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#1153415 - 05/18/19 10:59 AM Strange Apparitions  
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 7,516
couchgrouch Online content
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couchgrouch  Online Content
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cochise, az, usa
This concludes the medley that was partially posted last year. Mike did the demo. We hope you like it. smile

https://soundcloud.com/wabash-cannibal/strange-apparitions-medley


Strange Apparitions

Pt. I


Mast in the Mist © 2019 Ricki Bellos/Robert George BMI

He walked along the shoreline as day sank into night
Saw an old jug of white rum washed up with the tide
Climbed the steps to the lighthouse on that Carolina cliff
Thought he’d drink some sweet rum to help pass his shift
Clocks struck the witching hour as he gazed on Skeleton Rock
He dropped his jug fear chilled his blood at what slipped from the fog

A ship with three silver sails that starlight bent to kiss
Colonial flag-a-wavin’ from a mast in the mist

Well, he pointed his spotlight toward a rock shaped like a skull
But not before its stony teeth bit through that wooden hull
Two lifeboats hit the water, crew and captain were all saved
But light from the moon shone on the tomb that chained three hundred slaves
Though the captain’s laundress had eyes a violet blue
There was no space for her dark face among his scurvy crew

Pulled down by those foamy fingers to a salty abyss
She went there clinging to a mast in the mist

[i]Well, he woke up at sunrise, cast that jug into the seas
He thought of slaves in briny graves and wept upon his knees
O that ship had stopped in Haiti to trade for rum and furs
When it left port it had aboard a blessed curse

To those horsewhipped slaves, death became a gift
When one and all rose again unlike that mast in the mist

Tonight there’s a lighthouse keeper walking some New England shore
Where a jug of mystic rum washes up once more
And ev’ry spell that old jug cast
Was a journey to a shameful past…

pt. II


Lantern on Willow Hill

There was an old skull on a stake,
high upon the plantation gate
as a warning to any who'd run
but wind whisp'ring through its eyes,
told every slave to rise
and run for the sake of their sons

hushed words hovered in negro shacks,
'bout a train on a freedom track
that took runaways past Baltimore
and Seth sawed on his fiddle at night,
he knew if those rumors were right
the signal he was looking for

was a lantern on Willow Hill
hung low on a steady limb
a flame burning for the free
when moons were down and light was dim

Massah sweated on his sickbed,
with Missus wringing rags on his head
and having poultry mashed for his meals
but his son beat negroes like steeds,
till they spit teeth like melon seeds
and old women fell cold in high noon fields

and Seth imagined how long ago,
his mother rocked his cradle slow
now the hands of time rocked her grave
he fiddled for her after dark,
he knew in the pit of his heart
if there was light left for a slave

it was the lantern on Willow Hill
hung low on a steady limb
a flame burning for the free
when moons were down and light was dim

freemen snuck in early from the north,
they bore the risks back and forth
when the train was near they flashed the light
Seth grabbed the fiddle by his cot,
he left the rest of his past to rot
when he hopped that gate in the night

Massah's son roused a dozen hounds,
that could sniff track a shadow down
they chased Seth through swamps and riverbeds
but Seth made it safe to that hill,
three screech owls and a whipporwill
watched Massah's son take one to the head

near the lantern on Willow Hill
hung low on a steady limb
a flame burning for the free
when moons were down and light was dim

three freemen led Seth to that track,
the only way he looked back
was with his mother in his eyes
night was still...they were safe for now,
but they each knew devils somehow
always return in a diff'rent guise

steam soon mixed with silver fog,
and the low moans of mourning dogs
mixed with fiddling on the train
well Massah's son was never found,
but shadows took the oil lamp down
and candles in a three-eyed skull became

the lantern on Willow Hill
hung low on a steady limb
a flame burning for the free
when moons were down and light was dim

pt. III


Ghost Train On the Trestle

Deep within the woods of Caroline
Mist is thin among the midnight pines
Is that starlight on the railroad steel
Or the shimmer glow of haunted wheels

It casts no reflection
On the muddy river
When the coal car passes
Even shadows shiver
Half moons hang the lantern
Hoot owls are the whistle
Steam up to the heavens
Ghost train on the trestle

Long ago a secret northbound train
Carried people from the chill of chains
Bullwhip scars across their naked backs
As that engine whispered down the tracks

It casts no reflection
On the muddy river
When the coal car passes
Even shadows shiver
Half moons hang the lantern
Hoot owls are the whistle
Steam up to the heavens
Ghost train on the trestle

It was blues and old field hollers
That soon began to pass the tale
Slow train crawlin’ cross the water
And dynamite along the rails

And when slaves rebuilt the river bridge
They heard freedom ringing from the ridge
Cos the darkest track to liberty
Sets a desp’rate soul forever free

It casts no reflection
On the muddy river
When the coal car passes
Even shadows shiver
Half moons hang the lantern
Hoot owls are the whistle
Steam up to the heavens
Ghost train on the trestle

©2018 Ricki Bellos/ Robert George





[/i]

Last edited by couchgrouch; 05/18/19 04:22 PM.
#1153418 - 05/18/19 01:48 PM Re: Strange Apparitions [Re: couchgrouch]  
Joined: May 2017
Posts: 574
Gavin Sinclair Online content
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Gavin Sinclair  Online Content
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Joined: May 2017
Posts: 574
Conover, North Carolina, USA
Great production as always and very atmospheric. Love the seagulls.

I like the lyric and particularly enjoyed the internal rhyme of "But light from the moon shone on the tomb" and "He thought of slaves in briny graves."

There are just a couple of things in the lyric that do kind of make me scratch my head.

Have you ever been to the Carolina coast? I defy you to find a cliff there, LOL, never mind one with a lighthouse on it. Plenty of shipwrecks and plenty of lighthouses, but no cliffs.

Trading for fur in Haiti? Hard to see this happening.

#1153419 - 05/18/19 02:00 PM Re: Strange Apparitions [Re: Gavin Sinclair]  
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,466
Martin Lide Online content
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Martin Lide  Online Content
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Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,466
Houston, Texas
Originally Posted by Gavin Sinclair
Great production as always and very atmospheric. Love the seagulls.

I like the lyric and particularly enjoyed the internal rhyme of "But light from the moon shone on the tomb" and "He thought of slaves in briny graves."

There are just a couple of things in the lyric that do kind of make me scratch my head.

Have you ever been to the Carolina coast? I defy you to find a cliff there, LOL, never mind one with a lighthouse on it. Plenty of shipwrecks and plenty of lighthouses, but no cliffs.

Trading for fur in Haiti? Hard to see this happening.



What!? What!? Seagull noises?! smile

My last song posted here had seagull noises. That's propietary. wink

What?! What?! Shone?!

"But light from the moon shone on the tomb"
In my 66 years, the only song that I have ever seen with "shone" in it was ALSO my last one that I posted here.

Robert....Well. imitation is flattery I suppose. wink

Ps...Are there any cliffs on the Carolina coast?

#1153420 - 05/18/19 02:25 PM Re: Strange Apparitions [Re: couchgrouch]  
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 7,516
couchgrouch Online content
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couchgrouch  Online Content
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Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 7,516
cochise, az, usa
Gavin, you might have a point. I wrote them a long time ago. I notice I use "New England" at the end. I might've intended to change "Carolina" but didn't. I suppose I could ask Mike to change it but I probably won't for now. It'll just be one of those books, movies or songs with an error in them.

Thanks for mentioning it. smile

#1153425 - 05/18/19 05:36 PM Re: Strange Apparitions [Re: couchgrouch]  
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 43
JaneK Offline
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JaneK  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 43
Bakersfield, CA
Hello couchgrouch

Listened to your music on the Muse forum and I enjoyed the songs very much. The production is very good and the lyrics are very interesting. Hope to hear more of your songs.

JaneK

#1153426 - 05/18/19 06:33 PM Re: Strange Apparitions [Re: couchgrouch]  
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 1,943
maccharles Offline
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maccharles  Offline
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Posts: 1,943
Holy cow, a whole album side in a song.....harkens back to my prog days.

Love it.

#1153435 - 05/19/19 12:31 PM Re: Strange Apparitions [Re: couchgrouch]  
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 7,516
couchgrouch Online content
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couchgrouch  Online Content
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Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 7,516
cochise, az, usa
Thanks Jane...when I get to a pc I'll post a link to my Nashville demos on Soundclick. I'm too tech challenged to do it on my phone. smile

Mac, that's what I was after. It's been my goal for about a year to get 45 minutes of Mike's demos and use them as a personal "album"...the kind released fifty years ago. Strange Apparitions was the final song and makes up "side two" after
Sherwood B Nice/Rita. Fade to Blonde concludes it.

Side one is Nurse Yes, Ghost of the Sun, Silver Bay, Far From My Own True Love and That's Not Who I Am Anymore. It's a great listen in the dark. smile

The unsung hero of this medley is Ricki. Her melodies make it work. When Ghost Train fades out, I'm singing that chorus.
That's a vital part of a song, maybe the most vital.


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