R.L. Stevenson (Hark! en Co cd linear notes and texts)

CD R.L. Stevenson

instrumental tracks recorded 28 june 2017 in ‘het Witte Kerkje’ in Baarn, the Netherlands

vocals recorded 31 august 2017 in studio Orkater, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

sound engineer and mixing: Hans Erblich

 

all compositions, vocals on track 3, 5, 7 and 8, cajon:  Harke Jan van der Meulen

vocals on track 1, 4 and 6: Henk Hofstede

vocals on track 2, 3, 5 and 9: Vera van der Poel

violin: Josje ter Haar

cello: Brendan Conroy

guitar: Steef Vellinga

piano: Elly Abas

 

thank you: Helma Verkleij, Mees & Nena van der Meulen

 

poems/lyrics:

  1. Lookin Glass River (R.L. Stevenson)

Smooth it glides upon its travel,
Here a wimple, there a gleam–
O the clean gravel!
O the smooth stream!

Sailing blossoms, silver fishes,
Pave pools as clear as air–
How a child wishes
To live down there!

We can see our colored faces
Floating on the shaken pool
Down in cool places,
Dim and very cool;

Till a wind or water wrinkle,
Dipping marten, plumping trout,
Spreads in a twinkle
And blots all out.

See the rings pursue each other;
All below grows black as night,
Just as if mother
Had blown out the light!

Patience, children, just a minute–
See the spreading circles die;
The stream and all in it
Will clear by-and-by.

2. Glistering Planets (R.L. Stevenson)

Plain as the glistering planets shine
When winds have cleaned the skies,
Her love appeared, appealed for mine,
And wantoned in her eyes.

Clear as the shining tapers burned
On Cytherea’s shrine,
Those brimming, lustrous beauties turned,
And called and conquered mine.

The beacon-lamp that Hero lit
No fairer shone on sea,
No plainlier summoned will and wit,
Than hers encouraged me.

I thrilled to feel her influence near,
I struck my flag at sight.
Her starry silence smote my ear
Like sudden drums at night.

I ran as, at the cannon’s roar,
The troops the ramparts man –
As in the holy house of yore
The willing Eli ran.

Here, lady, lo! that servant stands
You picked from passing men,
And should you need nor heart nor hands
He bows and goes again.

3. a Good Boy (R.L. Stevenson)

I woke before the morning, I was happy all the day,
I never said an ugly word, but smiled and stuck to play.

And now at last the sun is going down behind the wood,
And I am very happy, for I know that I’ve been good.

My bed is waiting cool and fresh, with linen smooth and fair,
And I must be off to sleepsin-by, and not forget my prayer.

I know that, till to-morrow I shall see the sun arise,
No ugly dream shall fright my mind, no ugly sight my eyes.

But slumber hold me tightly till I waken in the dawn,
And hear the thrushes singing in the lilacs round the lawn.

4. Farewell to the Farm (R.L. Stevenson)

The coach is at the door at last;
The eager children, mounting fast
and kissing hands, in chorus sing:
Good-bye, good-bye, to everything!

To house and garden, field and lawn,
The meadow-gates we swang upon,
To pump and stable, tree and swing,
Good-bye, good-bye, to everything!

And fare you well for evermore,
O ladder at the hayloft door,
O hayloft where the cobwebs cling,
Good-bye, good-bye, to everything!

Crack goes the whip, and off we go;
The trees and houses smaller grow;
Last, round the woody turn we sing:

Goodbye, Goodbye to everything…

 

5. Where go the Boats? (R.L. Stevenson)

Dark brown is the river,
Golden is the sand.
It flows along for ever,
With trees on either hand.

Green leaves a-floating,
Castles of the foam,
Boats of mine a-boating–
Where will all come home?

On goes the river
And out past the mill,
Away down the valley,
Away down the hill.

Away down the river,
A hundred miles or more,
Other little children
Shall bring my boats ashore.

 

6. The Wind (R.L. Stevenson)

I saw you toss the kites on high
and blow the birds about the sky;
and all around I heard you pass,
Like ladies’ skirts across the grass–
O wind, a-blowing all day long,
O wind, that sings so loud a song!

I saw the different things you did,
But always you yourself you hid.
I felt you push, I heard you call,
I could not see yourself at all–
O wind, a-blowing all day long,
O wind, that sings so loud a song!

O you that are so strong and cold,
O blower, are you young or old?
Are you a beast of field and tree,
Or just a stronger child than me?
O wind, a-blowing all day long,
O wind, that sings so loud a song!

 

  7. Ravi (Harke Jan van der Meulen)

All the things that you wanna say but you couldn’t express in words

you found a medicine that was beyond the language of the eloquent

but I assume that all Western talk is deaf to you

67 was the very first time when the Beatles played Norwegian Wood

83 was the second time, it was the Cutter of the Bunnymen

Now if you play don’t pass me by, my friend,

Ravi, you hardly said a word, confounded without sword

enchanted my whole world, charmed and raised me up to feed me as a whole….

(repeat)

8. Clock a Clay (John Clare)

In the cowslip peeps I lie,
Hidden from the buzzing fly,
While green grass beneath me lies,
Pearled with dew like fishes’ eyes,
Here I lie, a clock-o’-clay,
Waiting for the time o’ day.

While grassy forests quake surprise,
And the wild wind sobs and sighs,
My gold home rocks as like to fall,
On its pillar green and tall;
When the pattering rain drives by
Clock-o’-clay keeps warm and dry.

Day by day and night by night,
All the week I hide from sight;
In the cowslip peeps I lie,
In the rain still warm and dry;
Day and night and night and day,
Red, black-spotted clock-o’-clay.

(repeat verse 2 and 3)

My home it shakes in wind and showers,
Pale green pillar topped with flowers,
Bending at the wild wind’s breath,
Till I touch the grass beneath;
Here I live, lone clock-o’-clay,
Watching for the time of day.     

9. Taking Leave of a Friend (Ezra Pound)      

       Blue mountains to the north of the walls,
White river winding about them;
Here we must make separation
And go out through a thousand miles of dead grass.

Mind like a floating wide cloud,
Sunset like the parting of old acquaintances
Who bow over their clasped hands at a distance.
Our horses neigh to each others
as we are departing.