Before I Crack

by The Bookshop Band

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1.
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
2.
Waist high 01:42
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
3.
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.
4.
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.
5.
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...
6.
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...
7.
Heavy wings 03:49
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
8.
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
9.
Being human 03:42
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
10.
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.
11.
I say OK 02:33
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...
12.
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.
13.
The Crowning 03:39
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
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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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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