The Good Earth

by Stuart Forester

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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Comes in a matt finish gatefold card case with photography by Anne Campbell and includes a twelve page booklet with lyrics.

    Includes unlimited streaming of The Good Earth via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      £10 GBP  or more

     

1.
I was born in a blizzard man baptised in the mighty river Humber man Had my share of love and troubles mind and that old black dog is never far behind He comes and he goes and he gives what he’s got his shadow running fast across my soul But I turn me around and I smile in his face I was born in a blizzard don’t you know I was living like a dog in a doorway so long always picking up the scraps with the strays And I have been a lucky man held a treasure in my hand to only watch it slip away They tumble and roll and they spin but it don’t matter any way I win Cos the first thing I saw was the wind and the hail I was born and the blizzard howled and wailed I have wondered at so many scenes but poisoned oceans haunt my dreams So I rage and I wonder why the blind lead the blind for a poke in the eye They come and they go all those crooked kings on broken thrones they’re jokers and they’re ghouls But I’ve reached for the light ever since the day I was born in a blizzard with the blues
2.
I drive an ’83 pick-up, shoot a 45, target practice on the dead end road sign I’m a real loose cannon but I’m a real nice guy I’ve lived around here all my life So did my dad and his papa too but the coal got them both when I was in my youth I’d go into the mountains for weeks at a time I’ve lived around here all my life I’d find arrowheads out on the high plain, howl to the night and dance in the rain I could name constellations, I could see the light I was ready for war but I lost the fight The greatest foe of all is time gone by I’ve lived around here all my life Yeah, it’s real nice round here you can see for miles But there’s nothing to do since they closed down the mine So I’m killing time shooting dead end road signs Well you see that bar over the street, I ain’t been in there now for over two weeks I’m breaking the cycle, I’m weary and tired I’ve known all those folks a long time We’ve lived around here all our lives We’d find arrowheads out on the high plain howl to the night and pray to be sane They were days full of magic under the sun, there was no situation when we would run The greatest gift of all is time to come, then it’s gone like a bullet from a gun So I’ll drink my likker from an old tin can, I don’t need no woman I’m a mean old man I’ll have a good old time shooting dead end road signs
3.
Take a walk down any street, there’s a never-ending melody In major and the minor keys songs of hope and dreams Wishes in the windows woes behind the doors, there’s a million stories to be told You can hear those red brick ballads play They echo through the alleyways like stories on the wind you’ve heard before Lovers and the lonely ones hold on tight and sing along And those red brick ballads whisper in the walls It’s the music of the maisonettes, bedsits and the basements Behind the walls of terraced streets there’s medicine and celebration Everywhere, everyday, on and on that old refrain Round the streets and houses you can hear all those red brick ballads play I wrote a sad song yesterday so I wrote this one to celebrate A melody to ease the pain, this melancholy I can’t shake I sing that old familiar song, a crooked tune but life goes on So I’ll write another one to stop the rain And those red brick ballads keep on playing
4.
Rolling and pitching and riding the waves, nerves like white lightning we’re hauling away We’re the wild lads who bring in the catch and we’ll give a good blast when we come And it’s one to the other you’ll hear them say “here come Jack with his three months pay” Them Humber girls they’ll leave you poor, they’ll spend all your money in a week onshore And the blackbird sang unto the crow, it’s time for us to roll and go So drink your fill and pack your sack and say goodbye to your Grimsby lass Them girls up the river know what it’s about They’re wicked and willing and we’re bold and we’re stout See us singing a shanty and acting the goat and we’ll give a good blast when we come And it’s one to the other you’ll hear them say “here come Jack with his three months pay” Them Humber girls they’ll leave you poor, they’ll spend all your money in a week onshore And the blackbird sang unto the crow, it’s time for us to roll and go So drink your fill and pack your sack and say goodbye to your Grimsby lass In some other town there’s a wife or a lover and she waits for her man to come home Ah but them lads up the river they’ll put it about And they’ll give a good blast when they come And it’s one to the other you’ll hear them say “here come Jack with his three months pay” Them Humber girls they’ll leave you poor, they’ll spend all your money in a week onshore And the blackbird sang unto the crow, it’s time for us to roll and go So drink your fill and pack your sack and say goodbye to your Grimsby lass
5.
JJ ride that horse over range and meadow Sleep tonight ‘neath the starry light, no need to lock the door JJ with your three good dogs, keep the coyotes running Getting by on nickels and dimes She gets up when the sun is still asleep behind Black Mountain You know round here there’s always jobs to do Puts the coffee on the stove and looks out of the window Pulls her boots and grabs her hat and jacket at the door Says a bright good morning to the rooster in the yard Sometimes the living here is hard, this landscape could tear you apart JJ ride that horse over range and meadow Sleep tonight by the campfire light, dream among the Columbine JJ with your three good dogs, keep the coyotes running Hear them cry in the canyon tonight Every now and then she takes some folks to see the country Ride the vale and sleep out on the trail It goes to pay for living on the range, she likes it when they come and go away So take your fly and reel and leave a note that you’ve gone fishing River’s running good and you know just where to go But you know it won’t be long till the fall has come and gone Then it will be twenty-two below JJ ride that horse over range and meadow Sleep tonight ‘neath the starry light with the snow piled at your door JJ stoke that fire and keep the boiler running It’s ten feet deep down by the creek JJ ride that horse over range and meadow Sleep tonight ‘neath the starry light, no need to lock the door JJ with your three good dogs, keep the coyotes running Getting by on nickels and dimes
6.
Come where the willows are weeping so green on the banks of the Don Come where the moonbeams are sleeping, in beauty its bosom upon For that is the spot for the lover to seek with the girl of his heart Ere youth’s fairy daydreams are over and butterfly pleasures depart Let those who have ceased plucking roses proclaim it a dangerous play But what were the worth of the posies if each little thorn were away ‘Tis pain gives its value to pleasure, the absent are ever the dear And even love’s smile is a treasure, most valued when seen through a tear The sunset of summer’s delicious and precious the moon’s silver light But sweeter the hour and more precious when two kindred spirits unite And sweet is the tender confession of love though it be but a breath But sweetest of all the possession of hearts only parted by death Let those who have ceased plucking roses proclaim it a dangerous play But what were the worth of the posies if each little thorn were away ‘Tis pain gives its value to pleasure, the absent are ever the dear And even love’s smile is a treasure, most valued when seen through a tear Then come where the willows are weeping so green on the banks of the Don Come where the moonbeams are sleeping, in beauty its bosom upon For that is the spot for the lover to seek with the girl of his heart Ere youth’s fairy daydreams are over and butterfly pleasures depart
7.
04:03
Over and over and over again you’re blowing my mind like a fly on the wind Love is a thorn that’s buried so deep, how can it be so easy This is a feeling that only we know, coming together under the rose You fell from the stars into my soul taking my love so easy I can see you can you see me burn You’re the one who makes my whole world turn She is dark she is free she is heavy to me, as high as a mountain as deep as the sea Riding a mustang of platinum mane taking my love so easy I can see her can she see me burn She’s the one who makes my whole world turn
8.
Walk with me in the moonlight love in the glooming and the gloam All the jewels in the diamond sky I would give to you my love I would give the moon to you, so bright tonight it shines Walk with me in the moonlight love and tell me that you’re mine Take my hand in the moonlight bright, let us pause a while Celestial glow so mellow love, illuminates your smile I can see the heavens reflected in your eyes Walk with me in the moonlight love and tell me that you’re mine Hold me close in the moonlight love in the quiet and the calm A night and love as clear as this, your soft embrace, your tender kiss I could dream the Milky Way away with you my love this night Walk with me in the moonlight love and tell me that you’re mine
9.
05:48
‘Twas the twentieth of June 1631 The summer sun lay soft on Carbery’s isles The day was long and children’s song sweetly rose and fell on Irish tides The sun went down behind my harbour town The teardrop of Ireland never more would again we see or ever be free For was that night the sack of Baltimore The pirates came lead by Murat Rais by sabre took us all as slaves from Cork “Allah” they yelled and in galley’s Hell we were chained and sailed from Baltimore We were bound for Algiers and Hell’s own heat in the service of the cruel souks The women for to lay with sultans and deys, the boys to bear the sheiks’ chibouk Now some saw out their days chained to the oars as galley’s slaves They lived and died in the belly of Hell And some in caravans were lead to God’s own land No mercy did they find in Mecca’s dells Me, I laboured long for I was young and strong And when that lash cut me sore I would think of Baltimore Now old I am and a broken man often though I’ll think of those green fields But the sun or the sword will bring death to my door I know I’ll end my days in old Algiers But at my time of dying I will see those emerald shores And these chains of a slave will fall away and I’ll return again to Baltimore
10.
White owl black crow tapping on my window, he knows where the thunder rolls The thistle and the sundown, pricked my finger on a Blackthorn Never going home Elemental feelings grow now I roam where no one knows but the white owl and the black crow Black night white bones north star, new dawn Fell in love with the siren’s song I was a dead man walking with no love in my heart nor home Now I hear my heartbeat and they follow me wherever I go That white owl black crow White owl black crow tapping on my window White owl black crow Now I’m wild and I’m wind blown with the devils and the angels in my soul White ash and woad down the end of a dirt road and I’m lost in the deep and tangled rose And the white owl and the black crow keep tapping on my window They know where the thunder rolls
11.
06:02
It was mid afternoon last Thursday, with me gear I boarded at Broadway I headed north on the line, twenty-one stops up to Archway I bumped into Finbarr on Holloway Road, in the offy he were buying the beers We walked round the corner to his house, in the kitchen I set up me gear There was Oliver Mulligan already there so we joined him round at the table We talked of the good and the bad times and people we’ve known on the way Well one bottle it followed another and they got round to singing some songs Oliver sang three beautiful airs and Finbarr sang two sweet and longing Oh that London Pride was flowing, stories and songs they were too And if ever I go back to Archway you know I’ll come drunk home to you Well that ale it tasted like nectar and those melodies lifted me high They made me think of you love and one brought a tear to Fin’s eye They told of old Irish days as the sun it set over Archway Then Oliver had to get going and he said he’d see us on Tuesday So the two of us went to The Landseer, a pub in which Fin is well known We yarned with a couple of locals about music and accents and football So we rounded the night off with whisky and rum And both did agree most definitely that the day without doubt had been splendid And I slurred I’d see him on Tuesday Well that whisky kicked in up the Holloway Road and I caught the last tube out of Archway But somewhere near Bank it’s nowt but a blank, a right state I looked I suppose Twenty-four stops in me slumber I dreamt I was in California When I was rudely awoken by Underground staff “It’s the end of the line, this is Morden” So I staggered me way out the station and I fell in the back of a taxi I give him some general directions, next thing I knew I was in Mitcham And there you were to greet me as I fumbled me key in the door I danced round the room and fell over, well this I can vaguely remember And you told me that you loved me as you covered me up on the floor And this old noggin was spinning and this is the song I was singing
12.
13.
Rolling out of Leadville the rain was hitting hard Blinded by the headlights on Highway 24 The road it shone like silver and a song from long ago came to mind And I sang Heart of Gold Then the sun it hit the mountain and took my breath away Shadows in the canyon, the rolling hills and plains I stopped to write these words down beside the railroad line And I saw a big bird circle in the blackened sky Western winds blow me back, back like dust across the range Miles and miles from anywhere back to Colorado Days I left you in the morning the pain was hitting hard Another days’ horizon, another brand new start The road it rolled like thunder long and far from you As the memories in the mirror faded out of view Some places they will pull you, make you never want to leave Make you push your car into the river and throw away the keys Fire on the mountain at the ending of the day Peace in my mind and good old country ways Western winds blow me back, back like dust across the range Miles and miles from anywhere back to Colorado Days

about

Thirteen track album recorded 2016-2017 in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

credits

released July 6, 2017

Stuart Forester - Vocals, guitar, mountain dulcimer, piano, harmonium, mellotron strings, fugue organ, B3 organ, bass
Jonny Hardie - Fiddle
Carol Anderson - Fiddle
Rhiannon Campbell - Backing vocals
Davy Cattanach - Percussion

Anne Campbell - Photography
Pete Maher - Mastering

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Stuart Forester Scotland, UK

Stuart Forester is an English acoustic roots songwriter in the folk tradition who has quite some stories to tell. Born in Cumbria but raised from a a few months old until the age of three in trailer homes in Canada he grew up in Hull, East Yorkshire and then spent many years in London. He now lives in rural Aberdeenshire, Scotland where his latest album The Good Earth was recorded. ... more

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