Brigid's Birds

by Margaret McLarty

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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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Track Name: Yellow Skirt
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)
Track Name: Nights Without End
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
Track Name: Baron's Heir
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.
Track Name: Stormy Sea
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
Track Name: Lullaby
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
Track Name: Brigid's Birds
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
Track Name: O Gin I Were A Baron's Heir
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?
Track Name: Elephant Tears
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
Track Name: Widen Your Horizons
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…
Track Name: Long Time
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

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