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Songs From The Wood

© Ian Anderson 1977


Songs From The Wood

Let me bring you songs from the wood:
To make you feel much better than you could know -
Dust you down from tip to toe -
Show you how the garden grows -
Hold you steady as you go -
Join the chorus if you can:
It'll make of you an honest man.

Let me bring you love from the field:
Poppies red and roses filled with summer rain
To heal the wound and still the pain
That threatens again and again
As you drag down every lovers' lane.
Life's long celebration's here.
I'll toast you all in penny cheer.

Let me bring you all things refined:
Galliards and Lute songs served in chilling ale.
Greeting well-met fellow, hail!
I am the wind to fill your sail.
I am the cross to take your nail:
A singer of these ageless times -
With kitchen prose and gutter rhymes.

[Instrumental]

Songs from the wood - make you feel much better
Songs from the wood - make you feel much better

[Instrumental]

Songs from the wood
Songs from the wood

[Instrumental]

Let me bring you love from the field:
Poppies red and roses filled with summer rain
To heal the wound and still the pain
That threatens again and again
As you drag down every lovers' lane.
Life's long celebration's here.
I'll toast you all in penny cheer.

Songs from the wood - make you feel much better
Songs from the wood - make you feel much better



Jack-in-the-Green

Have you seen Jack-in-the-Green?
- With his long tail hanging down.

He quietly sits under every tree
In the folds of his velvet gown.
He drinks from the empty acorn cup.
The dew that dawn sweetly bestows.
And taps his cane upon the ground -
Signals the snow drops, it's time to grow

It's no fun being Jack-in-the-Green:
No place to dance, no time for song.
He wears the colours of the summer soldier;
And carries the green flag all the winter long.

Jack do you never sleep - does the green still run deep in your heart?
Or will these changing times, motorways, powerlines, keep us apart?
Well, I don't think so.
I saw some grass growing through the pavements today.

The Rowan, the Oak and the Holly tree
Are the charges left for him to groom.

Each blade of grass whispers, "Jack-in-the-Green."
"Oh Jack, please help me through my winter's night."
And - "We are the berries on the Holly tree:
Oh, the Mistle Thrush is coming. Jack, put out the light!"



Cup of Wonder

May I make my fond excuses for the late-ness of the hour;
But we accept your invitation, and would bring you Beltane's flower.
For the May Day is the great day, sung along the old straight track.
And those who ancient lines did ley will heed this song that calls them
back.

Pass the word and pass the lady and pass the plate to all who hunger.
And pass the wit of ancient wisdom, pass the Cup of Crimson Wonder.
And pass the Cup of Crimson Wonder.

Ask the Green Man where he comes from, ask the cup that fills with red.
Ask the old grey standing stones who show the sun his way to bed.
Question all as to their ways, and learn the secrets that they hold.
Walk the lines of Nature's palm, crossed with silver and with gold.

Pass the cup and pass the lady and pass the plate to all who hunger.
And pass the wit of ancient wisdom, pass the Cup of Crimson Wonder.
And pass the Cup of Crimson Wonder.

[Instrumental]

Join in black December's sadness, lie in August's welcome corn.
Stir the cup that's ever filling with the blood of all that's born.
But the May Day is the great day, sung along the old straight track.
And those who ancient lines did ley will heed this song that calls them
back.

Pass the word and pass the lady and pass the plate to all who hunger.
And pass the wit of ancient wisdom, pass the Cup of Crimson Wonder.
And pass the Cup of Crimson Wonder.



Hunting Girl

[Instrumental]

One day I walked the road and crossed a field to go by where the hounds ran
hard.
And on the master raced: behind the hunters chased to where the path was
barred.
One fine young lady's horse refused the fence to clear.
I unlocked the gate but she did wait until the pack had disappeared.

Crop-handle carved in bone; sat high upon a throne of finest English
leather.
The Queen of all the Pack: this joker raised his hat and talked about the
weather.
All should be warned about this high-born Hunting Girl.
She took this simple man's downfall in hand; I raised the flag that she
unfurled.

Boot leather flashing and spur-necks the size of my thumb.
This high-born hunter had tastes as strange as they come.

Unbridled passion: I took the bit in my teeth.
Her standing over: me on my knees underneath.

[Instrumental]

My lady, be discrete. I must get to my feet and go back to the farm.
Whilst I appreciate you are no deviate, I might come to some harm.
I'm not inclined to acts refined, if that's how it goes.
Oh, high-born Hunting Girl, I'm just a normal low-born so-and-so.



Ring Out, Solstice Bells

Now is the solstice of the year. Winter is the glad song that you hear.
Seven maids move in seven time. Have the lads up ready in the line.
Ring out these bells. Ring out, ring Solstice Bells.
Ring, Solstice Bells.

Join together 'neath the Mistle-toe. By the Holly oak where-on it grows.
Seven Druids dance in seven time. Sing the song the Bells call loudly
chime.
Ring out these bells. Ring out, ring Solstice Bells.
Ring, Solstice Bells.

Ring out. Ring out the Solstice Bells.
Ring out. Ring out the Solstice Bells.

Praise be to the distant sister Sun. Joyful as the silver planets run.
Seven maids move in seven time. Sing the song the Bells call loudly chime.
Ring out those bells. Ring out, ring Solstice Bells.
Ring, Solstice Bells.

Ring out!
Ring out!
Ring out!
Ring out!

[Instrumental]



Velvet Green

Walking on Velvet Green - Scots Pine growing.
Isn't it rare to be taking the air, sinning -
Walking on Velvet Green.

Walking on Velvet Green - distant cows lowing.
Never a care; with your legs in the air, loving -
Walking on Velvet Green.

Won't you have my company, yes, take it in your hands.
Go down on Velvet Green, with a country-man.
Who's a young girl's fancy and an old maid's dream.
Tell your mother that you walked all night on Velvet Green.

One dusky half-hour's ride up to the north.
There lies your reputation and all that you're worth.
Where the scent of wild roses turns the milk to cream.
Tell your mother that you walked all night on Velvet Green.

And the long grass blows in the evening cool.
And August's rare delight may be April's fool.
But think not of that my love, I'm tight against the seam.
And I'm growing up to meet you down on Velvet Green.

[Instrumental]

Now I may tell you that it's love and not just lust.
And if we live the lie, let's lie in trust.
On golden daffodils, to catch the silver stream
That washes out the wild oat seed on Velvet Green.

We'll dream as lovers under the stars:
Of civilizations raging afar.
And the ragged dawn breaks on your battle scars
As you walk home cold and alone upon Velvet Green.

Walking on Velvet Green - Scots Pine growing.
Isn't it rare to be taking the air, sinning -
Walking on Velvet Green.

Walking on Velvet Green - distant cows lowing.
Never a care; with your legs in the air, loving -
Walking on Velvet Green.

[Instrumental]



The Whistler

I'll buy you six bay mares, to put in your stable;
Six golden apples bought with my pay.
I am the first piper who calls the sweet tune
But I must be gone by the seventh day.

So come on - I'm the Whistler. I have a fife and a drum to play.
Get ready - for the Whistler. I whistle along on the seventh day.
Whistle along on the seventh day.

All kinds of sadness I've left behind me.
Many's the day when I have done wrong.
But I'll be yours for ever and ever.
Climb in the saddle and whistle along.

So come on - I'm the Whistler. I have a fife and a drum to play.
Get ready - for the Whistler. I whistle along on the seventh day.
Whistle along on the seventh day.

[Instrumental]

Deep red are the sunsets in mystical places.
Black are the nights on summer-day sands.
We'll find the speck of truth in each riddle:
Hold the first grain of love in our hands

So come on - I'm the Whistler. I have a fife and a drum to play.
Get ready - for the Whistler. I whistle along on the seventh day.
So come on - I'm a Whistler. I have a fife and a drum to play.
Get ready - for the Whistler. I whistle along on the seventh day.
Whistle along on the seventh day.

[Instrumental]



Pibroch (Cap in Hand)

[Instrumental]

There's a light in the house, in the wood in the valley.
There's a thought in the head, of the man.
Who carries his dreams, like the coat slung on his shoulder,
Bringing you love, in the cap in his hand.

And each step he takes, is one half of a life-time:

No word he would say, could you understand.
So he bundles his regrets, into a gesture of sorrow,
Bringing you love, cap in hand.

[Instrumental]

Catching breath, as he looks through the dining-room window:
Candle-lit table, for two has been laid.
Strange slippers by the fire:
Strange boots in the hall-way.
Put my cap on my head - I turn, and walk away.

[Instrumental]



Fire at Midnight

I believe in fires at midnight, when the dogs have all been fed.
A golden toddy on the mantle; a broken gun beneath the bed.
Silken mist outside the window -
Frogs and newts slip in the dark.
Too much hurry ruins a body:
I'll sit easy; fan the spark.

Kindled by the dying embers, of another working day.
Go upstairs: take off your make-up -
Fold your clothes neatly away.
Me, I'll sit and write this love song
As I all too seldom do -
Build a little fire this midnight.
It's good to be back home with you.

[Instrumental]

Kindled by the dying embers, of another working day.
Go upstairs: take off your make-up -
Fold your clothes neatly away.
Me, I'll sit and write this love song
As I all too seldom do -
Build a little fire this midnight.
It's good to be back home with you.




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