From The Skein

by Jenny Sturgeon

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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    CD comes in a folding cardboard case and contains 16-page booklet with artwork by Will Miles and information on each track.

    Includes unlimited streaming of From The Skein via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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      £8 GBP  or more

     

1.
Maiden Stone 04:30
Her love went awa' tae the war For two long years he’s gone She’s heard no word not a whisper Was he alive or no? She busied herself wi’ bakin' She made the finest bannocks round Every day working hard at the hoose On Sundays awa' tae the kirk There was a grand young laddie She often would see him there Waiting for her down at the burn He’d ask to walk her hame O’ lassie I’ve fallen for you And I’d like to ask your hand Will you do me the honour And say you’ll become my wife? With little thought of her true love She said she would marry him Was then she spied the fork in his tail She was to be Beelzebub’s bride O’ sir I cannot come wi’ you And live in dark and fire You’ve tricked me and I know it Please break my deal with you I’ll tell you what young maiden I’ll break this deal with you If you bake 100 bannocks By the time this road is through He said he would build a road Fae Bennachie tae her door Knowing her skills at bakin’ She agreed and said no more Early the next morning She rose to mak' the dough In no time at all she had 80 made When there came a knockin’ at the door There stood a man she knew Dressed in the armies coat of blue Was her love back from the war He had returned for her So flustered was she She paid the oven no heed Until she saw the winding road Came snaking up to her door The devil had come for her And demanded she go wi’ him Although he’d won, she refused to go And that was the undoing of her In panic she ran for the hill And in fury he turned her to stone And she’s still there now, the Maiden Stone At the back o’ Bennachie
2.
Raven 03:53
The night is black as the raven’s wing And the cold seeps in, the cold seeps in Many’s the year since they left me Long, long ago there was a fire in my heart Nothing left but ash and dust where they have been And away, away they go Away, away they go The frost she settles on the web The doe she shelters from the cruel, cruel wind Roots find a home in the smallest gap They grow and I carry them on my back Now even ghosts are washed away Their huddled songs are dying flames The voice of wind through broken stone Now the wild will claim your home
3.
Running Free 03:56
To see through your eyes For the first time The early morning comes again And lights a window on the wall The darkness soon forgave you when she saw that smile Brighten up the dreary stars And sleep drains from your head down to your tiny toes To breathe in life and let it grow To see through your eyes For the first time The days brings many happy times To keep the tears and fears at bay Wide eyes are looking high up where the branches sway With dappled light upon your face And touch is like a textbook of the things you learn Absorb and nourish in your stride I will shelter you here in my arms From cautious steps until you’re running, running free You are running, running free To see through your eyes For the first time As night knocks gently at the door The weight of sleep weighs heavy on your eyes Senses tingle with each new, curious sight Alive with colour, laughing all the while
4.
Selkie 04:19
I am a Selkie in the waves you’ll catch me Out beyond the frozen tide I can see you’re far from home now Come with me and sleep tonight I know the coast and I know the tides The underwater world below Listen to these words I tell you I will be your best guide Once my pelt was in your hands And I a prisoner of the land Until I stole my soul back from you Now I have the ocean wide The weather’s gone fae bad tae worse There’s nothing more to see but rain You’d be best to heed my words I’ll guide you to the light of day
5.
The stars are in the sky And the night is fine We’re captured in a glimpse of life it seems The lights whirl above like a hazy dream And there’s nowhere else I’d rather be than here The world is spinning round But our feet are firmly on the ground As geese criss-cross the sky The river flows towards the sea A meeting in the sun On the meadows how the time goes fast The past a tale of how we met And look where we have come
6.
Honest Man 04:18
Away from the wind The stormies come rolling in With little know what The morning will bring A fall from the west There’s easterlies and he’s holding his breath The honest man stands As the salt sea washes over his hands Away to the south She’s leaving She’s leaving And four months later He’s ready to go Back to the mainland At the end of the show Did she fall to her knees When she heard your reprieve? Down at the shore He meets her once more Searching her eyes For a tell-tale sign She smiles at him and his heart starts to sing
7.
Cùlan 05:27
One sister she was dark of heart The other she was full of grace Seinn sgarbh le sgrios gu’n ribhinn ròn de’n cràdh un cùlan gu dilinn ‘dàil A courter came to seek a bride And fell in love with the fairer one The dark girl to an old witch went To learn a sleeping spell o’ O’ sister let me plait your hair And weave it where the green weed grows She sang the song and began to weave As slowly, slowly the tide came in The sea ran up around her knees And o’er her waist, her hands and chest The dark girl watched from a high cliff top The waves they reached her sisters neck As the sea came up to her face sae fair Up came a grey seal by her side At the site where her sister lay Two seals they turned and looked at her As terror seized the dark haired girl There she fell with arms outstretched And by the seals a bird popped up Black as night and wings apart
8.
Linton 04:04
Can’t you see the sun light shining? Heavin', haulin', bound away On Market Square, a dream on paper To speed away, she’ll speed away   From Linton’s plans, with jigs and frames The Leven busy dusk till dawn   Teak and elm are forming now The clipper treasure for the trading   End to end like bricks and mortar Steam bent ribs are carved like wishbones   Brass bolts fasten through her flesh And Nannie Dee fierce o’er the bow   Melt the pitch o’er coal and flames And caulk with oakum on her belly   Sails like clouds pick up the wind ‘Weel done, Cutty-Sark’ he called out   She sits like rays of light in summer And dances lightly o’er the waves
9.
The gulls fly overhead And there’s no-where that I’d rather be instead The ships pass by our sight Their hum a sound to keep out the dark of the night There’s a stillness in the air tonight A stillness in the air For miles it seems that I can see In the dimming of the light We watch the rooves below She puts on a constant show And the seasons pass so fast Our high top view like an hourglass The chimney shrubs and the mossy gutters The whirling swifts too high to see Where nature meets the harbour master On her own territory There’s a hustle and bustle of life Where land meets the sea and the constant turn of the tide, of the tide
10.
Judgement 02:25
You make your judgements first And then you see me For what I wouldn’t give to be free to go I have a name, I’m not another number So look me in the eye And treat me so You make your judgements first But you don’t see me I’m the one sitting here, at your command Your line is guilty Before proven innocent So do me the decency and hear me out I’m tired of fighting A losing corner They say if I disagree, the court’s my stage But from where I am I shouldn’t have to fight To gain my equal right You make your judgements first But you don’t hear me All I want is to stand on my own two feet These notes and letters Support the words I speak So read what’s on that page Don’t write me off
11.
The Honours 02:40
They set oot fae Kinneff Kirk Bridgin' the Fiddle Heid Armed wi skirts and flax and wool To keep the honours three Grainger’s wife and serving maid The Black Hill looming o’er their heids Overton stood fierce and strong Blocking all besieging men But I am just the reverend’s wife Tae see a friend through times of strife So he gave in and let them pass And they gaed doon the narrow path The sceptre tae her distaff wrapped Wi’ carded wool around the shaft The sword inside a skein of flax Tied up right around the hilt The crown in tae a basket laid Covered o’er wi’ fine brocade And back across the narrow path Their hearts weighed wi’ their burden low A line of men stood thick and fast But they walked on with poise and grace Overton he stopped them there Tae help a lady on her mare With honours three they made their flight Smuggled oot in broad daylight
12.
A young lass walks along the shore Free from any shackles And plants her feet firm in the sand Like roots along the tide line The sun sets on the hills of home The nights are fair drawin' in now The leaves are turning, turning o’er And like the swifts they’re gone now The minutes pass and turn to hours The weeks condense to years now To box these dreams and memories We surely set them free o’ She’s tried anger, sadness, joy The cogs they turn to rust But the morning light breaks through the haar The warmth negates the coldness

about

‘From the skein’ is the debut album from singer-songwriter Jenny Sturgeon.

Jenny’s lyrics and album arrangements fuse traditional Scottish folk styles with contemporary influences from her home region - the north east of Scotland. With songs about local history, folklore and modern life, the themes and feelings of the songs ebb and flow through the album, and as a biologist, nature creeps in to all of Jenny’s work.

Jenny weaves melodies with her thoughtful and poignant lyrics. From energetic and spirited songs to delicate ballads and gritty laments, ‘From the skein’ captures the range, depth and imagery of Jenny’s songwriting.

The album was produced by accomplished piano player and songwriter Simon Gall whom Jenny worked with on the critically-acclaimed 2015 Clype album. ‘From the skein’ features Jenny’s regular bandmates and the album co-arrangers — multi-instramentalists Jonny Hardie (Old Blind Dogs), Davy Cattanach (Catford) and Grant Anderson (Brothers Reid). Special guests include Fraser Fifield on whistle and sax, Brian McApline on accordion and cello player Aongus Mac Amhlaigh. Guest vocalists include Indian Carnatic singer Rahul K Ravindran and gaelic singer Ana Maia MacLellan.

credits

released June 10, 2016

Recorded at Studio 1604
Produced by Simon Gall, Jonny Hardie and Grant Anderson
Mixed by Jonny Hardie and Grant Anderson
Mastered by Marc Clement
Artwork by Will Miles and Jenny Sturgeon

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Jenny Sturgeon Scotland, UK

Jenny Sturgeon is a singer-songwriter "who brings together the old and new with a rare skill" (R2 Magazine). Jenny's music is rich with imagery and her songs are bound together by common threads of folklore, nature and the connection people have with the wild. ... more

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