New Traditions

Linda Connell Studley
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Linda Studley

Story

My husband, who blacksmiths, often tells me stories of the history of blacksmiths; their fierce independence, the almost magical aura that surrounds their craft. In olden times they were generally neutral during wars because both sides needed their skills. These skills also provided the Smith with status and standing that demanded respect from peasant and king alike.

 “Brilliant.” Gary Fjellgaard

 

Lyrics

Swing, swing, blacksmith swing

Swing your hammer and make it ring

The blacksmith bows to no one’s king

For the smith, he is the king of the forge

Hard by the forest on the river side

The smithy is dark and hot as hell

With iron and with fire his trade he plied

And his anvil like a bell

Down to the smithy rode a noble lord

With gold coins jingling in his hand

If you’ll make for me a deadly sword

I’ll pay what you demand

The coals blazed hot with Vulcan’s fire

And brought to life a noble blade

The blacksmith forged the lord’s desire

To wield on his crusade

Time came for payment and the lord he said

Now that the blade’s at my command

Why should I not just leave you dead

And keep my gold at hand

The smith swung his hammer and the anvil sang

The blade sang back with awful glee

The sword turned in the traitor’s hand

And whispered “pay for me”

Linda Connell Studley
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Linda Studley

Story

Wild Geese is a bit of a personal lament for my lost Irish heritage. The Irish ‘Wild Geese’ have scattered little crumbs of Ireland’s soul across the globe, some have kept the connection to their heritage, some have lost it, and some seek for it still. Being one of these seekers, I wrote this song from my perspective; from the, possibly irrational, longing for a homeland lost centuries ago.

Lyrics

Where do you come from, where are you going to

Where is the land you once called your home

Where is there peace for the wandering feet

Of the pilgrim tired and alone

Long, long ago and far away

A man set sail with the tide

To a foreign war in a foreign land

To avenge a foreign pride

Where do we come from, where are we going to

Where is the land we once called our own

Where is there peace for the child of the pilgrim

Who wandered far from home

What did they offer for your soul

For the faithful sword you wield

Was gold or land or glory worth

Your life’s blood on the field

Fly on wild geese to the ends of the earth

Where the ways and the stars are strange

The ones who follow can never forget

Though the world may be old and changed

Why were the stories never told

And the language not passed down

If we returned would there be pride

Or shame in what we found

Where do I come from, where am I going to

Why do the voices call me back home?

Where is there peace from the ghost O

f the pilgrim who wanders tired and alone

Fly on wild geese to the ends of the earth

Where the ways and the stars are strange

The ones who follow can never forget

Though the world may be old and changed

Where do you come from, where are you going to

Where is the land you once called your home

Where is the peace for the wandering feet

Of the pilgrim tired and alone

Where the souls of the wild geese roam

 

Linda Connell Studley
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Linda Studley

Story

My husband teased me once that I couldn't write a fast song without minor chords. Well, I can so!

Lyrics

Well, it’s alright, we’ve only begun

There are songs to be sung, before this night is over

 There’s many a tale I haven’t told yet

That I’m sure to regret when I’m sober

Let me tell you the tale of old Jimmy McKay

Had to walk his wife’s wee scruffy dog twice a day

One Saturday night, the dog disappeared

And old Jimmy averred

That the dog commit suicide and jumped off the pier

There once was a fellow named Owen LaRoke

Changed his last name every time he went broke

Did someone just say his bar tab’s unpaid

Guess he’ll be owin’ someone the rest of his days

I’ll tell you the story of Rory McCall

When he came to this country he’d nothing at all

After fifty long years he’ll puff out his chest

And loudly profess

That he’s sure that he’s got at least half of it left

Linda Connell Studley
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Linda Studley

Story

Mermaid was inspired by a Welsh story of the Mermaid of Zennor. This ballad chronicles the exploits of a tenacious mermaid, a daughter of Llyr, who goes upon land in search of love.

Lyrics

The mermaid sat late in the harbour one evening

To comb all the shells from her hair golden bright.

A sweet song came floating across the dark water

And held her heart spellbound far into the night

Next evening the mermaid swam close to the shoreline

“What bird sings so sweet? to the darkness she cried

I wish he’d fly closer and sing for me only

The waves washed her tears as the sweet singing died

The third night the mermaid came sooner and bolder

She floated right up by the fisherman’s dock

“What reed can there grow that pipes such sweet music?”

Alas for my tail, how I wish I could walk.

The mermaid cried salt tears much larger than sea pearls

Llyr sighed like the rumbling of waves on the shore

But he gave to his daughter a dress all of sea jewels

To cover her scales as she went to explore

At evensong Matthew sang sweet hymns of closing

She leaned on the sill at the door of the church

She sighed and he lifted his eyes up to meet hers

She knew she had come to the end of her search

She thought of her scales hid beneath the fair clothing

In horror she turned and she made for the sea

But Matthew was swifter and caught her and held her

Cry’ng “Oh please don’t leave me whoe’er you may be”

“But I am a mermaid I can’t live on dry land.

Oh, loose me my love for I can’t stay with thee.”

He gathered her to him and rushed to the ocean

While villagers followed them down to the sea

She tore off her sea jewels and tossed them behind her

They scattered the path leading down to the shore

They sparkled and glittered and people fell on them

To gather them up and to follow no more

Never again were they seen upon dry land

Some say Matthew sings to her down in the sea

There are voices to hear for ears that will listen

And sea jewels still glitter for eyes that can see

 

Linda Connell Studley
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Linda Studley

Story

Oh, Johnny, Oh is a galloping tale of true love, a nick-of-time rescue with a, perhaps slightly skeptical, happy ending.

Lyrics

Tell me Oh, Johnny Oh, Oh, Johnny Oh

Are you comin’ home soon, now I’ve just got to know

I’ve been waiting five years here with nothing to show

Will you take or forsake me my own Johnny, Oh

I’ve turned down the carter, his prospects were fine

I told the young parson he’s wasting his time

The butcher, the blacksmith have all had a go

I told them I’m waiting for you Johnny, Oh

My mother she wails that I’m wasting my life

A girl who’s too choosy will ne’er be a wife

She begged and she pleaded but still I say no

For I will have no one but you Johnny, oh

My father he told me he’s tired of the strife

He’ll find me a man who will make me his wife

For wed you must be or you’ll soon be too old

But I told him I’d wed only you Johnny, Oh

My father took matters into his own hands

He’d said I’d be married and Johnny be damned

Now here I stand by the fish monger’s side

Oh Lord, please don’t make me a fish monger’s bride

Are those hoof beats I hear, is that Johnny I see

Ridin’ hell bent for leather and calling to me

He stoops in the saddle and sweeps me away

And I will be wed to my Johnny today

Tell me Oh, Johnny Oh, Oh Johnny Oh

As off through the heather together we go

After five years of waiting I still need to know

Will you take or forsake me my own Johnny Oh

Will you take or forsake me my own Johnny Oh

Linda Connell Studley
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Linda Studley

Story

Wheels Go Round is a, century and a half or more, journey ‘round the wheel. Where else would it take you but back home again?

Lyrics

They say now that Ireland is no place to be

No hope of a future for farmers like me

I’ll not stay until I’m a vagabond poor

There’s money a’plenty on Newfoundland’s shore

I’ll go out ahead and I’ll work on the boats

I’ll build us a home and a life I’ll cut no more sod,

I’ll fish for the cod I’ll send for you darling and make you my wife

And it’s round and round the wheels go round

Onward and outward we’re bound

The wheels of change that force you to roam

The wheels on the cart that lead you from home

The wheel of life with it’s passion and pain

That finally brings you back home again

They say that there’s not enough fish in the sea

No hope of a future for someone like me

I won’t take their hand out nor sit on the dole

There’s money a’plenty out west diggin’ coal

I’ll go out ahead and I’ll work in the mines

I’ll build us a home and a life

I’ll save up my pay I’ll write every day

I’ll send for you darling and make you my wife

They say there’s no market for coal overseas

No hope for a future for miners like me

I won’t watch our dreams like the dust blow away

There’s money a plenty in software they say

So I’ll go out ahead and I’ll upgrade my skills

I’ll build us a home and a life

I’ll surf on the net, I’ll learn this thing yet

I’ll email you darling and make you my wife

And the more things change the more they stay the same

Toss the dice or spin the wheel, we’re all in the game

Linda Connell Studley
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Linda Studley

Lyrics

Once I was a maiden fair

I braided flowers in my hair

Dreamed of love and dreamed of lads

Dreamed of moving onward

Onward go the years and

Onward flow the tears and

Onward till the ending

Life shall lead me onward

Then I met a handsome man

He smiled and offered me his hand

Blythly did I follow him as he led me onward

Children came and children grew

Then were gone before we knew

Dreaming dreams we used to do

Dreams of moving onward

Now the frost has touched my hair

My grandchild is a maiden fair

Who cannot fathom how I ever

Dreamed of moving onward

Some day soon I’ll heed the call

To gather me to some great hall

Gladly will I follow when

The music calls me onward

Linda Connell Studley
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Linda Studley

Story

Inspired by an old song titled "The Sister's Lament" about a girl who hears her sister singing from under a faerie hill of how she was spirited away by the faeries.

Lyrics

My sister was the boldest lass I have ever known

She ne’er would list’ when she was told where to and not to go

She feared not dark nor misty moor nor midnight’s icy chill

And she knew the fairest flowers grew upon the faerie hill

Oh sister dear, I gravely fear if you must be so wild

Before the morning dawns again I’ll be an only child

The faerie hill is haunted so the village women say

And those who venture near to it are oft times swept away

To serve the faerie king himself and never to return

They shake their heads and wonder why the young ones never learn

Oh sister mine, be not so blind I fear so for your life

Before the morning dawns again you’ll be a faerie’s wife

She would not be forestalled by me, she would not be denied

To brave what was forbidden was to her a source of pride

“I’ll dance upon the hill” she laughed “and bathe my face in dew

I’ll pick the fairest flower and I’ll bring it home to you.”

Oh sister stay, you act so fey, I know this is goodbye

Step not upon the faerie hill, there’s worse things than to die

When I awoke next morning to the sun upon my face

My sister was not sleeping in her accustomed place

I looked up to the window and there upon the sill

Lay the fairest flower off the haunted faerie hill

Upon my heart there fell a dread as dark as any cloud

I climbed upon the faerie hill and cursed the king aloud

The faerie king appeared to me as if by spell invoked

He smiled with some bemusement until at length he spoke

Your sister had no faith in us, to her we were not real

She’s gone upon her careless way, ‘tis your heart we would steal

And when you pass the faerie hill and when the wind blows cold

You’ll oft time hear me singing to the fairy king below

Oh sister please come back for me, oh, thoughtless, willful child

I’m lost upon the faerie hill, enchanted and beguiled

Linda Connell Studley
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Linda Studley

Story

I am a firm believer in the old adage "Becareful what you wish for." You can run from destiny, but it has a way of catching up to you eventually.

Lyrics

I’ll not wed a man who’ll go down in the mine

No coal darkened linen will snap on my line

No wrinkles etched like cobwebs black

No wracking cough, no bended back

As a child I watched my father age

Each time he climbed into the cage

I watched the coal dust steal his breath

And coat his lungs and cause his death

My father buried six feet down

Now brother too goes underground

Ten years he works each day in hell

Until the day they ring the bell

White smiles that flash in faces grimed

The colliery boys all waste my time

They try to steal my heart away

I shake my head and sadly say

I shook the coal dust from off of my boots and I ran

Into the arms of a dashing young seafaring man

Twenty years are gone and done

The sea took both my man and son

My daughter came to me today

And it broke my heart to hear her say

I’ll not wed a man who’ll go down to the sea

No long months of living alone for me

No damp and fog, no crashing waves

No loved ones lying in watery graves

I’ll not wed a man….

Linda Connell Studley
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Linda Studley

Story

There's a back story to this song, but I prefer to let the reader imagine their own; it's more fun that way!

Lyrics

The moon lay hid ‘neath the darkling clouds

The mist crept down the mountainside

When the sentry heard soft footsteps fall

“Who goes there?” He cried.

“Who goes there in the dark of night?” He cried

“Who dares to stalk our brave brigade?”

“Reveal yourself. You cannot hide.

From the Sentry or his blade.”

The moon slipped out from behind a cloud

And limned the night like a ghostly dream

Out of the mist stepped a maiden pale

Tears in her eyes did gleam

“Oh sir, “ she whispered soft and low.

“You do me wrong to scold me so.

I have buried my sweetheart who died this night

and can’t find my way back home.”

Pity touched the sentry’s heart

For the maid of the misty mountainside.

“Grieve not,” said he, “for your hero fall’n

At least he was on the right side.”

Well, the night it was still but the maiden’s hair

Streamed and tossed in a ghostly gale.

A haunting smile flit across her face

As she lifted her hand ‘cross the pale.

The sentry reached out to take the hand

Of the maid from the misty mountainside.

Her touch was ice that burned like fire

 “What is this madness?” He cried.

The maid stepped close and the sentry heard

Her whispered words before he died.

“I told you my sweetheart died on this night

But I never said on which side.”

Linda Connell Studley
0000-00-00
Linda Studley

Lyrics

She walks these hills by moonlight pale

And looks far out to sea

She sheds her tears and faces her fears

Where no one else can see

By the rustling rowan tree

Blow wind, breath new life into his sails

Send my lover back home to me

Blow wind, give me one more chance

My lover for to see

And she sings of a night much like tonight

And she sings of a raging sea

Of a ship that's lost, benighted and tossed

Out of sight of land they be

Out of sight of the rowan tree

Blow winds, running hard before the gale

Send my lover back home to me

Blow winds, give me one more chance

My lover for to see

And she tells of sailor that captured her heart

Then left her for the sea

And her song intertwines with the wail and the whine

Of the wind blowing o'er the scree

'Neath the creaking rowan tree

Blow winds, show a star to guide him by

Send my lover back home to me

Blow winds, give me one more chance

My lover for to see

So far away a ship goes down

In the windswept northern sea

Where the arctic gales have shredded her sails

Ah, he'll come no more to thee

 'Neath the lonely rowan tree

Blow winds, cast me down upon the waves

Set my soul and my spirit free

Blow winds, 'tis my only chance

My lover for to see

Farewell to the rowan tree

Linda Connell Studley
0000-00-00
Linda Studley

Story

This Land is a song that is very dear to my heart as it started me in my search for my Irish roots. Through ship’s records, old letters, journals, reports and historical accounts I discovered great tragedy, great courage and great hope. This poignant song of passage almost wrote itself.

Lyrics

Our family lived hundreds of years on this land

Between the green hills and the saltwater strand

But the crops they do rot and the rent we have not

And the landlord’s men come burning rick, thatch and cot

Ah, you’re no longer wanted, you’re no longer needed

You no longer live on this land

The Landlord paid passage from here to Quebec

Now we stand in the rain on the Emmalee’s deck

She’s a sad sight indeed as she lists at the quay

And the creaking old timbers are whispering to me

You’re no longer wanted, you’re no longer needed

You no longer live on this land

And the storms they raged on the wild Atlantic

The coffin ship tossed on the sea

The typhus and cholera stalk us like wolves

And death is no stranger to me

And death is no stranger to me

While we prayed on deck, the sharks preyed below

Beneath the cold waves where the bodies are thrown

And the sea falls like rain through the hatchways again

In the crash of the waves I can hear the refrain

Ah, you’re no longer wanted, you’re no longer needed

You no longer live on this land

After six weeks at sea we saw Newfoundland's shore

Sailing down to Grosse Ile took the ship two weeks more

Then the Captain he said "Since your parents are dead

You must go now with Father Bernard here instead."

Then the Father he smiled as he held out his hand

And the words that he uttered they sounded so grand

"Come along child you're wanted. Take my hand child you're needed.

God will find you a home in this land. God will find you a home in this land."

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My First Two CDs

Breathe

Linda Connell Studley: Breathe

New Traditions

Linda Connell Studley: New Traditions