Newcomer

by Gráinne Brady

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1.
Girls Where they walk along on the green: Their white feet, The lilt of a song and their teeth are seen Like white stones, Little white stones In the pink of dawn! Have you seen them at all On the green grass? On the sod? And the dews of God Hang as they hung On the heather, the flowers and the grass Where their feet have trod! Silk-soft, milk-white, The feet are moving, The air of a song – a forgotten song That seeks its words, The lost white feathers Of holy birds.
2.
The Bansho 03:49
In the Midnight A splash on the dusky water, A cry on the winter air, As from the pit abyssmal Rises a soul's despair. The human ghouls of midnight Shiver beneath the snow, The painted women in terror Stand, listen, and – go. Up in the deep of heaven, Gloomy and ghostly grey, The cry of the lost one falters – Falters, and dies away. Only a cry in the darkness Only a swirl in the tide, Only a sinful woman Crossing the Great Divide!
3.
By and By 04:07
I taught my daughter the ways of the world The clink of needles as the yarn unfurled Put others before her, 'twas always her way In bed I am ailing, and here I'll stay Chorus When the Earth is asleep, and the trees they sigh 'Tis a dangerous hour, that will pass by and by For many a lassie who cross the sea Only to fall into dark drudgery Well, she journeyed to a foreign land To earn for the croft, and the Father's hand On the fields of Scotland they harvest away And back home in Ireland for them I do pray Chorus I'm here by the fire and waiting for her Any day now through that fractured door Away 's her brother, and father as well Taken from me by the dark sea swell Chorus I taught my daughter the ways of the world But the way of existence, she never was told The fire that once brightly blazed in the grate Is smouldering gently, the cold seals it's fate
4.
Onwards 03:44
5.
In the Lane 03:55
6.
Unfulfilled 03:49
There is dew upon the meadows brightly glancing in the morn, And a blush of softest crimson comes across the waving corn, And the waters brightly gleaming journey onward to the sea, But nought fulfils the promise that the Springtime made to me. 'T is the olden, olden story, with its hope and with its pain, Loved awhile with deep devotion never to be loved again – Oft again will gentle Springtime paint the flower and tint the tree, But the soft-voiced Spring will never bring it's second hopes to me. Oft will mem'ry's fairy musings light upon the past again, Ere the spell of love was broken by the alchemy of pain – We were young, and we were happy, trusting in the future – we – But the present 's full of sorrow, and the sorrow falls on me. There is dew upon the meadows brightly glancing in the morn, And a crimson blush of promise rises on the waving corn, And the earth with hope is pregnant; howsoever it may be, It can ne'er fulfil the promise that the springtime made to me.
7.
Newcomer 05:21
Love Love will live while the pale stars glow, while the world shall last, On the present hopes, and in hours of woe, on a dreamy past, Love will live, while the flowers bloom, and the meadows wave; Nor yet be quenched by the charnel tomb – the ghastly grave; For o'er the tomb and the silver stars, to the gates above The soul will seek in the great Afar the Endless Love.
8.
Abyss 04:36
9.
Days of the whirling snowflakes, nights of the weeping wind, That move to a gloomy future, that come from the dark behind, Carry upon their bosoms the sorrows of hope defiled – The wail of the bootless bairn, the cry of the hapless child. Not for him is the Christmas and all the sweets it brings, Nor does he share the New Year's hope of bright and beautiful things, Ah, never for him is the festal board with nature's bounties piled, The wan-eyed bootless bairn – the poor, uncared-for child. Oh! why to we prate of our glory and lightning lettered fame, When the winds of our city roadways are breathing our people's shame? And ev'ry castle builded is a hundred homes despoiled – Our fame leaves the bairn bootless, our glory the hapless child. Then it is ours to labour and help with the passing suns, To brighten with word and action the lot of the little ones, For the sins of our age hang heavy on defiler and defiled, They fall on the bootless bairn, and crush the hapless child.
10.
Atone 04:55
The Calling Voice The great world voice is calling, and the streams have lost their glory, For their restless waters journey to the ever-moving sea, And I am ever yearning as they seem to breathe a story Of the better things to be, the better things to be. The breeze is saying, “Hasten, we will cross the seas together, You and I together to a fairer world than this, Say, does the mountain keep you and the purple waving heather, Or the little girl you kiss, the little girl you kiss?” No more the valley charms me, and no more the torrents glisten, My love is plain and homely, and my thoughts are far away, The great world voice is calling, and with throbbing heart I listen, And I cannot but obey, I cannot but obey.

about

The music for this album was inspired by Irish writer Patrick MacGill’s second novel The Rat-Pit. Set at the turn of the 20th century, it tells the story of Norah Ryan who emigrated from Donegal to Scotland in search of a better life. A devout and intelligent young woman, Norah was nevertheless vulnerable to poverty, sexual exploitation, and great emotional loss.

credits

released March 26, 2021

All music composed and arranged by Gráinne Brady (PRS/MCPS) except Buttermilk Mary (traditional) on track 10

All words written by Patrick MacGill except By and By written by Gráinne Brady

Produced by Gráinne Brady and Mike Vass

Engineered and mixed by Mike Vass

Recorded at Gloworm Recording, Cailín Studios and Rusty Squash Horn Studios

Mastered by Peter Beckmann at TechnologyWorks

Artwork by Somhairle MacDonald

Gráinne Brady – fiddle | vocals
Michael Biggins – piano
Seonaid Aitken – violin
Sarah Leonard – viola
Su-a Lee – cello
Christine McGinley – French horn
Steve Forman – percussion | sound effects
Innes White – guitar

Andrew Waite – piano accordion (2, 4, 5, 10)
Tina Jordan Rees – flute (7, 8)
Claire Hastings – vocals (6)
Jack Houston – spoken word (1, 2, 7, 10) | fiddle (10)

A huge thank you to my wonderful, ever supportive family and friends. Special thanks to Creative Scotland, without whom this project would not have been possible. Thanks a million to all the supporters of my Indiegogo campaign.

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Gráinne Brady Glasgow, UK

Gráinne Brady is a Glasgow based fiddle player and composer, originally from Co. Cavan, Ireland.

"Irish/Scottish and contemporary influences infuse Brady’s vibrant rhythms and rich lyrical patterns, illuminating peaks and troughs of the emigrant experience and the extremities of poverty. Arrangements evoke both adversity and lively inner strength." Bryony Hegarty, RnR Magazine 5*****
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