Mirrors and Smoke

by Nicholas Breeze Wood

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about

The songs on this double album are a mix of the very old, the old and the new, some are re-recorded, some re-mastered, some re-mixed, some of them are damaged goods, some have tumbled into existence, and some are just smoke and mirrors, but all of them are merely froth on the ocean...

many things the sea will bear, that one day will come back once more

'There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.'

William Stafford (1914 – 1993)

credits

released September 1, 2011

All songs written by Nicholas Breeze Wood,
with the exception of Long Lankin (trad)

The way it is - based on a poem by William Stafford
thanks to Jonathan for planting the seed

All tracks arranged and performed
by Nicholas Breeze Wood

acoustic, electric and bass guitars ✜ dobros
banjo ✜ oud ✜ guembri (moroccan bass lute)
cuatro de puerto rico ✜ mandolin ✜ mandola
charango ✜ medieval guittarra latina and gittern
accordion ✜ piano ✜ synths ✜ harmonica ✜ six hole pipes
sinfonye (medieval hurdy gurdy) ✜ medieval small pipes
darabuka ✜ qarkabeb (moroccan iron castanets)
medieval pandeiro (square frame drum) ✜ hand claps ✜ vox

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license

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about

Nicholas Breeze Wood UK

Multi instrumentalist singer-songwriter drawing on rock, Arabic and Medieval music, using instruments from all those traditions

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Track Name: Tumble
When I was little I'd walk sometimes
On the high ground, amidst gusts and crow wings
I'd feel the wind, all in my face blowing
Making me feel it was a time of kings

Like a leaf I tumble, all the way down
I tumble, tumble, all the way down

Sometimes the wind just fills up my sails
Takes me to the awareness of my presence
Goes through me, touches at my soul
To the heart of me, to my very essence

But like a leaf I tumbled, all the way down
I tumbled, tumbled, all the way down

But like a leaf I tumbled, all the way down
I tumbled, tumbled, all the way down

One of my hero's sang a song one time
About the wind of his soul to which he listened
He sat down upon the setting sun
While all around him existence glistened

And it made him tumble, all the way down
He tumbled, tumbled, all the way down

At the end of the day at best we're rainbows
Refractions of star light bounced from the walls of the cave
Here for a moment, just the wink of an eye
Stepping on the path from birth to grave

And it makes us tumble all the way down
We tumble, tumble, all the way down

And it makes us tumble all the way down
We tumble, tumble, all the way down
Track Name: Arrows
A Grandfather once told me,
It takes a cunning man to really live free.
Any fool can work his life,
To rent his house,
His land, his air and his light.

He said don’t act dim, don’t hide your eye.
Don’t play their game, don’t buy their lie.
Don’t bow your head like they tell you too
And don’t let them put their shame on you

He said, I was born on a evening breeze,
I was born by the growing trees,
I was born neath the shining star,
He said, travel on and go far.

He said trust the Devil to be his own kind.
Trust the beauty you know you’ll find.
Trust the Sky, the Earth and the Sea.
Trust the Spirit deep inside me.

He said, you can tell if your on the right track,
By all of the arrows shot in your back.
Don’t think they make a heavy load,
There just there to point the right road.

Never mind them shooting at you,
There just there to help you push through.
He said the people shooting don’t understand,
That an arrow in the back is an helping hand.
Track Name: Forebears
Hear me
This my friends is a sacred ground.
All our forebears lived
And walked here once.
In trust they aimed to live
The life they choice,
Held up higher
By their own dead and gone.

Passing on in trust once more to their young,
Sacred Earth from which they had sprung.
Standing on the shoulders of the dead before them,
The young see further than those gone before.

Hear me,
This my friends is a sacred ground.
Given to us in trust to pass on once more.
Our children one day
Will pass it on in there turn,
To those who next will
Come in line to this Earth.

We are a Link in this whole chain of lives,
Building upwards, each to gain a view.
Your actions go before you always bear that well.
We will all be forebears soon,
That much is true.
Track Name: Messin'
I haven’t messed much with the past,
I haven’t messed much with the present,
But I have messed with the future,
As the past has messed with me.
Track Name: New Dance
Same old dancer came here once,
And he danced so fine.
Same old dance was danced here once,
Danced throughout time.
Same old trance caught us once,
Kept us tied.
Same old ties bound us once,
Believe all his lies.

I do not know the new dance,
But it’s not the way it was.
Not this time.

Kids they watch the old man come,
And they grow up in his dance.
They learn all his steps so perfectly
Cos his steps are built to last.
They’re tranced,
They old before their time,
Their spark is sent away.
They become what the dancer says,
Till the end of their days.

I don t know the new dance,
But the old can’t last,
Much more time.

Saw a new face in the crowd today
Seemed to come from another place.
I did not see them look at me,
And I did not see their face.
Just a reflection in their mirror,
just a glimpse of a new view.
No perfect realisation,
Just a hunch at what to do.

I’ve got a step to a new dance,
The old ones lost.

My daughters, they are princess,
Oh and no doubt your’s is just the same.
Your son, he is a prince to you,
Long may they reign.
And if we deeply hold to that,
Then why do we accept,
The old man, the old dance,
The music and all of his steps.

Teach your kids a new dance,
Today’s the day.
Track Name: Roll Up
Roll up the Earth and pull down the Moon,
Better days are coming soon;
Anyway, that’s what I’ve been told.
Pull down the Moon and roll up the Earth,
Split your sides with all this mirth,
See this freakshow for what it’s worth,
It’s days are numbered too.

Circle the Sky, keep a watch on the Stars,
Just because they stray too far.
Better keep them where they belong
Or they might get away.
Watch all the Stars and circle the Sky.
Keep us safe from asking why.
From big questions lets all stray,
It’s easier that way.
Track Name: Morning Star
If you walk towards the higher ground,
On the lighter edge of town.
With a song deep in your pocket,
And a chance to sing out loud.
Well, a waiting time lies before you,
You have to wait to watch the rising Sun,
As it rises like a phoenix bird, with a new life.

When a new life has begun

Starlight, look upon me,
Starlight show my way.
Herald change for me,
Starlight herald day.
You are watching, like a fire with out an end.
You will witness, all the prayers I send.

Find a place till the morning time,
A place of earth and stone.
Many have stood before you here,
This place was once their home.
The daylight’s glow will start soon,
And the time is close at hand.
So sing beneath the starfield sky,
So the old ones understand.
That starlight sees my hilltop.
Starlight sees my town.
It sees me singing, it hears my sound.
It sees the changes, all the changes,
That are happening deep in my soul.
It sees the moment,
That my heart starts being whole.

This is the view from the Morningstar.
Track Name: Changing Tide
Watching from the wide shore
Waves race to the land
Grey and Tall

the Deep is not touched
It's so far beyond
our reach

Other lands seem far away
But are so near
just out of sight

One day we'll cross tides
Go out of the reach
of the shore

Like kites upon a breeze
We'll sail far away
across the sea

Our souls ride the waves
to the great beyond
pilgrim bound

there on a Newgale day
We will touch all things
like fleeting foam

And foam it has no form
it just dissolves back
to air once more

dissolves back
breathing out
resolves back
breathing in

Watching from the wide shore
Waves race to the land
Grey and Tall

But is the place we stand
the same place again
as it was

which shore are we on
there or here how can
we ever tell

we can not ever say
how which way runs
the changing tide
Track Name: Mirrors and Smoke
You are made of nothing at all
Just dust from the stars and nothing more
You touch things you which appear to be there
But really they're not even movements in air

Mirrors and smoke, mirrors and smoke that's all we are

We're like ghosts as we live each day
Brim filled with emptiness, we pose and display
As solid as gas clouds, we think we are real
We reach out and touch and think we can feel

Mirrors and smoke, mirrors and smoke that's all we are

Your are made of nothing at all
Just dust from the stars and nothing more
How awesome the dream in which we exist
How awesome the dream in which we exist

Mirrors and smoke, mirrors and smoke that's all we are
Track Name: Damaged Goods
I am damaged goods

Like a boat in the water
I leave a wake
And where it lands
I create mistakes
And no one knows
Where the wake will land
But if you gamble wrong
You better hope someone’s
There to lend a hand

Cos I am damaged goods

I could blame it on my family
And what I went through
But that won’t
Be of help to you
Dont be around me
I’m bad for you
Dont be fooled
Into thinking I’m honest
Just cos what I say here is true

Cos I am damaged goods

I’ll be deaf and blind
to all your pain
It’s happened before
It will happen again
People like you
Should be kept from me
I’m not sure it’s right
To let me
Into society

Cos I am damaged goods
Track Name: The Way It Is
So it is that I sing no more for joy
For I know that in my life now passion has exhausted me
and laughter and tears brings neither comfort or relef
my soirit seeks replenishment, sustenance to set it free

And yet it seems no near at hand
The circle is unfolding more
the constently expanding hoop of life
that is forever drawn
Touching both shores here and there
and holding them for ever bound
causing them to ebb and flow and me to journey over the sound

And because of this I know there is no finer peace
Illusion falls from me and she is there, brightly shining
The journey of my life is now drawing to a close
an easiness is coming to the singer and the singers song

The song between the two lands does run, always to the other side
Like journeys the water takes is always turning on the tide
The tide will take these words to sea and then return them to the shore
Many things the sea will bear that one day will return once more
Track Name: Crows and Angels
My mother said,
that I should stone the Crows, stone the Crows,
That were everywhere that I went.
To this day, I watch them,
Black against the sky above,
But to be honest,
I’m not really sure what it was that she meant.
But I still watch them,
Circling over head,
Seeing what I see.
I still watch them,
Hanging on the wind,
Hanging on the breeze.
I still watch them looking down on me.

My mother said,
That I should always trust the Angels,
On their shiny shiny wings.
That they would always watch me
Watch over me, protect me,
Keep me safe from nasty, unspecified things.
Put their wings all around me, and keep me safe,
Keep me snug and warm.
Walk with me when things got rough,
When days were dark and scary,
That they would always
Protect me from the storm.

Got a Crow on my shoulder,
And an Angel on my arm,
Some times they kind of get all mixed.
Crows and Angels,
Angles and Crows,
Angles and Crows,
And Crows and Angels,
My mother never did tell me,
Really which one of them was which.
I have a Crow
Who flies with me on
Shiny, shiny, shiny wings.
Watches me, and looks out for me,
He watches me, and looks out for me,
Flies with me.
A Crow who teaches me,
lots of things, lots of things.
Track Name: Time Will Tell
Mother owned a garden
She could make things grow
Most things would survive
From the things that she would sow

She used to tend the soil
Giving it all good care
So the breath of life
Would hang around in there

I wonder how her children will grow
Time will tell, Time will tell

Me, I grow people
At least I give it a go
I've not lost many
And mostly their wounds don't show

Me I grow people
At least I give it a try
And I'll search for one I've lost
Though the waters are high

I wonder what my children will grow
Time will tell, Time will tell

Many say they garden
But they just don't seem to care
They'd rather keep them all malnourished
Hungry, in the dark down there

Soil can be damaged and
Seeds can have a hard time
When poisons in the system
It's a shame, it's a pity, it's a crime

I wonder how their children will grow
Time will tell, Time will tell

Natures not too tidy
and nothing ever grows up the same
Diversification is the
name of natures game

But when a culture grows some people
It grows them mostly in a line
To keep them all in order
And help them fit in just fine

I wonder how our children will grow
Time will tell, Time will tell
Track Name: Heads
Fine words don’t mean too much,
When those fine words are a lie.
Put into print, or taken straight from a mouth,
They have no truth to testify.
What’s true for you? What’s true for me?
Is there truth here to be found?
What is the true measure of a man,
If the yard stick is underhand?

Damn the future, till it lies like the past,
Till the song is as sweet as the voice.
Damn the future, till it lies like the past,
Let the people think they’re making a choice.
Damn the future, till it lies like the past,
Is there anyone left who can tell.
Damn the future, till it lies like the past,
Till people get immune to the smell.

Old dogs sing your medicine songs,
Sing them out loud and clear.
Sing them what they want to know.
Sing them what they want to hear.
You sang them once of a saviour god,
One who died for all of our sins.
Now you sing them a future song,
Of a time when everyone one wins.

Damn the future, till it’s murky like the past.
So not too many people will see.
Damn the future, till it’s murky like the past.
So you can re-write our history.
Damn the future, till it’s murky like the past.
Give out sweets to give it all nice taste.
Damn the future, till it’s murky like the past.
The things that were have now been replaced.

Keep them simple, keep them quiet.
Give them things to make them happy.
Give them news, give them current affairs,
Give them just enough to make them think they’re savy.
Give them dreams and give them hopes.
Give them all their heart’s desire.
Give them peace with just a tiny hint of war.
And a safe warm place by your fire.
Give them circuses, and give them soft warm bread.
Give them clowns, religion and the movies.
Give them titillation and a fun time in the sun.
Give them heads you win and tails he looses.
Track Name: Hide The Sun
They could never replace you
With all the bright stars in the sky
There's no one who could come close
There's no one who could even try
The road is darker now you've past
But all the while your footsteps last
I'll tread the pattern on your shoe
They could never replace you.

They could never replace you
With endless riches from the sea
No gold brought from a distant shore
Could ever mean as much to me
As the simple things you did and said
I learned to follow where you led
To the gates of life and watched you through
They could never replace you.

They could never replace you
So hide the sun and veil the earth
Take all the seconds out of time
Take creation out of birth
You've stopped the world, all movements gone
There's no song to move me on
It's missing now and so's the view
They could never replace you.
Track Name: Compassion
Don't care about the starving man
Sitting outside my door
He can sit there till he starves to death
'Ain't compassion any more

My kids, well they can go to hell
I'm showing them the door
If they come to me in trouble
I'm not the help their looking for

Dont tell me of your tragedy
It's not to do with me
What if the world's despairing?
I will not hear it's plea

I practice non attachment
And I'm not attached to you
Cos I'm a cold hearted bastard
And there's nothing you can do
Track Name: Red Earth Road
I’m going down the red earth road,
I’m going to see what I can find.
I am walking into my history,
I’m walking in like, I don’t mind.
And if I see all I believe,
And if I understand what I’ve seen.
And if I believe all that I know,
I’ll be walking down the red earth road.

There’s a past frozen here,
In the heat, beneath the sky.
By the stones, deep and wide.
With the bones of ages lying by.
I stood here when the river ran,
And I strained to hear it’s voice once more.
Doing all I had been told,
Standing on the red earth road.

This is such an ancient land,
Who’s bare bones haunt me still.
The wind always whispers things to me,
Tales of river, rock and hill.
Take a stone and hold it tight,
Don’t fret, don’t fear tonight.
Don’t dream and let your spirit roam,
Just stand there on the red earth road.
Track Name: Long Lankin
Said the lord to his lady
as he mounted his horse,
Will you beware of Long Lankyn,
Who lies in the moss.

What care I for lankyn
Or any of his kin
If my door are all are shut
And my windows are pinned

So the lord kissed his lady
And he rode clean away,
Going down to London
Before the break of day.

Well the doors they were all bolted,
And the windows they were pinned,
But through one little window,
Long Lankyn crept in.

Wheres the lord of the household?
Says Long Lankyn:
He’s gone up to London,
Says false Orange to him.

‘Where’s the men of the household?’
Says Long Lankyn:
They’re at the field all a ploughing,’
Says false Orange to him.

‘Where’s the maids of the household?’
Says Long Lankyn:
They’re at the well all a washing,’
Says false Orange to him.

Where is the lords lady?
Said Long Lankyn:
She’s a sleeping in her chamber,’
Says false Orange to him.

How shall we get her down here
Said long Lankyin
Prick the baby in the cradlle
Says false Orange to him.

So the false nurse did prick him,
All over with a pin,
And she held a little basin
For his blood to run in.
And the false nurse did prick him
That so loudly did he cried
Will you come down dearest mistress
And still your own child

Oh still me child Orange
Still him with yer pap
Oh I cant still him lady
Come and rock him in your lap

Oh still me child Orange
Still him with a bell
Oh I cant still him Lady
Come and still him yourself

I’ve tried him with apples,
I’ve tried him with pears;
So come down, my dearest lady,
And rock him in your chair.’

‘How can I come down,
when its so late in the night,
When there’s no candle burning,
Nor fire to give light?’

You have three silver mantles
As bright as the sun;
So come down, dearest Mistress,
All by the light of one.’

The lady she came downstairs,
Stepping lightly as a pin;
And on the last step she stepped,
She has seen long Lankyn.

Oh spare me, Long Lankyn,
Oh spare me one hour,
And you shall have my daughter Betsy,
To be your sweet flower.

Where is your daughter Betsy?
She may do us some good;
She can hold a silver basin,
To catch your heart’s blood.

Then he cut off her head
From her lilly breast bone
And hung it in the kitchen
Where it made the hall to shine
Oh the lord he was in London
A drinking of his wine
When the rings on his fingers
Grew pale and all wone

Lady Betsy was sitting
In her window so high,
And she saw her dear father,
As he came riding by.

Oh father, dearest father,
Don’t you lay no blame on me;
Twas the false nurse and Lankyn
Who killed your lady.’

So he came to the house
And he came to the stair,
Looking for his lady
For to find her in there

But theres blood all in the kitchen,
Theres blood all in the hall,
And theres blood all in the parlour,
Where his Lady did fall.

Then Long Lankyn was hung
On a gallows so high,
And the false nurse was burnt
In a fire close by.
Track Name: Joyride
I don’t know you and you don’t know me,
Well that’s the way sometimes I wish it could be.
And when you’d walk down a street,
I’d cross over, to make sure we don’t meet.

If I was a Christian, I’d fuck it up,
So that I’d go to hell, while you went to heaven above.
And there are times when I feel, and this is true,
I’d do anything I could to get away from you.

I may have lived a hundred times by your side,
As my lifetimes, take me for a joyride.
But when I die I will see you again,
For all the pleasure and all the pain.

I don’t know you and you don’t know me,
Well I pretend sometimes it’s the way it will be.
But when we’re walk down some street,
We’ll cross over, to make sure we don’t meet.
Track Name: Offerings
I offer my wine to the Four winds all around me,
I offer my wine to the Earth and the Sky above.
I offer my wine to the places that are hidden,
I offer my wine to the people that I love.

I offer my wine to all those who have gone before. Don’t you know, someday I’ll stand on that shore.

I offer my bread to the people of the circle,
I offer my bread to the spirits of us all.
I offer my bread to every one of the night stars,
I offer my bread to the harvest standing tall.

I offer my bread to all those who have gone before,
Don’t you know, someday I’ll stand on that shore.

I offer my breath to the people of the mountains,
I offer my breath to the people of the dream.
I offer my breath to all the swimmers in the ocean,
I offer my breath to everyone who is unseen.

I offer my breath to all those who have gone before.
Don’t you know someday I’ll stand on that shore.

I offer my flame to the people of the valley,
I offer my flame to the people of the snow.
I offer my flame to the lost lands now forgotten,
I offer my flame to all the lands that all of us must go.

I offer my flame to all those who have gone before Don’t you know someday I’ll stand on that shore.
Track Name: Sequins
Hey, where you running to, my wilful wild eyed child
Are you running away?
Where is your home now, where are your family
Gone are the flowers where you played

Though the game seems over now,
and the cause seems lost
And the crowd seem silent now
You've no need to count the cost

Tomorrow will see me somewhere else but here
But I'll still sing my songs for you
Some times their presence seem clearer than it was
But then those times may be untrue

But who said no flowers grew here anyway
When all they need is time and love
Aim to plant the seeds your given
And the ones that slip through will be enough

Please my wild eyed one If your going my way
May I accompany you upon your road
It seems a sorry state, no colours hides its edges
Even though along it, all the seeds were sowed

But anyway, there's a boat built for your ocean
And it's waiting where your road begins
It's got yellow sails and a stern painted emerald
And fabrics dyed in saffron, and sequined

And you can light its lanterns, they will flutter in the breeze
And sail on till the edge of the world
Where heros of adventures, in glory all wait
For your boats golden banners to unfurl

But who said no flowers grew here anyway
When all of us can see they are
Deep in the stillness that is where we sit
Illuminated by a splendid shining star


I could have given you fine horses
I could have given you fine doves
i could have given you fine tigers
I could have given you fine love.
Track Name: Serendipity
I danced upon the shining shore,
As you sailed away from me,
Before I had the chance to quietly say,
I hope our courses meet one day.
The fabric of life will make you strong,
The things done right and the things done wrong.
To a distant land we all embark,
A journey through our light and dark.

We are immigrants to a life unlived,
As we received, so is our gift.
My voyage still travels through,
The seas that take me far from you.
I was there when you were newly made,
When all the hopes and dreams were laid,
When the sun shone so clear and bright.
And the world sparkled all with light.

So now your tasks is to set the sail,
Through which you can not ever fail,
To chart the course that’s bound to be,
Your life of serendipity, your life of serendipity.
I dreamed upon the shining shore,
You had left behind like those before,
Who turned there eyes to the distant view,
That now is reaching out to you.

We made no real plans for you,
Just hoped the sea would see you through.
(K)new horizons would one day call,
To you, as do they call to all.
We populate the lives we have yet to live,
By dreams, and all of those islands,
With which we make our own safe stepping stones,
Across the bitches and the foam,
Across the bitches and the foam.
Track Name: The Way It Was
So it is that I sing no more for joy
For I know that in my life now passion has exhausted me
and laughter and tears brings neither comfort or relef
my soirit seeks replenishment, sustenance to set it free

And yet it seems no near at hand
The circle is unfolding more
the constently expanding hoop of life
that is forever drawn
Toching both shores here and there
and holding them for ever bound
causing them to ebb and flow and me to journey over the sound

And because of this I know there is no finer peace
Illusion falls from me and she is there, brightly shining
The journey of my life is now drawing to a close
an easiness is coming to the singer and the singers song

The song between the two lands does run, always to the other side
Like journeys the water takes is always turning on the tide
The tide will take these words to sea and then return them to the shore
Many things the sea will bear that one day will return once more