.​.​.​And So To Bedlam

by Jennifer Bell and Wilson Walker

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about

Jennifer Bell is a songwriter heavily influenced by traditional folk songs and early music. Her melodies are very singable and the lyrics intelligent and imaginative, sometimes with a macabre twist…
Now in a performing and recording partnership with Wilson Walker, who adds some very creative fiddle harmonies, this is their first CD as a duo.

credits

released July 26, 2018

All songs written by Jennifer Bell

Arranged and performed by
Jennifer Bell, lute and 12-string guitar
Wilson Walker, fiddle

Recorded and produced by Roger Wilson

Thanks to
Neil Rabjohn for percussion
David Jones for photography

license

all rights reserved

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about

Jennifer Bell and Wilson Walker Nottingham, UK

Jenny was in the short-lived '80’s folk band ‘Sherwood Rise’ that made the Robin Hood-themed LP ‘From the Wood’. She now performs solo at folk clubs and festivals as well as with Wil as a duo. Wil plays and dances with Dolphin Morris, and plays fiddle with Whip The Cat Rapper, Bellows, Scratchitt & Pluckitt ceilidh band and local singing combo Higgs Bo’sun ... more

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Track Name: Winter's My Lover
Season of icefall
My heart is frozen over.
Snow courts and woos us all,
But winter’s my lover.

White-out around me,
There’s nothing in the mirror;
See what you want to see
Winter’s my lover.

You thought you’d mapped me,
But the tracks are going nowhere;
Strange and mysteriously
Winter’s my lover.

Perfect the silence
Encasing me forever,
No movement there or thence;
Winter’s my lover.

No pain, no bloodstains,
My wounds are healing over,
Ice crystals in my veins;
Winter’s my lover.

All things conspire
And you will not discover
The stillness I desire;
The touch of a frozen fire
That’s turning me to quicksilver -
Winter’s my lover.
Track Name: Colours of Harmony
I watched you then
Entranced, the notes
That you played
Were my heart and soul
In a mirror...
How should I then discern
Which was man or muse? All was
Music, song and singer.

And I’m painting the
Colours of harmony,
And I think this is where I belong.
For sometimes the music of love
Lives on,
Even after the singers have gone.

And you took the tune at first,
And I played the ground
And my heart was
Bursting within me
And all the time I could hear
The music of heaven
Falling softly around me.


When the music plays
My heart is moved and stirred
With sweet intentions.
Let me trace the streams of harmony
To the source of love’s invention.

And I’m painting…

Now we play no more,
For the strings are worn,
But the music still sounds sweetly,
And the lovers’ airs will not fade away
Till our breath gives out -
Completely.

And I’m painting…
Track Name: The New Mistletoe Bough
This is my Wedding Day,
And we are having such fun,
I found a chest in the attic,
Up in the tower at Exton.
You said, “Let us play hide and seek”
We all gladly agreed,
But I’ve been hiding for hours,
And no-one is coming to find me.

Kisses or curses, just look for me now,
Oh the Bough of the Mistletoe,
How shall I keep all my wedding vows?

I heard voices not far away,
Calling, “Oh where can she be?”
It will be such a surprise when they
Open the chest and they find me.
Later, I heard my love whisper
“I know you’re hiding in there,
But I married you for your money
And you can stay
Locked up for ever.”

Kisses or curses, just look at me now,
Oh the Bough of the Mistletoe,
How shall I keep all my wedding vows?

My silver dress is now tarnished,
My beauty is over and done,
My life has long been extinguished
Locked in this coffin at Exton.
Years came and went as I waited,
Time oh so silently passed,
Then one day, when all was forgotten
My love came to me at last…

Kisses or curses…

He said, lifting the lid to see me
“Such a shame, your beauty is dead,
But I have your house and your land
And today I have married again”
He said.
Then as he turned away laughing
By mischance, by some
Strange endeavour
He fell,
Down,
Into my arms…
And the lid closed,
And we are together -

Kisses and curses, just look at us now
Oh the Bough of the Mistletoe,
Now I can keep all my wedding vows

Kisses and curses, just look at me now…
I may be withered and dead,
But welcome at last to our wedding bed.
Track Name: High Degree
In winter night and candlelight
This world is shrivelled small,
Yet warmth and cheer we manage here
Good health to people all.
And hearts, even mine,
Are filled with joy and magnanimity
And heaven above knows
He that I love
And hold in high degree.

Then spring discerns
The year that turns
And grey skies fade to blue,
The sleeping seeds in
Hastening need
Burst forth to drink the dew.
And here with delight,
The pale spring light
Clothes all in radiancy
For heaven above knows
He that I love
And hold in high degree.

And slow but sure, the cold of yore
Makes way for summer sun.
And we will walk and fondly talk
Of how the year does run.
Then cool in the shade,
Sweet love be made
And we shall merry be
For heaven above knows
He that I love
And hold in high degree.

Then we behold the purer gold
Of autumn’s harvest fields,
The gleaming hours,
The fruit and flowers
Swell bounteous to the yield.
And passing our days
In honeyed haze
We shall true lovers be,
And heaven above knows
He that I love
And hold in high degree.
Track Name: Streams of Sunlight
I turned and saw her standing there
With sunlight woven in her hair,
Tracing gold around her face so fair.
And I loved her even more
This love will never be forgot
For streams of sunlight glow in me
And flow like molten gold
In my heart.

She said no word,
And yet her look said all
Her eyes were so beautiful,
My love, will you remember me at all?
And I loved her…

The tall trees whispered
To the morning mist,
But answer came
‘This love will be not blessed,
But torn apart and set adrift.’
And I loved her…

No song I’ve heard can
Truly tell the pain
I knew full well that I’d not return;
But love reminds me once again.
That I love her…

In the evening of my life
I see the past
As one true light that keeps me
From the dark,
This memory holds me fast -
I turn and see her standing there
With sunlight woven in her hair
Tracing gold around her face so fair.
And I love her even more
This love will never be forgot
For streams of sunlight glow in me
And flow like molten gold
In my heart.
Track Name: The Lincoln Imp
Down in Ingoldmells the demons were
Raising hell, all in malice unconfined -
Pranks, provocations, and
Bile and belligerence,
Wickedness to mastermind
‘O let us go into the world
And tease and torment human kind’
And all the demons in Lincolnshire
Were of one evil mind.
And all…

And they raised a mighty wind that
Blew them in from
The Lincolnshire coast,
And the demons were borne
Upon the storm
And where they went they
Caused a fuss
The milk to sour, and the plough to rust
And all the demons in Lincolnshire
Would see who could
Frighten the most.
And all…

And…the wind to Lincoln
Was wild and loud
And it howled and seethed and
Shrieked and roared,
And one little devil tumbled
Out of the thunder
Through Lincoln’s new
Cathedral door.
‘What's this’ he thought
‘I’ll have some sport
And this diversion I shall enjoy…
The angels singing in
The heavenly choir
I shall pester and annoy.’
The angels…

And the priest and people there
Praising God
Were troubled in their souls
And they prayed and called
Upon the Lord
To come and save them,
To make them brave and
Deliver them from this
Fiend from hell
And all the people in
Lincoln cathedral
Cried ‘Heaven help us all.’
And all…

Then the imp prised the stone eyes
From a gargoyle’s head,
And its teeth and bits of fingers –
Said he; “I need these stones
For my sport and fun,
Old friend I need them
More than thee”.
And he threw them at the angel choir
With evil glee and malevolence
And all the angels in the
Choir were struck
By his impertinence.
And all…

Then round the walls and
Round the towers
The angels hunted him down
And the priest and people
Prayed with groans
That angelic might should
Defeat the sprite
And make him wish he’d
Never left home
Then all the angels in the
Heavenly choir
Caught the imp -
And they turned him to stone.
Hurrah!
Then all…

And…
Centuries may have passed him by,
But the imp’s still there
In stone to see,
And priest and people
And all you folk
Can live in Lincoln peacefully.
So seek God’s face and heaven’s grace
And study your theology
And with all the people
In Lincoln cathedral
Sing “Laudate angeli”.
And with all…
Amen
Track Name: ...And So To Bedlam
And so to Bedlam welcome all
And let us a-dancing go
With arms akimbo
And hair a-flying
And see the ladies swoon away
At this small affray
I will tell your fortune dear,
For nothing, I like your ribbons

Here be dreams my lovelies
Look at all the fancies I have
In this tattered pocket,
So pretty, I’ll spill them to view,
See what they show,
So behold these fine knacks
See what visions they
Conjure up for you
And look closely; and listen,
A word in your ear,
You’ll end up here…

Fine lady, don’t you look so wan,
You see, there is little need to be afeared,
My mind is clear,
Just coloured up with too much life,
And a trifle
Wayward, after all
We are very alike it seems

And here be dreams…

And so to Bedlam we repair
When all of the lovelies have
Gone back to town
We hunker down
And we’re happy for another day
Till fine ladies come by
To view our madnesses
For we are the crazy ones.
Entertained, they shriek and faint
To show us how they must be sane…
Who is sane in Bedlam?
Track Name: Call of the Wild
There’s a man I know whose eyes are
On the far horizon,
His feet upon the open road,
When he hears the mountains beckon.
All he needs for comfort
Is the warmth of sun on stone,
And the wind from the moor delights
The marrow of his bones.

And the call of the wild gets louder
As the man I know gets older,
Till the longing for the
Never-ending road
Is all he knows.

There’s a man I know who hears the
Music of the wilderness.
It sings sweetly to him,
And it fills his heart with gentleness.
Underneath the stars he lies and
Sleepwalks through his dreams,
And moonshine lights his ways and
Watches over him.

And the call of the wild...

There’s a man I know who
Walks down roads
Where I will never go.
Cloud and mountain speak to him
In words that I will never know.
Even when he’s home he’s far away
Too far to find.
He’s in another world
And I am left behind…

And the call of the wild…
Track Name: Ashes in the Rain
This is where all the rainbows end,
It’s the graveyard of our dreams,
Where the watercolours fade
To shades of grey.
Here is the field of all the slain,
Where we watched our future die;
Where it lost its fight for life
And bled away.

I will not forget,
But I will not remain.
Time has closed a door;
I won’t open it again.
Beauty doesn’t last,
Life is full of pain;
Still I’m looking for a living fire,
Not ashes in the rain.

I will not stay to fall and drown
In the many pools of tears,
Or be swept away by
Streams of bitterness.
Once we were confident and sure
We were going to change the world,
Now there’s nothing here for me
But emptiness

I will not forget…

We are the ghosts of things gone by;
We’ve been trapped in memories,
We’ve been haunting, and been
Haunted by this place.
I’m here to say one last goodbye,
Then I’m going to walk away
I have nothing left to lose
But these my chains.

I will not forget…
Track Name: Oh Boy
(Girl)
When we were young
You picked on me
You pulled my hair in history
You threw my shoes into a tree, but
Oh boy, just look at you now,
Wow! Oh boy, just look at you now.

You were the snot-nosed kid
From down the street
With spots and scurf and 2 left feet
Who tried to give me worms to eat
But oh boy, just look at you now,
Wow! Oh boy, just look at you now.

Can I hold your hand?
Can I talk to you?
Can I look into your eyes
And drown there too?
And I can’t stop thinking
‘Bout you anyhow,
Oh boy, just look at you now,
Wow! Oh boy, just look at you now.

I’d have never thought
You’d turn out like this
With eyes that smile
And a mouth to kiss
Evolution just made a leap I guess
Oh boy, just look at you now
Wow! Oh boy, just look at you now.

I’d have walked a mile
To avoid you then
You were a pain in the neck
Now I’m thinking again
If I walked out now
t would be insane
Oh boy, just look at you now,
Wow! Oh boy, just look at you now.

Can I hold…

(Boy)
You were asking for trouble
And that’s what you got.
But in secret I was smitten and I
Liked you a lot,
And boys crave attention if they
Think a girl’s hot
But oh boy, just look at you now
Wow, oh boy, just look at you now!


You were easy to tease and
Temptation was strong
Sitting next to me with your
Hair that long
And I’ll kiss you if you want -
If you’ll shut up with the song
Oh boy, just look at you now,
Wow, oh boy, just look at you now.

Can I hold your hand?
Can I talk to you?
Can I look into your eyes
And drown there too?
I can’t stop thinking
‘Bout you anyhow,
Oh boy, just look at us now,
Wow! Oh boy, just look at us now.
Track Name: The Pilgrim's Song - Farewell to Boston
Farewell to Boston and our home
Farewell to all we now hold dear
Yet safe in God’s hands we can say
Farewell to tribulations here.
There is a place where we can dwell
In freedom though our trials be great
We’ll leave this plot of ill-content
For the Promised Land
Where God awaits.

So come with us, O pure of heart
Freedom of worship is our cry
And God will bless
The children of the fathers
In the new land,
In the new land by and by.

And cross the water we must go
Through tempest, storm
And flood and fright
‘Gainst mortal death we have no fear
Secure in the hope of eternal life.
As Pilgrims we will mercy find
Though our faith be as a grain of sand
And God will wipe our tears away
When we get to the Promised Land.

So come with us…

For we will not bow down and serve
The false church in its
Wayward ways
The devil finds words
For wilful tongues
And leads the weaker souls astray
And though we are but sinful men
We keep God’s truth and righteousness
And scorn your vain ungodly ways
And go where our zeal for the Lord
Will be blessed.

So come with us…

America is the soil for our seed;
It will flourish, come what may
And we will reap a harvest of
Salvation at the end of days.

So come with us…

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