Category Archives: Music


For every breath that leaves me now
Another comes to fill me
And for every death that grieves me now
The next will surely kill me
For those borders crumble every day
The faultlines are showing
And all I thought was here to stay
Slowly is going.

Faultlines, Karine Polwart


Just to let you know, I am still alive, although at times during the last week I’ve felt half dead. I’ve been in work continuously this past week. Or at least, its felt like that. I did a 12 hour day shift, 3 12 hour night shifts, a study day which started 24 hours after I’d finished nights, and then I did another 2 12 hour day shifts. All in a row. I think it’s fair to say that work is busier now than I’ve ever known it. And with a continuous big queue of patients trying to get in, it doesn’t ever let off. It’s called winter. It just seems worse than last winter. Maybe because I wasn’t taking as much responsibility then, and wasn’t as aware of the bigger picture. Anyway, I’ve got 3 days off now and I intend to enjoy them!

Tonight I’m introducing Mr B to Show of Hands. I’m really looking forward to it, and I think he’ll like them too. Tomorrow we’re tackling Christmas cards, probably going to the cinema and I’d like to go to the allotment. And then on Sunday my housemate, who is a chef, is cooking a thankgiving roast for a group of our friends. Before this packed weekend, I’m trying to get some paper work done for work… but as you can see, I’m procrastinating. Oops.

Steve, Phil, Billy and Kate

So I had my mini-festival last week with Show of Hands, Billy Bragg and Kate Rusby three nights in a row. And in short, it was amazing!

Show of Hands was in Pontardawe Arts Centre, and I went with Mountain Boy, YC, B, Ramblin’ Folkie and Mr Folkie (and we found P&P there). The venue has everyone sitting round tables on the ground floor, and the 8 of us were sat together on a table of our own, which was cool, especially when it led to some timely giggles. Show of Hands were on top form, with an impressive 10 instruments between the 3 of them (Miranda Skyes came on for the second half), all of which were played with fantastic skill.

Next was Billy Bragg. Its a long story, but basically A and I got complementary tickets courtesy of the venue. And very good tickets at that – right in the middle, about 8 rows from the front, in a large hall. Billy was great. I’m used to hearing his songs at silly am, on a friend’s guitar, at SCM events. But he was right there, with his music, political views and anecdotes – and the hecklers weren’t in short supply! When starting with The World Turned Upside Down and finishing with A New England you can’t go far wrong!

Finally was Kate Rusby. I’d never heard her live – I listen to her music regularly from my itunes, and heard she was something else live. But wow. She was absolutely amazing. It was in the same large hall, but this time we were sat in the second row from the front!!! She really was right in front of us! I went with a KateVirgin, which was cool because she thought she was great too. She had a very good, natural rapport with the audience too – although unlike the previous two nights, there weren’t any hecklers (coincidence or difference in audiences??). The best bit was the encore when she sang The Village Green Preservation Society and Sandy Denny’s Who knows where the Time Goes.

Kimya Dawson

Went to see Juno last week and loved the soundtrack so much that I bought it when I got home. It arrived this weekend and I’ve discovered that my favourite songs on it are all by Kimya Dawson, an American folk artist, and after browsing her website, I’m even more impressed. Shes worth checking out.

No Names

Take my hand my dear
We know that the time it is near
Be strong and be brave, my dear
Let me go now,let me go

How it came to this
It’s not clear
Long and lonely nights
Now I fear
Though I need your hand to hold,
My dear
Let me go now, let me go
Let me go now, let me go

Take my hand my dear
We were drifting year after year
When we tried our best to fly, my dear
Let me go now, let me go

How it came to this
It’s not clear
Long and lonely night
Now i fear
Be strong and be brave
My dear
Let me go now,let me go
Let me go now,let me go

Take my hand my dear
Love takes us far away from here
Tell me once again so I hear
Let me go now, let me go
Let me go now, let me go

Let me go now, let me go
Let me go now, let me go

Kate Rusby.

Change Your World

Are you down to your last ray of hope,
Well they say that’s the moment things turn around,
Don’t you give up the fight, you can cope,
you can be so amazingly strong

And you can’t let go
You have come so far
And I know that its been rough
But your patience has to pay
And it can’t be soon enough
And if I could have my way
I would change your world
I’d change it right away
I want to change your world

And you’re tired of chasing love
‘cos it never seems to stay
and it can’t be soon enough
and if I could have my way
I would change your world
I’d change it right away

Are you down to your last drop of love
Even so you should give it away
Let it sail with your dreams to the sun
And return to your laden with promise

Are you down to your last weary smile
So put it on now and wear it with dignity
It’s time to walk one more mile
Very soon there are going to be changes

Change Your World, Martyn Joseph.

Catch up

I know the last post said I was at the end of an era, but it's not the end of this blog! Sorry I haven’t posted for a while, I’ve been a bit busy. Since my last post I have moved house, been camping and half decorated a study.

My parents came down to Swansea and picked up all my stuff for me, taking it back to Manchester and dumping it in my room. I went off to Cropredy camping for 3 days and had an amazing time celebrating Fairport's 40th Birthday in a completely sold out Cropredy. I then came back to Swansea for one night to celebrate another birthday, although 10 years younger, before catching a train back to Manchester. Arriving in my room at home, I was greeted by boxes, rucksacks, suitcases and plastic bags – all with my stuff in! I'm only actually living in Manchester for 3 weeks, but there was no way I could live in the room in that state, for more than about a day. So I then spent several days unpacking and sorting through not only the stuff I had in Swansea, but the stuff that I hadn't taken to uni in the first place! My room is thankfully now a lot more live-able in, although as my dad says – it seems to be the only tidy room in the house! I did leave some of my stuff in my room… honestly… I have also chucked / recycled / given to charity, loads of stuff, and safely secured the parts of my childhood I wanted to keep.

This week my Dad has been starting to decorate the study room behind our garage. He tends to be notoriously slow about these things, and it has been one of the causes of stress in this house recently, so whenever I'm not sorting stuff or doing SCM stuff, I have been helping him out with it. The wall paper has mostly been stripped off, on the walls and the ceiling, and everything needs fresh paper applying (there are too many cracks in the walls to paint them and the ceiling needed redoing thanks to a leaky roof). My Dad suddenly realised that I was going away tomorrow and would be unable to help him, and the ceiling paper will need 2 people to apply it. So he said either we paper it tonight or we leave it for 2 weeks until I'm back. And I know which my Mum would prefer… Only problem is that we haven't bought any paper yet. So tonight we're off wallpaper shopping and will probably be up late wall papering the ceiling. Fun, fun fun!

Anyway, I'd better be off. Hope to see some readers at Greenbelt – I'm all packed for it because I'm going there via Swansea tomorrow! Ooh, exciting…

Feel Good List

I recently borrowed the Chris While and Julie Matthews CD, Here and Now, from a friend. It has lots of good music on it, but my favourite has to be ‘Feel Good List’ which is about all the things in the world that make you feel good. It reminded me of an ‘other things to think about list’ which myself and this same friend created for each other last year, and I decided to expand it into my very own Feel Good List:

* Greenbelt
* Spending time with good friends
* Martyn Joseph live
* Cycling around Swansea (the flatter bits)
* The beach and looking out to sea
* Chatting to and spending time with John
* Watching sunsets and sunrises
* Show of Hands in the Albert Hall
* Strawberry picking (and eating)
* Girlie pub trips with wine
* Kite flying
* Singing silly songs at SCM events
* Feeling like you’re actually doing something to help someone
* Karine Polwart, Kate Rusby and Cara Dillon’s music – preferably live
* Sitting on the top of a hill, having just climbed it
* Spending time with children
* Camping
* Feeling like I can be me
* Ice cream
* Laughing lots

There Were Roses, by Cara Dillon

My song for you this evening, it’s not to make you sad
Nor for adding to the sorrows of our troubled northern land
But lately I’ve been thinking and it just won’t leave my mind
I’ll tell you of two friends on the time who were both good friends of mine

Isaac he was Protestant and Sean was Catholic born
But it never made a difference, for the friendship it was strong
And sometimes in the evening when we heard the sound of drums
We said it won’t divide us, we will always be as one

There were roses, roses
There were roses
And the tears of a people ran together

It was on a Sunday morning when the awful news came round
Another killing had been done just outside Newry Town
We knew that Isaac danced up there, we knew he liked the band
But when we heard that he was dead we just could not understand

Now fear it filled the countryside there was fear in every home
When late at night a car came prowling round the Ryan Road
A Catholic would be killed tonight to even up the score
Oh Christ it’s young McDonald they have taken from the door

There were roses, roses
There were roses
And the tears of a people ran together

Isaac was my friend he cried he begged them with his tears
But centuries of hatred have ears that do not hear
An eye for an eye that was all that filled their minds
And another eye for another eye till everyone was blind

I don’t know where the moral is or where this song should end
But I wonder just how many wars are fought between good friends
And those who give the orders are not the ones to die
It’s Scott and young McDonald and the likes of you and I

There were roses, roses
There were roses
And the tears of a people ran together

Thanks to a friend who has recently introduced me to more of Cara Dillon’s music. This song is so powerful and heartfelt. Its incredible. An eye for an eye that was all that filled their minds, And another eye for another eye till everyone was blind.


So turn me tender again
Fold me into you
Turn me tender again
And mould me to new
Faith lost its promise
And bruised me deep blue
Turn me tender again
Through union with you

(Martyn Joseph, Turn me Tender)

Faith is a funny thing. You can have faith, enough to pass all your burdens, troubles and worries over to Him. So that your load is lighter and to build your strength and coping power up. But you need a lot more faith and self control, to stop it coming back on your own shoulders. Its a vicious circle.

In recent weeks I have handed over my worries to Him countless times. Said ‘there you go, you can carry that bag for me’, and felt better for it everytime. I just can’t keep it off. Within several days, I’m back to worrying about stuff again. So I have to ask Him to relieve me again. Which is fine, because it works, and its amazing that I *can* take the weight off reasonably easily.

The other morning I woke up with the song words at the top of this post in my head. And they’d never really meant anything to me before, but just then they did. ‘Turn me tender again, and mould me to new. Faith lost its promise and bruised me deep blue. Turn me tender again, through union with you.’ It just summed up what I needed to do. I just wish I had stronger faith, so I didn’t have to keep on renewing it.