Across the Water

by SixMileBridge

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about

First album release, the long version:

At the close of Ceili's Muse, after a good six years walking on air from all the love and sense of family that band inspired, Anders and I wanted something a little more powerful and still as gorgeous. The little Ren Faire called Cavalier Dayes brought Wolf Loescher into the picture, a drummer by trade who also rocked the bagpipes, sang and played guitar, and was funny as hell. He gave a lot of consideration to starting over, but I think saw something special in a brand new project, so he decided to move on from the Austin Celtic band Poor Man's Fortune. At least for a while.

With Anders on guitar and bass, me on vocals, bass, violin, Wolf with the Godfoot drums and extras, we needed a foundation. Something to hold it all together on rhythm guitar, but better. The Wednesday night Ceili sessions at the Mucky Duck in Houston had a shy, waif of a starlet in its midst. She was sparkly, never stopped smiling. She didn't know there was a business end to music, only the joy brought.
Her talent was off the charts, so we all sort of looked at each other and said "What the hell? Let's ask her." And so with Frances Cunningham (nee Newton), the first incarnation was complete. The first rehearsal had a synergy that was palpable and almost scary. I had handed Frances my bouzouki and said "would you mind learning to play this please?" No problem. It was smoking under her tiny hands in two weeks.

We got the band name after six weeks of pulling our hair out and living in torture. I guess I came up with it, since I had been to Ireland the most. But we all knew in an instant.

SixMileBridge is a tiny hamlet in County Clare, Ireland, that you may notice on your way from Shannon airport on the way to the Burren and the Cliffs of Moher. Or maybe not. Don't blink, you'll miss it. More about why it's special, read on in the "No Reason" album notes...

It was our first record with a brand new studio, completely turn-key and modern. Anders and Wolf, the techno geeks, wanted to use every gadget in the house. I couldn't help but pull in the reigns sometimes, but everything came together in a really honest, straightforward way that we're proud of.

The debut kicked off several years of non-stop touring, killing it at high-end festivals. It was everything you dream when you live your dream.

credits

released February 21, 2017

Produced by Drennon/Johansson
Recorded and mixed at Houston Audio Labs, Houston TX
Engineered by Anders Johansson, Maggie Drennon, and Jared Pollack
Mastering by Jerry Tubb at Terra Nova Digital Audio, Austin TX
Design by Jay Ford and SixMileBridge
Photography by Michele Grinstead
Cliffs of Moher photographs by Maggie Drennon
Wolf Loescher uses ProMark drumsticks and mallets

All songs arranged by SixMileBridge
© 1998 SixMileBridge

SixMileBridge would like to thank . . .

Jay Ford, Paul “The Dominator” Domotor, Steve Farmer, Max Addison, Dan Yeaney, Ben & Francine Apple, Michele Grinstead, Dianna Sunn, Peter Murgola, Stan Wasilik, Douglas Emes
Jared Pollack, Ramon Martin, McGonigel’s Mucky Duck,
Harry O., Sam & Ray @ Rockin’ Robin, Steve, Michael & Jeff @ ProMark, Pipe Major Kenneth Liechti, Pipe Sargeant Wade Harper,
& the gang @EISYS

Special thanks to . . .

Christina Kellaway,
Judith (Hudie) Huddleston,
The Loeschers,
The Newtons,
The Binghams,
The Chapmans,
Mona & Jennifer Johansson,
Caroline & Norma,
Norbert, The Schubbes,
Anjelica Freeman,
Laura McKieran,
Beth McMillan,
Gustavus Adolphus College & Alumni

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about

Maggie Drennon New York, New York

Maggie Drennon is a premiere voice in Celtic singing, a long standing influence in folk music. She was a founding member of Ceili's Muse in 1989, and SixMileBridge in 1997

Now, with a solo performance that is meaningful yet lighthearted, she is deeply devoted to sharing Celtic traditions with American audiences.

Most importantly she brings us the soaring voice that will inspire your heart!
... more

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Track Name: It Was a' for Our Rightfu' King
It was a' for our rightfu' King
We left fair Scotland's strand,
It was a' for our rightfu' King
We e'er saw Irish land, my dear,
We e'er saw Irish land.

Now a' is done that men can do,
And a' is done in vain,
My Love and Native Land fareweel,
For I maun cross the main, my dear,
For I maun cross the main.

He turn'd him right and round about,
Upon the Irish shore,
And gave his bridle reins a shake,
With adieu for evermore, my dear,
And adieu for evermore.

The soldier frae the wars returns,
The sailor frae the main;
But I hae parted frae my Love,
Never to meet again, my dear,
Never to meet again.

When day is gane, and night is come,
And a' folk bound to sleep,

I think on him that's far awa,
The lee-lang night, and weep, my dear,
The lee-lang night, and weep.
Track Name: Súil a Rúin
I wish I were on yonder hill
and there I’d sit and I’d cry my fill
and ev’ry tear would turn a mill,
and a blessing walk with you, my love

I’ll sell my rod, I’ll sell my reel
I’ll sell my only spinning wheel
To buy my love a sword of steel
And a blessing walk with you, my love

Siuil, siuil, a ruin
Siuil go sochair agus siuil go ciuin
Siuil go doras agus ealaigh liom
Is go dte tu mo mhuirnin slan
(Translation:)
Come, come, come, O love,
Quickly come to me, softly move;
Come to the door, and away we’ll flee,
And safe for aye may my darling be!

I wish, I wish, I wish in vain
I wish I had my heart again,
And vainly think I’d not complain
And a blessing walk with you, my love

But now my love has gone to France
To try his fortune to advance.
If he e’er comes back, it’s but a chance
And a blessing walk with you, my love
Track Name: Under Fiery Skies
He spent a long time waiting for the storm
And when it came, she was beautiful
Her hair in wet ribbons drowning her face
And she laughed in the rain and sang under fiery skies

So wrap her in the finest gauze, and try to hide the subtle flaws
That spring like hope, eternal, from her rainy lips and shining eyes
And dinna’ try to stay her with the fingers of your hand
For the clouds are drawn away by the morning

He spent a long time waiting for her hand
And when she granted it, he kissed her solemnly
And went to book their passage to a far off land
Where their fortunes lie awaiting under fiery skies

They spent a long life working in the sun
And when the evening came, he wrapped his arms around her head
And laid her down beside him on the warm, receptive earth
And they laughed as the shadows moved across the fiery skies

So wrap her in the finest veil, and though the roses turn to pale
And spring no longer blossoms in her rainy lips and shining eyes
You willna’ have to stay her with the fingers of your hand
For the clouds are drawn away by the morning...
For the clouds are drawn away by the morning
Track Name: Missing You
In nineteen hundred and eighty six
There’s not much for a chippie but swinging a pick
And you can’t live on love, on love alone
So you sail cross the ocean, away cross the foam

To where you’re a Paddy, a Biddy or a Mick
Good for nothing but stacking a brick
Your best mate’s a spade and he carries a hod
Two work horses heavily shod

Oh I’m missing you I’d give all for the price of a flight
Oh I’m missing you under Piccadilly’s neon

Who did you murder, are you a spy?
I’m just fond of a drink helps me laugh, helps me cry
Now I just drink red biddy for a permanent high
I laugh a lot less and I’ll cry till I die

All ye young people now take my advice
Before crossing the ocean you’d better think twice
Cause you can’t live without love, without love alone
The proof is round London in the nobody zone

Where the summer is fine, but the winter’s a fridge
Wrapped up in old cardboard under Charring Cross Bridge
And I’ll never go home now because of the shame
Of misfit’s reflection in a shop window pane.
Track Name: My Father's Ship
One evening last summer as I lay down to sleep
I saw a lad about six years old at his mother’s knee did weep
Saying “Why won’t Father’s ship come in, oh why won’t he come home
While other ships are sailing in, spreading the ocean foam?”

“He said six months he would be gone leaving you and I alone
And through the long dark winter nights six months have passed and gone
So why won’t Father’s ship come in, Oh Mother come tell me why
Oh why won’t Father’s ship come in, what makes you weep and cry?”

“My boy, your father’s long voyage is done you won’t see him anymore
For he and his tall gallant ship will never reach the shore
For the ship and all her cargo went down in the ocean deep
And the sea is rolling mountains high on the graves where they do sleep

“Oh Mother if this be true from the grave they will not come
And you and I are left alone for to lament and mourn
How well can I remember when he nursed me on his knee
And brought to me some buds and flowers from off the indian tree.”

“My boy, you’re the pride of all my heart” and she pressed him to her breast
And closed her eyes to the yonder skies where the weary ones find rest
One evening last summer as I lay down to sleep
I saw a lad about six yers old at his mothers knee did weep.
Track Name: The Witch of The Westmerelands
Pale was the wounded knight,
Who bore the Rowan Shield.
Loud and cruel were the ravens’ cries
That feasted on the field.

Sayin’ “beck water cold and clear
Will never clean your wounds;
There’s none but the Witch of the Westmerelands
Can make thee healed and sound.”

“So course well my brindled hounds
And fetch me the mountain hare
Whose coat is as gray as the West water
Or as white as the lily fair”

Who said, “Green moss and heather bands
Will never staunch the flood,
There’s none but the Witch of the Westmerelands
Can save thy dear life’s blood”

“So turn, turn your stallion’s head
‘Till his red mane flies in the wind,
And the rider of the moon goes by
And the bright star falls behind.”

And clear was the pale evening,
As his shadow passed him by.
And overhead was the brightest star
When he heard the owlet cry.

Sayin’ “why do you ride this way?
And wha'fore came ye here?”
“I seek the Witch of the Westmerelands
Who dwells by the winding mere.”

And it’s weary by Ellswater
In the misty brakefern way;
And through the crest of the Kirksten Pass
The winding water lay.

And he said “lie down my brindled hounds,
And rest ye, my good grey hawk,
And thee, my steed, may graze thy fill
For I must dismount and walk.”

“But come when you hear my horn,
And answer swift the call.
For I fear ere the sun shall rise this morn’,
You may serve me best of all.”

And it’s down to the water’s brim
He’s borne the rowan shield;
And the goldenrod he has cast in
To see what the lake might yield.

And wet rose she from the lake
And fast and fleet rode she;
One half the form of a maiden fair,
With a jet-black mare’s body.

And loud, long and shrill he blew,
‘Till his steed was by his side;
And over head his grey hawk flew,
And swiftly he did ride.

Sayin’ “course well, my brindled hounds
And fetch me the jet-black mare.
Stoop and strike, my good grey hawk
And bring me the maiden fair.”

And she said, “pray sheath thy silvery sword,
Lay down thy rowan shield.
For I see by the briny blood that flows,
You’ve been wounded in the field.”

And she stood in her gown of the velvet blue
Bound round with a silver chain;
And she’s kissed his pale lips once and twice,
And three times ‘round again.

And she’s bound his wounds with the goldenrod
Full fast in her arms he lay.
And he has risen healed and sound,
With the sun high in the day.

And she said, “ride with your brindled hounds at heel,
And your good grey hawks in hand;
There’s none can harm a knight who’s lain
With the Witch of the Westmerelands.”
Track Name: When Margaret Was Eleven
Credited to Peter St. John

My father sailed away, the band played tunes of glory
A giant man with ribbons, bedeviled dignity
A regimental sergeant, the backbone of the Empire
For God and righteous glory bound for High Germany

Chorus:
Sweet Lord, I was just seven when Margaret was eleven
They served us war for breakfast and soldiers' songs for tea
"Your father's gone campaigning" was a way of not explaining
That soldiers are the living proof of our inhumanity

My childhood passed away midst the tales and lurid stories
Of manufactured glories and inhuman gallantry
I asked, "When is war over?", but no one deemed to answer me
And Margaret played that dreaded tune called High Germany

(Chorus)

My father made it home, but he came without his reason
Two eyes of molten madness, a senseless fool of war
"He's just a child," my mother cried, "to be dressed in full regalia
And paraded as a hero home from High Germany"

(Chorus 2x)

There'll be no tunes of glory for Margaret and me
Track Name: Erin-go-Bragh
My name is Duncan Campbell from the shire of Argyll
I’ve traveled this country for many’s the mile
I’ve traveled through Ireland, Scotland, and all
And the name I go under is bold Erin-Go-Bragh

One night in auld Reekie as I walked down the street
A saucy great police I chanced for to meet
He glowered in my face and he gave me some jaw
Saying when came you over, Erin-Go-Bragh?

Well, I am not a Pat, though in Ireland I’ve been
Nor am I a Paddy, though Ireland I’ve seen
But were I a Paddy that’s nothing at all
For there’s many’s the bold hero from Erin-Go-Bragh

Well, I know you’re a Pat by the cut of your hair
But you all turn to Scotsmen as soon as you’re here
You left your own country for breaking the law
And we’re seizing all stragglers from Erin-Go-Bragh

Oh, and were I a Pat, and you knew it were true
Or were I the devil, then what’s that to you?
Were it not for the stick that you hold in your paw
Then I’d show you a game played in Erin-Go-Bragh

Then a lump of blackthorn that I held in my fist
About his big body I made with a twist
And the blood from his napper I quickly did draw
And paid him stock and interest from Erin-Go-Bragh

Then the people came around like a flock of wild geese
Saying “Catch that daft rascal - he’s killed the police!”
And for every friend I had I’d swear he had twa
It was terrible hard times for Erin-Go-Bragh

So come all you young people wherever you’re from
Who don’t give a damn to what place you belong
I come from Argyle in the highlands so braw
But I ne’er took it ill being called Erin-Go-Bragh

But I came from a wee boat that sails on the Forth
And I packed up my gear and I steered for the north
Farewell to auld Reekie, your police and all
And the devil go with you says Erin-Go-Bragh
Track Name: The West's Awake
And if when all the vigil keep, the West’s asleep, the West’s asleep
Alas, full well may Erin weep, bold Connaught lies in slumber deep
Where lake and plain smile fair and free mid rocks their guardian chivalry,
Sing ho! let man learn liberty from crashing winds and slashing seas.

For often in O’Connor’s van to triumph dashed each Connaught clan
And fleet as dear the Normans ran thru Curlew’s pass and Ardrahan,
And later times saw deeds as brave and glory guards Clan Riggard’s grave
Sing ho! they died their land to save on Aughrim’s slopes and Shannon’s waves.

Yet still when all the vigil keep the West’s asleep, the West’s asleep,
Alas, full well may Erin weep, bold Connaught lies in slumber deep,
But hark! a voice like thunder spake! the West’s awake, the West’s awake!
Sing ho! hurrah! let England quake, we’ll watch till death for Erin’s sake.