Tales of Love War & Death by Hanging | Ray Cooper

Tales of Love War & Death by Hanging

by Ray Cooper

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1.
04:51
The Puritan I filled my saddlebags with corn And bid my home goodbye I set out for the west With the flaming sun in my eyes A sword and a bible by my side I joined a regiment of horse And with them I did go We roared up hills and over dales As we hunted down our frightened foe And the Lord have mercy on their souls I've seen castles torn down Villages alight and cattle burn I've listened to the tolling of the gun And the clash of steel as morning comes And the Lord's seen all that I have done They gave me a house in lieu of pay With fine grazing land A river of silver running through It was a paradise that I had found And the Lord led me to this chosen ground But when I hear the crying of a child I still hear the rattle of the drum And see the shadows hanging in the trees And a smell of burning follows me And the Lord's seen all that I have done. But Jesus was always on our side A sword of righteousness hung in the sky We sang a hymn to make the cowards turn And then we cut them down as they did run And the Lords' seen all that I have done. Words Ray Cooper Music Ray Cooper/traditional, based on an old Swedish hymn
2.
The Dark Days Are Over Deep pools and diamonds, the warmth of a fire I feel I’m falling but I follow the wire To something familiar like the voice of a child The shape of your mouth, the ghost of a smile Dark is the window but I see inside Deep is the mirror that sparkles and shines And all of the jewels, you thought you could hide Now the dark days are over Darling believe me they're over Leave them behind We've wandered so long in the shadows of night Believe me, the dark days are gone She said ‘Show me you steel, your armour your knife Show me your will to protect and survive When nothing is certain, except in the mind Show me you have what it takes for this life’ I said I will have faith, and I will be true Catching at pearls as they fall with the dew And all that I have I offer to you The dark days are over Darling believe me they're over Leave them behind We've wandered so long in the valleys of night Believe me, the dark days are gone Words and music Ray Cooper
3.
The Border Widows Lament My love he built me a bonny bower He covered it over with the lily flower A bonnier bower you never did see That my true love he builded me There came a man in the middle of day Who spied his sport then he went away He brought the king that very night Who broke my bower and slew my night He slew my knight to me so dear He slew my knight and seized his gear My servants all for life did flee And they left me in extremity I sewed his shroud making my moan I watched his corpse myself alone I watched his corpse both night and day No living creature came that way I bore his body on my back And whiles I walked and whiles I sat I digged a grave to lay him in And I heaped him with the turf so green And don't you think my heart was sore As I lay the earth on his yellow hair Oh don't you think my that heart was woe As I turned around away to go? No living man I'll love again Since that my lovely knight was slain With just one lock of his yellow hair I'll chain my heart for evermore Traditional, arranged Ray Cooper A Scottish border ballad from the lawless times of the 16th century. The soldiers come in the middle of the night and leave a man hanging from his own front gate. Everyone flees, and the widow is left alone to bury the body. This image always reminds me of the wars in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990's.
4.
Mc Pherson's Rant Farewell ye life ye sunshine bright Ye dungeons dark and strang Mc Pherson's time will not be long Below these gallows I'll hang Some of you came to see me die And some to buy my fiddle But before that I do part from here I'll break her down the middle Then he took his fiddle in both hands And he smashed her over a stone He said there's not another man than me Will play thee when I'm gone Rantingly, so rantingly, so wantonly went he He played a tune then he danced aroon' Below the gallows tree Untie these bands from off my hands And give to me my sword For there's not a man in all Scotland But I'll brave him at his word The reprieve was coming o'er the brig of Banff For to set Mc Pherson free When they put the clock a quarter before And hanged him to the tree Rantingly, so rantingly, so wantonly went he He played a tune then he danced aroon' Below the gallows tree Farewell ye life ye sunshine bright And all beneath the skies For in this place I'm ready to Mc Pherson's time to die. Rantingly, so rantingly, so wantonly went he He played a tune then he danced aroon' Below the gallows tree. Traditional, arranged Ray Cooper
5.
I Kiss The Night I kiss the night so dark and warm I breath, and watch and wait for dawn The doors are locked, the fires low I feel you close beside me now The northern stars are so clear tonight All my life I've never seen them burn so bright The planets turn across the sky I breath and watch and wait for day A little spark, the ember glows We'll feed that flame until it grows A burning sun so far away Is coming closer every day Trust me now it'll be alright Now we're here we'll never need to fear the night A shooting star will guide the way I breath and watch and wait for day A tiny seed so dark and warm Is waiting softly for the dawn The arms are crossed the eyes are closed The leaves are waiting to unfold And now the dawn brings a little light Still an hour or two before the sun will rise The coming storm can wait awhile So dream, and wait for day Words Ray Cooper Music Ray Cooper/traditional / Jämtland Bridal March traditional The song was inspired by the Swedish bridal march played so beautifully by Patrik Andersson, that starts and ends the song. Sometimes I don't sleep at night, but that's OK.
6.
The Grey Goose Wing Neck stroke! Sir Thomas cried and threw his baton high We drew our bows and loosed a cloud that stained the autumn sky We had no choice to fight that day outnumbered three to one We’d marched too far into their land and couldn't run We put our trust in shafts of ash, fletched with the grey goose wing We formed a line and turned to face, whatever fate could fling. They bowed their heads they cursed and prayed as the cloud with goose wings flew The maddened host attacked us then just as we wished them to. Next day the field was black with crows that fed on dead men's eyes No Christian could see such sights and not be moved to cry And now we’re back on London bridge and all the choirs sing We throw our bonnets in the air and say ‘It’s all for the whistling of the grey goose wing!’ A thousand maidens dressed in white threw leaves of laurel green They praise us not for bringing peace but bringing victory These people love a foreign war, that’s far away from home Till they get sick of losing sons and hope that one day peace, will come. When good King Henry came to town he rode a small grey mare So humbly to compare himself to our sweet saviour And through the crowds he bowed his head in all humility But he took the credit anyway for our great victory And when we got to London wall and heard the tumult roar By God they made more noise than all the host on that field of Agincourt And I’ll see you in the Bag-O-Nails and in our cups we’ll tell our tales To every wide eyed barfly in the room We’ll give 'em what they want to hear as long as they bring wine and beer We'll tell 'em why the bells of London ring It's all for the whistling of the grey goose wing! They threw laurel leaves Green laurel leaves Not for peace but for the victory Laurel leaves Sweet laurel leaves Sweet victory. Words Ray Cooper Music Ray Cooper/traditional, incorporating elements of the original anonymous Agincourt carol.
7.
In Your Sweet Arms In this old broken world full of old broken love Hear me darling, hear me dear For long I did remember the touch of your hands As I lay in your sweet arms that night Hear me darling, hear me dear For long I did remember the touch of your hands As I lay in your sweet arms that night It's not a perfect world and I'm not a perfect man Hear me darling, hear me dear You know that I will love you the best that I can If you take me in your sweet arms again And though the rain may beat upon your door And the storm blow round your cabin walls I'll find a place that's mine by your own fireside And sleep in your sweet arms again Hear me darling, hear me dear For long I did remember the touch of your hands As I lay in your sweet arms that night I've travelled many roads and I've sailed the seven seas Hear me darling, hear me dear The wonders of the world don't mean so much to me As sleeping in your sweet arms again And though the rain may beat upon your door And the storm blow round your cabin walls I'll find a place that's mine by your own fireside And sleep in your sweet arms again. Words Ray Cooper Music Ray Cooper/Alan Prosser
8.
The Highwayman I was a highwayman On the coach roads I did ride A sword and pistol by my side Many a fair maid lost her baubles to my trade Many a soldier shed his life blood on my blade The bastards hung me in the spring of '25 But I'm still alive I was a sailor I was born upon the tide And on the sea I did abide I sailed a schooner round the horn to Mexico I went aloft and furled the mainsail in a blow And when the yards broke off they said that I got killed But I'm living still I was a dam builder Across the river deep and wide Where steel and water did collide In a place called Boulder on the wild Colorado I slipped and fell into the wet concrete below They buried me in that great tomb that knows no sound But I'm still around I'll always be around and around and around I fly a starship Across the universe divide And when I reach the other side I'll find a place to rest my spirit if I can Maybe I will become a highwayman again Perhaps I'll simply be a single drop of rain But I will remain And I'll be back again, and again, and again. Words and music Jimmy Webb
9.
My Compass Points To North I cross the snow and ice again Leaving day and night behind No horizon, land or sky And everywhere you look is white That's when you know you are alone Seven miles of ice below And no tracks to take you home I'm holding to the course My compass points to north The perfect circle of the sun Never sets but travels round and round And here the silence is my friend Here the daylight never ends And still my compass shows the way Glowing green amidst the grey The needle shivers in my hand Pointing through the frozen land Words and music Ray Cooper
10.
Ye Jacobites By Name Ye Jacobites by name lend an ear lend an ear Ye Jacobites by name lend an ear Ye Jacobites by name your faults I will proclaim And your doctrines I must blame as ye shall hear ye shall hear Your doctrines I must blame as ye shall hear What's right and what is wrong by the law by the law What's right and what is wrong by the law What's right and what is wrong a short sword or a long A weak arm or a strong For to draw for to draw A weak arm or a strong for to draw What makes heroic strife famed afar famed afar What makes heroic strife famed afar What makes heroic strife to whet the assassin's knife And haunt a parent's life with bloody war bloody war And haunt a parent's life with bloody war So leave your schemes alone in this state in this state Aye leave your schemes alone in this state Leave your schemes alone adore the rising sun And leave a man alone to his fate to his fate Aye leave a man alone to his fate. Words Robert Burns Music traditional arranged Ray Cooper

about

Debut solo album from Chopper of Oysterband

Known to most people as Chopper, Ray Cooper has been a longstanding member of the award winning group Oysterband. - Long awaited, and here it is: Ray Cooper's solo album debut. Tales of Love War and Death by Hanging shows Ray's voice off to full effect as well as his song writing and multi-instrumental skills.

Although most of the songs are self penned, there is a generous sprinkling of traditional material from Scotland and Sweden. The heart of the album lies somewhere between the old world and the new, at times giving a pithy relevance to events that happened in the distant past.

Ray Cooper produced and recorded this album in a small log cabin in Sweden, accompanying himself on cello, harmonium, guitar, mandolin, mandola, harmonica and kantele. A friend, the fiddle player Patrik Andersson (won Norwegian Folk Awards for 'best dance album 2008') helped out with string arrangements, contributing violin, viola and hardanger fiddle. The sound is simple but at times evokes a much bigger scale. Ray cites influences such as; T-Bone Burnett, Enio Morricone, Johnny Cash and June Tabor to name but a few.

The recordings then came to the Brighton UK for some additional overdubs and mixing with executive producer Al Scott.

credits

released October 1, 2010

Ray Cooper - vocals, cello, harmonium, guitar, mandolin, mandola, harmonica, kantele.

Special guests:
Patrik Andersson - violins, viola, hardanger fiddle
Dil Davies - tom tom drum
Olle Linder - pandeiro/tambourine
Rowan Godel - backing vocal

Photos by Judith Burrows
Artwork by Neomania Design

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Ray Cooper UK

Ray Cooper is a singer/songwriter and multi instrumentalist currently residing in the depths of Sweden where he moved in 2000. He left Oysterband in 2013 after a year in which they picked up 3 BBC2 Folk Awards and appeared live on the "Later..with Jools Holland' show. Since then he has carved out a successful solo career. ... more

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