Brigid's Birds

by Margaret McLarty

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    With stunning artwork by Raine Clarke.

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    Have one of Brigid's Birds (oystercatchers) to follow you round on your bag/jacket/collar/dog's collar/dog collar in the form of a wee enamel pin.
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  • A lovely wee Brigid's Bird notebook - A6, plain pages - to collect your thoughts, sketch out some ideas or record your bird sightings.
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    Four A5 prints of Raine Clarke's beautiful album artwork.

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1.
Yellow Skirt 06:33
You say I look like summer while it’s raining outside Everyone wears black while I wear yellow, red and white Another tricky situation I’m just trying to get through so I put on my long, yellow skirt and I don’t feel quite so blue: it’s summer summer inside I told you in September I would call you all the time But now it is December and we’ve only spoken twice It’s not that I don’t want to, every single day I do and when I put on my skirt, well, I’m right back there with you and it’s summer summer inside Takwaba uwaba nga Yesu Takwaba uwaba nga Yesu Takwaba uwaba nga Yesu Takwaba takwa kabe Na yenda enda konse konse Na fwaya fwaya konse konse Na shinguluka konse konse Takwaba takwa kabe Five years have unfolded unsealed letters in a drawer I wish you knew who I am cause I don’t anymore (Bembe translation: There’s no-one, there’s no-one like Jesus There’s no-one, there’s no-one like him. I walk here and there… I search here and there… I turn around here and there… There’s no-one, there’s no-one like him)
2.
Nights without end lost in the darkness you were a friend I dreamed about you Lights have gone out still they scream and they shout walk with me we’ll take a long road home
3.
Baron's Heir 03:23
O gin I were a baron's heir, And could I braid wi' gems your hair, And be as braw as ye are fair, Lassie, would ye love me? And I would tak' ye to the town, And show ye braw sights, many’s a wan, And busk ye wi’ a silken gown, Lassie, would ye love me? Or should ye be content to prove, In lowly life unfading love, A heart that nought on earth could move, Lassie, would ye love me? And ere the laverock wing the sky, would ye untae the forest hie, And live wi' me until we die, Lassie, would ye love me? And when the braw moon glistens o'er, Our wee bit bield and heathery moor, Will ye nae greet that we're sae poor, Lassie, for I love ye? For I have nought to offer ye, Nae gowd frae mine, nae pearl frae sea, Nor dae I come frae high degree, Lassie, but I love ye.
4.
Stormy Sea 05:56
I’m looking for a rainbow cause the sun is shining though the rain is falling down I’m searching for a promise cause hope is out there though things are rough right here, right now Stormy sea, you could carry me away from here Stormy sea, if I let you carry me surely I would drown I’m reaching for your hand cause the mist is coming in and I don’t know which way to turn I’m trying to remember the things you told me but all I can hear is the roar of the wind Stormy sea, you could carry me away from here Stormy sea, if I let you carry me surely I would drown Little bird how do you fly headstrong into the wind and why? Hey buoy keep your head above water ride the white horses into the sound Stormy sea, you could carry me away from here Stormy sea, if I let you carry me surely I would drown
5.
Lullaby 04:03
Watch the stars as they climb to the sky they have crawled from their beds where they lie and now it’s time for sleep Go to bed, wrap the dark round your chest close your eyes, think of how you are blessed And if the waves crash on the shore of your memory if the wind whips up your thoughts and fears till a storm is raging in your head if the rain falls down your cheeks Turn away from that shore, just walk away to the beach where the waves gently play and breathe in with the ebb of the tide and breathe out with the flow as it sighs
6.
Brigid’s birds mark my way darting arrows in the sky and the North Wind, she dances with them giving wings to their cry And I could be a monk alone on this white strand I see those who’ll come after me and I’m waiting for them to land And the stars shine bright as the fire burns low How can we ever go back to what we used to know? The history of galaxies unravelling in the night will the land hold our memory like the sky holds light and life If your blood is in the ocean and my tears are in the sea then our story’s in the water could it hold eternity? And the stars shine bright as the fire burns low How can we ever go back to what we used to know? Fire burns cold It’s the fields that are full of gold They were a casket for his body, for his soul And you say, “Don’t be afraid.” And you say, “Well, we’re all leaving anyway.” And you say, “New life comes at the end.”
 Well, this is the end. Brigid’s birds mark my way… And the stars shine bright as the fire burns low We’ll never come this way again that much I know
7.
O gin I were a baron's heir, And could I braid wi' gems your hair, And be as braw as ye are fair, Lassie, would ye love me? And I would tak' ye to the town, And show ye braw sights, many’s a wan, And busk ye wi’ a silken gown, Lassie, would ye love me? Or should ye be content to prove, In lowly life unfading love, A heart that nought on earth could move, Lassie, would ye love me? For I have nought to offer ye, Nae gowd frae mine, nae pearl frae sea, Nor dae I come frae high degree, Lassie, but I love ye. And when the braw moon glistens o'er, Our wee bit bield and heathery moor, Will ye nae greet that we're sae poor, Lassie, for I love ye? Ere the laverock wing the sky, would ye untae the forest hie, And live wi' me until we die, Lassie, would ye love me?
8.
I’ve sung your songs of love and loss Of new love of true love of heartbreak of times without hope So why can’t I? So why can’t I sing of my own? I line my home with the lines you wrote fictional lives full of truth stepping out of the frame of the page So why can’t I? So why can’t I live with my own? Lips form words from a racing, tangled mind And melody trace our soul’s deepest sighs And muscles and neurons and organs help the air to carry a tune if you can’t tell a story you can still say a prayer Elephant tears for a secret soaked seven year old Sun beams for the rainclouds that darken a teenage mind And send out an olive branch for the soul tossed on the sea she carries a key to a fortressed heart
9.
Widen your horizons he said, she danced she danced, he said We built a wall of words and silences of insecurities of wounded memories while hope while hope soared wild and free Widen your horizons he said, she danced she danced, he said Words shot from sniper guns while hearts bruised in battle beat a marching song And stand now to attention commanded by rejection to fight or die to protect the lie Widen your horizons he said, she danced she danced, he said You drop silence do you look down or look back as its core breaks on impact and the fire spreads mute, red tongues licking wounds that burn till there’s no place of return there’s no place of return no place of return… widen your horizons… danced… said…
10.
Long Time 03:58
Look, there’s the place where we lay in the dark catching shooting stars They helped light a way through some dreich worn out days when our boats had drifted far apart But hey, it’s been a long time since I lay here by your side Oh and hey, it takes a long time to cross this ocean wide Walk south to the beach where you carried me across the stones to the sea Imagine it now a picture on a wall oh, would you still carry me? Oh cause hey, it’s been a long time since we walked along the sand Oh and hey, it took a long time to get my feet back on solid land Let’s stop at the house where I welcomed you home now someone else lays the fire I watch those coal flames grow till the dying embers glowed looking back I said goodbye hey, if I take my time on this salt water path I pray I see a way toward love away from the ache of memory

credits

released September 1, 2017

Margaret McLarty: vocals, acoustic guitar, flute, ukulele, piano, electric guitar, sopranino recorder, soprano saxophone
Tom Sissons: vocals, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, piano, strum stick
Jane Bentley: vocals, bodhran, djembe, chimes, percussion
Angus Lyon: accordion

Recorded and mixed by Angus Lyon at Gran’s House Studio
Mastered by Iain Hutchison at Glo-Worm Studios, Glasgow
Additional recording by Chris Waite

Artwork by Raine Clarke
Design by Toben Lewis

All words and music by Margaret McLarty, © and ℗ 2017 Square Inch Records
except: Baron’s Heir - words: traditional, tune: J. W. Holder
“Takwaba” - words: traditional Bemba (Zambia)

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Margaret McLarty Glasgow, UK

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