1. CUMBERLAND GAP Trad.

It ain’t far to the Cumberland Gap

Fifteen miles there & back

 

CHORUS

Cumberland Gap, ain’t my home

Come away to the Cumberland alone.

 

Play them boys and take the leads

Got a little ladder for the chiggers & fleas/CH

 

Rode my mule to the Cumberland Gap

She got up there, she wouldn’t come back/CH

 

First one there to the Cumberland Gap

Gets to sit on Cory’s lap/CH

(Repeat 1st verse)

 

2. INTO THE WIND c Louisa Wise

Come up to the ledge with me, out to the edge with me

Lean yourself into the wind

You'll see the wind coming from way cross the valley

Smell the wind coming, your forces you'll rally

Close your eyes, spread your arms

Feel the resistance

And lean with me into the wind.

 

Walk seven times through the wilderness years

Year after year, the wilderness years

Follow my footsteps as they finally break through

Share my delirium, pick up a clue

They're free for the taking but ever so few

So lean with me into the wind.

 

Follow my footsteps to the wandering side

Falling and crawling, you'll sleep and you'll hide

A tree for a pillow, a dream to confide

And lean with me into the wind

The wind will enfold you, the wind will uphold you

So lean with me, lean with me into the wind.

 

3. DEAD OR ALIVE c Louisa Wise (written for an Amnesty Int'l concert)

Do not hold me, I want to go home

Do not keep me, I've a life of my own

Do not cage me, I can't live this way

Do not hide me where I can't tell night from day

There's someone waiting for me, there's someone thinking of me right now

Wondering how to end this living nightmare

Not knowing how I've taken the dive, not knowing if I'm dead or alive.

 

Do not chain me, I can run like the wind

Do not gag me, I will sing it again

Do not bind me, I can feel my heart pull

Do not hurt me, you'll regret to the full

What you're doing to me, what you're doing to me right now

I'm wondering how to end this living nightmare

Not knowing how I've taken this dive, not knowing if I'm dead or alive.

 

Don't suppress me, I've a way to follow

Don't repress me, you are cold and hollow

You must free me if you're human at all

You must know that you're headed straight for a fall

You can't keep this up for long, your human soul is all wrong, all wrong

Sooner or later you'll find your living nightmare

Not knowing how you've taken this dive

Not knowing if you're dead or alive.

 

You can free me and be human again

Open that door, I'll join the world of free men

Let me go home to my people like you go home to yours

We are pawns in this game of inglorious wars.

There's someone waiting for me, there's someone thinking of me right now

Working on how to end this living nightmare

It's coming, the day you will see

It's coming, the day I'll be free.

(repeat last 2 lines)

 

4. WIDOW'S SONG c Louisa Wise

I took my baby three houses down to my long-time friend named Ellen

Over cups of tea in that timber town we ramble round in the telling

And one fine day as we sat down, the tea in the pot on the table

Three long whistles sent out their sound

I was steady as I was able, steady as I was able.

 

CH This time a widow I have become

This time a widow, my heart is numb

This time a widow and I'll never be the same

This time a widow, it's a crying shame.

 

The log train pulls in next to the mill

Three long whistles sound cold and shrill

Three long whistles means somebody dead

Each wife says a prayer for the one she wed

A prayer for the one she wed./CH

 

Well my man died when a limb came down

Hurtling down and it made no sound

Pinned him broken onto the ground

All in the life of a timber town

All in the life of a timber town./CH

 

(coda)

Now I take my baby 3 houses down to my long-time friend named Ellen

Over cups of tea in that timber town we ramble round in the telling

Ramble round in the telling.

 

5. LANCERS FLYING LADIES c Louisa Wise

There once was a lady whose stature was small

She loved the old dances like the Lancers and all

And one starry evening at the timber town ball

This lady drew wonder from all, from all

This lady drew wonder from all.

 

The Lancers was called needing set-ups of 4

The sets were formed up on the slick wooden floor

The folks young and old crowded in at the door

To see the flying ladies and all, and all

To see the flying ladies and all.

 

Now this little lady was strong and was tough

And the men in her set didn't mean to get rough

But once the flying basket began huff and puff

This lady lost her grip and all, and all

This lady lost her grip and all.

 

This lady went flying, her feet left the ground

Away through the air like she'd never come down

Away cross the room till she met with the wall

This lady went flying and all, and all

This lady went flying and all.

 

Centrifugal force is a wonderful thing

It does its good work as we dance in a ring

So pick up the ladies, be they big, be they small

And send them all flying and all, and all

And send them all flying and all.

 

6. KARRIDALE WOMAN'S SONG-music Louisa Wise, words Karen Keely c 1989

We were city folk when we came down here

Left the world we knew and our parents dear

We had a dream and it could not fail

Of a piece of land down in Karridale

The Depression years were upon us then

Three hungry kids and the queues of men

But Subiaco seemed to fade away

As we headed south on a horse and dray.

 

Got to Karridale where Jack took a job

With the Miller boys cutting jarrah logs

He'd be gone for a month or two

And the kids and me, we'd just have to do.

Now Jack worked hard for that company

Learned to saw a log, learned to fell a tree.

And he found a place in a quiet dale

In the forest lands out of Karridale.

 

Well the forest's cool from the midday sun

By the wattle trees where the small creek runs

We'll buy this land and we'll build a home

And from Karridale we will never roam.

Took him seven years working every day

And Jack worked long for his extra pay

Cutting jarrah trees in the forest deep

Earning fifteen bob and a little keep.

 

It was winter time on that fateful night

One last tree to fell in the fading light

Then he'd leave his camp and he'd come to town

See the agent man, put his money down.

So he cut the scarf, cut it deep and wide

And he backed it down and he stepped aside

But a branch got caught in another crown

And the butt jumped back and it knocked Jack down.

 

When the boss came up I was in the yard

He said sit you down for you'll take this hard

The news is bad but it must be said

I'm so sorry Missus but your Jack is dead.

 

Now the forest's dark and the trees crowd in

And the light of day hardly filters in

Karridale is now a useless plan

What good's the land now without a man.

So I packed my bags and I left that week

Left our plans and schemes and the forest deep

And I often think it's a sad sad tale

How I left my dreams down in Karridale.

 

7. LETTERTAPE c Louisa Wise

Down near Darkan and Wandering way

At two in the morning of a springtime day

A late drive south for some music down there

A far woman's voice in the liquid air

First sister speaks to fourth sister far

No matter how far apart we are

Magnetic signal on a little brown tape

Triggering a tear of joy.

 

The voice in the back seat loving and bright

A life of its own in the deep dark night

My own flesh and blood calling to me

How can this all have come to be?

I'm somebody's sister, somebody's girl

Way down here in this corner of the world

The road has stopped at a beautiful place

And a man with a beautiful face.

 

She believes in us, she believes in me

Oh how happy can a sister be

And though I can't answer, I'm listening here

I'll be glad to see her in a coming year.

I'm somebody's sister, somebody's girl

Way down here in this corner of of the world

I long for friends and family far away

But I'd do nothing else but stay.

 

8. THE LAZY FARMER Trad.

I'll sing a little song and it ain't very long

'Bout a lazy farmer wouldn't hoe his corn

And why it was I never could tell

For that young man was very well

That young man was very well //

He planted his corn on June the last

In July it was up to his eye

In September there came a big frost

And all that young man's corn was lost

All that young man's corn was lost

 

He walked to his field and he got there at last

The grass and weeds was up to his chin

The grass and weeds had grown so high

It caused that poor man for to sigh

Caused that poor man for to sigh//

Now his courtship had just begun

Saying young man have you hoed your corn

I tried and tried but all in vain

I don't believe I'll raise one grain

Don't believe I'll raise one grain

 

So why do you come to me to wed

If you can't raise your own cornbread

Single I am and will remain

A lazy man I won't maintain

Lazy man I won't maintain//

He hung his head and he walked away

Saying kind miss you'll rue the day

You'll rue the day that you was born

For giving me the devil cause I wouldn't hoe my corn

Giving me the devil cause I wouldn't hoe my corn

 

Now his courtship was to an end

On his way he then began

Saying kind miss I'll have another girl

If I have to ramble this big wide world

Have to ramble this big wide world

 

9. MAYBELLE OF ILLINOIS c Louisa Wise

There's a small town in Illinois, Chillicothe

An Indian word for that particular place

There by the river that runs by so free

An old lady lives out her days

 

She once was a pioneer girl in the West

In a rough young country all windy and raw

A drunk for a father, not one of the best

But a kind hearted woman of spirit, her ma.

 

The girl and her ma would ride out on their own

The Indian men would all leave them alone

Her ma kept two six-shooters ready at hand

Chance meetings with white men found her ready to stand.

 

Once in a revival tent crowded and hot

A red-bedecked floozy the preacher did spot

Crying sinful young heifer, get out of this place

And Maybelle felt shame for the preacher's disgrace.

 

Geronimo fell after struggle and strife

They held him in jail in Maybelle's own town

She went in to meet him in red dress and black braid

A handshake through bars and a small bond was made.

She said, poor man what are they doing to you

Geronimo, what are they doing to you

The strong sense of justice in this upstanding girl

Would not go astray in the rest of the world.

 

I knew only Maybelle the wise old lady

Her spirit full comfort to a jaded young soul

All the good of the world is right there in her face

A deep look, a calm look, a merciful trace.

 

Maybelle of Illinois lives on her own

In a cool green house with trees all around

She is one grammy I wish that I had

Carry on Maybelle, it makes me feel glad. (3 times)

 

10. RAINBOW SONG c Louisa Wise 1990

Sing a rainbow, seven notes

CHORUS Red orange yellow green blue indigo violet

Sing a rainbow, seven colours (CH)

 

Chase a rainbow, never catch it (etc.)

Pots of gold will pale beside it

 

Follow your nose to the moon

Now the stars are in your eyes

 

Sing a rainbow, seven notes

Sing a rainbow, seven colours.

 

11. CUNDALEE c Louisa Wise

They bombed out the land, invisible poison

Moved out some people to Cundalee Mission

Served them up Jesus, who is this Jesus?

Jesus would hate what they're doing to you.

 

Travelling people, the way of the family

Leads them back home to their poison land

Beauty of water, gum tree and boulder

Not to be touched now by human hand.

 

Meanwhile there's Cundalee, desert and blue

Ramshackle ex-mission, no money for you

You'll be moved to Coonana, one day, some day

Or no day at all, we'll forget about you.

 

Invisible poison, seeing is knowing

Cancerous body is quite real enough

Too bad for people caught in the middle

Of somebody's future and somebody's bluff.

 

12. LAFAYETTE - Instrumental

 

13. JOHNSON BOYS Trad.

Have you heard the many stories

Told by young and old with joy

Of the many deeds of daring

That was done by the Johnson Boys

 

CH Jump up pretty girls don't be afraid. (4X)

 

Johnson Boys, they were courters

They knew how to court them girls

They knew how to hug and kiss 'em

Jump up pretty girls, don't be afraid./CH

 

They were men of skill and courage

And they travelled near and far

And they joined the country's service

In that awful Civil War.

 

They were scouts in the Yankee army

And they travelled far and wide

When them rebels saw them coming

They threw down their guns to hide./CH

 

14. THE BALLAD OF GRACE AND SAM c 1996 Louisa Wise

A man named Sam riding on his horse

Checking on the stock down Redgate way

A man named Sam, riding through the rain

Checking on the stock down Redgate way

Storm blows up, winds a-howling

Churning up deadly ocean waves. (2x)

 

Ship going down, drowning and a-floundering

Off the beach down Redgate way (2x)

Ship going down, Georgette sinking

All the people saying their prayers that day.

Ship going down, Georgette sinking

All the people crying their prayers that day.

 

Off goes Sam, galloping for Wallcliffe

Seeking help for the people straight away (2x)

Young woman Grace jumping on her horse

And back race Sam and Grace straight away.(2x)

 

They rode into the sea, tying up a rope

To the ship to save the people that day (2x)

Back and forth, risking their lives

Saving all the people on the ship that day

Back and forth, risking their lives

Saving 50 people on the ship that day.

 

Grace the heroine, worldwide headlines

Silver medal from the queen one day (2x)

Sam the stockman, Lord he’s a black man

A mere bronze medal from the queen that day. (2x)

 

15. THE BALLAD OF MANDY AND HENRY c Louisa Wise

Mandy and Henry lived up in the bluffs

In a heaped up mound in a hole in the ground

No one could tell just how old they might be

And they seldom were seen in the town

Brother and sister shacked up together

Some said they were living in sin

Weren't they a picture just walking along

Mandy's skirt was held up with a pin.

 

Of all the odd couples alive in the world

These two would make off with the cake

The genuine article hillbilly folks

Not a skerrick of the phoney or fake

And though they were ragged they oddly were clean

Being strangers to the merits of soap

Weren't they a picture just walking along

Henry's pants were held up with a rope.

 

Who were these people and what was their story

How did they come to live under the ground

Like blood in mixing had left them this strange

And their minds in the great lost and found

Rabbit and squirrel hunting, wintery fires

This was their daily career

Living the life of the unchanging past

Week after month after year.

 

I still can see Mandy just stumping along

Swinging her sock full of money

Gingerly headed for Ben Franklin's store

In weather both rainy and sunny

With straggly hair and the gait of a child

Drawing looks from the people around

Who was this Mandy and where is she now?

Is she buried now under the ground?

 

16. SAFETY'S SAKE c Riki Schneyer

Well, my best friend called me the other day

She said you know I got a man I want to give away

Well he's a charming boy and you got nothin at stake

Won't you take him please just for safety's sake.

Well I'm not the kind to fool around

With any old charmin boy in this town

I tell you now, I don't want no rake but I'll

Check him out just for safety's sake.

 

Well he came by about a quarter to 9

I surely must say he was lookin fine

Had a mouth like a rose, eyes deep as a lake and I

Kept my distance for safety's sake.

We sat for an evening, 2 cats in a cage

In opposite corners, our senses engaged

I told myself this is a chance you must take and he

Stayed all night just for safety's sake.

 

My god, what a night, till the dawn's early light

Oh the touch of his hand make me quiver and quake, oh the

Hell I tell you with safety's sake.

 

Now half of the men I've occasioned to see

They wanted of me what I just couldn't be.

My mama once told me it's cheatin to fake, you're just

Cheatin yourself just for safety's sake.

You know I love whiskey, I'm crazy for gin

But the way that you love me I know it's a sin

The sound of your laughter could make my heart ache, oh the

Hell I tell you with safety's sake.

 

So ladies, here is advice for free

You'd do yourself well just to listen to me

A lot of these people are out on the take and you

Got to be careful for safety's sake

But if your best friend is tried and true

I know she won't send over no bummers to you

You just never know what love you might make if you

Let down your guard just for safety's sake

Well you might lose your mind and your heart it might break but you

Can't live your life just for safety's sake

Well you might lose your mind, your heart it might break but

You can't live your life just for safety's sake.

 

17. THE KALGOORLIE BUSH c Louisa Wise 1986

Greygreen and cinnamon

Green tufted canopy

Layered and layered against the blue sky

Trees rising slender

Their tawny trunks standing

Their own space around them

Delighting the eye.

 

There flies a bird, a most beautiful bird

So pure a green colour I never will find

Pale yellow tree flowers with the cool scent of heaven

The bush is a garden of the very best kind.

 

Silhouette bird, your thoughts are far from me

Can you know just how lucky a small bird you are

To choose such a tree and alight in its branches

For the likes of these trees you’d search wide and search far.

 

 

 

 


 

Into The Wind---A dejavu

Into The Wind---A dejavu