Wheatfield With Crows

by Tim Harrison

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1.
WHEATFIELD WITH CROWS ©Tim Harrison and Second Avenue Songs 1990 Wheatfield with crows One more image as the palette overflows One more step before the forks in the road Separate us and we’re gone Young rebels in the night Drew thin lines around what’s wrong and what is right Clutching fingers grasped at straws and held on tight Young lovers sang their songs And there was music The streets came alive We ran into the dawn Dreams of freedom drove us on And there was glory and it was holy It was the moon and the stars It was the world blown apart Wheatfield with crows Urgent talk in small cafes until they closed Roaring poetry ‘round corners rolling home Roof - tops echoed buildings rang And in the darkened rooms Streams of streetlight bathed the ir bodies as they moved Slowly tracing Aphrodite’s pas-de-deux Through the starry nights Wheatfield with crows One more image as the palette overflows One more step before the forks in the road Separate us and we’re gone
2.
04:52
Home Boys ©Tim Harrison and Second Avenue Songs 2001 It was from England that I came On a ship laden with blame For the bloody, dirty need Made by industry’s new greed We came in from the country side To find work in the city slime Where fathers broke sons’ arms So they’d fit the beggars’ charms It was the work house for us all And like cattle in a stall Fathers, mothers, daughters, sons Were separated and undone The righteous thought it best To rid London of its pests So we were plucked for God’s bouquet One hundred thousand sent away And they called us home boys A bitter irony They called us home boys As they put us out to sea They called us home boys As they broke our families But Home Boy that’s no fitting name for me And those of us who did not die On the briny ocean wide All landed over here To Canada land of our fear We were sent out then to work For stoop labor and a perk For the landowners who knew That we did not get to choose Bridge: And I was sent out to Ontario And worked a farm through the rain and the wind and snow And what I learned put innocence to shame For things that happened there cannot be given any name And is this the only way We can deal with poverty Some live in wrack and ruin And some live in luxury The rich and poor they struggle Though there’s lots to go around Still we scatter one another Just like dry leaves on the ground
3.
Elizabeth's Lament ©Tim Harrison and Second Avenue Songs 1982 It was coming on to New England night She was driving down the Mass. turnpike The leaves had turned to yellow-brown The sky was grey, winter was coming down She thought about the ones at home A son she loved about to go A daughter half way out the door A man who didn't know her anymore And the skies open up the turnpike slicks with rain And the rhythm of the wipers on the windshield click her time away And she holds the thought of security she'd bought But the days go by and the Time runs out…a spirit is caught... She thinks of her community The Ladies to bridge, the Ladies to tea Forced cocktail parties now and then Where she cannot call a single soul a friend And she wonders about the home routine The daily Chores, the weekly Clean Soap operas in the afternoon At night the house gets silent far too soon So she goes up and turns the bed sheets down A quick kiss and the husband's gone The shadows on the ceiling play She wonders how it came to be this way And the tires grip the road the rain keeps coming down And the lights on the highway flicker by as she reaches town Still she heads for home, her shelter from the storm But the days go by and the time runs out…a spirit is gone...
4.
Innocent Eyes ©Tim Harrison and Second Avenue Songs 1983 Innocent eyes, innocent eyes Never see a danger Innocent eyes, innocent eyes Always look To strangers The sun comes up a day will start A flame is lit to start the spark Burning in the souls of the living And you walk to Second Avenue One more day to pay the dues Of living in a world so unforgiving Innocent eyes, innocent eyes Never see a danger Innocent eyes, innocent eyes Always look to strangers Celebrating the grey days Living in all-night cafes Moving with the joy and feeling able You start to swing as the music sounds But something makes you turn around It's Machiavelli dancing on the table Innocent eyes, Innocent eyes Never see a danger Innocent eyes, Innocent eyes Always look to strangers You look to find the human beat You walk to forty-second street Moving with whores and the hustlers You stop to play a game of chance One more time for a romance Buying tickets to the heart from scalpers Innocent eyes, innocent eyes Never see a danger Innocent eyes, innocent eyes Always look to strangers Never look to strangers Always look to strangers
5.
THE PARTING LETTER TO OPHELIA ©Tim Harrison and Second Avenue Songs 1990 Farewell my love Ophelia The earth can make the rivers bend What we wanted to be, our love could not see And disappeared out to the ocean's end Your father gave that you might follow I know you tried hard to obey But a young tender heart, tied too tight comes apart And runs with no direction and no aim And I know lies were told Ophelia I wish there was some way to explain That the world just spins, and over and over again You have to choose to put love in You have to know that I did love you But in your arms I could not breathe And there were times I confess I saw only your flesh Our desires drove us further from our dreams But you must look to yourself Ophelia I wish there was some way to explain, That the world just spins, and over and over again You have to choose to put love in And someday you'll trim your own sails And chart a course to find your destiny There'll be no captain's hand, to force or command You'll only have your own god to obey But you know how hard that is Ophelia I wish there was some way to explain That the world just spins, and over and over again You have to choose to put love in
6.
FORTUNE AND MEN’S EYES Tim Harrison and Second Avenue Songs 2004 When we fall in fortune and men’s eyes And feel outside as people often do Though we sometimes shake the angels with our cries The morning comes and we start over new When things go wrong no matter how we try When it seems like good times might be gone Hold on to old stories and embrace One day at a time we travel on And it’s you, you, you Your faith like fire gives warmth the whole day through The stars never rise, but I see your shining eyes It’s you, you, you When our past would rob the present time And all our woes would try to slow us down You’re like the sun to which all flowers bend When the night is burnt away and the sorrows end
7.
The Song Of The Wandering Aengus Poem by William Butler Yeats Music by Judy Collins via Will Holt via Richard Dyer Bennett via Yeats himself apparently via notations in his “Speaking to the Psaltery” from 1907. This arrangement I learned from Dave van Ronk I went out to the hazel wood, Because a fire was in my head, And cut and peeled a hazel wand, And hooked a berry to a thread; And when white moths were on the wing, And moth-like stars were flickering out, I dropped the berry in a stream And caught a little silver trout. When I had laid it on the floor I went to blow the fire aflame, But something rustled on the floor, And some one called me by my name: It had become a glimmering girl With apple blossom in her hair Who called me by my name and ran And faded through the brightening air. Though I am old with wandering Through hollow lads and hilly lands. I will find out where she has gone, And kiss her lips and take her hands; And walk among long dappled grass, And pluck till time and times are done The silver apples of the moon, The golden apples of the sun.
8.
There But For Fortune ©Phil Ochs Show me a prison, show me a jail Show me a prisoner whose life has gone stale And I'll show you a young man With many reasons why There but for fortune, go you or I Show me an alley, show me a train Show me a hobo who sleeps out in the rain And I'll show you a young man With many reasons why There but for fortune, go you or I Show me the whiskey stains on the floor Show me a drunk as he stumbles out the door And I'll show you a young man With many reasons why There but for fortune, go you or I Show me a country where the bombs had to fall Show me the ruins of buildings so tall And I'll show you a young land With many reasons why There but for fortune, go you or I You or I
9.
10.
05:57
JOY ALRIGHT ©Tim Harrison and Second Avenue Songs1988 It's hard when you stumble, It's hard when you fall, It's hard to pick yourself back up again It's hard to care at all Old men sleeping in the alley Women sunk in doorways deeper than the blues They push carts past love they do no know Still they wake up in the morning Trying to find something new Chorus And there's tears alright There's pain alright There's fears alright But you can find Joy alright You get hurt alright You get torn alright You get worn alright But still there is Joy alright Some folks they try to fool you To you think that you've done wrong They try to take your world and turn it upside down They try to make you sing their song But when you stand out on your own highway Just shake the dust off of your shoes Brush your coat and turn your face into the wind Cause we're all just passin’ through
11.
MAPS OF PARIS ©Tim Harrison and Second Avenue Songs 1985 Well I thought I'd been travelling But I've just moved from town to town Looking for some kind of love That wouldn't keep me down, that wouldn't put me down I guess I've been chasing some kind of dream And I never seem to come out clean Till you came along and my world has been redeemed Cause I'm studying maps of Paris And I'm lookin’ at maps of France I want to watch you strut down the Rue de Voltaire And I want to watch you dance I love to watch you dance I'd forgotten what love can be Forgotten what it's like to be complete I was wondering why it is that people meet at all Bridge: I'd put my life upon a shelf I'd built shrines to the past I was trying to remember the good times And thinkin’ bad ones were the only ones that last But now I'm studying maps of Paris And I'm lookin’ at maps of France I want to watch you strut down the Rue de Voltaire And I want to watch you dance I love to watch you We'll sit in some all-night cafe And listen to the hot club till the break of day And the rest of the world Can just go on its way
12.
THE STARS ABOVE ©Tim Harrison and Second Avenue Songs 1982 In the hollow havens of the bottom line We’re swinging back and forth in time Hungry for something that we cannot see Stranded in the doorway to eternity In the city streets you listen for the sounds But the poets and the prophets all went underground Bank towers loom over steeple spires And the status quo smothers hearts of fire I’m going looking in the stars above I’m going looking in the name of love I want to hear the mermaids’ melody I hope they sing it loud for me Sunlight chases shadows across suburban skies You hear the stories, the rumours, and the alibis Still every dawn in creation yet Lets you make a life if you don’t forget I’m going looking in the stars above I’m going looking in the name of love I want to hear the mermaids’ melody I hope they sing it loud for me In the hollow havens of the bottom line We’re swinging back and forth in time Hungry for something that we cannot see Stranded in the doorway to eternity I’m going looking in the stars above I’m going looking in the name of love I want to hear the mermaids’ melody I hope they sing it loud for me…and you I hope they sing it loud
13.
SONG OF THANKSGIVING Tim Harrison and Second SONG Avenue Songs 2002 When the Northern Wind blows in And the earth tips from the sun When the harvest is complete And all the work is done Then we know we’ll feel the chill And we know the snow will fall ‘Til the woods are filled And then is the time we make our Thanksgiving When all the things that can Would try to pull us down And our darkest hour’s at hand And we’re spinning all around Then the winds will change again And we know that hope comes back From where it’s been And then is the time we make our Thanksgiving And in this world of speed It’s hard just to be And the things we really need Are always hard to see And I know we’re flyin’ blind But maybe we’ll find our way if we try And now is the time we must make our Thanksgiving (repeat line
14.
03:36
SEA FEVER by John Masefield musical setting ©Tim Harrison and Second Avenue Songs 2002 I must down to the seas again To the lonely sea and the sky And all I ask is a tall ship And a star to steer her by And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song And the white sail’s shaking And a grey mist on the sea’s face And a grey dawn breaking. I must down to the seas again For the call of the running tide Is a wild call and a clear call That may not be denied And all I ask is a windy day With the white clouds flying And the flung spray and the blown spume And the seagulls crying. I must down to the seas again To the vagrant gypsy life To the gull’s way and the whale’s way Where the wind’s like a whetted knife And all I ask is a merry yarn From a laughing fellow-rover And quiet sleep and a sweet dream When the long trick’s over

about

Wheatfield With Crows is a collection of some older material, which had not been released before, and some new. Wheatfield With Crows, reportedly Van Gogh's final painting, was the inspiration for the song of the same name as I was thinking of a group of friends, mostly actors, writers, and musicians, all of whom had gone their separate ways, and all of whom had contributed to my "canvas," my reminiscences of our time together. Permission was secured from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam to use the painting as the CD cover. They sent me a slide of the entire painting sitting on two easels...it's quite a large painting, is rectangular, and therefore we had to crop for it to fit as a CD cover.

credits

released January 1, 2002

Tim Harrison vocals, guitars, mandolin, bass; Sahra Featherstone Celtic Harp; Tom Leighton accordion; Liane de Lotbiniere background vocals; Paul Mills guitar; Lisa Weitz background vocals; Chris Whiteley harmonica.

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Tim Harrison Nanaimo, British Columbia

Biography
Tim Harrison has worked as an artist, songwriter, and as a creator of arts events.. Along with founding the Owen Sound Summerfolk Festival,Tim has been Artistic Director of the Mariposa, Northwind, and Eaglewood Folk Festivals, and the Big Fish Music Fest.
Tim has released eight highly acclaimed recordings of original material and has toured extensively throughout the U.S. and Canada.
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