Salters Road

from by Karine Polwart

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about

Written in memory and celebration of my wise, mischievous and remarkably well-travelled neighbour Molly Kristensen, who died in 2009, just short of her 90th birthday. Salter’s Road was the old salt smuggling route that ran inland through The Lothians from Prestonpans on the River Forth, and directly past my house (and Molly’s). For her daughter Meg and granddaughters Caroline and Kez.

lyrics

SALTER’S ROAD

She was waiting for a boy
In her corduroy britches
Driving on a Clydesdale like her father once had done
From Mutton Hole to Preston Hall through all the dells and ditches
And an avenue of burly beech that reach towards the sun

For miles and miles and miles she’d roam
Down Salter’s Road to Fala Dam and all the way home
For miles and miles and miles she’d roam

She was waiting for a boy
In his trews of navy cotton
Something she had half-forgotten is as clear as water now
The horseman’s only daughter takes the Friday boat to Bergen
And the waves swell like a barley field that’s ready to lay down

For miles and miles and miles she’d roam
Down Salter’s Road to Fala Dam and all the way home
For miles and miles and miles she’d roam

Down the spine of the St Lawrence
To Kirkwall’s stony shore
The old north wind gathers her into his arms once more

She was waiting for a boy
He came skipping down to greet her
Through the starch and bleach and buttons he was singing out her name
The evening clouds are huddled in so close that you could catch them
Granite sheen upon the river and the shimmering of rain

For miles and miles and miles she’d roam
Down Salter’s Road to Fala Dam and all the way home
For miles and miles and miles she’d roam
Down Whippielaw and Windy Mains and all the way home
All the way home …

credits

from TRACES, released August 13, 2012
Written by Karine Polwart (MCPS/PRS)

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

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