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Ninebarrow + Hart Voices - 02 July 2022

Lyrics Sheet

Below you will find the lyrics to the Ninebarrow songs we will be performing tonight.

We do hope you enjoy the concert!

And don't forget to sign up to Hart Voices' mailing list for details of future concerts -

Come January

It’s been a while since I’ve been home.

Last time the sun still held his own against the light.

And while I slept November came

It’s hard remembering warmer days

I’d rather stay here this time round

Safe and hidden without a sound.


Let’s go back there, you and I,

Where the gold sun hits black sky

And we’ll go walking in the rain.

Let’s go back there, you and I,

Where the hills are stretching high towards the sun.

We’ll go walking in the rain

When the days don’t end the same.


This year the trees were given no chance

To wear their feiry capes and dance

Before we had a chance to see

Their coats were ripped - not gold but green - away

Leaving them naked, cold afraid.


Oh there’s something in my mind

The thought of leaving you behind

To have to wear my face and leave

My heart not big enough to heave

The farewell sigh to you and home

And I’ll be coming back alone, come January.


The Hour of the Blackbird

The afternoon both calm and still

The hedgerow bare beneath the hill

Above the oak tree’s lofty frame

Heavy clouds that threaten rain


But below that lonely darksome gloom

The early daffodils in bloom

From the holly bush above the throng

He greets them with his vernal song


From the other trees across the dell

A choir of voices starts to swell

And banish now the thought of rain

And hail the robin, King again!


Names in the Sky

I’ve flown through the dark, above city and sand

Over oceans I’ve soared to where waves meet the land

And I’ll sing as I build, for my children a nest

Oh I’ll sing them the songs that lie deep in my breast


Like my paths in the sky, my songs are all old

And they tell of long journeys escaping the cold

They tell of the old world, the seas and the stone

Oh there’ve been no new songs

for as long as I’ve known


But as I was building with moss and with grass

The Estuary calm and it’s water like glass

A voice so familiar but hidden from view

Sang a song never heard with a tune that was new


They wove us a story of colour and noise,

And they sang about rainbows of friendship,

The joy of adventure and madness

and stars shining bright


About blackbirds that sing in the dead of the night         

And when my chicks hatched,

well I taught them that song

And we sang it together, our voices as one

And as leaves turn to gold, we’ll take to the sky

And journeying south, we’ll sing as we fly.

Names in the sky.


Summer Fires

Look to the hills behind the field

Beyond the corn, our coming yield

And see between the windswept briars

The dancing flames of Summer Fires


You jump high, but I’ll jump higher

We’ll dance tonight across the fire


We’ll lead the ox up the winding track

Until we see the outline black

Of the village church its tall, dark spire

We’ll walk that beast around the fire


We’ll tie the ox to the hawthorn tree

And hitch our clothes up to our knee

As the flames they move in spritely dance

We’ll hold back Winter’s slow advance



On the night train from the city to the south

I saw spirits crawl across the river mouth

In skewed ascension with no destination

Like this lone bachelor in me

This constant yearning for great love and learning

For the wind to carry me free


So when the birds fly south

Reach up and hold their tails

Pull up and out of here and bridle the autumn gales

Down to the burning cliffs, oh, to the unrelenting road

To marry the untold blisses and anchor this lost soul.


From my window I saw two birds lost at sea

I caught a reflection in that silent tragedy

But with hope prevailing I draw galleons sailing

In full sail billowing free


So when the birds fly south . . .


Row On

Clouds are upon the summer sky

There’s thunder in the wind

Pull on, pull on and homeword hie

Ne’er give one look behind


Row on, row on - another day

May shine with brighter light

Ply, ply the oars and pull away

There’s dawn beyond the night


Bear where thou goest the word of love

Say all that words can say

Changeless affection’s strength to prove

But speed upon the way


Like yonder river would I glide

To where my heart would be

My bark would soon outsail the tide

That hurries to the sea


But yet a star shines constant still

Through yonder cloudy sky

And hope as bright my bosom fills

From faith that cannot die


Row on, row on, God speed the way

Thou canst not linger here

Storms hang upon the closing day

Tomorrow may be clear


The Weeds

I look over this land and recall in my mind

How we planted those fields in happier times

Sowing gold corn and barley at the start of the Spring

As we tilled earth together

And dreamed what our harvest would bring


But I was foolish and weak and I cast you aside

Now our fields they have withered, my spirit has died

Now the wind whistles through the old mortar and stone

And I sit here and watch as The Weeds lay their claim to our home


And they grow, grow, grow

They plot to overthrow

I’ve boarded the windows and given the deeds

To the brambles, the creepers, The Weeds.


By the Green Poison Ivy my house has been ‘sacked

Faces of my three children hang crooked and cracked

And the Pink Rhododendron has salted the earth

So that nothing can grow here -

‘Least nothing of any great worth


I look over this house as I sit here alone

It’s your love - not my family - that made it a home

If I’d only looked better at the start of the Spring

We’d still have our fields and the hope of what

Autumn would bring






Coming Home

Dark winter nights are so long,

Being patient and strong

Coming home,

You’ll always be coming home to me


Words crossing oceans and shores

Trying hard to reassure

So many nights still to last

Until we share our future and our pasts

When you’re home


Coming home . . .


I feel the black nights in which you freeze

Fighting for your life against the seas

Trying to be brave and face your fears

Against mountainous seas and passing years

Until you’re home


Coming home . . .


They tell me you were true and brave

Words of worthwhile feats and men you’ve saved

When all I wanted was your fears

To hold you in your weakness, through your tears

And to be home


Coming home . . . To meet again.


Hey, John Barleycorn

John Barleycorn is a hero bold as any in the land,

For ages good his fame has stood

and will forever stand.

The whole wide world respect him

no matter friend or foe,

And where they be that makes too free

he's sure to lay them low.


Hey, John Barleycorn, oh, John Barleycorn,

Old and young thy praise is sung, John Barleycorn.


To see him in his pride of growth

his robes are rich and green,

His head is speared with goodly beard

fit nigh to serve a Queen.

And when the harvest time comes round

and John is stricken down,

He’ll use his blood for England's good

and Englishmen's renown.


The Lord in courtly castle, the Squire in stately hall,

The great of name in birth and fame

on John for succour call.

He bids the troubled heart rejoice,

gives warmth to Nature's cold

Makes weak men strong, makes old men young

and all men brave and bold.


Then shout for great John Barleycorn

nor heed the luscious vine,

I have no mind much charm to find

in a potent draught of wine.

Give me my native nut-brown ale,

all other drinks I'll scorn

For English cheer is English beer,

our own John Barleycorn.



Gathering clouds hang low, cold as the shadows grow

Look with your red-rimmed eyes,

the others take to the skies


There’s mist in he air above

So nestle down deep, my love

We’ll wait while the nights grow long

Here where we both belong


Pale twinkling frost gleams white

Lit by the cold sun’s light

Deep through the gorse we’ll comb

Warm in our heathland home


There’s snow in he air above . . .


Sweet, yellow flowers in bloom

Hung on the dark green broom

Hides our jewels out of sight

Pale, smooth and glossy white


There’s warmth in the air . . .


Songs through the hot day’s light

Fledglings in bobbing flight

Low across sun-baked sand

sprites of this humble land.


There’s life in the air . . .


Under the Fence

My hat is frozen to my head

My heart is like a lump of lead

We’re stranded out here, half starved, half dead

Standing under the fence, oh


Let her in, the man he cried

It’s a cold, haily, windy night, oh

Let her in, the man he cried

Won’t you open up and let her in, oh


Four thousand miles of foreign lands

They braved the roads, the sea, the sands

While politicians wash their hands

Standing under the fence, oh


In a freezing tent, the girl, she sleeps

While muddy snow around her heaps

And his misery as cold and deep

Standing under the fence, oh


But the girl still dreams of friend and school

But life is harsh and fate is cruel

He thinks no one should have dreams at all

Standing under the fence, oh


But the girl still laughs, her smile bright

His lantern in the fading light

And he’ll watch her while she sleeps tonight

Standing under the fence, oh


Farewell Shanty

It is time to go now.

Haul away your anchor. 'Tis our sailing time.


Get some sail upon her.

Haul away your halyards. 'Tis our sailing time.


Get her on her course now.

Haul away your foresheets. 'Tis our sailing time.


Waves are breaking under.

Haul away down-channel. On the evening tide.


When my time is over.

Haul away for Heaven. ‘Tis our resting time.


Sailors All

Watch how the morning comes, the whole world over

Turning the sea to gold, from Rio to Dover.

Each harbour with its ships all trimmed and ready,

Hoping the offshore winds will hold them steady.


And we are sailors all until we've landed

We are both great and small, Sailors all.


And those who fear the storm may not go farther

They will sail round and round within their own harbours

Yes those who brave the seas, believing they've landed, they put down among the reeds,

and find they are stranded.


And we are sailors all . . .


And some may reach their lands

while others may perish

Each taking memories of journeys they cherished


Prickle Eye Bush

Oh, the prickle-eye bush, it pricks my heart full sore

Oh and if ever I get out of this prickle-eye bush

Then I never will get in it any more!


Oh hangman stay your hand, oh stay it for a while

For I think I see my mother coming over yonder stile.

Oh mother, have you brought me gold

Or silver to set me free

For to save my body from the cold, cold ground

And my neck from the gallows tree?


Oh no I haven’t brought you gold

Or silver to set you free

For to save your body from the cold, cold ground

or my neck from the gallows tree.


(Verse 2 - sister)

(Verse 3 - own true love)


Oh yes! I have brought you gold . . .



"Music is the art which is most nigh to tears and memory." Oscar Wilde

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