Below are some brief notes relating to each of the songs on The Curious Tide in album order. For those of you who might like a little more background information.

 

Tide - Ebb

A short instrumental introduction to the album and it's theme. The ocean sounds were recorded on minidisc by me at Pretty Beach on the New South Wales south coast

 

Instrumentation

Acoustic guitar and the ocean

 

Blacksmith

Another traditional English song which I first came across on Steeleye Span's Hark the Village Wait

I grew up listening to this music and have always found it inspirational

I am a lover of ballads and by ballads I mean songs with stories not the stuff that they call ballads these days

This song is about a woman who has been slighted by her lover, a blacksmith. He goes away and marries another woman. The slighted ex asks him about his promise to come back and marry her to which he replies "if I said I'd marry you twas only for to try you, so bring your witness now and I'll not deny you"

 

Instrumentation

Vocals and octave mandolins

 

Oliver Glover

As mentioned above I'm a lover of ballads. This is an original song and as close to a ballad as I get

This song is based on a real life character who I have know for many many years and the lyrics are true to the him that I know

 

Instrumentation

Vocals, acoustic guitar, octave mandolin and blues harp

 

Young Edwin in the Lowlands Low

I first heard an Irish version of this song called Young Edmund that Ploughed the Lowlands Low. This is a traditional English version of that song. The lyrics on this song seemed a bit more contemporary than the Irish version which I heard Paul Brady singing a-capella on a solo album he'd recorded in the 1970s

This is a murder ballad about young Edwin who went away and made his fortune ploughing the lowlands low and returned to his lover, Emma. She told him to stay the night in her parent's Inn or Public House but told him not to mention that he was was the Young Edwin who ploughed the Lowlands Low. That night she dreamed she saw Edwin with his blood poured in a stream. The next day she confronted her parents asking them where Edwin was to which the father replied " he is dead no tales he'll tell" to which she replies " then father cruel father you will die a public show for murdering young Edwin that ploughed the lowlands low

 Here I have borrowed the lyrics but have written my own melody and music to accompany them in hopes of lending a more contemporary feel to them

 

Instrumentation

Vocals acoustic guitar, harmonium, frondolica and bowed tenor banjo

 

Methuselah

This song is simply about ageing which is something noone or nothing is immuned to. Unfortunately I often feel we live in an ageist society and rather than respect the ageing process we fear it and treat the elderly oftimes with ignorance

 

Instrumentation

Vocals and acoustic guitar

 

Bill Norrie

This is an English traditional song which I first heard Martin Carthy perform. Another murder ballad the first time I truly listened to the story it brought a tear to my eye. Basically it's about an illegitimate child, now a grown man, Bill Norrie, who was born in secrecy and shame. He asks his friend to go to Bill's mother and ask her to meet him in the green wood. Her husband overhears this and dresses in one of her dresses and rides out to meet Bill in the green wood where he cuts Bill's head off and takes it back to his wife. The wife explains that Bill was in fact her son and the husband..." up and spoke the husband and a sad sad man was he . If i had known he was your son he would not have been killed by me"

 

Instrumentation

Vocals and acoustic guitar

 

Time

A simple little instrumental. What else can I say

 

Instrumentation

Acoustic guitar

 

Belong

This song is really a meditation more than a song about the earth and the cosmos and the natural world and the part we play in it and our delusions

 

Instrumentation

Vocal and octave mandolins

 

Wake

I've often thought about my life and how much of it is spent in a trance. I look around me and see myself mirrored by all these people just going through the motions caught up in their own little worlds oblivious of where and who they really are at any given point in time. We live very much in a world of me me me but ironically the only one who misses out by being so insular is the 'me' in us all. To sum it up I think we are all sleep walking through our lives and too asleep to notice that fact most of the time. So that's what this song is about

 

Instrumentation

Vocals and acoustic guitars

 

Tide - Flow

The tail end sister/brother of the opening track. The closing of the theme

 

Instrumentation

Acoustic guitar and the ocean