The Wanderlings Volume One

by Leslie Hudson

/
  • Digital Album
    Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      $15 USD  or more

    You own this

     

1.
Red Bird 03:07
Verse 1 Brother dear, I’m filled with longing And it’s eating up my life We’re as grey as we’re forgotten Two indentured orphaned mice If I have to milk another cow Or fill this barn with hay I am certain that I will not live To see another day Chorus Red bird, oh red bird Deliver me from this Let me feel once more the spring’s caress A mother’s gentle kiss Red bird, oh red bird Deliver me from this Little forest flame, my only hope O messenger of bliss Verse 2 Brother dear, my belly’s aching We have nothing much to eat And my tiny frame is freezing There is frostbite on my feet If I have to walk to school again Along the snowy track I am certain that I will not live To make the journey back Chorus Red bird, oh red bird Deliver me from this Let me feel once more the spring’s caress A mother’s gentle kiss Red bird, oh red bird Deliver me from this Little forest flame, my only hope O messenger of bliss Bridge Take me home to Sunnymeade Underneath the cherry trees With their boats the children play The sun is shining every day Take me home to Sunnymeade With birches green- and curly-leaved We’ll laugh and dance and dress in red And live on in joy instead Chorus Red bird You have brought me to this A forevermore of spring’s caress A mother’s gentle kiss Red bird, oh red bird You brought me to this Little forest flame, my sweetest hope O messenger of bliss
2.
Verse 1 There was a lady, young and fair Her given name was Mary Of all her lovers, she did care For one and him she’d marry Her lover’s name was Mister Fox She knew not whence he came But he was brave and wealthy, sure As cunning as his name Refrain Be bold! Be bold! But not too bold Your blood will soon be running cold Be bold! Be bold! But not too bold Your blood will soon run cold Verse 2 The day before their wedding Mary stole up to his house A-hunting for his secrets there As quiet as a mouse The signs above the gate, the entryway And o’er the door That led into her lover’s room These words of warning bore: Refrain Verse 3 His room was filled with skeletons And bodies red and rotten All lovely ladies when they’d lived In piles now lay forgotten She would have fled, but who should come A-dragging someone in? Why, Mister Fox! So Mary hid Her lips pressed tight and thin Refrain Verse 4 The dead girl wore a diamond ring That caught the robber’s eye So with his sword he cut her hand And upwards it did fly And landed there in Mary’s lap But she was hidden well So off her lover dragged the corpse And Mary ran from hell Refrain Verse 5 When Mister Fox arrived The morning after, to be wed She said she knew his secret And she’d never share his bed He met her accusations With an arrogant denial 'Til she produced the hand And he was slaughtered as he smiled Refrain (x2)
3.
Verse 1 Long ago, when the sea was void of life, a vacant swell When the people hunted only on the land, the stories tell I was raised in an igloo by my father on the shore And refused to marry any of the hunters who implored me Verse 2 Kayak-borne, came a man to me one day who promised more And I sailed off with my chosen one beyond familiar shores But alas, he was a spirit-bird and not a man at all Island-bound and living lonely as the loon’s elusive call Chorus Oh, the sea she is churning Down where the medicine men go To comb out her long hair They comb out her long hair Her long, tangled black hair And soften her so Verse 3 So I prayed that my father would deliver me from there And he came and took me home from that cold place of my despair But the sea became a black and angry boiling underneath As our boat was tossed upon the waves that rose and fell beneath our feet Verse 4 All at once I felt my father push me hard and in I fell Overboard into the frigid Arctic waters of the swell “Father, please!” I screamed in terror as the sea-ice sucked me down But in his eyes I saw his fear and knew he’d rather let me drown Bridge Clawing, I clung to the edge of his kayak The storm would not be quelled Swinging his paddle he cut off my fingers In agony I yelled But the sea took me under To the dark ocean floor And I started to wonder What dying was for Surviving on rage I remember the pain For this water’s my cage And these animals stained They are pieces of me That were severed and bled All the creatures you see Are now my companions instead Chorus Oh, the sea she is churning Down where the medicine men go To comb out her long hair They comb out her long hair Her long, tangled black hair And soften her so They soften Sedna so
4.
Seafoam 04:44
Verse 1 Underneath and below And caught in the undertow Water-weighed My seaweed hair long My voice like a siren song Underplayed Lift Trade it in for a chance At a doomed romance My soul for a dance on the shore Chorus Take me, I’ve laid it all out at your feet And sold who I was for this moment I am walking on the points of swords Wrapped in a silent heat It’s too late to retreat from the wave line Far from home, on my own I am seafoam Verse 2 Look in my eyes I am living this pretty lie Masquerading Thinking you would see through it And know that I knew it Mutely fading Bridge Sister, your salvation is at hand Spill out his blood on the sand Leave him to die and recover your life Look, we have brought you the knife Chorus Leave me, I’ve laid it all out at his feet And lost who I was for this moment I am walking on the points of swords Wrapped in a silken sheet It’s too late to retreat from the wave line I will throw myself out beyond the wave line My sisters, won’t you go on home Leave me alone I am seafoam Oh, I am seafoam
5.
Verse 1 To be born into light To be raised for a fight To be stained like a blight On a rose To be out in the wood To pretend that I could To believe that I should Follow this road Lift Oh, please, are you hearing my pleas? Help me, please Chorus Brothers, I am coming Will you call me on? What are you becoming every dawn? Mother, you have cursed them Eleven feathered sons Beneath the shadow of their wingspans I will run Verse 2 To be found on the sand To be given a plan To be crushed in my hands As they burn To be silent and strong To be jeered by the throng To be caged for my song Like a bird Lift Oh, please, are you hearing my pleas? Help me, please Chorus Brothers, I am coming Will you call me on? What are you becoming every dawn? Mother, you have cursed them Eleven feathered sons Beneath the shadow of their wingspans I will run Bridge Witch, they cry, my work lament Now my strength is all but spent Tens of limbs with one wing bent Save me, I am innocent Lift (x2) Oh, please, are you hearing my pleas? Help me, please Oh, please, are you hearing my pleas? Help me, please Chorus Brothers, I am coming Will you call me on? What are you becoming every dawn? Mother, you have cursed them Eleven feathered sons Beneath the shadow of their wingspans I will run, I will run Outro I will run I will run, oh Mother, you have cursed them Eleven feathered sons But the shadow of their wingspans Came undone
6.
Abandon This 03:53
Verse 1 I fell in love with an ideal But I believed with all my heart that it was real And when we met he felt the same There in the light of love, true lovers we became Verse 2 Our other lives melted away We had no care but for ourselves from day to day We were consumed by our desire Of our embrace we promised never we would tire Lift Until the moment she reminded you Who you had first been promised to Chorus Farewell, my love You have turned your back Without you, love I am painted black My greatest loss I am torn from bliss You’ve chosen, love Abandon this Verse 3 I will embrace oblivion The only place where you and I can be undone And when the veil between us falls We will be deaf to one another’s calls Verse 4 I could only say, “It will always be this way” I could only hope against inevitable slope I could only live with giving all I had to give I could only show the love I wanted you to know Lift A line that’s permanent divides us now Yet life goes on, some way, somehow Chorus Farewell, my love You have turned your back Without you, love I am painted black My greatest loss I am torn from bliss You’ve chosen, love Abandon this Outro Be happy, love As you forget me We may be broken, love But we are free
7.
Drink Up 03:55
Verse 1 I’ve never had a man Without another waiting in his shadow I’d never take a man Who was greedy or jealous or callow Lift For I am a woman of wealth and fame A daughter of kings without fear or shame Intoxication is my name Aren’t you the lucky one, lover? Chorus I am the mead and this is my cup Drink up, my love, drink up, drink up I am the mead and this is my cup Drink up, oh, my love Verse 2 I’ve never been afraid To cause a little bit of trouble I’ll never be afraid To burn it right down to rubble Lift For I am a woman who plays the game Sweeter than honey, as hot as flame And if you get burned then you’re to blame Aren’t you the lucky one, lover? Chorus I am the mead and this is my cup Drink up, my love, drink up, drink up I am the mead and this is my cup Drink up, oh Drink up, oh Drink up, drink up Drink up, my love Verse 3 I’ve never been the kind To leave it all up to the men I’ll never be the kind To put it all off until then Lift For I am a woman no man can tame Sovereign when into the world I came Your life will never be the same Aren’t you the lucky one, lover? Chorus I am the mead and this is my cup Drink up, my love, drink up, drink up I am the mead and this is my cup Drink up, oh Drink up, oh Drink up, drink up Drink up, oh, my love
8.
The Rift 04:47
Verse 1 When we were both young We did everything together Breathing and beating as one So deeply entwined I was counting on forever I couldn’t see that the rift had begun Lift And you called me weak When you told me the distance between us Would be permanent, permanent Chorus So cut me out ‘cause I will hurt you Lock me up ‘cause I will make you fall Turn your back ‘cause I’ll betray you For love or loss I’d give my all Verse 2 When you walked away I lay bleeding in the silence Ragged and ravaged and raw Abandoned at last I dug deep and found defiance There in the darkness I started to claw Lift I know I can be stronger than this I don’t need your affection to quicken my pulse Anymore, anymore Chorus So cut me out ‘cause I will hurt you Lock me up ‘cause I will make you fall Turn your back ‘cause I’ll betray you For love or loss I’d give my all Bridge Now that you need me I have changed in the dark If you embrace me I won’t let go until I’ve made my mark You didn’t want me Because I made you burn And I have been driven to madness Waiting for you to return Chorus (x2) So cut me out ‘cause I will hurt you Lock me up ‘cause I will make you fall Turn your back ‘cause I’ll betray you For love or loss I’d give my all So cut me out ‘cause I will hurt you Lock me up ‘cause I will make you fall Turn your back ‘cause I’ll betray you For love or loss I’d give my all Outro To feel it all again I’d risk it all For love and loss at last I’ll take it all
9.
Refrain Flounder, o flounder deep in the sea Come and listen now to me I have a wife with an iron will And this is the last thing I’ll beg thee Verse 1 They lived in a hovel right next to the sea The fisherman and his wife He was out on the water when down went his line And the fish that came up said it wasn’t his time “Oh please, won’t you spare me my life?” Verse 2 The man he took pity and threw back his meal And then he came home to his wife He told her his story, not one to complain “Go ask it to grant you a wish for your pains “Husband, I want a new life!” Refrain Verse 3 “This cottage is nice, but could we have more?” Wondered the fisherman’s wife “I’d quite like a castle with crystal and cakes “Go back to the sea, say you made a mistake “I want a luxurious life!” Refrain Verse 4 “I want to be king and rule over this land “To be much more than your wife “Oh, I could be Emperor! Make me the Pope! “It’s more than I’d dreamed but it’s less than I hoped “Remember he owes you his life!” Bridge The sea went from shining to violet and grey The waves rose like mountains and blackened the bay Fearing reprisals before and behind The fisherman cowered in body and mind Verse 5 “What does she want now?” the angry fish cried “Your greedy, implacable wife?” “To be Lord of the Universe, rule moon and sun” “Enough!” cried the fish, “It will all be undone! “Go back to your miserable life!” Refrain Flounder, o flounder deep in the sea Come and listen, pity me I have a wife with an iron will But this is the last thing I’ll beg thee Oh, this is the last thing I’ll beg thee Yes, this is the last thing I’ll beg thee
10.
Tantalized 03:38
Verse 1 Nine hundred years ago living in Spain I married a man for his wealth and his name I worried his relatives, frightened his friends I angered his servants and made no amends Verse 2 I gossiped with neighbours, delighting in spite And never let on what I did every night They thought me a witch or a wandering waif But I kept my secret unbidden and safe Chorus I am ageless By the power of my skin I am seduction I can draw a lover in I am beauty So look deep into my eyes I’m your destruction But I will keep you tantalized Verse 3 My fury was potent and flattened my head My eyes they grew narrow and terror was spread Condemned if you crossed me, much worse than my bite Embrace me, my love, and I’ll wrap you up tight Chorus I am ageless By the power of my skin I am seduction I can draw a lover in I am beauty So look deep into my eyes I’m your destruction But I will keep you tantalized Bridge Don’t you want to play? Side to side I’ll sway I will haunt you night and day There is nothing you can do or say I am here to stay Verse 4 A woman by daylight, a snake in the dark As long as my skin doesn’t meet with a spark For all you would need to break free from my spell Is fire: a secret I never will tell Chorus I am ageless By the power of my skin I am seduction I can draw a lover in I am beauty So look deep into my eyes I’m your destruction But I will keep you tantalized Outro I am ageless I am beauty I am seduction And I’m your destruction Look in my eyes I will keep you tantalized
11.
PART I: LITTLE DOLL Verse 1 When I was but eight years old Mother gone and growing cold Left a blessing in her stead With her dying breath she said: Vasilisa, take this doll It will be your wherewithal Share your troubles, wait and see Heed the words it says to thee Verse 2 Father married yet again Being handsomest of men To a widow with two girls Jealousy beneath their curls Vasilisa, they would say Each and every single day Do the work a servant should More than what you thought you could Chorus Little doll, I’ll gladly give All my fortune to you Tell me now how I should live Advise what I must do: “Feed me morsels from your plate “I will make the crooked straight “Go to sleep, my sweet, believing “Morning’s wiser than the evening” Verse 3 Years went by of much the same Such a beauty I became Suitors came and banished, went My stepmother’s rage was spent: Vasilisa will remain ‘Til her sisters husbands gain Not for her a happy life Find yourselves another wife! Chorus Little doll, I’ll gladly give All my fortune to you Tell me now how I should live Advise what I must do: “Feed me morsels from your plate “I will make the crooked straight “Go to sleep, my sweet, believing “Morning’s wiser than the evening” Bridge Little doll, I’m so forlorn Weathered, weary, weak and worn: “Vasilisa, take your ease “Lay beneath the arching trees “I’ll perform your every chore “Even when they cry for more “Faithful as a blessing, sure “Of a mother’s love so pure” Chorus Little doll, I’ll gladly give All my fortune to you Tell me now how I should live Advise what I must do: “Feed me morsels from your plate “I will make the crooked straight “Go to sleep, my sweet, believing “Morning’s wiser than the evening” PART II: BLESSED IS BEST Verse 1 Father’s a merchant, he’s going away Here with my step-family I must stay I know they hate me They try to deflate me But I keep on thriving anyway Verse 2 Moved to a new house that borders the wood They send me in gathering, unlikely for my good Hoping I’ll cry there Or lie down and die there But I keep returning back home as I should Lift Out went the light, so my sisters said “You, Vasilisa, will go in our stead “Into the woods to the witch’s house “Bring us a fire, you wretched mouse!” Chorus I am justly terrified Of taking up this quest I would be in danger Were it not for being blessed Little doll, with glowing eyes Help me now to win my prize I will see tomorrow, yes If you will tell me what is best Verse 3 Shaking I entered the forest alone Walking the path that my doll had shown me One step, another Until I discovered Baba Yaga’s home! Verse 4 There were skulls on the fence posts with eyes all aflame Femurs for doorposts and gates of the same “Fie, I can smell her!” A voice came to tell her “Now give me the reason you came! “Or I’ll eat you” Lift “Grandmother, I come to fetch home a light “Grant me a favour this long, dark night” “If you remain I will do as you ask “If you fulfil without fault each task!” Chorus I am justly terrified Of taking up this quest I would be in danger Were it not for being blessed Little doll, with glowing eyes Help me now to win my prize I will see tomorrow, yes For you will tell me what is best Verse 5 Every bright morning the doll set to work No little detail or duty was shirked “How is this possible? “This is impossible!” Baba said, “Child, you’ve a curious quirk!” Verse 6 “Well, I have a secret, a motherly blessing” “Ah, that is the answer and no need for guessing “Be off with you, dear “I’ll have no blessed ones here “But take home a skull with MY blessing” Lift When I arrived home they were still in the dark “Yaga has gifted us all with this spark!” Flaring its eyes the old skull stared them down ‘Til three piles of ashes lay cool on the ground Chorus I was justly terrified Of taking up this quest And I’d have been in danger Were it not for being blessed Little doll, with glowing eyes You have helped me win my prize I will see tomorrow, yes For you will tell me what is best PART III: I CAN TELL Verse 1 There is nothing left For me in this place Haunting memories And empty space So I’ll go to town Find somewhere to wait For father’s return At a future date Verse 2 A kind-hearted woman Childless and bent Offered me shelter And board without rent I said, “Bring me some flax “The best you can buy “For if I sit idle “Of boredom I’ll die” Refrain I can tell you what is coming I know what will happen next For I can read my future fortune Like the pages of a text Verse 3 Spinning so quickly This thread so fine “But how will I comb it “Little doll of mine?” “An old comb and a shuttle “And a horse’s mane “I’ll make you a loom “If you bring me the same” Verse 4 So I wove the linen And bleached it so white It passed through a needle Like thread so light “Grandmother, sell this “Make back what I owe” “No never, my child “To the tsar it will go” Refrain I can tell you what is coming I know what will happen next For I can read my future fortune Like the pages of a text Verse 5 The tsar was amazed And accepted the gift Rewarded the woman With all she could lift He said, “Make me some shirts!” But his seamstresses said “You must find someone else “To sew them instead” Verse 6 So the linen was given Back into my care And I sewed a dozen fine shirts Then I declared “You can take these all back now “To the tsar while I dress “For I’ve known all along “That my work would impress” Refrain I can tell you what is coming I know what will happen next For I can read my future fortune Like the pages of a text Verse 7 Down came the tsar Demanding to meet The woman who had sewn His shirts so sweet I said, “I am the lady “For whom you seek” His mouth went dry And his knees went weak Verse 8 “Vasilisa “You’ll be my wife! “And I will change forever “Your dreary life” “I could do far worse” I thought, “than this “All thanks to my little doll “I have all I could wish” Refrain I can tell you what is coming I know what will happen next For I can read my future fortune Like the pages of a text

about

These are the Wanderlings. Songs that celebrate the wanderers with wanderlust and wonderment, wondering. The women we love to read about, worthy of their tales. Those who travel from their homes, their lives, their safe places, and choose a path.

I am sculpting their journeys in music. I am painting a mosaic of the feminine. I am honouring she who is preserved, keepsake of oral traditions. Goddess and witch, source and mother, daughter and narcissist, lover and guardian, creator, destroyer, intoxicator. A true portrait of everything we are.

Upon completion of this project there will be 52 songs – one for each week – recorded in four volumes – one for each season. Volume One is largely inspired by European traditions, and its 13 songs were primarily written while I was cloaked in winter’s darkest shadows.

credits

released April 16, 2015

All songs written, performed and produced by Leslie Hudson at Scarlet Oak Studio, Burlington, ON

Mastered by Charlie Jacklin at Kerr Village Productions, Oakville, ON

Album design by Karl Stahl & Leslie Hudson

Cover photo by Leslie Hudson – art installation representing the eponymous goddess Ériu on the Hill of Uisneach, Co. Westmeath, Ireland, following the Bealtaine Fire Festival, May 2011

Back cover photo by Karl Stahl – taken at Webster’s Falls, Dundas, ON, October 2014

Drawings by Leslie Hudson – copied from George Bain’s Celtic Art: The Methods of Construction (New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1973)

Special thanks to Karl Stahl, Devin Melanson & Charlie Jacklin for the crash courses in Mixing 101; the Filk community at home and abroad for encouraging this project and loving these stories as deeply as I do; the Moonshine open mic community for listening to me hammer these songs out over the past year as they found their voices; Jane Yolen for her collection of Favorite Folktales from around the World; The Grimm Brothers, J.K. Rowling, Hans Christian Andersen, Astrid Lindgren, the Irish bards, and all those who have kept and continue to keep the darkness, the pain, and the madness in storytelling

license

all rights reserved

tags

about

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 paths women walk through life, myth and media. ... more

contact / help

Contact Leslie Hudson

Streaming and
Download help

Redeem code

Report this album or account