Waves On The Shore

by Emily Holbert (Emer nic Aidan)

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about

This album presents an "auditory snapshot" of my early days as a bard and songwriter, and is the result of many music-filled weekends spent with Heather Dale and Peter Westergaard, to whom I owe many thanks.

credits

released August 1, 2009

Produced/recorded/mixed by Heather Dale at The Finishing Room (Toronto).
All songs written and sung by Emily Holbert. Percussion: Emily Holbert. Backing vocals, recorder, hammered dulcimer, percussion: Heather Dale.
Copyright Amphisbaena Music 2009.

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about

Emily Holbert Kitchener, Ontario

Emily Holbert, known as “Emer nic Aidan” in the SCA, is a Celtic-inspired singer/songwriter based in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario. Her “bardic-folk” songs tell tales of love and valour, whether recounting and reinventing Celtic mythologies and faerie tales, or recording ‘historical’ deeds within the SCA's Kingdom of Ealdormere.
Let her take you back to a time when bards sang around the fire!
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Track Name: The Bard
THE BARD

I am the dawning: light of hope
I am the twilight: bringer of peace
I am the stone: tablet of history
I am the wind: keeper of secrets
I am the fire: guide in darkness
I am the river: ever moving
I am the Raven: first to battle
I am the owl: last in flight
I am the rabbit: mother of generations
I am the salmon: holder of wisdom
i am the echo of the hills
I am the whisper of the trees
I am the silence within song.

Who breathes dreams?
Who hears the lost music?
Who knows the riddle of the ring?
Track Name: Come & Be Welcome
Come and be welcome O wandering minstrel
Spreading your music from city to town
Be you harper or piper your duty is noble
You carry the tunes that shall never die down

(chorus)
Come from the forest and sit 'round the fire
Come from the fields and enter our hall
Come drink from the guest-cup, come join in the circle
Come and be welcome, ye Bards, one and all

Come and be welcome O noble court-poet
The treasure of knowledge is kept in your words
So unlock your riches of rhyme and of rhythm
And let all the wealth of your wisdom be heard

Come and be welcome O fair-voicéd singer
Weaving the magic of music along
You can thunder the heavens to raise up an army
Or simply bring laughter and peace with a song

Come and be welcome O rare tale-teller
With stories of wonder you wisely recall
Tell of the heroes that dwell live in our history
For tales that are true are the best of them all

Come and be welcome O fireside drummer
With rhythms that echo the beat of the heart
Now waken the music and call to the dancers
The drum's beating pulse is a signal to start

Come and be welcome where ever you hail from
Share all the secrets and joys of your art
For every new voice that joins in the chorus
Uplifts the spirit and cheers the heart!
Track Name: Foot to Ground
Out from the forests, out from the fields
Out from the farmlands with swords and with shields
Summoned to war we answer the call
To fight well with honor or forfeit it all
Foot to ground, arm to shield
Sword in hand, face the field
Sound the horn, beat the drum
To battle we come

Before stands the foe-force well armored for war
Invading the home soil of legend and lore
Behind stands the comfort of home, hearth and hall
We must fight with honor or forfeit it all
Foot to ground, arm to shield
Sword in hand, charge the field
Draw the bow – arrows fly
The first foemen die

Over our heads our banner does fly
Reflecting the crimson sun burning the sky
As red sky above, so the red earth below
Stained with the blood of both friend and of foe
Foot to ground, arm to shield
Sword in hand, gain the field
Thrust the spear, hold the wall
Don’t let it fall

Through the bright dawning ‘till evening we fight
Pressing the foemen until they take flight
Far from the war-field in our sacred land
We defended with honor – triumphant we stand!
Foot to ground, arm to shield
Swords in hand, leave the field
Raise the torch – sets the sun
Victory we’ve won!
Track Name: Soldier Boy
My father wants the farmer’s boy to claim my marriage hand
He who has a herd of cattle and a small house on his land
And it’s not a life of farming that I just couldn’t stand
But I await my soldier-boy
My fine soldier-boy
I await my soldier-boy who’s coming home to marry me

My mother she would have me wed a merchant in the town
He’d dress me fine and buy me wine, then travel all around
But I am sure I would forsake each bottle and each gown
To await my soldier-boy
My fine soldier-boy
I await my soldier-boy who’s coming home to marry me

My sister dreams I’ll marry to a charming minstrel-lad
Who sings for kings in banquet-halls to make the nobles glad
But I think a life of wandering would only make me sad
So I await my soldier-boy
My fine soldier-boy
I await my soldier-boy who’s coming home to marry me

My brother bids me wait: soldiering’s a noble thing
He is fighting for the farmers’ land and singing with the King
Although he won’t return with silks or gems he’s coming with a ring
And so he’s joined my soldier-boy
My fine soldier-boy
My brother’s joined my soldier-boy so he may keep him safe for me

Now I await two soldier-boys:
My fine brother bold
And my handsome soldier-boy who’s coming home to marry me
Track Name: The Poachers' Song
In Harold’s time the hunting was fine
And the birds did sweetly sing
Then the Bastard came and all the game
Became the right of the King
But true English lads saw sport to be had
And swift to poaching turned
And so in that way have we e’en today
Our pleasant supper earned

(chorus)
One for the partridge,
Two for the hare,
And three for the buck and doe!
The hunting of the
Good King’s game
Shall feed us through the snow

Hunting deer or hare in the greenwoods fair
The Kings own men do ride
Btu we Saxons few are a-hunting too
‘Though cleverly we hide
Time and again come the sheriff’s men
Hunting poachers ‘round the shire
But our prey we’ve shot and we’ll not get caught
As we feast around our fire

Many say that Port is the finest sport
That poaching’s far two cold
And so pass the year drinking fine dark Beer
Or else some Whiskey bold
But they’ll find that Wine is the thief of time
And Ale is a bitter foe
So the English man has no better friends
Then his arrows and longbow

Do not reproach the men who poach
Within the High King’s land
To hunt the gam is a noble aim
Amid our merry band
For Love rare and true is a hunter too
Catching hearts within her snare
So give me one kiss and I shall not miss
As I hunt the green-woods fair
Track Name: Roll On Up The Hill
Come leave the cooling shadows
And depart the water's side
The battle-plain's atop the hill
And from battle none can hide
So we'll gather up the weapons
And the armor-wagon fill
Then without delay at break of day
We'll roll on up the hill!

(chorus)
Roll on up the hill, me boys,
Roll on up the hill
There's blood and gold for the brave and bold
So roll on up the hill!

Many men she's conquered
'Ere they've reached the battle plain
They stagger naught a fourth-way up
Then come back down again
She causes old men's hearts to fail
And breaks a young man's will
But we'll not quail and we'll not fail
We'll roll on up the hill!

Midway stands the Runestone
Etched with words that all may ken
The Runestone watches, half-way up
To account the fighting men
To remind us all of honor
Better prized than gold or skill
And to strengthen up our spirits as
We roll on up the hill!

Atop awaits the foemen
And atop rises the dawn
And soon we'll face the battle
With the sword and spear and song
Atop awaits the spoils
For all those who prove their skill
Atop we'll rise and seize our prize
So roll on up the hill!

The fighting halts with evening
And there's fire and food below
The hill is steep but you must sleep
So down to camp you go
Tonight's for love and dancing
And be sure you drink your fill
'Cause you know that come tomorrow
You must roll back up that hill!

The hill awaits to challenge
All the heroes young and old
But the road to glory's always steep
And Victory loves the bold
Still the hill has always stood here
And I fear she always will
So until she falls like Trojan walls
We'll roll on up the hill
Track Name: Warharvest
All in the heat of summer when the corn is rising high
We gather shields and armor for we know the harvest’s nigh
For as some me cart the corn-seed, and some men cart the hay
We shall cart our war-gear when it is our harvest day

The hay is ripe and ready standing golden in the field
But our bowmen and our fletchers have a better harvest-yield
For as some me cart the corn-seed, and some men cart the hay
We shall cart the arrow sheaves when it is our harvest day

Just as young lads and lasses dance and sing the harvest in
We’ll raise our voices singing when the battle’s dance begins
For as some me cart the corn-seed, and some men cart the hay
We shall cart the songs of war when it is our harvest day

Some men use their long sharp scythes to cut down what they’ve sown
But we’ve our swords and axes and our foemen down we’ve mown
For as some me cart the corn-seed, and some men cart the hay
We shall cart the foemen dead when it is our harvest day

When the battle’s over we’ll gather what we’ve sown
We’ll take their gold and cattle and most everything they own
For as some me cart the corn-seed, and some men cart the hay
We shall cart the spoils of war when it is our harvest day

Just as all the farmers give John Barley to the fire
We’ll honor those who’ve fallen with a roaring funeral pyre
For as some me cart the corn-seed, and some men cart the hay
We shall cart home hero-tales when it is our harvest day

Some men cart the corn-seed, and some men cart the hay
And we shall cart home glory when it is our harvest day!
Track Name: The Mourning-Dove's Lament
In spring our love blossomed, In spring our love bloomed
I know not then that my true love was doomed
For he was a warrior and I but a maid
And in springtime to war my true love was bade

I’m like the moon shining over the land
I’ve waxed and waned thrice ‘ere I last held your hand
Be careful, my love, who once shone like the sun
For the sight of this night tells me war has begun

And I’ll be the mourning-dove, you are the wren
‘Tis I who shall weep ‘ere the hunt of the men
For when winter’s over, yea, after the war
It is then that the wren may be flying no more

Bravely he fought, they said, bravely he died
A sword in his hand, a true friend by his side
With the ravens above him on his lips was my name
But a glorious death is a death just the same

Six times a turning, and six times again
From springtime to spring ‘tis but I who remain
Last spring brought me true love, last spring brought the war
Now the spring cannot bring me true love anymore
Track Name: For Your Honor
At a tournament grand a young man takes the field
Armed with his sword and his bright blazoned shield
And the bow to his lady says I’ll never yield
Here I stand, to fight for your honor

(chorus)
For your honor I will inspire
For your honor I shall not tire
For your honor I will require
All I do in your name to be
For your honor

To the side of the lists stands a young maiden fair
Her love’s family colors all bound in her hair
Her grace and her beauty quietly declare
Here I wait to cheer for your honor

Over the field sits the king on his throne
With his queen at his side their oath they intone
By sword and by scepter our duty is sworn
Here we sit to guide you to honor

To bring oneself honor can lead you to fame
But to honor another is a far nobler aim
So for love or for kingdom let your deeds proclaim
All I do, I do for your honor
Track Name: Arise Young Wolf
Though great were they who disputed your claim
You defended ‘gainst many a lord
You are the true heir to the wild Northlands fair
And have proven your fate with your sword
Accept now the vows of your champions all
Be proud in their fame and renown
Stand bold in your hall, you who’ve conquered them all
And arise to take up your crown

(chorus)
Arise young wolf, arise young wolf
Take up the crown of the land
The crown of might afire with light
And the North star a jewel in its band

The Line of the North behind stretches far
The howls of the old wolves still ring
Now lift your head high, add your voice to their cry
And the young wolves shall echo their king
The pack is assembled to hunt once again
With a glorious future to win
In the red of your dawn you shall lead the pack on
As the banner to all the wolf-kin

Raise to your lady the Trillium crown
The gems of the North all agleam
No gold or jewels fair could ever compare
To the beauty of Ealdormere’s Queen
She’s the one who inspired the honor you’ve won
And now trusted to rule in your stead
She’s the mistress of grace and the patron of peace
She’s the flower to your bright field of red

Treasure the folk and the lands of the North
For their loyalty never shall tire
Whether rallied all in a great timber hall
Or gathered as friends round the fire
With you as our guide the north-folk shall rise
Listening well to the council you bring
The North Star shines now on the mightiest brow
And we’ll follow our newly-crowned King
Track Name: Mead & Wine (Dusk & Dawn)
Bright are the oars of the fiery ship
That is traveling into the west
Bearing the knowledge of long days past
To enlighten the Isles of the Blest
Gentle the fingers of rosy-hued dawn
Sharp the bright sword of the sun
Rising together the glorious light
Of a new day of promise begun

(chorus)
The mead flows gold as the setting sun
The wine flows red as the dawn
Raise a toast to a new day begun
And sing praise to the old days gone

Hard was the work for the sweet golden mead
Of the bees ‘midst the Northern flowers
While peaceful the slumber of deep purple grapes
That have ripened in long Southern hours
Now is the time for the mead to be poured
As the drowsy bees seek out their rest
Now is the time for the wine to be poured
For the harvest has brought in the best

Autumn came clothed in riches and jewels
Leaves shining with amber and gold
The harvest-wealth ever reflected in fires
Burning brightly to counter the cold
Reflected the blaze of autumn still shines
In the warm amber light of the spring
Who knows what riches, with blossom and bloom
The passage of seasons shall bring?
Track Name: Waves On The Shore
Green, green grow the field where purple blooms the heather
And blue, blue is the rolling sea that encircles our lands forever

Fair Eriu and Alba are ever besieged
By wave over wave of invaders.
The Fomorians first by the Danaan defeated
Then Mil's sons, the first human raiders.
They'll not be pushed underground:
They are as waves upon our shores
Each one reaching, touching, passing,
Returning to the sea once more.

Gaul's hill-forts now fly Roman standards:
Recruited, Her sons fight their kin.
Though our names they shall change and a wall they shall build
Beyond that, they never shall win:
The Empire's troops must march on,
They are as waves upon our shores
Each one reaching, touching, passing,
Returning to the sea once more.

Invited, the kinsman of Hengeist have come;
The White Horse runs swift at their prow.
Generations shall pay the hired army's price
And they call us the 'foreigners' now
They too shall have prices to pay:
They are as waves upon our shores
Each one reaching, touching, passing,
Returning to the sea once more.

The North Sea betrays the Northern shore's trust
As she bears the dragon-ships forth.
Norsemen a-Viking for women and land
Which they claim as their own from henceforth
But a heart can't be stolen by force
They are as waves upon our shores
Each one reaching, touching, passing,
Returning to the sea once more.

Though the tides of invasion still crash on our shores
The souls of our first ones still live
Memories are passed from parent to child
What more have we left to give?
They are as seeds in the ground
We are as waves upon our shores
Each one reaching, touching, passing,
Returning to the sea once more.