King of Birds

Another beautiful song from the extremely talented Karine Polwart.  

This comes with a big nod of thanks and respect to the Occupy Movement, especially at St Paul’s in London, for ringing a bell that needs ringing. The king of birds in mythology is The Wren, a motif for Sir Christopher. The song tracks the symbolism of St Paul’s cathedral set against the backdrop of The Great Fire of London, The Blitz and The City of today.

King of Birds

At Ludgate Hill
on the cracked and blackened cobbles of the town
the ashes fall to rest
As the tiny King of Birds he flutters down
to build a citadel
to light glory in the dark
and from hell
to breath hope in every heart

At Ludgate Hill
through the siren screams the heavens burn again
the city holds its breath
as the tiny little king in slumber bed
arises from the dust
to light glory in the dark
and through the frost
to breathe hope in every heart

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The Blacksmith

The immortal Andy Irvine from Planxty performing an incredible one-man version of The Blacksmith. It’s one of my favorites. (The Déanta version of this one isn’t too bad either!) Stick around at about 3:20 for some awesome playing.

The Blacksmith

A blacksmith courted me,
Nine months and better.
He fairly won my heart,
Wrote me a letter.
With his hammer in his hand,
He looked quite clever.
And if I was with my love,
I’d live for ever.

But where is my love gone,
With his cheeks like roses?
And his good black Billycock on,
Decked round with primroses?
I’m afraid the scorching sun,
Will shine and burn his beauty.
And if I was with my love,
I’d do my duty.

Strange news is come to town.
Strange news is carried.
Strange news flies up and down:
That my love is married.
I wish them both much joy,
Though they can’t hear me.
And may God reward him well,
For the slighting of me.

Don’t you remember when,
You lay beside me?
And you said you’d marry me,
And not deny me?
If I said I’d marry you,
It was only for to try you.
So bring your witness love,
And I’ll not deny you.

No witness have I none,
Save God Almighty.
And may he reward you well,
For the slighting of me.
Her cheeks grew pale and wan,
It made her poor heart tremble
To think she loved that one,
And he proved deceitful.

A blacksmith courted me,
Nine months and better.
He fairly won my heart,
Wrote me a letter.
With his hammer in his hand,
He looked quite clever.
And if I was with my love,
I’d live forever.