I've loved this song since exploring my dad's record collection (incl. The Incredible String Band) as a teenager. I spent some time working up a version in Rule of Three with John Somerville and Ali Hutton - it was brilliant, but this isn't it. This version is a bit quieter and more contemplative and has formed part of the backdrop to my experience of the natural surroundings in the Yarrow valley. Nature is all-pervasive in that it effects and embodies the inner workings of our minds, psyches and emotions - Williamson has this nailed.
Isn't autumn just stunningly beautiful though? There's beauty and elegance in decay, as well as in renewal.
I'll sing you this October song,
Oh, there is no song before it.
The words and tune are none of my own,
for my joys and sorrows bore it.
Beside the sea the brambly briars
In the still of evening,
Birds fly out behind the sun,
and with them I'll be leaving.
The fallen leaves that jewel the ground,
They know the art of dying,
And leave with joy their glad gold hearts,
In scarlet shadows lying.
When hunger calls my footsteps home,
morning follows after,
I swim the seas within my mind,
And the pine trees laugh green laughter.
I used to search for happiness,
I used to follow pleasure,
But I found a door behind my mind,
And that's the greatest treasure.
For rulers like to lay down laws,
And rebels like to break them,
And the poor priests like to walk in chains,
And God likes to forsake them.
I met a man whose name was Time,
And he said, "I must be goin,"
But just how long ago that was,
I have no way of knowing.
Sometimes I want to murder time,
Sometimes when my heart's aching,
But mostly I just stroll along,
The path that he is taking.
released October 27, 2017
Song by Robin Williamson
Arranged by Lori Watson and Duncan Lyall
Vocals by Lori Watson
Guitar by Steven Byrnes
Wurlitzer by Duncan Lyall
Recorded and mixed by Duncan Lyall
Mastered by Nick Cooke
Birds by Jennifer Austin
Just getting back into folk music. In my folking days it was Nic Jones, Martin Carthy, Dick Gaughan, the Dansfields etc., and I was afraid there wouldn't be anything as good around today. I was wrong. This is beautiful and stands with the best. Del Buck