Mountscribe

by Rowan Piggott

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about

"...not only does Piggott demonstrate a deep understanding of and ‘feel’ for tradition, he also exhibits a fine ability to add his own edge to this music. The blend of songs and tunes fit perfectly, each combination revealing a consummate skill... Add vocals that express depths of feeling, always engaging and at times verging on fragile, Piggott possesses a distinct and expressive voice.​..
Mountscribe is a debut long waited for; many will be pleased to hear of its arrival, and none will be disappointed..." – FolkWords

"...a perfect illustration of Rowan’s talents... his life-and-soul energy is inclusive and infectious...his singing has a nimbly sprung quality which mirrors the deft sweep and agility of his fiddle strokes... a proud and very assured debut which will surely enhance Rowan’s existing high profile even more considerably!" – FATEA Magazine

credits

released January 14, 2018

Rowan Piggott – Voice / Fiddle / Bouzouki / Double Bass
Felix Miller – Guitar / 12-string

Anna Tabbush – BVs (2,4,8); Fiddle (7)
Rosie Hodgson – BVs (2); Clog Stepping (6)
Georgia Lewis – BVs (2,4); Bodhrán (11)
Philippe Barnes – Alto Flute (4,6,11); Whistle (5)
Charlie Piggott – Button Accordion (9,12)

Recorded/mixed by Rowan Piggott
Mastered by Nick Sowden at La Barca Sound
Photography by Voy Okuszko

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about

Rowan Piggott England, UK

Rowan is a fiddle-singer, writer and tunesmith who grew up in the foothills of the Burren on the west coast of Ireland, surrounded by traditional music. The author of two successful tunebooks, he has also written articles for The Living Tradition magazine and led fiddle workshops at festivals all over the country. In 2016, he won the Future of Young Folk Award at Bromyard Folk Festival. ... more

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Track Name: Old Mountscribe | Fahey's
The sheep that roam this wilderness
Have wandered for an age,
The hills are hewn by winding tracks
Like scrawls across a page,
And since I left that spot
I can no time so serene describe
Than those childhood days I spent
Down in the woods of old Mountscribe.

The smell of thatch and burning peat
Hung welcoming in the air,
My father played melodeon
In his old rocking chair
And Burren stone I hold so dear
That no blackmail or bribe
Could e'er tempt me to forget
The days I spent in old Mountscribe.

The purple heather, yellow gorse,
The moss and the bracken green
Adorn the banks and drystone walls
Along the old boreen
Where small folk wander 'mongst
The barrows of a faery tribe
In the secret nooks and crannies
Of that place known as old Mountscribe.

Twenty summers now have passed
Their tired suns slowly sink
And I, a man, sat by my door
Of twenty sad things think,
But in the dusk of evening
As I count my memories all
It's of my days in old Mountscribe
Most fondly I do recall...
Track Name: Queen & Country
I'm a worker by nature I freely admit
And I spend all my days in the fields
At a tiring old trade which may well be unpaid,
But it brings all the farmers their yields.

When the sun has dropped down I will take to my bed
In the cell that my own toil has made
To arise again early and tend to the gardens
Of folks who are in their beds laid...

Oh for Queen and Country,
Though the latter is no thought of mine,
I work for all and sundry,
I'm a labourer come rain or shine.

Gone are the days when on jelly I dined
A bumbling old fool I've become,
And I hum as I go the old chants that I know
From our glory days spent in the sun.

Well the people are swarming for honey & milk
And that land that was promised of old,
But they don't understand that the crops are unmanned
And the colonies now all stand cold.

Where there once was a gate to palace of gold
Flanked by guards in their striped livery
You'll find corpses piled high 'cause the honey's run dry
To pay those from the mortuary...
Track Name: When All The World Was Young
When all the world was young, lad,
And all the leaves were green,
And every goose a swan, lad,
And every lass a queen,
Then hey for boot and horse, lad,
And round the world away!
Young blood must have its course, lad,
And every dog his day.

With rue my heart is laden
For golden friends I had
For many a rose-lipped maiden
And many a light-foot lad;
By brooks too broad for leaping
The lightfoot lads are laid,
The rose-lipped girls lie sleeping
In fields where roses fade.

When all the world is old, lad,
And all the leaves are brown,
And those big high hopes you cherished, lad
Come trembling tumbling down,
Creep home, and take your place there
The spent and maim’d among;
I pray you find one face there
You loved when all was young...
Track Name: A Maid Went To Comber | Till Viola
A maid going to Comber her market to learn
To sell for her mammy three hanks of fine yarn
She met with a young lad along the highway
Which caused this young lady to ramble and stray...

"Sit down beside I mean you no harm,
Sit down beside me this new tune to learn,
Here are three guineas your mammy to pay
So hang by your yarnd till the next market day..."

They sat down together the grass was so green,
And the day was the fairest that ever was seen,
"The look in your eye would lead angels astray,
I could lie in your arms till the next market day..."

This girl she went home and the words that she said
Are "The air that he played me rings round in my head
I will go find him by land or by sea
Till he learns me the tune called The Next Market Day."
Track Name: The Roslea Farewell | The Whistler of Roslea
One night as I lay slumbering
In my silent bed at home
Some rakish thought came to mind
Which caused me for to roam,
To leave my native country
And the girl that I adore,
Sure I thought fit to take a trip
Strange lands for to explore.

I packed my things all on my back
And started down the hill,
'Twas there I met my own true love
Her eyes with tears did fill,
I took her in my arms
And I gave her kisses nine
Saying "If ever I return again
Dear girl sure you'll be mine."

"My handsome lad do tell me first
What makes you go away
Pray stay at home and do not roam
From the green fields of Roslea
But if you love another
I bid you go to her,
For I cannot stand a faithless man
The heartache I prefer..."

"My darling dear I pray you hear
You're the keeper of my heart
But tomorrow morning I must sail
And you & I must part,
For I must explore a distant shore
Adventure for to find!"
So that next day I sailed away
And left my love behind.

I soon arrived on foreign soil
And the strangers gathered round
They taught me tunes, they taught me songs
So bleak and pure in sound,
That soon I longed for home & hearth
So when the tunes were o'er
I straightway went and sailed that day
Back to the shamrock shore...

Where trout and salmon float about
All around Lough Erin's way
I led my darling by the hand
To the chapel in Roslea
The lark and linnet tuned their notes
And sang them o'er and o'er
As I was wed unto my love
And left my home no more...
Track Name: The Cuckoo | Sparven Lilla
Oh the Cuckoo is a pretty bird, she sings as she flies
She brings us good tidings and tells us no lies
She sucks the little birds eggs to keep her voice clear
And when she sings cuckoo, the summer draws near.

As I walked down by the side of a bush,
I heard two birds whistling; the Blackbird and the Thrush
I asked them the reason so merry they be
And the answer that they gave me: We are single and we are free.

But the Nightingale sings so sweetly for true love she knows.
She's pierced her brown breast on the thorn of a rose.
That rose once as white as the first fall of snow
Glows scarlet in the moonlight, her heartache to show.

A-walking a-talking, a-walking was I,
When I spied Cock Robin in a ditch he did lie,
I asked him who caused him such sorrow, such strife
And he told me that the Sparrow had taken his life.

So when the year's a-turning and wassailing we go,
I'll spy our small king as he dashes through the snow.
The Wren singing boldly is out aways in front
Of the boys in straw costume who are out on the hunt.
Track Name: Robin & The Banker
I sing to you of a banker bold
A banker bold he chanced to be
He got his pack up on his back
And went a-rambling o'er the lea.

By chance he met with two grey-clad men
Two grey-clad men he chanced there upon
The one of them was brave Robin Hood
And his companion was Little John.

“Banker pray tell what's in your pack
What's in your pack I would know..."
“I have a pittance of worthless coin
And useless bonds that I'm owed."

Then Robin Hood he drew out his sword
But this bold banker stood fast
They fought till blood in a river ran
The banker gave ground at last.

Robin opened the banker's pack
And golden guineas spilled out
But he found one tiny penny there
And with this he turned about.

“If every banker who came this way
Gave just one penny to me
I'd raise enough to feed all starved folk
Who ramble over the lea."

“I'd have the riches to nurse the sick
The means to shelter the poor,
If only courts throughout all the land
Would make this small tax the law!"
Track Name: The Wounded Hussar
Alone on the banks of the dark rolling Danube,
Fair Adelaide roamed when the battle was o’er.
“Oh where then” she cried, “have you wandered my true love?
Or where do you wither and bleed on the shore?”
She travelled a while the tears her eyes flooding,
Through the dead and the dying she walked near and far,
Till she found by the river all bleeding and dying,
By the light of the moon her poor wounded hussar.

From his bosom that heaved, one last torrent was streaming,
And pale was his face deep marked by a scar,
And pale were those eyes once expressively beaming,
Eyes that had melted in love and had kindled in war.
How sad was poor Adelaide’s heart at the sight,
And how bitter she wept for her victim of war.
“Have you come then” he cried, “this last sorrowful night for,
To cheer the lone heart of your wounded hussar?”

“You live then” she cried, “heaven’s mercy relieving,
Each anguishing wound shall forbid me to mourn.”
“Oh no my last fancy in my bosom is heaving,
No light of the morn shall to Henry return.”
“You charmer of life so tender and true,
Take my love to the babe that awaits me afar.”
Then his faltering tongue could scarce murmur adieu,
When he died in her arms, her poor wounded hussar...
Track Name: A Royal Game | Kungsleden
A restless king is sat all alone
He fears that he may lose his throne,
For from afar he can see a host
Of darkened soldiers come from the coast.
As they approached his castle then
They met a rank of brave footmen
Whose duty bound them to remain
Though fate would play their lives in vain.

The battle rages for e'er an hour,
The king he hides in his ivory tower,
While all the clergy say their creed
And every horseman mounts his steed.
As night and fog obscured them all
They sured the gate and the old stonewall
In fear and trembling there laid low
Without an ally to slay their foe.

Our king sat wooden in his keep
As if in some enchanted sleep
But as he stood to survey the scene
He saw them take his beloved queen.
His men lay strewn 'cross the battlefield
And all alone now our king must yield
As circling rooks foretold his fate
He heard his foe call aloud, "Checkmate!"
Track Name: Emigrantvisa
Tonight I must journey to a far-off land,
One from whence I may never return.
Farewell you fine fellows, may you understand
That my heart will for you ever yearn.
As the ship leaves the shore I will weep the more
For the friends and the lovers I've left before,
But it's you who are here who'll I'll hold most dear
When I'm standing alone at the stern.

When out 'cross the water rings a clear ahoy
And a coastline appears at the prow,
I'll think on this night and be filled with joy
For the songs that I sing with you now.
It'll always bring cheer these tunes to hear,
It'll lighten my heart and will turn my ear
When I hear them sung in a foreign tongue
And I'm standing alone at the bow.

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