Steer In The Night

by The Old Dance School

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released September 8, 2014

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The Old Dance School Birmingham, UK

Duelling fiddles, soaring brass crescendos, and irresistible grooves, The Old Dance School's expansive, cinematic sound charts their remarkable journey from ballet school basement jam sessions and cowshed rehearsals, to remote lighthouses, to headline appearances at international festivals. ... more

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Track Name: Craigie Hill (Live)
A spring day and the small birds were singing
Down by a shady arbour I carelessly did stray
and the Curlews were warbling, the harebells blooming
I see two lovers talking, a while I did delay.

She said my love don't leave me all for another season
While fortune may be pleasing I'll go along with you
I'll forsake friends and relations and quit this Irish nation
And to the bonny Bann banks I'll bid adieu.

He said my love don't grieve me or yet annoy my patience
You know I love you dearly although I must away
I'm going to some foreign nation to purchase a plantation
For to feed us hereafter all in Americae.

The landlords and their agents, their bailiffs and their beagles
The land of our forefathers we're forced to give o'er
And we're sailing on the ocean for honour and promotion
Parting with our sweethearts, it's them we do adore.

And if you were in your bed lying and thinking on dying
One sight of the bonny Bann banks your sorrows you'd give o'er
And if you were but one hour all in her shady bower
Pleasure would surround you and you'd think on death no more.

So fair thee well sweet Craigie Hill where of'n times I've roved in
I never thought in my childhood days I'd part you any more
but we're sailing on the ocean for honour and promotion
The bonny boat's a-sailing down by Durin's shore.
Track Name: Sula Sgier (Live)
Sit down, sit down son
I want to ask you once again
This time will you come with me
To Sula Sgier across the sea
The men and I are leaving tonight
We slip the moorings at midnight
Vittled to last us two hard weeks
Steer in the night north by north-east.

Sixty miles on our true line
Beneath the cliffs we'll anchor down
Eight-hundred years we've taken from here
Two-thousand seabirds every year
Seared and plucked, salted and stacked
We sail two-thousand Gugas back
And the people all smile from the harbour wall
For gannet and potato on the table.

Steer in the night north by north-east
Steer in the night north by north-east
Steer in the night north by north-east
Steer in the night north by north-east

Island folk a long time gone
Sustained in seabirds on their own
Year on year never left them short
Boiled in the porridge a puffin they caught
But life was hard then not like today
With food from sunny lands far away
But we'll tip our glass, we'll taste the sea
And I'll ask you now like my father asked me

Steer in the night north by north-east
Steer in the night north by north-east
Steer in the night north by north-east
Steer in the night north by north-east

Listen father, I'm employed
By the power company from far abroad
Each day up to the peat hags I go
Where the great wind-towers like trees they grow
The wind is fuel and the price is high
For energy harnessed from the sky
But my table's set and my bed is warm
And our children will find their way back home.

So father, father don't you see
We're just the same both you and me
From the land and sea we take our share
White wings on the slant Atlantic air
So when the wheat and barley's golden still
But before the heather's here
Call the men together again
And sail for Sula Sgier

Steer in the night north by north-east
Steer in the night north by north-east
Steer in the night north by north-east
Steer in the night north by north-east
Track Name: The Real Thing (Live)
Now the water's flowing fast beneath the bridge
So many miles have passed beneath the wheel
The leaves are stirring up around our feet
And we're sitting here just trying to break the deal
Just like Blondin with his smile on the wire
When we see the smoke we cry fire
When we see the smoke we cry fire

Tonight by bag is packed
For the ones who push their heads into the ground
And the lines we have scratched into the map
Are splintered and cracked, shackled and bound
But it feels like we're still crossing barbed wire
When we see the smoke we cry fire
When we see the smoke we cry fire

Just look out your window, trace your footprints in the snow
Look out your window, see how far we have to go
Like the brief kiss of light to the silver nitrate
This is the real thing.

You know we stamp on thin ice
But it's hard to see the second we ignored our own advice
We're so used to a second chance
But it's not the night for wallflowers take my hand, let's dance
We're turning up the sound a little higher
When we see the smoke we cry fire
When we see the smoke we cry fire

Just look out your window, trace your footprints in the snow
Look out your window, see how far we have to go
Like the brief kiss of light to the silver nitrate
This is the real thing.

This is the right time
This is the moment
Like the first breaking light through the clouds
And we're snatching the pull chord
'cause this is the real thing
This time we're going to sing it out loud

And we're towing the line now
'cause this is the moment
Like the first breaking light through the clouds
And we're snatching the pull chord
'cause this is the real thing
This time we're going to sing it out loud
Track Name: The North Edge (Live)
Out on the streams and ribbons of wind
The spine of the north stands, dusk begins
And chasing the light I'll race the world turning
To the rocks on the edge at the end of the day

They've watched as the rain moves in from the west
And the Ring-Oozel shyly returns to his nest
They've stood as the winter ice melts into spring
Colours ignited to purple and grey

And in the visible silence of scattering light
As the forms fade and soften on the crest of the night
I've slept by these gritstones amid the moor sleeping
Them fast in the darkness as the wind-shadows sway

And what of these old songs we hear in the morning?
And what of these new lines at the end of the day?
Through the tide-race of living, our rising and falling
The edge is by island, and I'm cast away

As we weather our storms there's a still place within me
As the change of the seasons marks the land's constancy
And I'll drink in this breath like so many before me
Who've stood here forever and the brink of the day

So what of these old songs we sing in the morning?
And what of these new lines we hear on the way?
So chasing the light I'll race the world turning
To my place on the north edge at the end of the day.
Track Name: John Ball (Live)
Who'll be the Lady and who'll be the Lord
When they are met in the love of one another?
Who'll be the Lady and who'll be the Lord
In the light that's coming in the morning?

Sing John Ball, tell it to them all
Long be the day that's dawning
We'll crow like a cock and we'll carol like a lark
For the light that's coming in the morning.

Eve is the Lady and Adam is the Lord
When they are met in the love of one another
Eve is the Lady and Adam is the Lord
In the light that's coming in the morning

All shall be met in the fellowship I say
All shall be met in the love of one another
All shall be met in the fellowship I say
In the light that's coming in the morning

Labour and spin for the fellowship you're in
Labour and spin for the love of one another
Labour and spin for the fellowship you're in
In the light that's coming in the morning.