THIS EARTHLY SPELL

by Karine Polwart

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released March 10, 2008

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Karine Polwart UK

One of the finest singer-songwriters in Britain" The Guardian

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Track Name: The Good Years
The Good Years

Wherever you are
You shall be my star
Flashing near or smouldering far

I am happy when I bask in your light
All I ask is that you may bask

In my mind I hear the sound
Of every happy fount
Fresh as fresh is found

We're singing without tears
We're clinging without fears
Track Name: Sorry
Sorry

When your time on the mountain is over
And you fall to the earth like a leaf
It won't be enough these days to say sorry
No, sorry won't pay for this grief

For you may lay down your guilt on the altar
You may nail your remorse to a cross
But it's not enough these days to say sorry
No, sorry won't pay for this loss

And if the blood on your hands turns to water
And the night in your soul turns to day
It won't be enough this time to say sorry
No, sorry won't wash it all away

You may lay down your guilt on the altar.

When you're through with the spells you've been spinning
When our hopes and our dreams have all died
It won't be enough these days to say sorry
No, sorry won't turn back the tide

You may lay down your guilt on the altar.

And if you should desist from deceiving
And if you should confess to the crime
It won't be enough these days to say sorry
No, sorry won't save you this time

You may lay down your guilt on the altar.
Track Name: Better Things
Better Things

So is this the best that we can do?
Oh I can think of better things - can't you?
Yes I can think of better things
That hands can make and hearts can sing

For now we deal with those for whom
A life is but a carnal tomb
In which the darkness holds no power
And neither does the final hour

We may lament the deadly art
Of tiny atoms torn apart
Of visions that we can't return
And future fires in which we fear we'll burn

Yet this is the art of those before
Who found a cure within the core
The noble mind behind the ray
That eased our earthly cares away

Is this the best...
Track Name: Rivers Run
Rivers Run

This weary Earth we walk upon
She will endure when we are gone
While kingdoms come and kingdoms go
Rivers run and rivers flow

You know I don't believe it's true
That in this world there's nothing new
For darling you have just begun
Rivers flow and rivers run

And if those rivers should ever run dry
Somewhere the rain will still fall,
Will still fall from the sky

When I'm beguiled by the fear
That darker days are drawing near
My darling, you seduce the sun
Rivers flow and rivers run

And if the rivers.

This wounded Earth we walk upon
She will endure when we are gone
But still I pray that you may know
How rivers run and rivers flow

And if the rivers.

So I cross my heart and hope to live
Just long enough that I can give
It all to you, my darling one
Rivers flow and rivers run
Track Name: Painted It White
Painted It White

Nobody learns, seems like everybody
turns to the screen
To watch it pass but not to ask you
"What does it mean?"

We believed.

So here we are, we're not so far
from where we could be
You've got a gun, the one
you say will keep us all free

So free that you
Can bomb a blue horizon to black
Then steal away the day
And never, never give it back

We believed.
Track Name: Firethief
Firethief

Who stole the heart of my bonnie laddie?
All alone and aloney O
And left me another lad in his body
Down where I cannot go
Down where I cannot follow

Who stole the light from my laddie's eyes
And left me another lad in disguise?

Who stole the words that were on my laddie's tongue
And left me a rickle of skin and bone?

Who stole today? Who stole tomorrow?
And left me with nothing but doul and sorrow?

I know the name of the fire thief
But you can't grow a tree from a fallen leaf
Track Name: Behind Our Eyes
Behind Our Eyes

Hope roams these streets at night
It's looking for a light that gleams
Inside our dreams and yearning
It's burning behind our eyes

Behind our eyes
Behind our eyes
Behind our eyes
Behind our eyes

And in the waking hours
Hope keeps its flowers concealed
It's like a field before reaping
It's sleeping behind our eyes

Behind our eyes
Behind our eyes
Behind our eyes
Behind our eyes
Track Name: The News
The News

What if the news were nothing more
than the secrets of seashells on the seashore
whispering which way the wind will blow this night
and how everything's gonna be alright

What if the very first sound you heard
at dawn was a wild and wonderful word?
and what if a smile was your first sight?
wouldn't everything have to be alright

For everyone, everywhere
every joy, every care
Everything's gonna be alright

What if the only sign of unrest
were feathers falling form a fledgling nest
just an hour before it soars in flight
wouldn't everything have to be alright

For everyone, everywhere
every joy, every care
Everything's gonna be alright
Track Name: Sorrowlessfield
Sorrowlessfield

I dreamt last night of a sorrowless field
I saw you come back to me
I dreamt last night of a sorrowless field
You stood under the birken tree
Through the rattle and rain
To my window you came
And where I lay silently sleeping
I dreamt last night of a sorrowless field
But woke to the sound of weeping

I dreamt last night of a sorrowless field
And we lay all day in that meadow
I dreamt last night of a sorrowless field
Unburdened by destiny's shadow
I surrendered my skin
Til evening blew in
Upon every joy of creation
I dreamt last night of a sorrowless field
But woke to a lamentation

I dreamt last night of a sorrowless field
The only one left without sorrow
I dreamt last night of a sorrowless field
You said you would see me tomorrow
Then you parted from me
Where the road splits in three
And all of those roads were for the taking
I dreamt last night of a sorrowless field
But woke to the sound of my own heart breaking
Track Name: Tongue That Cannot Lie
Tongue That Canot Lie

I was born with a tongue that cannot lie
and how it grieves me
Each fleeting thought behind my eye
just up and leaves me
Into the wild, like a bastard child
born under a briar
Oh to be, oh to be, oh to be a liar

I've been courted by saints and by sinners
who all know the things that a tongue can tell
Whose discrete invitations for sweet revelations
Were such an enticement to sell
But the street price of secrets seduced
and reduced me to trading without any care
Oh to be a liar.

So in conscience I chose to avoid those consumed
by ambitions of earthly dominion
But even this act, the omission of fact
Just delighted The Lords of Opinion
And in retreat from it all I did fall for a man
Who swore that my words were a blessing

But for each of the beautiful daughters we bore
I betrayed all the joy in my heart
Each harmless invention or childlike convention
I brutally shattered apart
Some say love is saying the way that it is
But believe me it just isn't so
For the joy of surprises, the tooth-fairy wonder
And Halloween guises were all torn asunder

And the lovely mistruths that I so longed to utter
Dissolved in the blink of a tear just like butter
Oh to be a liar.
For a tongue that can't lie shall cause the meek to cry
cruel words to cut them through
And a tongue that can't lie
Shall cause the righteous few to silence all that is true
Oh to be a liar.

Now I wander these earthly lands from pole to pole
And from shore to lonely shore
Seeking concealment in corners but somehow
the world still descends on my door
Afflicted, addicted I pray for a potion
To take all my vision away
Oh to be a liar.

So tear out this tongue and stitch up these
barbarous eyes with which I see
And grant me the right
To spare you the cold callous cut of reality
Won't you take all this knowing
and leave me with nothing, no nothing at all
Let me speak what I will and reserve all the rest
and I'll walk through the world
Neither blighted nor blessed
For my sole modest wish now before my demise
Is to savour the sweetness and kindness of lies
Oh to be a liar.

For a tongue that can't lie.