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about

definition: Edgelark (verb) – to sing about or from the margins

This album is about transitional spaces. Liminal places, people and times, the straddling of boundaries and thresholds; crossroads and borderlands; travellers and refugees; dusk and dawn. The pause between an old way and a new. The idea that, despite often being places of marginalisation, these are also places of change – and therefore places of hope. That, when social norms break down, when you are between two established worlds, there is a chance for new perspectives. That in the end, we have far more in common than things that divide us, because we are all liminal – we are all standing on the threshold of tomorrow. We are all just passing through.

credits

released October 6, 2017

Hannah Martin – lead vocals, banjo, tenor guitar, fiddle, viola, shruti box
Phillip Henry – vocals, Dobro, Weissenborn, Chatturangui, harmonica, acoustic and electric guitar, tenor guitar, electric lap steel, shruti box
John Elliott – drums, percussion, piano, Moog synth, harmonium
Lukas Drinkwater – electric bass, double bass
Niall Robinson - tabla

Recorded May 2017 at Cube Recording, Cornwall.
Produced by Phillip Henry and John Elliott.
Engineered, mixed and mastered by Gareth Young.
Assistant engineer Matt Conybeare.

All lyrics by Hannah Martin, all music by Martin / Henry, except What's The Life of a Man? and Estren, trad. arr. Martin / Henry.
Photography and sleeve design by Elly Lucas.

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all rights reserved

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about

Edgelarks: Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin UK

Edgelarks fly in on the tailwind of BBC award winning duo Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin. The new band name comes with a new project, taking the roots of their previous work - British traditional musics, Indian classical slide guitar, stomping roots beatbox harmonica party; adds a strong stem of original writing; and runs wilder with each gig. Edgelarks will be launched Autumn 2017... ... more

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Track Name: Landlocked
Give me a wave, give me the rolling sea
I once was lost, but at least I was free

Refrain
I saw the world from between the stern and prow
I sailed the sea, but I am landlocked now

Born by the sea, always the sea at my side
Meaning the end of things, the end of earthly ties
For me, the salt, the wind and the wave
For me, the horizon, the start of a new day

Refrain

I had two men, two men of constant sorrow
They gave me rings, their names for to borrow
I gave them girls, to take their sorrows on
But they heard the bell toll, and could not hold on

Refrain

I sewed the shirts, and I loaded the guns
I sewed the wounds, fought as hard as any man
But I am no man, and for this my voyage ends
Lest I bring bad luck, I must walk on earth again

Refrain

They fear bad luck on the brine
But the bad luck is all mine
For to be born a woman is to be born
Swimming with your hands tied

And these small souls, hauled from the sea
I carry them with me through the streets
I sell them off, with the loud cries of the game
But I whisper to them, our fate has been the same

For I once was a wave, I once was the rolling sea
Deep as the ocean, free as the fish were free
But I was caught, I was hooked somehow,
And now all my song is, I am landlocked now
I am landlocked

Give me the sea, with it's endless shifting change
I run from the earth, which will always be the same
I'd rather live, and face the storm, and drown,
Than just exist, and be buried six feet down.
Track Name: No Victory
There's no words on my tongue
No notes to your song
Oh my dear, the drought has come

They've fenced in all your skies
No greetings, only goodbyes
There's no day after today
Only the long and winding way
There's no return, no turning back
Only the stumble down this long track

There's no words on my tongue
No notes to your song
Only closed shutters behind your eyes
There's no welcome, only goodbyes
You say, say my dear, the day is won
But there's no victory, there's no victory

So go, go, count your dead
There's no home, no place to rest your head
The battle over, the river dry
No more to say, no more tears to cry
No beginnings, no winner's thrill
To them the spoils, to us the kill
No clean hands, no place to hide
To us the hollow of the day that we all died.
Track Name: Signposts
We left our home,
We went out wandering
We came to a valley,
On the other side of the world

There's a lady in the valley,
She's built her life from apple trees
The strongest, sweetest wood,
Their roots run wondrous deep

She walks with the earth,
The fruit grows strong upon her trees
These branches could hold me here
On the other side of the world

Chorus
Everybody's looking for a signpost
Everybody wants to know
How far they have come
How far they still have to go
I'm fifteen miles from Paradise
But I'm heading on down the road
I'm only five miles from Nowhere Else
And I'm a long, long way from home

There's Joy, out walking
With Bluey in the fields,
Yes, Joy here is thriving
On the other side of the world

I never thought I'd miss the rain
Of another, colder harbour
But my bones remember I was born
On the other side of the world

Chorus

There are songs I am singing
Of greeting and remembering
The paths that I have walked
On the other side of the world

There are songs I am singing
Of greeting and remembering
Perhaps one day I will return
To the other side of the world

Chorus
Track Name: Undelivered
I have gone away, I knew you would not wish me stay
My fairweather friend
Though I would write you back again
You came with the sun, you left with the rain x2

Chorus
So I send what I can, that careful words may move a man
Though I send you my love, it lies there undelivered

I carry what little I can, the pen and paper in my hand
The plans that we had laid, the beginnings of the child we made
Though ink may stain, ink may fade,
Ink may bring you back again x2

Chorus

Your son is coming soon, he'll be delivered by the stars and moon
I will write you once again, tell you of his eyes, tell you his name
Though the letter will lie and not be claimed
For you came with the night, you left with the day x2

Chorus

There's a trunk somewhere in store, keeping our secrets by the score
Three hundred years or more, our letters' silent, ceaseless roar
From desperate hands, our secrets spilled
Our letters sit, unanswered still x2

Chorus

All the things this life sends, all the beginnings, all the ends
To be lost inbetween, an uncollected, long lost dream
A lonely voice amongst the stream
Unanswered questions meet the air
And leave you neither here nor there
They leave you neither here nor there

Chorus
Track Name: Yarls's Wood
I walked through the hard lands
Dreamed of forests green
I walked through the deserts
Prayed for trees

Then I came to this country
Land of hope and glory
Then I came to Yarl's Wood
And I dreamed no more of trees

A tree has many branches
Reaching for the sky
A tree has roots that run deep
Shelters many different lives

Then I came to this country
Mother of the free
Then I came to Yarl's Wood
And I dreamed no more of trees

I made the choice, that is no choice
And so I left my home
Perhaps to find some new nest
Now that my own is gone

Then I came to this country
They cut the corners from the sky
Then I came to Yarl's Wood
And no more dreamed I.
Track Name: Caravans
When first we met, we lived out of town
By St John in the Wilderness
We were living by the air
We didn't need to stop or rest

We were playing at gypsy living
Walking barefoot out on the road
Looking for the deer by twilight
We didn't care what was bought and sold

It was a small disused caravan,
And we filled it with guitars
Who needs walls of concrete,
When all you want is to look at the stars?

And when the crash came, it didn't matter, for we thought
Those were the chains we'd refused,
And losing it all isn't something you fear
When you have nothing to lose
Losing it all isn't something you fear
When you have nothing to lose

You had to walk up the hill for water,
And one night as I was washing plates
I heard a sob from the corner,
And I never will forget her face, she said

We were normal people,
Two jobs, a house, and three kids
Then the crash came, and took it all,
And now it's eighteen months we've lived like this
It's eighteen months we've lived like this

A dream can come and light you up
A dream can drive you with it's will
Dreams can give, but dreams can take
Dreams can live, but dreams can kill

A stranger came to Exmouth town,
Dreaming of a life of wealth
Did he know a fortune is always built
On the bended back of someone else?

A stranger came to Exmouth town,
He played the game so well you see
What did he know of caravans?
What did he know of you or me?

A stranger came to Exmouth town
He saw the houses built on sand
The rich they dream their money grows,
What do they know of caravans?
What do they know of caravans?

A dream can come and light you up
A dream can drive you with it's will
Dreams can give, but dreams can take
Dreams can live, but dreams can kill
Dreams can live, but dreams can kill...
Track Name: Estren
I'm a stranger in this country, from America I come,
There's no-one here does know me, they do not know my name
I'm a stranger in this country, I'll tarry here a while
And then I'll ramble further, for many a long while

Some say that I am rakish, and some do call me wild;
Some say that I am rakish, and many maids beguiled;
But to prove that I am loyal, come on sweet love with me;
I'll take you to America, my darling you shall be.

Oh give my love to Polly, the maiden I adore,
And give my love to Sally, although she is so poor,
And give my love to Betty, my love and my delight;
My love likewise to Hetty, I dream of her at night.

The moon shall set in darkness, the stars shall give no light,
If ever I deceitful prove, to my dear heart's delight
All in the midst of ocean, shall spring the myrtle tree,
If ever I unfaithful prove to her that goes with me.
Track Name: Iceberg
Iceberg, collecting lives beneath the sea
Iceberg, collecting bones down in the deep
Iceberg, blind as snow, white as grief
Iceberg, so many colours hidden underneath

And then you hide, beneath the sea
And the tide washes over me

Iceberg, she says you've changed, you keep her warm
Iceberg, so where's the melt? Where is the thaw?

You say it's fine, no marks can be seen
You say she's alive, because she's breathing

I'll find an icebreaker

Iceberg, but she'll learn to swim, she'll learn to dive
Iceberg, she'll dive deep, and then you cannot hide

And so I sing, as the boat goes down
Who will swim? Who will drown?

And so you hide beneath the sea,
You've tried, you've tried, but you won't have me
And so you hide beneath the sea,
She'll dive, she'll open her eyes and see
Track Name: Song of the Jay
Said the Jay, he was my brother,
Though we had feathers of a different colour
Though his land was different from my own,
And from different eggs we had grown
Still, he was my brother,
And we mourn him just the same

Chorus
Once we dreamed of wings, the lightest secrets of flying things
Now earth holds us down, and we close our eyes
But just as all who fly, with wings unclipped they should see the sky
I will let the tears roll, for all who fall

Said the Jay, we'll sing the song
Of all his loves and his battles, his whole life long
All the air he held beneath his wing,
All the joy he did bring
We'll sing his song,
And we'll mourn him just the same

Chorus

Said the Jay, hear me scold,
To bring all our kind to the memory of his soul,
A stranger, or friend, you have never known
From a distant land he may have flown
Still, hear me scold
For we'll mourn him just the same

Chorus
Track Name: Borders
She walks across the mountains
Leaving footprints that get swept away
I cannot see her face, I do not know her name

The world has only made it's turn
Five times beneath her feet
They carry her when the miles are too long for the day

Chorus
Could you tear the map apart?
Erase the borders where they start
These lines we draw in the sand
Are only made by human hands

Children of the shadows,
Of the borderlands
Their parents' sent them, because to hope was better than to stay

Chorus

Five year olds they learn to read,
Five year olds learn wrong from right
Five year olds they sleep outside, and skip borders in the night

And it's only by some lucky chance
Some accident of birth
That I only know another side of this earth

Chorus
Repeat verse 1.
Track Name: What's the Life of a Man?
As I was a walking one morning at ease
A-viewing the leaves that had fell from the trees
All in one motion appearing to be
And those that had withered, they fell from the tree

Chorus
What's the life of a man, any more than a leaf?
A man has his seasons, so why should he grieve?
For though in this world, we appear fine and gay
Like the leaves we must wither, and soon fade away

If you'd have seen the trees but a few days ago
How beautiful and green they all seemed to grow
A frost came upon them, and withered them all
A storm came upon them, and down they did fall

Chorus

If you look in the churchyard, there you will see
Those that have passed like a leaf from the tree
Age and affliction upon them did call
Like the leaves they did wither, and down they did fall

Chorus
Track Name: The Good Earth
Down in the good earth I will lay me low
When my roots are deep, and tall I have grown
All the scattered seeds of my windblown days
Their new shoots show I am not far away

Though each tree must fall, it's seeds will grow
By the seasons' turn, new leaves will show
We are the brief and enduring clay
The small gods of the undiminished day

In the scatter of the forest floor, in the deep leaf mould,
Something new for something old
Ancestors of our common ground
Turn something lost into something found

We are the cold air, the empty space
Our time is short in this hurried place
But we grow on old wood, we are the links in the chain
In the deep and good earth we do remain

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