Jack Hardy — Lyrics for Of the White Goddess

These are the lyrics for the songs on the tribute album Songs of Jack Hardy, Volume One: Of the White Goddess. They cover songs from many of Jack's albums.

Copyright © 1979, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1989, 1991, 1994 Jack Hardy Music and Rudolf Slezak, Musikverlag GMBH

  1. No Man
  2. The Blue Garden
  3. The Knight's Dream
  4. Before You Sing
  5. The Wedding Song
  6. Gretna Green
  7. Elevator
  8. Woman of the Road
  9. The Tinker's Coin
  10. Silver Penny
  11. All in Time
  12. The Sparrow
  13. An Bael Bocht (The Poor Mouth)

No Man

No man no man shall travel this land 'Till the sand wash down to the sea No strand no strand can hold its sand When the waves fan endlessly 'Till all I have is ransomed All I have is sold 'Till my country 'tis of thee No sand no sand in the hourglass stands Though I stand not wantonly No hand no hand shall tarry this hand 'Till that man shall marry me Though all I have is silver All I have is gold 'Tis the source and not sorcery To understand the talisman And the clan of mystery The forest stand the wedding band Without apostrophe Though all my days are numbered All my stories told The riddle still is thee

The Blue Garden

Because I love you Not just when you sing The nightingale's sister The moon's offspring And I just a listener Lost in my room The window left open To hear your sweet tune Because I love you Because I love you Not just in my mind Outside was the garden The garden was mine And all of the flowers Were only one hue When into that garden The nightingale flew Because I love you Because I love you And love you I will The nightingale landed On my windowsill Flaunting in freedom And taunting in tune I have only one question One question of you Why your flowers are blue Because I love you When the summer was through And the wildflowers made The blue garden not blue The window left open Left open too long I was left with her song Alone and bemused Because I love you

The Knight's Dream

We met as friends as friends do meet And swore our friendship we would keep And turn our wrath on sacred quests And not succumb to all those jealous jests These dreams of mine I do not make There was this woman of the lake Her face was young her face was old Her voice was hot her breath was icy cold chorus: She dances on Arthur's grave Amidst the ruins on Salisbury Plain In Glastonbury's setting sun And counts her suitors one by one She let fall her handkerchief And he let fall the gauntlet grief No second chances to decide If might is right and right is on our side Converted by a wayward smile he stood his ground demanding trial And I who could not raise my pride Took his wound deep into my side But all the same I was to blame I could not claim a martyr's fame For 'twas I who did betray The sorcerer's mask I misused today And only one thing troubles my heart A wound that will not succumb to art That there are those who believe this lore And conjure things worth fighting for

Before You Sing

Before you sing Before you strum your silken strings Uncloud your mind Take yourself out of time Remember me as a child Unviolated and wild Laid out upon your bed The wine but not the bread Your thirst among my fears Your verse for only my ears But you had magic you had might You had everything in sight And everything I gave to you And still you do not know me Before you sing Before you strum your silver strings Put down your cup Which drowns the sounds of us One hallowed night defiled I conceived your child The life that your disowned The wife you tried to own At the crossroads of will The child you had me kill But you had causes you had hope You always had enough rope But as your mother I gave birth to you And still you do not know me Before you sing Before you strum your muted strings Put down your cross Consider what it has cost My mask it mirrors yours The task you must endure Laid out upon your bed To cup your weary head But the mirror is unseen And your life is obscene You have poisoned well the songs you sell You've created hell upon earth And the gleemen laugh With their ghoulish glee And still you do not know me

The Wedding Song

By the stag of seven tines Through the forest down to the sea The lapwing circles seven times O'er the silent nest in secrecy High and low they search the weirs For the doe the whelp he fears And for the child swept ashore In the olden times By the salmon in the pool Fed on hazel for the gift of sight Within the trees he hides the tools Madly gazing in the starless night Bless this ordinary home Guess the gleeman fools who roam Through the dance growing hot When the barley's sown By the merging of two streams One of silver one of gold Find the merging of two dreams One is foreign one is old All the ancient clans unite For this sacred candle rite Place the hand in the hand For they bond tonight

Gretna Green

'Twas not quite summertime Out by the borderline I stopped for thirst one day At a smith's along the way And there by fireside Was the brightest pair of emerald eyes The belle of Gretna Green Her hair a golden brown If e'er one be so blest Black velvet was her gown White lace upon her breast A half-crescent moon In silver on a golden chain And so my heart was claimed But she said she'd not be mine For she'd soon be a bride Her man would soon arrive From the Northumberland side Though it pleased not her clan That he be a highwayman 'Twas safe in Gretna Green So I drank a sad farewell That night in starry spell But as I bid goodbye The smith drew me aside He said 'twas true enough That she be waiting for her love 'Twas all in vain in mind For ten years ago today But seven miles away The dragoons rode him down 'Neath Blackford's oak was found And no one to this day Has had the heart to tell her his fate That half-crescent moon in his hand And many a year have gone As I sing to you this song She does not age at all And many for her they fall And those of lonely bed Can drink a toast to her instead Farewell my belle my queen Farewell my belle my queen The ghost of Gretna Green


Everyone knew that something had cracked Lately they even wrote songs Everyone knew of something she lacked Very few asked what was wrong Almost to a tee their lips were all sealed Totally immersed in their game Only using the muse she revealed Refusing to mention it by name Elfin ears sifting what to keep Long wispy curls hiding spikes Eyes that are always falling asleep Venus deMilo-ing dislikes All her collections of lyrics with names Tore holes in her confidence game Occasionally brightening her day just the same Refusing to mention it by name Endless numbers lit up as she passed Lifting her spirits like a jet Everyone said she would never be last Valentines stuffed in her net All of us knew she collected us all Temporary insanity or blissfully sane Only I knew it to be her downfall Refusing to mention it by name

Woman of the Road

Any port in a storm You've heard it before From those whose lives are storm The eye of the storm To keep the heart warm The hurricane shield and the torch All the waves come crashing through the door Electric heat upon the veins All the clothes go tumbling to the floor When will I see you again Ball and chain You've heard it before That things aren't right at home They're planning to leave They already left They can't live without you or with All they say is old and stale These are not honorable men Yet you light the candle just the same When will I see you again Old and gray You've heard it before When as a child you played roles But all of the men Were boring "good friends" And all of their love was so cold Please don't stay please don't go I am the woman of the road Night and day are much the same When your eyes are closed When will I see you again

The Tinker's Coin

Come all ye lads and lasses near A story I will tell to you About a cold damp night like this When shelter I was seeking A traveler passing through The barkeep said to guard my coin To stay away from this tinker But that just brought me near to him For naught had I worth taking A traveler passing through Well he bought me glass of darkened stout To thank me for my company And he dropped a penny in the glass For the luck that it would bring to me A traveler passing through The poor have but their pennies left The king his saxon shilling The king would never part with his Though I part with lime most willing To a traveler passing through chorus: This coin's been haunted by the sidhe It shall bring you joy or bring you grief Depending on the works you do What once was mine now belongs to you To a traveler passing through And we passed the night most forcefully I sang my songs and his to me And we talked of life's brief song to sing Of visions we'd forsaken As travelers passing through And the barkeep said it's time with scorn Your man here will be your undoing They will lock you up as sure as you are born If they hear the songs you're singing A traveler passing through Well they can lock me up as best they can Yet songs can never know those chains The song is sacred as the wind We are just the harp that's singing A traveler passing through And later in a highland pub With friends around me singing I chanced to glance into my glass At another penny shining A traveler passing through

Silver Penny

Softly ever so softly As you came into the room Came upon me a deeper feeling That I could not place in tune And all the walls they started reeling That I tried to hold on to Softly melting my defenses Do not give your heart too soon Found a penny silver penny At the crossing of the street Where a child had stopped his playing Leaving life as incomplete And so I tossed it in the air To see if love was dark or fair Said the penny silver penny When you ask you never dare Softly ever so softly Came the closing of the door And the sound of cloth in falling As it softly touched the floor Of all the answers and the questions Hung upon that silver moon Came the answer in reflection You cannot give your heart too soon

All in Time

All in time I crossed the river Was no bridge there was no road Though the cold has made me shiver Whence it came and where it flowed I have known you like this river Flooding tears the ebbs and flows You the holder and the giver Carried me where 'er it goes chorus: All in time will become this river All in time will be broken All in time the words we'll find All in time will be spoken I can neither walk on water Float like wood or sink like stone I am somewhere in between the Fatted calf the marrow bone Tell me all your silent secrets Whisper as the morning dew Crystal drop which wets the petal Is but a small part of you I can neither cry nor whisper Bottled anger anguished plea Could have been but lost and shattered But you found and opened me All in time these banks are changing That try to hold this river in Life that dreams are rearranging Morning casts upon the wind

The Sparrow

I used to fancy myself As a sparrow on the wing Playing games in the freedom of the wind I used to fancy myself As a minstrel who would sing Playing tunes on a gypsy mandolin chorus: But to live like the sparrow You must fly or face the flame You must know your weakness Like you know your name And to live like the poet And roam from town to town You must learn to be lost Enough to be found I used to fill up my days With four leaf clover dreams Casting lots on the crossroads of time I used to build my house from fate Clothed with words alone Not knowing I was naked in my rhyme I used to laugh at my loves As they turned from young to old For the weakness in their hearts and in their ways But that dark sky above As it turns from black to gold Trades the homing instinct for a lonely grave

An Bael Bocht (The Poor Mouth)

There were only five there With their hat in their hand prayers Towards Glasnevin Green in the rain As we sat in the Beal Bocht Eating our soup stock Erasing our dreams as a game Arguing verses as to whose was the best And who were the five when they laid him to rest chorus: And I was wondering what it would take To make you break down and cry All has changed now all has changed The curse is wondering why Still I am wondering when I hear the children sing In those olden days In those golden days When we were all in love With all that was witching And all that was winning With women Writing those vain verses That students write for lovers But after the wine Comes its vinegar brother In those final days In those banal days When reality caught us dreaming And humbled by hunger And that daily Asking for bread or a stone Writing those verses in vain with desire That the nurses sweep into that rewriting fire One potato two potato three potato four What we gonna do when there isn't any more