Before I Crack

by The Bookshop Band

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01:42
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03:49
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03:42
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11.
02:33
12.
13.
03:39
14.

about

An album responding to authors that write about the world through young eyes, growing pains and growing joys, about finding your voice and not letting life and others take it away. Songs inspired by The Fields (Kevin Maher), Paper Aeroplanes (Dawn O’Porter), Maggie and Me (Damian Barr), Enchantment (Pietro Grossi), Breath (Tim Winton - reads), The Last Summer Of Us (Maggie Harcourt), The Winter King (Thomas Penn).

credits

released March 2, 2017

All songs written by Beth Porter, Poppy Pitt and Ben Please, except track 13 which uses some of Shakespeare’s words and tracks 2 & 3, written by Beth Porter and Ben Please. The extract from Perfect by Rachel Joyce is included by kind permission of the author. Tracks 1, 5, 6, 7, 11 and 12 recorded at Chelvey Court with engineering by James King. Tracks 2 recorded at Christchurch (Rode). Tracks 3 and 8 recorded at Ashley Manor. Track 4, 9 and 10 recorded at Realworld Studios. Track 13 recorded in St Bridget’s Church (Chelvey). String arrangements by Beth Porter.
Mastered by Marco Migliari
Artwork by Nina-Marie Braisby
Inside photos taken at Barter Books & Wigtown (by John Ruddock).
Case design and layout by Ben Please
Cases printed and cut by Opal Print, inserts by Richard Lawrence, disks by Key Production.
Those who directly helped with the album production were Marco Migliari, Emma Hooper, Rachel Joyce, all the musicians who played with us, Brauner microphones and Louis Austin, Microtech Gefell GmbH microphones and Sound Link Pro Audio, Leigh Haggerwood, James King, Richard Evans, Will Cookson, Steve Belgrave, Mike Hillier, Stuart Bruce, Chris Hughes and Ashley Manor, Universal Audio, UA Digital and Source Distribution, Grace Designs, Realworld Studios, The Wigtown Book Festival and The Open Book, Nigel and Jackie at Rave Box Studios, Owen Benson, Anna Botterell and Andrew Hooker Violins, Keith Lunt and co. at Opal Print and Richard Lawrence. Big thank you also to Caroline Waterlow and Ashley Harrow. Big thank you to artist Nina-Marie Braisby for producing the beautiful cover. Thank you to all our Patreon supporters, past and present, including James Patterson and Alan Squire Publishing, and our amazing song sponsors (see tracks for details). Special thank you to all the authors who managed to send in photos of themselves. We’re very grateful and in awe of Nic and Juliette Bottomley and ALL the staff at Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights in Bath for curating our reading and advising our path through the literary world. And finally, to all the wonderful authors who have inspired the songs on this album, a big thank you.

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about

The Bookshop Band Bath, UK

The Bookshop Band write songs inspired by books and play them in bookshops. They started as a collaboration between a group of musicians in Bath and their local independent bookshop, Mr B's Emporium. Now they are about to go on tour, sponsored by Vintage Books and Independent Booksellers Week, around other bookshops and lit fests. Catch them if you can. Details at www.thebookshopband.co.uk ... more

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Track Name: Before I crack
Mirrors mirroring
Memories I haven’t told
Picking, pickling
Opening I will unfold
Before I crack, before I crack
Whispering whispering
Walls between us in the night
Darkness creeping
Rivals sucking out the light
Please don’t crack, looking Back
Green as grasshoppers
Perfect time lockers
Midnight meeting us
Locked into a curse
Emergency rummaging
Pushing through a broken man
Surging spluttering
Hard for her to understand
Looking back, green and black
Green as grasshoppers
Perfect time lockers
Midnight meeting us
Locked into a curse
Track Name: Waist high
No food at home
If I stay I’ll waste away
Help you find stones
What a way to spend the day
Farming is for me, so
Riding tractors here we go
The difference now is small, I know
(But for) you and I it’s waist high
Gone to a war, these
Legs were never good for
I’m more use here
Walking back, and waltzing more
Now I’m farming all the year
We never thought we’d see me here, leaves
You and me to pass the time
Standing in the dancing line
Twist and twirl your hand in mine
You and I, we’re waist high
Track Name: The edge of the world
This lady, this crazy lady she’s alright
She’s alright
This woman, she chose to make this journey to the light, to the light
The light, the glistening light
The light, the deep deep deep light
We get up, we get up
And we do what we can, what we can
If it’s walking, I can walk I can walk I can walk, if that’s the plan
I can walk to the edge of the world
I can walk in this world
If you can’t, if you can’t find your story
It’s alright, it’s alright
You’ll find something, you’ll find something or someone to hold on to, to hold on to.
The water is pulling me through
The water I’m holding on to
And I’ve never been to the sea
The waves they are waiting for me
To come home
You get used, you get used to leaving your mind, leaving your mind
You forget, you forget what you’re leaving behind, leaving behind
Now I remember my life
Now and then I remember my life
The colours, the colours they’re fading away, fading away
My sisters, my brothers they’re with me today, with me today
And I fought, I fought for this land
And I taught, I taught in this land
And I walk, I walk in this land
And I’ve never been to the sea
The waves they are waiting for me
To come home.
Track Name: From a great depth
All these names have sailed from my shore
Though their shapes remain,
I don’t know them anymore
And I am afloat, on a great sea
In a boat, veiled from reality
And I slowly learn to see
With these hands, I’ve found with this body
And these eyes, they give away what’s inside
Through a desperate stare of fear and hope
And my situation broke, in my mind
Like a wave upon a new shore
These waters had been still before...
But now it crashes down, rolling in,
a huge wave, rushing toward…
My life, my hands gripped tight, I try
As I watch it slip, like liquid,
Through my fingers
But I am listening carefully,
Through my body, to this sea
And I am afloat, on a great sea
In a boat, veiled from reality
Unknown sounds, echo emptily
In my mouth, But I cant repeat
A transitory feat,
As they slip back down beneath
But I drag each word,
Back to the surface to be heard…
Still distorted by my sodden swollen tongue
But I’ll repeat these sounds,
Until a form is found…
And I am afloat, on a great sea, in a boat.
Track Name: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Walking in the rain I’m soaked, and all the
Water lifts up soil onto my shoes
I can’t feel my tears, just water, and the
Mud is getting everywhere
Count to 21 and I’m fine
Tape myself inside my van
Lock myself and you’ll be quite safe
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Walking in this mud, you must think I’m a
Gardener, I would love to plant, but each
Time I bend down it’s just a mess
This dirt’s no good for sowing
Walking in the past, I’m walking in the past...
Count to 21...
Who’d have thought flowers
Could grow in this mud...
Track Name: Innocent is she
She, our vision of motherhood
But the mothers think she’s no good
Their job is to talk
A bird, caged by a gentleman
Thought she could start again
Slow and learn to walk
Innocent is she, innocent is she
She offers to make amends
Throws herself at being a friend
Giving naturally
She worries about the past
Things are best remaining dark
We can’t make her see
Innocent is she, innocent is she
Becomes who she is for a moment in time
Her guard is down but she’s guarding
Her dreams to travel unravel
Want to wrap her up warm
Innocent is she, innocent is she
We want to protect this one
But she sings her own song, ‘Que Sera Sera’
She’s our vision of womanhood
To us she is only good
Watch her shooting star
Innocent is she, innocent is she...
Track Name: Heavy wings
Don’t remember much
Memories all blend into one
Like the way the sky holds
Darkness and sun
There’s a bird in flight
Its fluttering like
Her finger tips, faltering, afraid to slip…
Got to get it right…
And the sky is thick with all these things
I don’t have the words
Hanging in the air like the birds
But heavy as though they were
Laden with the weight of the world
Little wings...
Heavy with the weight…
Of the world
Like a child’s brow, full of worry
Searching for his something lucky
Wishing for his mothers safety
And I can’t turn back, time, has passed…
And they say its up to me to let it go
I think like the yellow
Butterfly, watch it rise to the sky
Track Name: A glimpse of gold
So much help around
We don’t need to complicate it
Swimming through the muddled few
Protected by each other now
Everything and nothing to blame
Need someone to put it on
Don’t take the kettle off
Change can hurt everyone
Inside a child’s mind
Clocks keep turning, some unwind
She circles you within her arms
A story of a life we try to pull from harm
Time gives and time takes
Altering after mistakes
Comfort, the safe and warm
Adventure takes a different form
Talking where buildings lay
Memories from another day
A glimpse of gold through a door
Of all the lives you wrote it for
She circles you within her arms
The story of a life we pull from harm
Track Name: Being human
I get angry sometimes
But it’s just a part of being human.
I might loose it sometimes and I
Don’t know why I am not coping
I will always love you, I will always love you
Happy pacing round the kitchen,
Just your way of being human.
You don’t know what I am writing
It’s the world I wish you were in
I get upset sometimes but it’s
Just a part of being human.
I know that I’ve lost you but this
Is a very hard way of grieving
I will always love you, I will always love you
As your world grows smaller I must let go
Of our life, the two of us, our home
Memories like tissues sown
Takes more than me to accept them.
I get angry sometimes but it’s
just a part of being human
I will always love you for it’s
just my way of being human
I will always love you for it’s
just my way of being human
I will always love you for it’s
just my way of being human
I will always love you, I will always love you
Track Name: Making tracks
Making tracks in the sand
Gripping tight with his hands
His breath is taken by the tide of time
And I’m no where now
Just inside this moment in my mind
As the sound of the circles fill his head
And his breath fills a space not yet shared
And the music of the rough memories
Seem sweet in air
As the sand is pulled away from under my feet
And the undertow of the sea,
Carries me sweetly into dreams
And on land I am confused by the face
that I see.
And the chatter of the faces
In their holiday clothes
And the battered old cases
In my mind that holds
My memories of you
But as I try to retrieve it
A wave crashes over my face
Lashing salt water through , these loose veins
So they never quite, seem the same
I am tangled and tied to this place
I a way I did not understand
I am tangled as the tied pulls me
Further away from land
As the sand is pulled away from under my feet
And the undertow of the sea,
Carries me sweetly into dreams
And on land, I am, confused by the face,
that I see.
Track Name: I say OK
Come on body I rely on you
You know you can get there
if you really want to
You’re working hard but you don’t need to
It’s the worry in the mind
I didn’t think we would travel together
I knew we wouldn’t last forever
I didn’t think you would find me clever
You’re so full of your metaphors
We’ll have our always, is there always?
You say OK, I say OK
Texting you from the quiet of my room
Excited to see your name on my phone
A special place away from the gloom
Don’t want to be there alone.
I thought I might explode and ruin
The beauty that could be our doing
But why not make the most of this
We last forever in this kiss
We’ll have our always, is there always?
You say OK, I say OK
Some things they don’t end like you think
Angels can exist without wings
Sharing my thoughts
Though they may be few
Body I rely on you
We’ll have our always, is there always?
You say OK, I say OK...
Track Name: Whisper to my lungs
Another breath, he Lifted his head
Another breath, his crooked smile said
Something soft and sweet and fresh
Like the air that held the petals as they fell
Like the air I carefully inhale
Like the air that we shared, when we kissed
And as I hold myself together
I whisper to my lungs
Stay strong for this one
Another breath and we’re still in this moment
Another step towards a notion
Another time and place, for our hopes to live
And for that moment we did
And as I hold myself together
I whisper to my lungs
Stay strong for this one
And as I hold myself together
I whisper to my lungs
Stay strong for this one...
And we are this, and this is it.
Track Name: The Crowning
The crowning of we kings
The subject of divine things
Righteous by virtue
Bearing majesty too... da da da
An Army for my soul
By currency of angels
My looks can kill off
You’re banished in the breath of... da da da
The balm that anoints me
No water in all the sea
Can clean from me
Here on my head this crown
It is woven through me to, the ground
Here on my head this crown
And a cloak made of brass around... da da da
But is it that we kings
Were made in the crowning?
A pomp of a cushion
For a crown to sit on
We taste grief and eat bread
We have wants, and need friends
A man who just leads on
All of those who kneel on
This balm that protects me
By my own tears has now been
Washed free from me
Here on my bed this crown
With nettles and flowers round
My kingdom of worms abound
With a cloak made of soil around
I’ve wasted time, time wastes me
Now soil is the king of me
So here on my head this crown
Ever last here, while I go down
Down, down, down down