Hemlock Honey and Crows

by Leslie Hudson

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1.
You didn’t think I meant it when I said I’d chuck you out You thought you could prevent it and you tried to wait me out But I’ve got nails in these 4 corners and I’ve got gumption in my spine When you step across my threshold You ain’t coming back inside You are gone, gone, gone from this room Gone, gone, gone I will sweep you out with my broom Sweep you out You’re hoping I’ll forget it - all the shit you threw at me You predict that I’ll forgive it Tied yourself up to that tree But I’m not coming out to save you when the storm begins to growl They’re your knots so you untie them ‘cause the weather’s turning foul And you are gone, gone, gone from this room Gone, gone, gone I will sweep you out with my broom Sweep you out The fire’s all a-crackle and my house is toasty warm I have practically forgotten that you’re out there in this storm But it’s a storm of your devising that I’ve weathered long enough When I look out of my window I can see the sun come up Now that you’re gone, gone, gone from this room Gone, gone, gone I will sweep you out with my broom Sweep you out
2.
Wicked Sings 04:41
There’s something wicked in the cellar Something wicked on the stairs There’s something wicked in the mirror But no one in this household cares There’s something wicked on the doorstep Something wicked in the wings There’s something wicked in the spotlight And this is how wicked sings It’s not in the flesh you’ll find poison It’s down in the pips if you swallow too much Salvation’s in moderation But it’s not (so they say) in the touch You can’t fall from grace with one little taste Believe me, I’ve already tried From the juice on my lips to the curve of my hips I promise you babe it’s no lie I've heard that they call me a serpent A mother of demons and kind A dragon, a raven, a nightmare They’ve never quite made up their minds Oh I’ve got a wingspan and sure I’ve got claws I know how to get things done I can see in the dark where I practice my arts This is how wicked comes So let’s weigh the pros and the cons here Oh that’s right you can’t - you don’t know what you are You have all the proper potential But that alone won’t get you far If you want to see what you’ll otherwise be Your eyes they’ve got to be clear You’ve been created to sate not be sated Just who is the enemy here? Oh I've heard that they call me a serpent A mother of demons and kind A dragon, a raven, a nightmare They’ve never quite made up their minds Oh I’ve got a wingspan and sure I’ve got claws I know how to get things done I can see in the dark where I practice my arts This is how wicked comes There’s something wicked in your mind dear Something wicked in your heart There’s something wicked in us all That keeps us from breaking apart There’s something wicked in defiance Something wicked in control There’s something wicked in awareness That we are the queens of our souls Oh I've heard that they call me a serpent A mother of demons and kind A dragon, a raven, a nightmare They’ve never quite made up their minds Oh I’ve got a wingspan and sure I’ve got claws I know how to get things done I can see in the dark where I practice my arts This is how wicked comes There’s something wicked on the doorstep Something wicked in the wings There’s something wicked in the spotlight And this is how wicked sings Something wicked this way comes
3.
Welcome to the temple of the shadow Ladies, we have gathered here to learn If you've got a mind to learn your poisons Never fear: the tide’s about to turn A tiny little taste of belladonna Just a hint of henbane in the wine All you acolytes of aconitum Hemlock in the honey is divine This elixir’s made by La Toffana Women just like you have broken free Microdosing soups in slow succession Aqueta’s a lethal recipe La Voisin will help if you’re in trouble Tormentil will ease you out of pain Peony may keep you from your madness Cyclamen will wash away that stain Hemlock in the honey is divine Laudanum may have the means to cure you Janus plants will heal until they kill If you cannot give the proper dosage All you’re gonna do is make them ill Hearts will skip a beat for digitalis Evening primrose causes blood to flow Black cohosh will help you with your menses Plant them in your garden, watch them grow Trouble are you trouble are you madness Welcome to the temple of the shadow Hearts will skip a beat Hemlock in the honey is divine A tiny little taste of belladonna Just a hint of henbane in the wine All you acolytes of aconitum Hemlock in the honey is divine It's divine Trouble are you trouble are you madness Hemlock in the honey is divine Welcome to the temple of the shadow It's divine
4.
She had mud caked to the hem of her dress It was wet Her boots squelched through it As she dragged it thick ‘cross my kitchen floor Every step was deliberate Her long coat was thin like she’d worn it in spring It was frayed It had rained and rained Back when she had walked on her final day Her wild hair framed a face that wasn’t there She followed me home from the cemetery She watched me sleep She was the basement creak She was the woman in the window with the cavernous stare Round every corner she was everywhere She was rage and wrath and so dispossessed Holding fast to the body she’d left When she stared me down she leaned into it And what she said to me I will never forget She said, you can see me And you can hear me And if you can see and hear me then you know I didn’t die willingly I didn’t die willingly She followed me home from the cemetery She watched me sleep She was the basement creak She was the woman in the window with the cavernous stare Round every corner she was everywhere When I looked into her hollowed out eyes I saw the tear I saw the sticks in her hair I heard a voice say You can sever all ties and solve the crime Make your vengeance mine I said, I can see you And I can feel you But I can’t undo what’s been done to you And I can’t do what you ask me to I can’t do what you’re asking me to do She followed me home from the cemetery She watched me sleep She was the basement creak She was the woman in the window with the cavernous stare Round every corner she was everywhere She followed me home She watched me sleep She was the basement creak She was the woman in the window with the cavernous stare Round every corner she was everywhere Round every corner she was everywhere She followed me home She followed me home I can see you But I can’t help you
5.
Crow flight Inky delight Mirrored we meet Me with grounded feet Crow flight Mischievous sight Twisting the wind Playful spirit spin Twisting with the wind Playful spirit Crow song Carried along I hear the call Mirrored in us all Can you hear the call Mirrored in us? Crow kin All you have been Night becomes day Life becomes decay Crow kin Welcome me in Mirrored I fly Feather bone and sky Mirrored I will fly Feather and bone Mirrored I will fly Feather and bone Mirrored I will fly Feather and bone and sky
6.
One sorrow treads upon another's heels So fast they follow One willow grows along a glassy stream That flows by There are nettles in the daisies And thorns upon the rose Some girls sing in riddles Only Ophelia knows Doubt thou the stars are fire Doubt that the sun doth move Doubt truth to be a liar One lover beats upon another's heart So fast they follow One mother wakes to find a broken dream That flows by There are nettles in the daisies And thorns upon the rose Some girls sing in riddles Only Ophelia knows Doubt thou the stars are fire Doubt that the sun doth move Doubt truth to be a liar, to be a liar Doubt truth to be a liar, to be a liar One minnow lost upon another hook So fast they follow One widow winds along a silver stream That flows by There are nettles in the daisies And thorns upon the rose Doubt truth to be a liar Some girls sing in riddles Only Ophelia knows No muddy death for me Flowers hanging from the tree Madly I played the part Wild I am running free Nothing now will tarry me Doubt truth to be a liar There are nettles in the daisies And thorns upon the rose Some girls sing in riddles Only Ophelia knows There are secrets in the poppies That women know to save Some girls sing in riddles Over Ophelia's grave There are nettles in the daisies And thorns upon the rose Doubt truth to be a liar, to be a liar Some girls sing in riddles Only Ophelia knows Some girls sing in riddles But never doubt I love Only Ophelia knows Some girls sing in riddles Never doubt I love
7.
I want to dream like Mrs Butler dreams She walks in like a memory, strolling reality Or so it seems She walks out like a ghost Making the most of her see-through perambulation Haunting the house Haunting the house of her dreams So I imagine a house not too large A staircase and bookcases, old leather suitcases Wide open windows and chairs by the fire Crows on the rooftop and salt on the stovetop And herbs hanging down from the ceiling I want to dream like Mrs Butler dreams She walks in like a memory, strolling reality Or so it seems She walks out like a ghost Making the most of her see-through perambulation Haunting the house Haunting the house of her dreams Haunting the house of her dreams So I envision a garden run wild With mint and forget-me-not, monkshood and hollyhock Lavender, bedstraw and gold marguerite Crows in the seedbeds and wind blowing seedheads And bread left with cream by the hedgerow I want to dream like Mrs Butler dreams She walks in like a memory, strolling reality Or so it seems She walks out like a ghost Making the most of her see-through perambulation Haunting the house Haunting the house of her dreams Haunting the house of her dreams So I will conjure a place all my own A hedge witch’s haven, a life to be brave in Trees on the walls like the woods have come Wandering into my nemeton Witnessing all that I’m breathing out into the forest I want to dream like Mrs Butler dreams She walks in like a memory, strolling reality Or so it seems She walks out like a ghost Making the most of her see-through perambulation Haunting the house Haunting the house of her dreams Haunting the house of her dreams Haunting the house of her dreams
8.
(Samhain) From the storm cloud the rain falls From the tree branch the leaves are falling From the heavens the wind calls And the bean-sídhe’s voice is calling (Winter Solstice) Starlight shines upon us now Snowflakes fall to the ground Icicles hang from the pine tree bough Stillness and silence abound (Imbolc) Spindles and fingers reach into the bleak sky Life slumbers under a blanket of earth Kindle, awaken, let memory be shaken Midnight is passed; for light a rebirth (Spring Equinox) Bud, bud, open up now to the Sun, sun, warm up our bones Rain, rain, loosen the soil as a Bird, bird, daybreak intones (Bealtaine) Lie on the sweet grass and drink in the light Let your heart soar like a swallow in flight Lift up your eyes to the blossoming trees And breathe in the newness of life on the breeze (Summer Solstice) Climb, climb up to the hilltop To greet the rising sun Bask in its rays and sing out your praise Before the sweet darkness has come (Lughnasadh) Harvest the fruits of your labour in the morning Share in the feast of your bounty at noon Kick off your shoes and go dancing in the evening Welcome the night with a high, haunting tune (Autumn Equinox) Blustery the weather that brings us all together Beside the hearth we gather with thankfulness we sing When cold it is at night time and day’s a sunny bright time Then reddening the leaves are and fruit is ripening (Samhain) From the storm cloud the rain falls From the tree branch the leaves are falling From the heavens the wind calls And the bean-sídhe’s voice is calling

about

Hemlock Honey and Crows is an album of songs for the season - my favourite season! Songs of storms, spells and hauntings. Wild gardens and those who plant them. Death, healing and magic. Crows, riddles and dreams. From the women who ran the so-called poisoner schools of old, to the ghosts who follow us home, these songs tell stories round the fire.

Guest musicians from across the US and Germany contributed their time and talents: S. J. Tucker, Alexander James Adams, Sharon Knight, Winter, Dr. Mary C. Crowell, Brenda Sinclair Sutton, Bill Sutton, Jen Midkiff, John Argentiero, W. Scott "Steve" Snyder, Stacy Koviak-Davison, Robyn Mackenzie, Katrina Trujillo-Lucero, Steve Macdonald, Sabine Kinder & Michael Kinder

This album is a healing spell. Ties have been strengthened, distances shortened, new friends made, and music - the strongest magic I know - is born. My deepest overflowing thanks to everyone who has shared their engineering and production knowledge with me while I produce for the first time (especially John) and to Laser Malena-Webber (killer coach and fellow enby) for their enormous support and guidance this year.

Hemlock Honey and Crows has been my happy place for months. I hope you love listening to it.

credits

released October 29, 2021

All songs written & produced by Leslie Hudson at Blest & Hext Studios, Stratford ON Canada

Leslie's piano, lead & backing vocals recorded in ON; all other tracks recorded at studios in Germany & the USA by contributing musicians

Original painting by Allison Orr of Lunatic and Tide
Layout & design by Leslie Hudson

Music & news : lesliehudson.com
@lesliehudsonmusic FB IG YouTube Patreon

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Leslie Hudson Stratford, Ontario

Leslie Hudson is a Canadian singer songwriter and pianist. Her albums range from storytelling styles to bluesy bar rock to dialed-up, full-band homages to pop culture. With lyrical piano skills and a voice that cuts through the crowd, her songs dive deep into archetype and folklore, modernizing ancient voices as she shines a spotlight on the shadowy paths we walk through life, myth and media. ... more

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