Stranded

by Blackwater

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about

New takes on traditional songs and tunes blended with fresh, original compositions comprise the second release of one of the best Celtic ensembles out today.

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released September 1, 2001

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Blackwater Middletown, New Jersey

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Track Name: Monday Morning
Monday morning why do you haunt me
with your bells and factory whistles all around
Monday morning why do you taunt me
and I so tired I could sleep here on the ground

Monday morning 6 AM the clock rings off the wall
an’ I’m standin’ tae attention in ma bare feet in the hall
Wi’ un leg doon ma trousers I can find nae socks at all
but I’m a coiled spring o’ industry respondin’ tae your call

Give me something different please I ask them at The Broo
On the board o’ some big company where I’ve no a thing tae do
Let me try insider trading I’d be equal tae the task
for I’m slowly being murdered by the piece bag and the flask

The bloke behind the counter says you must be off your head
and he swore he’d call the police if I did nae leave with speed
It was then I saw the notice pinned behind him on the wall
that said make ‘em thank their lucky stars they’ve any job at all

So you can come up here to Scotland and you can pay us what you like
for we’re meek sir, very simple and we’re no allowed to strike
And we all wear wee cloth bonnets and we all say ‘help me Bob’
and we’ll all bend down and kiss your doup and thank ye for the job
Track Name: Fair Jeanie
Fair Jeanie took to sea that day
two hundred on board as she set sail
all leaving ‘cause the crops had failed
knowing that they’d see their home no more
Bound across the northern swell
through rain and gale and raging sea
resigned to what their fate might be
they’d watch and wait for Canada’s eastern shore

For three pounds ten and the will to live
they’d leave their families and their dreams
to go someplace they’d never seen
to start again and build their lives anew
Oh they’d step on board down near old Tralee
down there by the docks and rocky strand
they’d place their lives into her hands
and know she’d never lost a soul at sea

Every spring Jeanie sailed away
bound for a place they called Grosse Isle
with Captain Attridge at the wheel
they’d slip past Brandon’s Creek at the break of day
When summer came she’d be back again
with a full weight of cargo on her keel
timber corn and yellow meal
and news from those who left the years before

Now she stands again in Fenit Quay
built by hand with love and pride
she rides again upon the tide
the Jeanie Johnston sails from port today
Fair Jeanie took to sea today
her three masts full sail to the breeze
she slipped her moors with grace and ease
she rides again in memory of darker days
Track Name: Uisge Beatha
When the lads all go out to drink a bit o’ stout
and to get in a wee bit o’ leisure
I still go out for the craiq and the sake of times gone back
but I now seek different treasure
As they toss back the ale and drink it by the pail
and lose their wee bit o’ decorum
I sit at the bar have a sip and a cigar
for I drink in a different forum

Though I like to drink a beer and to me the ale is dear
and the stout is a mighty pleasure
They make you feel full then they pass right through
and you’re left an empty measure
Sometimes wine just sipped is fine
but mixed drinks are a bit risky
For all my salt you can’t beat the single malt
so make mine Scottish whiskey

When we go out for the day to watch a bit o’ play
we always bring a wee bit o’ something
For it’s a sure bet it’ll be cold and wet
and a drink is mighty comforting
But the lads are loaded down and they stumble on the ground
with a whacking great load for their drinking
But for me one wee flask is enough to do the task
they’re all daft that’s what I’m thinking

At the weekly Sunday dinner you can’t go and be a sinner
there isn’t any beer or any stout
The lads all stand and talk with their mouths as dry as chalk
the pubs are closed it’s like a flipping drought
But me I’m fine and glad the food is not so bad
and the lasses are as bonny as can be
Well what they all don’t know because it doesn’t show
what’s in my cup is not exactly tea

Now to give the stout its due I like to drink it too
and it’s great to have your friends to share a sip
And the lads are learning too that it’s a pleasant thing to do
and they’ll join me in a little nip
So what it comes down to is that any drink will do
they can all make you feel a wee bit frisky
I can take which one I please and be just as much at ease
but I still prefer a dram of Scottish whiskey
Track Name: Forever Yours
A stor mo chroi I give you all the love I have and more
If I could wish to be forever anything
I’d be forever yours

Some may wish for riches like a mountain made of gold
or perhaps they long for wisdom strength or fame
But when I see your brown eyes looking back at me I know
I have more than a million wishful dreams

I think back on the days before your sun rose in my life
and I wonder how I ever found my way
Your smile your touch and your laughter have become for me
my center in an ever-changing world

There are those who spend their whole lives waiting
looking for the chance
to love someone the way that we do
So every day I thank the stars that I asked you to dance
and that you were meant for me and me for you
Track Name: Love and Freedom
As I came o'er Strathmartin brae
what do you think I seen
But a brisk young piper laddie
comin' linkin' o'er yon green

Hey Donal ho Donal
Dirrum a doo a day

He played a jig and he played a reel
he played a sweet strathspey
And he set my heart a beatin'
to the tappin' of his tae

He says I've no gold to give to you
I've gathered little gear
But I'll give you love and freedom
if you'll come with me my dear

Oh there's gold in the broom of the Sidlaw hills
honey in the heather sweet
There's a speckled trout in the highland tarn
green carpets 'neath our feet

So he's ta'en out his chanter
and such a tune he plays
She's chosen love and freedom
now she'll wander all her days
Track Name: Both Sides the Tweed
What's the spring-breathing jasmine and rose
What's the summer with all its gay train
Or the splendor of autumn to those
Who've bartered their freedom for gain

Let the love of our land's sacred rights
To the love of our people succeed
Let friendship and honor unite
And flourish on both sides the Tweed.

No sweetness the senses can cheer
Which corruption and bribery bind
No brightness that gloom can e'er clear
For honor’s the sum of the mind

Let virtue distinguish the brave
Place riches in lowest degree
Think them poorest who can be a slave
Them richest who dare to be free
Track Name: Winner of the Games
He saw the lass and fell for her when he first came to the Fair
Though a handsome and a hearty lad how could he meet her there
There were many men among the crowd he was but one he knew
and only one would win her heart what was that lad to do

He was not sae strong as other men his purse not as well padded
For the lovely lass to look at him well something must be added
Great feats were few about the fair for men to make great names
The thought came then the thing to do was to join the Highland Games

For in the Highland Games you show what you can do
You’re one of the lads one of a very few
who will stand out all alone and give your very best
and the winners and the losers all stand proud above the rest


The first task was to toss the stane a great girthed chunk o’ granite
He hefted it and held his breath but he almost couldn’t stand wi’ it
At first he swayed and then he spun to heave the stane away
But the stane stayed still as he shot doon and skidded in the hay

And he went arse over kick wi’ his kilt above his head
He landed sae hard they all swore that he was dead
But he stood and shook his loof as he staggered on the ground
Well I gave it my best lads let’s go another round


He fetched the fork the sheaf to toss he felt he couldn’t fail
The heavy haft his hand did heft as he bent to lift the bail
He raised the rake readied his toss but the hay had made him itch
The fork flew east the sheaf fell west and he fetched up on the pitch

The lovely lassie all alone was watching a’ the while
Her fair eyes followed him doon the field then she stunned him with a smile
He stood up straight stroked his beard he looked a lissom lairde
But the final feat was before him now and that luckless lad was scared

For the caber lay long on the land its length looked a league at least
They stood it straight he stooped to it and stood back up with ease
But the caber swayed the crowd backed off as he trotted doon the track
He hopped and gave a hearty heave and hove right on his back

He lay there long just looking up She’d seen his sorry showing
She must have left wi’ another lad so he got up to get going
She was standing there he shook his head what was she doing here
She said you’re sure a good sport Jock would you buy a lass a beer

You sure went arse over kick wi’ your kilt above your head
Ye landed sae hard that I swore that ye were dead
And I stood and shook my head as you staggered to your feet
And I thought lassie now there’s a young lad that you should meet
Track Name: The Calypso Ceili Band
Just sit right back and I’ll tell you a tale
about a little known band from down near old Kinsale
They played the locals on the Saturday night
but no matter the tune it never sounded right
Then they saw an ad in the local news
seeking a band for a Caribbean cruise
They looked at each other and said what’s to lose
let’s trade in our wellies for some flip-flop shoes

Down the pub Finn was feelin’ trapped
working nights pulling the tap
When the band was playin’ he come out o’ the bar
and give it his best to be a fiddling star
Well his pints were short and his reels too slow
it wasn’t a loss when he said he’d go
But down the islands he just seemed to know
the way to play and make the music flow

It might have been the rum
It could have been the breeze
Or maybe all the women or the gentle flowing seas
But every night the crowd came to its feet
When they played the reels with a calypso beat

Whistlin’ Joe was a simple man
pushin’ chips from a worn out van
Every Sunday when he knelt to pray
he dreamt of playing with Christie at the point someday
But every time that he took the stage
his innards went into fits of rage
But out on the cruise he earns his wage
whistlin’ at girls half his age

Now Seamus worked delivering the post
it was the soft and cold days he hated most
By Saturday noon he’d walked terribly far
but later that night he’d be playin’ his guitar
His tempo was off and he’d lose the beat
he’d keep on strumming till his hands got weak
But when he plays in the tropical heat
the people listening have to tap their feet

Seamus Finn and Whistlin’ Joe
fell in love and the next thing you know
they were back in Kinsale with three wives in tow
And the Calypso Ceili is a regular show.
Track Name: Going Home
Standing there at Shannon in the early morning rain
the mist and the breeze in my face
An old familiar feeling is coming back again
from another time in this place
A time when we were young and we didn’t have a care
When Mom and Dad would pack us up for a summer over there
We’d spend our days up on Croughan or on the strand down at Clonea
or up the old tree by the gate or in the acre full of hay
And even though I’m older and it’s been years I’ve been away

I still know there’s a welcome waiting and a space beside the fire
There’ll be stories told and songs of old and laughter for a while
And I know no matter where I wander or where my spirit roams
I’ll always find a welcome there in my Dungarvan home.

As we make our way through Limerick and head on east to Cahir
The empty streets await the start of day
The scent of peat smoke lingers in the Tipperary air
And in my mind the memories start to play
A Christmas Mass at Mellary and the wren boys with a song
A football match in McCarthyville when the summer days were long
A pint down at The Anchor with the session in full play
Where you can see the lights of Abbeyside or watch the moon dance on the bay
I pass a quiet country churchyard and think of those who’ve passed away.

By the time we get to old Clonmel, the day’s picked up its pace
A schoolyard full of children hard at play
I see you asleep beside me and watch the sunlight on your face
And I think back to that warm September day
When we made this trip together as a new wed man and wife
And how I wanted you to love the place that had helped to shape my life
To walk the Commeragh mountains or sit by the Quay and watch the tide
Or hear a story and a song at my grandfather’s side
Though the years have passed and our lives have changed I’m still glad that you’re my bride

As we pass the Nire and Colligan we’ve just a few more miles
This journey of memories is nearly done
And in the rear-view mirror I catch a glimpse and have to smile
As I think about what awaits our little son
Picnics up at Mahon Falls and the boats off Helvick Head
Or a walk out to the faerie liss where the wee folk used to tread
See the lambs up on the mountain as they caper and they play
Or sit beside a roaring fire on a soft and windy day
Someday I’ll come back here for good and you know I’ll always say
Track Name: John O'Dreams
When midnight comes good people homeward tread
Seek now your blankets and your feathered bed
Home comes the rover his journey over
Yield up the nighttime to old John O’Dreams

Across the Hills the sun has gone away
Tomorrow’s cares are many dreams away
The stars are flying your candle’s dying
Yield up the darkness to old John O’Dreams

Both man and master in the night are one
All things are equal when the day is done
The prince the plow man the slave the free man
All find their comfort in old John O’Dreams

When sleep it comes the dreams come running clear
The hawks of morning cannot reach you here
Sleep is a river flow on forever
And for your boatman choose old John O’Dreams