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I sense Autumn coming on
The mist has hung low all day
Small birds gather on the wing
Preparing to make their way.
The trees begin to show
A trace of brown among the green
Bringing back the memories
That only you and I have seen.
I sense Autumn coming on
The sun sinking red and deep
The fires burning in the fields
As late Summer falls asleep.
The leaves begin to scatter
As the North wind calls their name
Folding gently back into
The silent earth from which they came.
The Winter Long
Still waters flow
Sea breezes blow
Wild flowers grow
Abundant at your feet.
Soft falling snow
Warm candle glow
Flushed faces show
The pleasure when we meet.
Hold on to me, I'll hold on to you
The winter long I will always be with you.
Hold on to me, I'll hold on to you
I will be the one who will always see you through.
According to the Strawbs' Web site, the song and indeed the album was a sign of things to come:
HERO AND HEROINE, 1974
After the break up of the Bursting line-up, Dave Cousins and Dave Lambert recruited a new band around them, bringing in Rod Coombes from Stealers' Wheel, John Hawken from semi-retirement and Chas Cronk from sessions work. They quickly released a taster single, "Shine On Silver Sun", but their UK singles chart spree was over; the following album, released in the UK in April 1974, shortly after its release in North America, was a blueprint for things to come - bleak, harsh lyrics reflecting Cousins current state of mind, increasingly electronic/progressive instrumentation and a concentration on the North American market rather than the UK homeland.
"What's the news? What's the news? O my bold Sheimalier
With your long-barrelled gun of the sea?
Say what wind from the south brings this messenger here,
With a hymn of the dawn for the free?"
"Goodly news, goodly news, do I bring youth of Forth
Goodly news shall you hear, Bargy man
For the boys march at morn from the South to the North,
Led by Kelly, the Boy from Killane."
"Tell me * who is that giant with the gold curling hair
He who rides at the head of your band?
Seven feet is his height with some inches to spare.
And he looks like a king in command"
"Ay, my lads, that's the pride of the bold Shelmaliers,
Among our greatest of heroes,a man!
Fling your beavers aloft and give three ringing cheers
For John Kelly, the Boy from Killane.
Enniscorthy's in flames and old Wexford is won,
And the Barrow to-morrow we cross
On a hill o'er the town we have planted a gun
That will batter the gateway of Ross
All the Forth men and Bargy men marched over the heath,
With brave Harvey to lead on the van;
But the foremost of all in the grim gap of death
Will be Kelly, the Boy from Killane.
But the gold sun of freedom grew darkened at Ross,
And it set by the Slaney's red waves;
And poor Wexford, stripped naked, hung high on a cross,
And her heart pierced by traitors and slaves!
Glory oh! glory oh! to her brave sons who died,
For the cause of long down-trodden man!
Glory oh! to Mount Leinster's own darling and pride
Dauntless Kelly, the Boy from Killane
Her eyes they shone like the diamonds
You'd think she was queen of the land
And her hair hung over her shoulder
Tied up with a black velvet band.
In a neat little town they call Belfast
Apprenticed to trade I was bound
And many an hour's sweet happiness
I spent in that neat little town.
Till bad misfortune came o'er me
That caused me to stray from the land
Far away from my friends and relations
To follow the black velvet band.
Well, I was out strolling one evening
Not meaning to go very far
When I met with a pretty young damsel
Who was selling her trade in the bar.
When I watched, she took from a customer
And slipped it right into my hand
Then the Watch came and put me in prison
Bad luck to the black velvet band.
Next morning before judge and jury
For a trial I had to appear
And the judge, he said, "You young fellows...
The case against you is quite clear
And seven long years is your sentence
You're going to Van Dieman's Land
Far away from your friends and relations
To follow the black velvet band."
So come all you jolly young fellows
I'd have you take warning by me
Whenever you're out on the liquor, me lads,
Beware of the pretty colleen.
She'll fill you with whiskey and porter
Until you're not able to stand
And the very next thing that you'll know, me lads,
You're landed in Van Dieman's Land.
CHORUS: Did they beat the drum slowly, did they play the fife lowly?
Did they sound the death-march as they lowered you down?
And did the band play the Last post and chorus?
Did the pipes play the ´Flowers of the forest`?
Once there was a poor widow who lived with her children in a tiny cottage. Although she did not have money to buy them any gifts, she was determined to decorate a Christmas tree. She cut a tree in the forest, and, after the children were in bed on Christmas Eve, she decorated it with a few pieces of fruit, nuts, and some cookies she had baked. Then she fell into bed, exhausted, and worried that her little ones would have a poor Christmas.
There were spiders living in the nooks and corners of the little cottage, and they had watched the wodow's work. While she slept, the spiders crept from their hiding places and climbed all over the Christmas tree, leaving silken webs as they went from branch to branch. The Christ child saw both the widow's sadness and the spiders' webs, and he turned the fragile strands to silver.
When the widow and her children awoke on Christmas morning, they were amazed to see the beautiful tree sparkling in the sun. From that day on, people have hung strands of silver tinsel on their Christmas trees, and many families place a tiny glass or golden spider on one of the boughs to recall this miracle. (-- p. 31)
Legend says that a little shepherd girl of Bethlehem followed after the shepherds who had received the angel's message and were journeying to the stable. All the shepherds took along gifts for the Christ child, but the little girl had no gift to give. As she lagged behind the others, somewhat sad at heart, there suddenly appeared an angel in a glow of light, who scattered beautiful white roses in her path. Eagerly she gathered them in her arms and laid them at the manger as her gift to the little Lord Jesus. (-- p. 19)
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