1]

He met Robin Williamson and Mike Heron of The Incredible String Band in New York in 1968, and returned with Williamson and others to set up a commune in a farmhouse near Newport, Pembrokeshire, Wales. There, they developed ideas for multi-media artistic experiments, and Le Maistre appeared in the BBC TV Omnibus feature on the ISB, Be Glad For the Song Has No Ending. The same year he established the Stone Monkey dance and mime troupe, and helped develop the stage show "U", which provided the basis of the Incredible String Band album of the same name, released in 1970. In 1971, Rose Simpson left the ISB, and Le Maistre, who had been living with the band and their friends on the Tennant estate near Innerleithen in Scotland, replaced her. He learned to play various musical instruments over the next few months, and contributed as a musician, songwriter and singer to the ISB albums Liquid Acrobat as Regards the Air (1971), Earthspan (1972), No Ruinous Feud (1973), and Hard Rope and Silken Twine (1974).[1]

After the ISB split up in 1974, Le Maistre stayed with Heron as a member of his new band, Mike Heron's Reputation. In the late 1970s he attempted a solo career, also working with The Enid, and then moved into theatre, forming The Mandarin Theatre Company with Rakis. In 1991 he set up the Environmental Arts Theatre Company[2], based in Edinburgh, which presents original theatre and song about the environment at schools and other community venues in Scotland. In 1994 he released a solo album, Nothing Strange, later re-released in Germany. He has continued as a musician, most recently as a member of The Radiant Men[3]. As songwriter and singer of The Barrow Band, he has also prepared teaching material for primary schools on healthy eating. In May 2007 he released a new album titled It's never that simple, a very interesting work available only in the web, with folk roots based songs and lyrics about his family's story.

 

Discografia di Clive Palmer

Edinburgh Folk Festival Vol. 1, (Various Artists) (partecipazione)

Jazbo's Holiday, (Robin & Clive) (data di pubblicazione: sconosciuta)

Sunshine Possibilities, 1969 (membro della Famous Jug Band)

Spirit of Love, 1970

Moyshe McStiff and the Tartan Lancers of the Sacred Heart , 1972

Blue Morning/Bones, (data di pubblicazione: sconosciuta)

Just Me (data di pubblicazione: sconosciuta)

Dark Eyes (data di pubblicazione: sconosciuta)

Country Lanes (data di pubblicazione: sconosciuta)

Suns and Moons, 1976 (Clive Palmer & Bob Deveraux)

The Archive Tapes, 1989

House of Images, 1993 (in cassetta)

O for summer, 2002 (membro della Famous Jag Band, terzo disco in assoluto del gruppo a quasi trent'anni dal secondo, con alcuni nuovi brani)

Sands of time, 2004. Dieci pezzi mai incisi dal 1999 e altri due inediti

All roads lead to land, 2004

dal sito "Be Glad..": altre attività

Clive Palmer è apparso su un paio di cose non comunemente conosciute di Hamish Imlach nel 1967. Nel disco di Ralph McTell "My side of the window" del 1969 Clive suonò il violino. Più tardi fu in questi gruppi che non producevano dischi: Strockroom 5, Temple creatures, Rhombus, Crooks & Nannies. Non dimentichiamo COB e le partecipazioni di Clive & Bob. Fece anche un album nel 1967 che non è stato mai editato, prodotto da Peter Eden del Victorian Banjo Tunes, una traccia da quel disco fu comparve 5 anni fa su un campione per l'etichetta di Woronzow amministrata da Nic Saloman ie Bevis Frond, il motivo era "A Coventry Carol", l'album ora è cancellato.

***

The Incredible String Band 

composta da Robin Williamson, Mike Heron, Clive Palmer, Bina Williamson e Lawson Dando

ha suonato

Two Nights At The Boomsbury Theatre, Londra,

il 17 e 18 Agosto 2000

***

E ancora: la band ha suonato, ancora meglio che prima, di nuovo al teatro di Londra il 3 e il 4 Agosto 2001.

Breve cronaca 

di Jadawin:

Sono stato a quello del 4 Agosto 2001: non mi ha convinto la scarsa importanza avuta da Mike Heron, nascosto dietro non si sa che tipo di tastiere e che ha suonato una sola volta la chitarra, e la sua cattiva voce almeno in una sua canzone. Mi ha strabiliato Clive Palmer, anche con l'esecuzione di "Air" di Mike Heron con la sua voce profonda (che altri fan invece non hanno apprezzato in quella canzone), ma attendevo "Empty pocket blues" che, però, non é arrivata. Strabiliante il tastierista e anche chitarrista Lawson Dando, che giudico il tocco decisivo per la band di oggi, e Robin Williamson, che sembra essere il fulcro e il leader del gruppo, che stavolta non ha esagerato coi suoi troppo azzardati vocalismi. Quello che proprio non mi piace è l'inconsistente voce (che ha anche stonato più volte e poi sbagliato un attacco in coro con Heron) di Bina Williamson e la canzone folkloristica indiana che ha cantato: proprio non ci siamo. 

Vorrei che arrivasse anche il bravissimo Malcolm LeMaistre e che il canto di Bina potesse migliorare.......

***

Testi

The Incredible String Band, 1965-1966

 

Maybe someday
by Mike Heron

Maybe someday she will come, come along long
Maybe someday she will come, come along long
Maybe someday she will come, come along long
maybe someday she will come along

Sitting here with my arms around my music
Thinking of the girl that I might spend
the whole of my days with

Until then I will do the best that I can
And any fine young girl that I might meet'That I could use, keep my eye on.

Mother tried the very best tat she could do,
That was no good, the one she chose,
I did not like the way her teeth grew.

One fine day I took a walk down by the river,
Fair maid did lie and she did sigh
As I stooped down to kiss her.
October song
by Robin Williamson

I'll sing you this October song,
Oh, there is no song before it.
The words and tune are none of my own,
for my joys and sorrows bore it.

Beside the sea
The brambly briars in the still of evening,
Birds fly out behind the sun,
and with them I'll leavng.

The fallen leaves that jewel the ground,
They know the art of dying,
And leave with joy their glad gold hearts,
In the scarlet shadows lying.

When hunger calls my footsteps home,
The morning follows after,
I swim the seas within my mind,
And the pine-trees laugh green laughter.

I sed to search for happiness,
And I used to follow pleasure,
But I found a door behind my mind,
And that's the greatest treasure.

For rulers like to lay down laws,
And rebels like to break them,
And the poor priests like to walk in chains,
And God likes to forsake the.

I met a man whose name was Time,
And he said, "I must be goin,"
But just how long that was,
I have no way of knowing.

Sometimes I want to murder time,
Sometimes when my heart's aching,
But mostly I just stroll along,
The path that he is taking.
When the music starts to play
by Mike Heron

All my life and it's been a short one;
I've met the happy and the sad together.
I chased the soft warm air that flew before me,
And through the storm on wings of love,
the song of life bore me.

And when the music starts to play let e be around, (I said)
When the music starts to play let me be around.
Oh, can't you see how my heart soars high,
When I hear that music.
When the music starts to play let me be around.

When sadness lays his cold fist on my shoulder,
And pushes me in icy waters drowning,
The gentle hand of music lifts me smiling,
And through these sounds my heart takes bounds,
I happy am.
Womankind
by Robin Williamson

I sing for love of womankind,
I have one in my heart and mind,
Low, my heart aches for her.

My soul swims naked in her streams,
And in her meadows lies to dream,
Hay, what need to waken.

Her breast blow blossom in my hands,
Her eyes shine moons on secret lands,
As through my clouds her raven thoughts go flying.

Space nearly parts and nearly joins,
Love's magic song moans through her loins,
Well hay, the league-long sweets of loving.

May she glow always in her sun,
have nothing lost and nothing won,
Oh, now what fear can chain her?

Oh blessed is he who joys and grieves Who wears the coat the rainbow weaves Lo, around his body.
The tree
by Mike Heron

I had a Tree, in the dream hills where my childhood lay.
And I'd go there in the wide, long days,
And my Tree would listen to all that I'd say.

And the sun was shining brightly,
and the sky was smiling,
and the sun was shining brightly,
and the sky was smiling.
Dandelion blues
by Robin Williamson

You meet a girl,
She moves soft eyes and pulls you in the game.
Perhaps you do not wonder her reasons or her name.
You'll follow her on out the room,
How sweet her body flows,
Say take it easy,
make it lazy,
That's the way to go.

Do believe it's easy, Do believe it's easy,
Do believe it's easy don't even have to try.

You may lip your flute or pick your strigs to hear the music grow,
Maybe you'll stand by a while, it all comes through you so,
Just maybe you will hit magic sounds that call you to your heart,
And gently you will follow down and view yourself apart

Do believe it's easy, Do believe it's easy,
Do believe it's easy don't even have to try.

If when the moon's a toothy smile you meet a whirling wind,
Whirls you clear to nowhere and forgets where you came in,
There is no call to worry, or be sorry that you came,
You may maze along there for a space, oh buddy and then come back to your name.

Do believe it's easy, Do believe it's easy,
Do believe it's easy don't even have to try.

Now, if your man gets busted and you hope to go his bail,
Suppose you cannot borrow money, you may go to borrow the mail,
Yes, if yor mangets busted and you hope to go his fine,
You may laze along to the judge's house, sweet woman, and set it on he line.

Do believe it's easy, Do believe it's easy,
Do believe it's easy don't even have to try.
Oh, Lord how happy I am
by Mike Heron

Oh, Lord how happy I am,
Oh, Lord how happy I am,
I won't feel sad 'till the whiskey's gone.
Oh, Lord how happy I am.

Oh, when I met my first woman,
you know, she was nice and kind as can be.
Now she go walking out all over towwn,
and she do just what she please.
Well, if she thinks I'm sitting here
An' I'm waiting for her to come home,
She wanna come a little closer to me right now,
and I'll tell you how happy I am.

Now, a whole lot of women in this world,
They making trouble for all you men;
They're strutting around all over town,
And then walking back home again;
Well, if you think that she's got you down,
And she's started to count to ten,
Just look at her with one eye closed,
And sing to her again.
Empty pocket blues
by Clive Palmer

My pocket’s empty baby
Singing the blues for you
My pocket’s empty baby
You know I loved you true

Even my old kettle is whistling the blues for you

Back again, I’m still waiting
(to go) Back again with you

The nights are lonely baby
I need you all the time
I’m lonely baby
Need your lips on mine
Even my old kettle is whistling the blues for you

Back again, I’m still wailing
To go back again with you

My pocket’s empty, just
Singing the blues for you
My pocket’s empty baby
You know I loved you true
Even my old kettle is whistling the blues for you

Back again, I’m still waiting
(to go) back again with you
Smoke shovelling song
by Robin Williamson

Last winter blew so cold no lies,
And my fire smoke would not rise;
Soon as the smoke tried to depart,
It'd be froze up harder thatn a landlord's heart.

I called up the police and they came around
Three days later and very brought down.
The sergeant he gave me this hysterical croak.
Says, "What do you think you have going here, some kind of joke?"
(of course I wasn't laughing)

He says, "You're causing us officers so much grief,
Why don't you give us some relief?
Why don't you call the fire brigade?
Or maybe why don't you try shovelling the smoke up the chimney with a spade."

I borrowed a spade from the woman next door,
And I broke up the smoke that remained on the floor,
I was shovelling away, 'till the closing day singing a smoke-shovelling song.

After working so hard I went out to my yard,
And I looked up to my chimney so long, (there was nothing to see there)
Just a thousand foot high, way into the sky,
Was a pillar of smoke full of song.

There was an airplane stuck in it,
but I didn't notice at first it was so cunningly disguised as a dragon.

Came the summer at last, though it was rainy and fast,
The pillar it melted away,
The airplane fell with a big smoky smell,
And echoing around all over the town,
Was the words of the smoke shovelling song.

Any anyone telling a bigger story would have to be telling a lie,
And anyone think a bigger one up,
Have to be very high.
Can't keep me here
by Mike Heron

I'm going way over the white skyline
And I'll sing and be happy
And you can't keep me here no how.

And I'll sing and be happy
and my world is my own
And I'll do what I want to
And you can't keep me here no how.

Hey baby, don't cry for me
Hey baby, when the sun comes up I'll be free.

And I'm going way over the white skyline
And I'll sing and be happy
And you can't keep me here no how.

Ah baby, don't cry for me
Hey baby, when the sun comes up I'll be free.

And I'm going way over the white skyline
And I'll sing and be happy
Cause you can't keep me here no how.
Good as gone
by Robin Williamson

A strange thought just crossed my mind paid the rains back in kind.
Twas the thought of sweet May coming on.
The days are running so slow, my heart is aching to go,
and my feet surely itch for the road.

Um the long hard summer.
Oh now the summer long.
Things I must do places to see,
Things I must do, I've nothing now to hold me here,
And I'll take the southward road.

I have been tied to this land since the day I was planned,
By the need to feed my body and my mind;
Look can you work 'till you're grey, waste your whole life away;
What security then do you find?

I don't have no one to cheat, don't have no one to beat,
I just need some roon to uncurl,
I don't have no aim in view, just some dreams to pursue,
As I wallow around in the world.
Footsteps of the heron
by Mike Heron

One day as I sat in a big noisy crowd,
There was me and the whole of my conscience.
And I thought that I wouldn't be missed if I went,
and that my going would be of no importance.

And I've nothing to do,
And I've nowhere to go;
I'm not in the slightest way upset.
I'm not chasing a hope,
or a dream or a plan;
And I'm not even chasing the sunset.

The pussycat laughed and he followed me down,
As we walked through the crowds without motion;
He said he would stay, but he ran clear away,
I just laughed at his lack of devotion.

I met this fink, tried to buy me a drink,
And he says, I don't care 'bout no money."
I said, "Neither do I, but I'd buy you a guy,
If I thought you were trying to get funny."

This man I did meet, spoke to me through his feet,
And he said, "I don't care either 'bout no money."
I said, "Neither do I but I buy wings to fly,
'Cause without them the sun ain't so sunny."
Everything's fine right now
by  Mike Heron

Who's that knocking on my door?
Can't see no-one right now.
Got my baby here by me,
can't stop, no, no, not now.

Oh, come a little closer to my breast,
I'll tell you that you're the one I really love the best,
and you don't have to worry about any of the rest,
'cause everything's fine right now.

And you don't have to talk and you don't have to sing,
You don;t have to do nothing at all;
Just lie around and do as you please, you don't have for to fall.

Oh, come a little closer to my breast,
I'll tell you that you're the one I really love the best,
and you don't have to worry about any of the rest,
'cause everything's fine right now.

Oh, my, my, it looks kind of dark.
Looks lie the night's rolled on.
Best thing you do is just lie here by me, of course only just until the dawn.

Oh, come a little closer to my breast,
I'll tell you that you're the one I really love the best,
and you don't have to worry about any of the rest,
'cause everything's fine right now.

The 5000 spirits or the layers of the onion, 1966-1967

 

Chinese white
by Mike Heron

The bent twig of darkness
Grows the petals of the morning;
It shows to them the birds singing
just behind the dawning.
Come dip into the cloud cream lapping;
I can't keep my hand on the plough
Because it's dying.

But I will lay me down with my arms
round a rainbow,
And I will lay me down to dream.
Oh, will your magic Christmas tree be shining
Gently all around?

Climbing up these figures
The sun is tugging at my shoulder.
And, every step I take,
I think my feet are getting older.
I see the crystal dreams unfolding,
I can't keep my eyes on the book because it's mouldring.

But I will lay me down with my arms
round a rainbow,
And I will lay me down to dream.
Oh, will your magic Christmas tree be shining
Gently all around?

 

No sleep blues
by Robin Williamson

Cracks rack the windows,
Howls hold the floor;
Rains rot the rafters,
And do you just have to snore?
It's a most inclement climate,
for the season of the night,
Is that mouse playing football, oh
I thought they didn't like the light?

And the dawn comes sneaking up
When it thinks I'm not looking;
I am starting to grieve, man,
I used to know but now I believe, man.
They tell me sleep is a gas,
and if I want to lay down,
But I'm sorry I woke you,
I mean I've got the no sleep blues.

There's mayhem in this mansion,
Since the cows were coming home,
With delirium no sleepum,
In a cloud of nylon foam.
But release scours the outhouse,
And a hard rain sears the sky,
But if you let the pigs decide it,
They will put you in the sty.

And the dawn comes sneaking up
When it thinks I'm not looking;
I am starting to grieve, man,
I used to know but now I believe, man.
They tell me sleep is a gas,
and if I want to lay down,
But I'm sorry I woke you,
I mean I've got the no sleep blues.

I think I'll get a picture,
And I think I'll put it on a nail.
I think I'll get another one,
And put it in a pail.
But the pail got so rusty
I called it red, red, red for fun,
And I laughed like a leaver
till you ought to seen it run.

And the dawn comes sneaking up
When it thinks I'm not looking;
I am starting to grieve, man,
I used to know but now I believe, man.
They tell me sleep is a gas,
and if I want to lay down,
But I'm sorry I woke you.
I mean I've got the no sleep blues.

The size of the future declared itself no part,
Aloof like a Sultan in the autumn of your heart,
But the heart got so hearty,
that it pulled for the shore,
And the sailors fired a big salute,
and it made my ears quite sore.

And the dawn was sneaking up
When it thinks I'm not looking;
I am starting to grieve, man,
I used to know but now I believe, man
They tell me sleep is a gas,
and I want to lay down,
But I'm sorry I woke you,
I mean I've got the no sleep blues.

I mixed stones and water
just to see what it would do.
And the water it got stoney,
and the stones got watery too.
So I mixed my feet with water
just to see what could be seen,
And the water it got dirty,
and the feet they got quite clean.

And the dawn comes sneaking up
When it thinks I'm not looking;
I am starting to grieve, man,
I used to know but now I believe, man.
They tell me sleep is a gas,
and if I want to lay down,
But I'm sorry I woke you,
I mean I've got the no sleep blues,
Painting box
by Mike heron

When the morning of your eyes comes waking through my shadows
Leaving just a trace of twilight sleep,
I whisper to the baby raindrops playing on my window,
And tell them gently this is not the time that they should weep.

For somewhere in my mind there is a painting box,
I have every colo
ur there it's true.
Just lately when I look inside my painting box,
I seem to pick the colo
urs of you.

My Friday evening's foot-steps plodding dully through this black town,
Are far away now from the world that I'm in.
My eyes are listening to some sounds that I think just might be springtime,
With daffodils between my toes I'm laughing at their whim,

And somewhere in my mind there is a painting box,
I have every colo
ur there it's true,
Just lately when I look inside my painting box,
I seem to pick the colo
urs of you.

Oh somewhere in my mind there is a painting box,
I have every colo
ur there it's true.
Just lately when I look inside my painting box,
I seem to pick the colo
urs of you.

The purple sail above me catches all the strength of summer.
Fishes stop and ask me where I am bound.
I smile and shake my head and say my little ship is sinking,
But I kind of like the sea that I'm on, and I don't mind if I do drown.

For somewhere in my mind there is a painting box,
I have every colo
ur there it's true.
Just lately when I look inside my painting box,
I seem to pick the colo
urs of you.

 

The Mad Hatter's song
by Robin Williamson

Oh seekers of spring how could you not find contentment
In a time of riddling reasons in this land of the blind
By the joke of fate alone
it's sure that as the loved hand leaves you,
You clutch for the slip-stream, the realness to find.

But do what you like, do what you like, do what you like,
do what you like, do what you like, do what you can,
do what you can, live till you die
My poor little man.
For Jesus will stretch out his hand no more.

But in the south there's many a waving tree;
Oh would that musky fingers move your pain;
In the warm south winds the lost flowers bloom again.

And if you cried, you know you'd fill a lake with tears,
Still wouldn't turn back the years,
Since the city has took you,
Mad Hatter is on my mind.

So sad, sad to see the way it grew
Those other people that I knew
That have either fell or faltered.
Mad Hatter is on my mind.

And you must have to see clear some time.

Prometheus the problem child,
still juggling with his brains
Gives his limping leopard's visions
to the miser in his veins.
Within the ruined factory is the normal soul insane
As he sets the sky beneath his heel
And learns away the pain.

But I am the archer the lover of laughter,
And mine is the arrowed flight.

I am the archer, and my eyes yearn after the unsullied sight.
Born of the dark waters of the daughters of night,
Dancing without movement after the clear light.
Oh Perithian fate be kind in the rumbling and trundling rickshaw of time.
Hooked by the heart to the king fisher's line,
I will set my one eye for the shores of the blind.
Little cloud
by Mike Heron

How sweet to be a cloud, floating in the blue.

Lying awake, late the other night
Heard above me a trembling,
I looked up, it was a little cloud,
From which a gold string was dangling;
You know, I gave the string a little pull,
Just to see what was on the other end.
Just then a voice came down to me, says,
"Hey, now, don't you want to be my friend,

And float with me to distant lands,
wondrous and fair;
Float with me to distant lands wondrous and fair?
You see I'm just a happy little cloud,
I laugh and float and sing my song,
But the other clouds don't like me none.
They say I am behaving very wrong.
You see a cloud's supposed to be sad,
To cry and weep and tear its hair and all,
And don't matter how hard I try,
I can't get the first little tear to fall."

And float with me to distant lands, wondrous and fair;
Float with me to distant lands, wondrous and fair;

I said, "Hey, I like you little cloud,
You are a nice little fellow, yes."
"You making some, kind of a joke?", said the cloud,
"Now can't you see I'm wearing such a pretty dress?
You see I am the prettiest little chick cloud
That you'd find anywhere up above.
I just dropped in on you awhile
To see if you could give me some kind of love."

And float with me to distant lands, wondrous and fair;
Float with me to distant lands wondrous and fair;

Just then the chief cloud come into view
And says, "Hey, girl, now what you think you're doing there?
I told you so many times before
You just don't seem at all to care.
You know you should be floating up above, now
Don't let me catch you down here again."

And as my cloud pulled out of view,

There come failing down a gentle shower of rain.
Happy rain come failing down,
Red, green, blue and golden.
And every drop, as it fell, it smiled
And, throwing back its head, began singing,

"Oh float with me to distant lands, wondrous and fair;
Float with me to distant lands, wondrous and fair."
Eyes of fate
by Robin Williamson

Oh, who can see in the eyes of fate?
All life alone in its chronic patterns.
Oh, swan, let me fly you
To the land of no winds blowing.
I know nothing, and know that I know nothing;
All is in the eye, and in its blinks of seeing.

So just like the morning
The ghost of the following day.
Listen: Ory, cry, cry.....
Rear the rollers wild and stormy
Echoes wholly only lonely long beforey, ory ory.

All rivalry and opinion still cast their wild spells.
Effort and contrariness change the directions of time.
The lion still growls in your hollowness.
Please let's be easy, please let's be friends.
Watching and learning like small children.
Till out of the morning is growing the strength of the day.

Listen: Ory, cry, cry.....
Rear the rollers wild and stormy
Echoes wholly only lonely long beforey, ory, ory.

Servant of fame or fame for a servant,
You see what you see, you see seldom what is.
Servant of fate or fate for a servant,
You see what you see, you see seldom what is.

Servant of fate, ohhhhhh.
Blues for the muse
by Robin Williamson

I wake up in the early when I see my day walk in;
I wake up in the early when I start to begin.
I drink up my coffee to drive dreams away,
And I think about leaving but remain for the day.

Oh Glory but I just stay blind,
Think about my loving, yes, some of the time

I want to take it easy,
Ain't it hard like they say,
But I can play.

And most any morning, most any morning
I like to be born into my guitar day.

They say it's all butterflies,
Don't let your dreams get in your eyes,
But Orpheus made the sunrise,
'Cause he knew how to play.

She sings so fadey,
Called the sweet guitar lady.
She's a noted writer, I just can't seem to let her be.
And she is my flower, I call her my easy hour.
She's a low special, Baby that's enough for me.

And it's all right, you're in the graveyard now.
Well it's all right, you're in the graveyard now.

You may weep, you may moan,
You may pass your life so gay,
But lucky in life, I swear sometimes,
Surely going to have to meet your leaving day.

Well, she sings like the seashore,
Tonight I'm going to ride on your seesaw.
I will call up the Angels if they have a little word to say,
And I think I'll try cloudwalking.
It's just my face you see here talking,
And it's just the guitar singing,
And I have to let her have her way.

 

The Hedgehog's song
by Mike Heron

I'm not the kind to complain
That I never had a girl to love.
Many a fine girl I tried hard to know,
But I think I never tried enough.

Sitting one day by myself,
And I'm thinking, "What could be wrong?"
When this funny little Hedgehog comes running up to me,
And it starts up to sing me this song.

Oh, you know all the words, and you sung all the notes,
But you never quite learned the song, she sang.
I can tell by the sadness in your eyes,
That you never quite learned the song.

Every day when the sun go down,
And the evening is so very still,
Many a fine girl I've held in my arms,
And I hope there's many more that I will,
But just when everything is going fine,
And absolutely nothing is wrong,
This funny little Hedgehog's always around
And every time he wants to sing me this song.

Oh, you know all the words, and you sung all the notes,
But you never quite learned the song, she sang.
I can tell by the sadness in your eyes,
That you never quite learned the song.

One day when the moon was full I thought I might settle down,
Found myself a pretty little girl,
And I stopped all my running around;
But just when the preacher come along,
And he's just gonna pop on the ring,
This funny little Hedgehog comes
running down the aisle,
And I don't have to tell you what he did sing.

Oh, you know all the words, and you sung all the notes,
But you never quite learned the song, she sang.
I can tell by the sadness in your eyes,
That you never quite learned the song.

I'm not the kind to complain
That I never had a girl to love;

Many fine girls I've tried hard to know,
But I think I never tried enough.
But now I'll be looking all my days,
And it isn't just me I got to please,
There's this funny little Hedgehog
Who's always around,
And the only words he ever sings to me are these.
Oh, you know all the words and you sung all the notes,
But you never quite learned the song, she sang.
I can tell by the sadness in your eyes,
That you never quite learned the song.

 

First girl I loved
by Robin Williamson

First girl I loved,
Time has come I will sing you
this sad goodbye song,
When I was seventeen, I used to know you.

Well, I haven't seen you, now, since many is the short year,
And the last time I seen you, you said you'd joined the
Church of Jesus.
But me, I remember your long red hair falling in our faces
As I kissed you.

Well, I want you to know, we just had to grow;
I want you to know, I just had to go.

And you're probably married now, house and car and all,
And you turned into a grownup, female, stranger.
And if I was lying near you now,
I probably wouldn't be here at all.

Well, we parted so hard;
Me, rushing round Britain with a guitar,
Making love to people
That I didn't even like to see.

Well, I would think of you.
Yes, I mean in the six sad morning.
And in the lonely midnight,
Try to hold your face before me.

Well, I want you to know, I just had to go;
I want you to know, we just had to grow.

And you're probably married now, kids and all,
And you turned into a grownup, female, stranger.
And if I was lying near you now,
I'd just have to fall.

Well, I never slept with you
Though we must have made love a thousand times.
For we were just young, didn't have no place to go,
But in the wide hills and beside many a long water
You have gathered flowers, and they do not smell for me.

Well, I want you to know, I just had to go.
I want you to know, we just had to grow.
So it's goodbye first love, and I hope you're fine.

Well, I have a sweet woman
Maybe some day to have babies by me,
she's pretty,
Is a true friend of mine
You know what you could be
by Mike Heron

Read your book and lose yourself
In another's thoughts.
He might tell you 'bout what is
Or even 'bout what is not.

And if he's kind and gentle too,
And he loves the world a lot,
His twilight words may melt the slush
Of what you have been taught.

You know what you could be.
Tell me my friend,
Why you worry all the time
What you should been.

Listen to the song of life.
Its rainbow's end won't hold you.
Its crimson shapes and purple sounds,
Softly will enfold you.

It gurgles through the timeless glade,
In quartertones of lightning.
No policy is up for sale,
In case the truth be frightening.

You know what you could be.
Tell me my friend,

Why you worry all the time
What you should be.
My name is Death
by Robin Williamson

I am the question that cannot be answered,
I am the lover that cannot be lost,
Yet small are the gifts of my servant the soldier,
For time is my offspring, pray, what is my name?

My name is Death, cannot you see?
All life must turn to me;
Oh cannot you see?
And you must come with me,

You must come with me.
I'll give you gold and jewels rare,
And all my wealth in store.
All pleasures fair,
if I may live but a few short years more.
Oh lady, lay your jewels aside,
No more to glory in your pride.
Tarrying here there is no way,
Your time has come that you must away,
And you must come to clay.
Gently tender
by Mike Heron

Gently tender falls the rain,
washing clean the slate again;
But leave me please, behind my brain,
this light doesn't shadow on her
Shadows dancing through
the pink milk blankets,
where my mind
Lay dreaming gently of my loving you.
Sometimes I think I was true, but then I loved the
stone beneath my feet as much, usually.

Gently tender snow-drop grows,
see the past tense quietly go.
Kill the chord but let me know this light
doesn't shadow on her.
Shadows crawling through the green bush trees
where my toes crept
Breathing lightly of my loving you.
Sometimes I think I was true, but then I loved the
stone beneath my feet as much, usually.

Slowly spitting crawls the snake,
see the branches bend and break.
Venom that might easily shake
this light doesn't shadow on her.

Good, good loving, she gave me good loving, good,
good, loving, she gave me good loving,
Good, good loving, she gave me good.
And now all my wine is water,
to her all my wine is water,
All water, and my pearls are clear.
And now all my wine is water,
to her all my wine is water.
All water, and my pearls are clear.

She gave to me good loving,
she gave to me good loving,
Oohhhhhhh good loving.

 

Way back in the 1960s
by Robin Williamson

I was a young man back in the 1960s.
Yes, you made your own amusements then,
For going to the pictures;
Well, the travel was hard, and I mean
We still used the wheel.
But you could sit down at your table
And eat a real food meal.

But hey, you young people, well I just do not know,
And I can't even understand you
When you try to talk slow.

There was one fellow singing in those days,
And he was quite good, and I mean to say that
His name was Bob Dylan, and I used to do gigs too
Before I made my first million.
That was way, way back before,
before wild World War Three,
When England went missing,
And we moved to Paraguayee.

But hey, you young people, I just do not know,
And I can't even understand you
When you try to talk slow.

Well, I got a secret, and don't give us away.
I got some real food tins for my 91st birthday,
And your grandmother bought them
Way down in the new antique food store,
And for beans and for bacon, I will open up my door.

But hey, you young people, well I just do not know,
And I can't even understand you
When you try to talk slow.

Well, I was a young man back in the 1960s.

Alcuni testi in italiano di “The 5000 spirits or the layers of the onion” (I 5000 spiriti o gli strati della cipolla), tratti da “Late for the sky”, Marzo 1998

Chinese white (Bianco cinese)

Quel ramo piegato nell’oscurità

Quei petali nel fresco mattino

Quegli uccelli che cantano

Allo spuntar dell’alba

Tuffiamoci in quella nuvola

Color crema lassù

Non riesco a restare in carreggiata

Mi par di morire, mi lascerò andare

Farò in  modo che le mie braccia

Possano afferrare l’arcobaleno in cielo

Comincerò a sognare

Chissà se il tuo magico albero di Natale

Splenderà tutt’intorno.

Attraversare questi paesaggi

Accorgersi che il sole può scaldarmi le spalle

Ogni passo che compio

Mi accorgo di far sempre più fatica

I miei sogni sembrano realizzarsi

Non riesco a tenere gli occhi aperti

Mi sento così strano e stanco

No sleep blues (Blues senza sonno)

Esplosioni che rimbombano sulle finestre

Grida di gente impaurita

Pioggia a catinelle che lentamente consuma

Le tegole del tetto

E tu beatamente resti in letto a russare?

E’ un tempo così inclemente

Di notte vedo un topo gironzolare allegramente

L’alba che pian piano si insinua tra le mura

Mi sento così triste

Mi spiace averti svegliata

Ma non riuscivo a dormire per la malinconia

In questa casa c’è disperazione

Le mucche ammalate sembrano impazzite

Il cielo così scuro

Minaccia piogge abbondanti.

Prima o poi appenderò quel quadro

In un angolo della stanza

Ne farò un altro che getterò

In quel vecchio secchio arrugginito

Io e te ci ritroveremo a ridere di tutto questo

Mi spiace averti svegliata

Ma non riuscivo a dormire per la malinconia.

Il peso di questa situazione mi opprime

Ho il cuore così affranto

Mi sembra di sentire in continuazione

Persone che urlano e le orecchie mi dolgono.

Ho raccolto a mucchi sassi e pietre nell’acqua

Volevo vedere che cosa ne veniva fuori

L’acqua ha assunto il colore della roccia

Ho afferrato le pietre bagnate e scivolose

E ho fatto lo stesso con l’acqua e i miei piedi

L’acqua si è intorbidita

I piedi sono diventati bianchi e puliti

Mi spiace di averti svegliata

Ma questo era il mio sogno

 

Painting box  (Scatola di pastelli)

Quando la luce dei tuoi occhi

Fa capolino fra le ombre della notte

Lasciando una tenue traccia fra le ciglia assonnate

Io bisbiglio con la pioggia che batte alle finestre

Sarebbe bello uscire

Se solo il tempo fosse più clemente.

Da qualche parte, in un angolo della mia mente,

E’ nascosta la mia scatola di pastelli

dove ritrovare ogni colore

ed è come se all’istante

si materializzasse l’incarnato del tuo viso.

Le mie sere trascorse nella noia

A vagare senza meta fra i quartieri

Sono solo un ricordo lontano, ora tutto è diverso.

I miei occhi si rispecchiano

Nella primavera appena giunta

Placidamente sdraiato, gli asfodeli tra le dita

Sorrido al pensiero dei suoi capricci.

Da qualche parte, in un angolo della mia mente,

E’ nascosta la mia scatola di pastelli

Vi troverò tutti i colori e dipingerò il tuo volto.

Navi in lontananza, quest’estate così calda

Io in acqua e con me i pesci

Che mi osservano curiosi senza timore

Sorrido e muovo la testa

Vorrei spiegare loro

Che la mia nave sta affondando

Ma che non m’importa se nessuno

Accorrerà in mio aiuto

The mad hatter’s song (La canzone del cappellaio matto)

O cacciatori, mi domando come possiate

Non sentirvi sazi

Questo continuo alternarsi delle stagioni

Tutto è così mutevole

Mani amorose che vi abbandonano

Alla ricerca della realtà.

Fate ciò che vi piace e che potete

Vivete il più intensamente possibile, miei cari amici

Sappiate che non troverete sempre una mano amica

Pronta ad aiutarvi.

Un albero che ondeggia al vento forte

Mani capaci di lenire tutte le ferite

Venti caldi del Sud

Per fiori appassiti che germogliano di nuovo.

Se tu dovessi piangere

Potresti riempire di lacrime un lago intero

Vorresti tornare indietro nel tempo

A quando lasciasti la città

Triste, triste da morire

Come altre persone che ho conosciuto

Chi ha sbagliato, chi ha fallito

Prima o poi dovrai risollevarti

Anime perdute in quella fabbrica abbandonata

Vite sospese, sogni infranti, delusioni

Occhi che hanno conosciuto solo il dolore.

Io sono l’arciere, la mia freccia è potente

I miei occhi che bruciano

L’orizzonte talmente lontano

Acque oscure, noi figli della notte

Balliamo senza ritmo, la luce che ci acceca

Aggrappati al cuore del vecchio pescatore

Riavrò la vista per osservare

Queste splendide spiagge a me molto care

 

The hangman's beautiful daughter, 1968

 

Koeeoaddi there
By Robin Williamson

the natural cards revolve ever changing
seeded elsewhere planted in the garden fair grow trees, grow trees

tongues of the sheer wind
setting you foot where the sand is untrodden,
the ocean that only begins

listen a woman with a bulldozer built this house now
carving away the mountain whose name is your childhood home
we were trying to buy it buy it buy it
someone was found killed there all bones bones dry bones

earth water fire and air
met together in a garden fair
put in a basket bound with skin
if you answer this riddle
you'll never begin

born in a house where the doors shut tight
shadowy fingers on the curtains at night
cherry tree blossom head high snow
a busy main road where I wasn't to go
I used to sit on the garden wall
say hello to people going by so tall
hallo to the postman's stubbly skin
hallo to the baker's stubbly grin
mrs
Thompson gave me a bear
Brigitte and some people lived upstairs

skating on happy valley pond
various ministers and guards stood around
the ice was nice hallo the invisible brethren
and there was a tent you played cards with the
soldiers in, don't worry we won't send anyone
after you they screamed
but me and
Licorice saw the last of them one
misty twisty day
across the mournful morning moor motoring away
singing ladybird, ladybird what is your wish
your wish is not granted unless it's a fish
your wish is not granted unless it's a dish
a fish on a dish is that what you wish

earth water fire and air
met together in a garden fair
put in a basket bound with skin
if you answer this riddle
you'll never begin
The Minotaur's song
By Robin Williamson
 
Straight from the shoulder
I think like a soldier
I know what's right and what's wrong
He knows what's right and what's wrong.
 
I'm the original discriminating buffalo man
And I'll do what's wrong as long as I can
He'll do what's wrong as long as he can
 
I live in a labyrinth under the sea
Down in the dark as dark as can be
I like the dark as dark as can be
He likes the dark as dark as can be
 
I'll even attack you or eat you whole
Down in the dark my bone mills roll
Porridge for my porridge bowl
Porridge for his porridge bowl
 
I'm strong as the earth from which I'm born
He's strong as the earth from which he's born
I can't dream well because of my horns
He can't dream well because of his horns
 
Moo
 
I'm strong as the earth from which I'm born
He's strong as the earth from which he's born
I can't dream well because of my horns
He can't dream well because of his horns
 
A minotaur gets very sore
His features they are such a bore
His habits are predicta-bull
Aggressively relia-bull, bull, bull
 
I'm strong as the earth from which I'm born
He's strong as the earth from which he's born
I can't dream well because of my horns
He can't dream well because of his horns
 
I'm the original discriminating buffalo man
And I'll do what's wrong as long as I can
He'll do what's wrong as long as he can
Witches hat
By Robin Williamson
 
certainly the children have seen them
in quiet places where the moss grows green
 
coloured shells jangle together
the wind is cold the year is old the trees whisper together
and bent in the wind they lean
 
next week a monkey is coming to stay
 
if I was a witches hat
sitting on her head like a paraffin stove
I'd fly away and be a bat
across the air I would rove
 
stepping like a tightrope walker
putting one foot after another
wearing black cherries for rings

 

A very cellular song
By Mike Heron
 
Winter was cold and the clothing was thin
But the gentle shepherd calls the tune
Oh dear mother what shall I do
First please your eyes and then your ears Jenny
Exchanging love tokens say goodnight
 
Lay down my dear sister
Won't you lay and take your rest
Won't you lay your head upon your saviours breast
And I love you but Jesus loves you the best
And I bid you goodnight, goodnight, goodnight,
And I bid you goodnight, goodnight, goodnight.
One of these mornings bright and early and fine.
Goodnight, goodnight
Not a cricket not a spirit going to shout me on
Goodnight, goodnight
I go walking in the valley of the shadow of death
Goodnight, goodnight
And his rod and his staff shall comfort me
Goodnight, goodnight
Oh John the wine he saw the sign
Goodnight, goodnight
Oh John say I seen a number of signs
Goodnight, goodnight
Tell A for the ark that wonderful boat
Goodnight, goodnight
You know they built it on the land getting water to float
Goodnight, goodnight
Tell B for the beast at the ending of the wood
Goodnight, goodnight
You know it ate all the children when they wouldn't be good
Goodnight, goodnight
I remember quite well, I remember quite well
Goodnight, goodnight
I was walking in Jerusalem just like John
Goodnight, goodnight, goodnight.
 
Who would lose and who would bruise
Or who would live quite prettily?
And who would love what comes along
And fill the air with joyous song
 
Who would go and who would come
Or who would simply linger
And who would hide behind your chair
And steal your crystallised ginger
 
Nebulous nearness cry to me
At this timeless moment
Someone dear to me wants me near, makes me high
I can hear vibrations fly
Through mangoes, pomegranates and planes
All the same
When it reaches me and teaches me
To sigh
 
Who would mouse and who would lion
Or who would be the tamer
And who would hear directions clear
From the unameable namer

Who would skip and who would plod
Or who would like quite silly
And who would ride backwards on a giraffe
Stopping every so often to laugh
 
Amoebas are very small
 
Oh ah ee oo there's absolutely no strife
living the timeless life
I don't need a wife
living the timeless life
If I need a friend I just give a wriggle
Split right down the middle
And when I look there's two of me
Both as handsome as can be
Oh here we go slithering, here we go slithering and squelching on
Oh here we go slithering, here we go slithering and squelching on
Oh ah ee oo there's absolutely no strife
living the timeless life
 
Black hair brown hair feather and scale
Seed and stamen and all unnamed lives that live
Turn your quivering nerves in my direction
Turn your quivering nerves in my direction
Feel the energy projection of my cells
Wishes you well.
 
May the long time sun shine upon you
All love surround you
And the pure light within you
Guide you all the way on.

 

Mercy I cry city
By Mike Heron
 
Since you got me here I see you're trying to steal my soul
You're army's trying so very hard to find for me a goal
But where's your quiet pastures where there's time for me to be
Nothing else but what I am that's what you seem scared to see
You cover up your emptiness with brick and noise and rush
Oh I can see and touch you but you don't owe reality much
 
Have mercy I cry city you're all upon my mind
Sometimes I think you keep forgetting that you don't know me
Mercy I cry city you're all upon my mind
 
Send another carriage chugging down your chokey tube
I hope it makes you happy 'cause it don't do my health much good
You slowly killing fumes now squeeze the lemon in my head
Make me know just what it's like for a sin drenched christian to be dead
Ah show me your glitter and your flashing neon light
You see I think that only the sun knows how to be quietly bright
 
Have mercy I cry city you're all upon my mind
Sometimes I think you keep forgetting that you don't know me
Mercy I cry city you're all upon my mind
 
Hey, city, what you been doing?
All these years what you been doing?
Who would believe that what you been doing
Would make such a ruin of you?
Waltz of the new Moon
By Robin Willamson
 
I hear that the emperor of china used to wear iron shoes with ease
We are the tablecloth and also the table also the fable of the dancing leaves
 
The new moon is rising the axe of the thunder is broken
as never was not since the flood nor yet since the world began
The new moon is shining the angels are washing their windows
Above the years whose jumble sale goes spinning on below
Ask the snail beneath the stone, ask the stone beneath the wall
Are there any stars at all
Like an eagle in the sky tell me if air is strong
 
In the floating pan pipe victories of the golden harvest
Safe in the care of the dear moon
 
The new moon is rising the eyelid of god is approaching
The humane train the skating raining travelling voice of certainty
The new moon is shining the harmonious hand is now holding lord krishna's ring
the eagle's wing the voice of mother everything
Ask the snail beneath the stone, ask the stone beneath the wall
Are there any stars at all
Like an eagle in the sky tell me if air is strong
 
In the floating palaces of the spinning castle
May the fire king's daughter bring water to you
The water song
By Robin Williamson
 
Water water see the water flow
Glancing dancing see the water flow
O wizard of changes water water water
Dark or silvery mother of life
Water water holy mystery heavens daughter
 
God made a song when the world was new
Waters laughter sings it is true
O, wizard of changes, teach me the lesson of flowing
Three is a green crown
By Robin Williamson
  
Not with the lips of skin nor yet with the lips of dark snow
But let the white dove sing
Of the body of life of the lover whose love is complete
Hold hands out to greet ah let not the swan be brought low
 
For all that is moving is moved by her hands
She is mirrored for ever in the life of the lands
In the building of thoughts in the shifting sands
 
Life life remembering
 
Well here you are now o now you are here
Well how has it been so far
The hair and the fur
Lemons, frankinscence, and myrhh
 
For all that is moving is moved by her hands
She is mirrored for ever in the life of the lands
In the building of thoughts in the shifting sands
 
Let the cracked crystal raindrop be merged in the sea
Silent shining thoughtless free
but close your eyes to find the golden flower
And open them to see the sunshine shower
Where the flowers are free and the fishes ask
Ah what can water be
 
She beareth thought she beareth visions
Speaking truth in contradictions
Dreams of pain dreams of laughter
And every action follows after
 
O second self o gate of the soft mystery
I'll love you if you'll love me; o guide me
With the gold of gabriel's wing grant me the tongue
That all the earth does sing
Vibrating light forever one the sun
The book of life is open to us
There'll be no secrets left between us
Swift as the wind
By Mike Heron
 
For my delight
Swift as the wind flies
His chariot and wings
Shine in the light of a thousand suns
For he comes from the land of no night
He comes from the land of no night
 
There is no land
The night is all around my child
You must stop imagining all this
You must stop imagining all this
For your own good
Why don't you go with the rest and play downstairs
 
Closing my eyes
I see him so clear
The blood on his sword
Flashes so bright as is
Falls to the skulls by his feet
 
But his eyes they know all things
His eyes they know all
 
There is no blood
No-one knows all my child
You must stop imagining all this
You must stop imagining all this
For your own good
Why don't you go with the rest and play downstairs
 
Swift as the wind
Stay if you will now
Seeing you again will be in your castle so fair
But I make take some time on the way
And I may have to spend some time downstairs
Nightfall
By Robin Williamson
 
Nightfall o river of night flow through me
Washing thoughts of the day on your waters away
For the morrow that dawns never knew me
 
Nightfall nightfall folding her dark locks around you
Her eyes they have found you would show you
This new dream they're holding
 
O sleep o come to me you who are night's daughter
And I'll give you my eyes for the colours that rise
As time's echoes reflect on you water.

 

Wee tam, 1968

  • Job's tears
  • Puppies
  • Beyond the see
  • The yellow snake
  • Log cabin home in the sky
  • You get brighter
  • The half-remarkable question
  • Air
  • Ducks on a pond

     

    Job's Tears
    By Robin Williamson  
    Robin: Guitar
     
    We're all still here
    no one has gone away
    Waiting, acting much too
    well and procrastinating
     
    The cross of the earth
    (let me go through)
    The four winds point them
    Body to body
    Seas to anoint them
    The reed they brought him
    Sponge and vinegar
    Fiery serpents
    Spitting gold and cinnamon
    The moon was bleeding
    And stars were shallow
    And the sword that killed him
    Was a sword of willow

    Hello I must be going well I only came to say
    I hear my mother calling and I must be on my way
     
    O I remember it all from before
     
    The winter and the midnight
    Could not hold him
    The fire could not burn him
    Nor earth enfold him
    Rise up Lazarus
    Sweet and salty
    Brother soldiers
    Stop your gambling and talk to me
    The thieves were stealers
    But reason condemned him
    And the grave was empty
    Where they had laid him
     
    Why heroes die at sunrise
    Why the birds are arrows of the wise
    Why each perfumed flower
    Why each moment has its hour
     
    It's you
    It's all true
     
    Stranger than that we're alive
    Stranger than that
    Stranger than that
    Whatever you think
    It's more than that, more than that
    Happy man, the happy man
    Doing the best he can
     
    Keep on walking where the angels showed
    (All will be one)
    Travelling where the saints have trod
    Over in the old golden land
    In the golden book of the golden game
    The golden angel wrote my name
    When the deal goes down I'll put my crown
    Over in the old golden land
     
    I won't need to kiss you when we're there
    (All will be one)
    I won't need to miss you when we're there
    Over in the old golden land
     
    We'll understand it better in the sweet bye and bye
    You won't need to worry and you won't have to cry
    Over in the old golden land

    Puppies
    By Mike Heron

    Mike: Guitar, sitar, bass
    Robin: Guitar, gimbri, bass, percussion
     
    Even the birds when they sing
    It's not everything to them
     
    Fiddle-head ferns and daffodils
    Made me want to play
    To the puppies having their little breakfast
     
    So I picked up six fine strings
    And I began to play
    What I thought that new
    Born fur would like best
     
    Hey, hey, such a new born morn
    Hey, hey, the puppies they have gone
    Left me here holding this song
    Music is so much less than what you are
     
    Just how far can you take me
    How far can you take me, Mother Nina
    Before I'm on my own
     
    Don't imagine that the pretty flower can sing a song
    When the sun makes it's sap to rise
    One by one the chorus swells till it's a mighty noise
    Are you sure that it's not a silence?
     
    Even the birds when they sing
    It's not everything to them
    Even the birds when they sing
    Spread their wings to heaven and fly away.

    Beyond the sea (testo non ancora trovato, nei vari siti di testi di canzoni questo testo manca sempre- maggio 2010 dc)

    The Yellow Snake
    By Robin Williamson

    Robin: Guitar, sarangi
    Mike: Sitar
     
    Someone you saw stretched sleeping on the sand
    Five withered violets cradled in his hand
    His dreams are so loud calling in your ear
    The yellow snake coils from the water
    And all is refreshed far and near.

    Log cabin home in the sky
    By Mike Heron

    Mike: Guitar, washboard
    Robin: Violin
    Rose: Violin
     

    All around this wide country the winter it has now begun
    Now is the time to slip away from the California sun
    To a place where a man can be free as the wind
    As wild as the huskies' cry
    Now winter is nigh let us fly to my log cabin in the sky
     
    With snow piling all round the door
    And many a log on the stove
    Where the chickadee's singing a comforting song
    I'll show you it's you that I love
    O let the wolves howl, they won't find us here
    By a soft oil lamp we will lie
     
    Now there comes a time to every man
    When he must turn his back on the crowd
    When the glare of the lights gets much too bright
    And the music plays too loud
    When a man must run from the deeds he has done
    Recalling those days with a sigh.

    You get brighter
    By Mike Heron
     
    Robin: Hapsichord
    Mike: Guitar
     

    You get brighter every day and every time I see you
    Scattered brightness in your way and you taught me how to love you
     
    I know you belong to everybody but you can't deny that I'm you
     
    In the morning when I wake I moor my boat and greet you
    Hold your brightness in my eye and I wonder what does sleep do
     
    Krishna colours on the wall
    You taught me how to love you
     
    Oh wondrous light, light, lighter
    You give all your brightness away and it only makes you brighter.

    The half-remarkable question
    By Robin Williamson
     
    Robin: Guitar, percussion
    Mike: Sitar
     

    Who moved the black castle
    Who moved the white queen
    When Gimmel and Daleth where standing between?
    Out of the evening growing a veil
     
    Pining for the pine woods that ached for the sail
     
    There's something forgotten I want you to know
    The freckles of rain are telling me so
    O it's the old forgotten question
    What is that we are part of?
    What is it that we are?
     
    And an elephant madness has covered the sun
    The judge and the juries they play for the fun
    They've torn up the roses and washed all the soap
    And the martyr who marries them dares not elope
    O it's the never realised question
     
    O long O long e're yet my eyes
    Braved the gates enormous fire
    And the body folded 'round me
    And the person in me grew
     
    The flower and its petal
    The root and its grasp
    The earth and its bigness
    The breath and its gasp
    The mind and its motion
    The foot and its move
    The life and its pattern
    The heart and its love
    O it's the half-remarkable question.

    Air
     
    By Mike Heron
     
    Mike: Guitar, organ
    Robin: Flute
     
    Breathing, all creatures are
    Brighter then than brightest star
    You are by far
    You come right inside of me
    Close as you can be
    You kiss my blood
    And my blood kiss me.

    Ducks on a pond
    By Robin Williamson
     
    Robin: Guitar, piano, kazoo, bass drum
    Mike: Percussion, harmonica
     
    Ducks on a pond, ducks on a pond
    Very pretty swimming round
    The lion and the unicorn journey very far
    The answers are the question, sir
    The lady soothes the lion's fur
    Meek as a lamb he follows her
    Wherever angels are
     
    Sing me something
    I asked the ice it would not say
    But only cracked or moved away
    I thought I knew me yesterday
    Whoever sings this song
     
    Greetings on you kings in the sky
    Who'll buy me a mynah bird
    Play me a magic word
    Speak of hopes with thoughts absurd
    Thoughts floating by
    Little ducks, pretty birds
    Clouds across the sky
     
    Moving pieces on the plains of Troy
    Carving faces on the rocks of joy
    Pretty lady washing the tiles
    Soapy pictures like crocodiles
     
    Chilly winds blowing
    Lovely spring coming soon
     
    I wear my body like a caravan
    Gipsy rover in a magic land
    Misty mountains where the eagles fly
    Lonely valleys where the lost ones cry
     
    I had a little letter full of paper
     
    Inky scratches everywhere
    Always looking, looking for a paradise island
    Help me find it everywhere
     
    Peacocks talking of the colour grey
    Awaking soundly in darkest day
    A howling tempest on a silent sea
    Lovely Jesus nailed to a tree
     
    Mad as the moon when Merlin falls
    Silver castles and silver halls
    Taking lessons from the piper's son
    Learn to play while the world is young
     
    Boys and girls come out to play
    The moon doth shine as bright as day
    Leave your sorrows and leave your sleep
    And join your playfellows in the street
    Come with a whoop or come with a call
    Come with a goodwill or not at all
    Up the ladder and down the wall
    A ha'penny loaf will serve for all
     
    Following my fortune now the Holy Grail is found
    And the Holy Bread of Heaven it is given all around
    Farewell sorrow, praise God the open door
    I ain't got no home in this world any more
     
    Poor as the birds but to give their song away
    Gathering possessions round to make a bright array
    Dark was the night, praise God the open door
    I ain't got no home in this world anymore.
     

     

    Malcolm LeMaistre

    Nothing strange, 1994

     

    In 1968

    By Malcolm LeMaistre

    I woke one morning and the sky was black
    and I thought this can't be real
    I looked into the early air and tried to see and feel
    I touched the day. the quick and the dead
    and I found it hard to breathe
    the change that came was strong
    it was more than just a dream

    we travelIed East. we travelled South. we tried to travel West
    the sun rose over Paris on the road to Marrakech
    back home our loved ones tried to understand
    but the dawn had broken
    and our lives were in our hands

    no more lies on a Saturday night
    no more work and being late
    time for change had come at last
    you know the lights came on in 1968

    free love was just a game but true love was never free
    the tanks rolled over the Eastern plains
    as the king made his final plea
    on the streets the draft cards burned
    but they were just marking time
    and the music oh the music was our wine

    no more lies on a Saturday night
    no more work and being late
    time for change had come at last
    you know the lights came on in 1968

    Jimi's hands were hands of dreams he gave us life absurd
    in Central Park that summers day life was just a word
    but across the night. across the sea. we could hear the call
    look around look around look around (13 times)
    or the night will fail

    no more lies on a Saturday night
    no more work and being late
    time for change had come at last
    you know the lights came on in 1968

    Men and boys

    By Malcolm LeMaistre

    You worked the coal and the steels white heat
    and feel the bond with those you meet
    where the bricks lie broken flowers grow high
    where the factories stood too proud to die

    you stand alone on some ruined ground
    and you dream of the strength
    and the vigour and the sound
    but the roads are empty, chilled with dust
    strangled by power, religion and lust

    oh men and boys you took that chance
    on some crazy war and one last dance
    but for the kids who grieve when you are gone
    for them life goes on

    you felt the fire and fought the fight
    for faceless men who think they are right
    you fill the graves that line the hills
    on the edge of towns were the wind lies still

    oh men and boys you took that chance
    on some crazy war and one last dance
    but for the kids who grieve when you are gone
    for them life goes on
    for the women who grieve when you are gone
    for them life goes on

    as you gaze across an empty land
    and the waves crash down on the coral strand
    you know your dreams can still come true
    those fears and hopes that live in you

    kids are sleeping, curtains are drawn
    against the news that comes at dawn
    another grave to line the hills
    on the edge of towns where the wind lies still

    oh men and boys you took that chance
    on some crazy war and one last dance
    but for the kids who grieve when you are gone
    for them life goes on
    for the women who grieve when you are gone
    for them life goes on

    oh men and boys you took that chance
    on some crazy war and one last dance
    but for the kids who grieve when you are gone
    for them life goes on
    for the women who grieve when you are gone
    for them life goes on

    Sarajevo

    By Malcolm LeMaistre

    For forty four years I've lived with peace as a way of life
    a gift from my father who fought a war
    I'm beginning to think what for
    in these times of new world orders and fragile unities
    can it be that we've forgotten the lessons of history

    turning on the TV we see other peoples lives
    in a city ruined but alive
    snatched kisses as the tracer hisses through the rain
    six hundred days and counting since those nights of peace and calm
    as the Balkan blood keeps flowing down the autobahns

    will the winter bring an end
    will the postcards that we send
    say, having a good time in Sarajevo
    wish you were here with me now in Sarajevo

    yesterday they shook their neighbours hand
    and said you are my friend
    so how can it be that Europe slides to anarchy again
    there are Christians, Muslims, Jews, people of all hues
    waiting for relief or oblivion
    will we stand by and watch a civilisation die?

    will the winter bring an end
    will the postcards that we send
    say, having a good time in Sarajevo
    wish you were here with me now in Sarajevo

    news is coming in that peace has broken out in Sarajevo

    can this ever be?

     
       
       
       
       

     

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