CrowLore

by The Crows Of Albion

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1.
More Than Once Upon A Time More than once upon a time There lived And died And lived A scarecrow....
2.
I Am The Scarecrow I am the scarecrow. Hanging from this wooden frame, a skeleton of twisted wood that creaks and groans in pain at the ravages of age. The ice-cold cleansing rain trickles through my straw flesh bringing chills to every vein I am the scarecrow. With my sack-cloth head full of sawdust ideas and a mouth that’s never fed My eyes stitched tight My brain and heart dead The stumbling dragged footprints Mark the places that I tread I am the scarecrow. Where bits of me show through tattered clothes bought an age ago, exposing beetle scrabble heart where worm-slithers grow amid the daily combatants of rain and sun and snow I am the scarecrow. Stoically standing here, slumped upon a wooden cross, age crucified, in tears. I only have a brain that works its traitor fear ‘could I be young again, Could eternity be near?’ I am the scarecrow. In a field of summer corn the crows are not afraid for they look on me with scorn and I do not have the heart to scare the black-winged spawn. I just stand and face the sunset and pray for another dawn I am the scarecrow… am the scarecrow… the scarecrow… scarecrow… crow….
3.
Prophecy 03:59
Prophecy The crows tell of the walking man Who travels fields by day and night The walking man who’s not a man Who strides between the dark and light Soulless, cursed to stumble through The endless hedgerows of the land He wished for life but walks in death He is the sweet prince of the damned Be careful what you wish for child For there are barbs in every rose Each spell that’s cast must have a price Here walks the nemesis of crows The hares and rabbits run from him The fox and wolf walk by his side He brings the plague and pestilence And in his steps many have died He had a life but wanted more asked autumn’s witch to cast her spell she gave him rebirth but the price was tethered by the chains of hell A prophecy of bone and blood Of straw and dust and ragged pain Alive under the summer sun Stone dead below the snow and rain the crows speak soft of what he is he scares them as no other can they fear the setting of the sun the long shadow of the walking man Take heed of the warnings What will be will be The ragged man who walks the fields fulfils the ancient prophecy
4.
Crow Lore 03:30
Crow Lore We sit and watch the world go by On fences long and oak trees high The waxing moon the setting sun We are the crows of Albion We chronicle the human ways Their restless nights and confused days Oh Mother, daughter, father, son We are the crows of Albion Our stories written down in books Guarded well by crows and rooks And no one knows what we have done We are the crows of Albion These simple etchings on a page An almanac of human rage A witch’s promise seldom won We are the crows of Albion This tome is writ in wise men’s blood With beak and claw and ancient wood Seen by no one read by none We are the crows of Albion Crow Lore for the young to read And learn the lessons of our breed The tales of ravens deftly spun We are the crows of Albion
5.
Messiah Of The Fields They left me hanging on a cross The saviour of the summer crops Just rag and straw so no great loss My blood is in the wheat and hops I faced the black and vicious hoard Their coal cruel eyes and sharpened beaks I am the ragged overlord Who scares the crow yet never speaks They pray to me to save their soils From dark boned devils of the sky In sun heat this messiah toils To force them to take wing and fly My Judas is the winter wind That cuts me with a subtle knife God save me father I have sinned I wished for an extended life A sackcloth head, a straw frayed cuff The prince of summer crucified Facing the elements is tough This ditch is where I lived and died Yet when the Spring returns the blood To ravaged fields of snow and frost I will drag myself from thawing mud And resurrected heal what we have lost
6.
Before She Came before she came I stood here for what seemed like eons with a blood red sun setting behind me my head full of nothing more than sawdust straw and dreams a hole in my chest where beetles scuttled happy come rain or shine my only fear that crows might see through me be brave and bold and strut towards me then peck out my button eyes now as the shadows grow long before me I feel a chill wind blow in from beyond the rainbow and the faltering steps of something coming from another place I jump startled as a pale small hand falls on my cross-bar shoulder and I know my world will never be the same again
7.
The Pumpkin Queen The pumpkin queen is orange Like the colour of her fruits She wears a giant apron And polished hob-nailed boots She has a heart as big as Oceans And helps others when it suits The pumpkin queen is deeper than An oak tree’s ancient roots She sits in regal glory On a throne of wood and leaves And will animate her chosen one As long as it believes She has no truck with gamblers, Nor snake oilers or thieves But she lays her hands on dead things Until the lost soul breathes She walks the fields on Halloween And listens for the cries Of the final summer harvest And the season as it dies She will resurrect the broken things Beneath autumnal skies And from the ashes of bonfires The worthy souls will rise The pumpkin queen is omnipotent And raises armies of the dead To walk the fields of Albion And make sure the poor are fed She casts her spell upon the land The soil becomes the bed For next years crop of golden wheat Her spells create the bread The dark knights of the pumpkin queen Walk in darkness ‘cross the land You will not see or hear them And you will not understand How the broken fences mended Or the strange bright orange brand That appears over the barn door the sign of her mystic hand
8.
The Crows Lament White witch heard my plea - Come down in her snow dress Finery. “Give me voice”, says I, “For Crow is sick of Raging at grey sky” “I wish my song be heard, tuneful as a pretty little bird” “No, No”, say she, “Never such a thing - for you are black of heart - as black of wing” “I see you on the battlefield, beak bloody red, tugging at the entrails of the dead” “Oh Carrion crow you do not own a soul so I cannot grant your wish and make you whole” Witch tears fall like rain filling the rivers, nourishing the grain Under the Albion moon - while Crow croak out their hag restricted tune. Koww Koww Koww Poor Crow still has no voice - his words, a witches curse, never his choice. crow stand in field sing crow song to human ear sound wrong crow black of wing crow black of bone crow black of heart crow so alone I had brother black but brother black is gone taken by the winter hear my sad crow song “stick man sack head rag man all dead all dead under ice all dead” summer sun here banish winter snow healing of the earth healing of the crow scarecrow mock crow reaper man comes with sharp blade stifling crow song crow know autumn send mists to veil return of white witch and ice locked jail koww koww koww koww koww koww
9.
White Witch Of Winter Corvus the white witch Once flew the sky on crow’s wings And fed on battlefield dead She ate the hearts of serfs and kings But soon she lost the taste for flesh And transformed into what winter brings Her skin is cold to human touch She feasts on other-worldly things She turns snowflakes into blizzards Freezes your blood and tears She arrives with the cold north wind laying ice upon your fears She hates the crows for what they are For she once fed on carrion too She hates the way they cock their heads And turn their coal black gaze on you So when the black imps come to her Requesting voices clear and true She casts a spell that spites their wish and in her soul a darkness grew She hears the crows Kaw in distress She walks the fields on winter nights She floats through forests dark and bleak And like the snow she, soft, alights Upon the frosted fields of earth Where she makes her stand and fights The bitter crows of Albion The age old war of blacks and whites
10.
Apothecary 02:32
Apothecary Beneath the ancient gallows tree There sits an old apothecary Where deep within its ancient rooms Resides an old man selling ‘shrooms That he has harvested from soil Of graveyards where the serpents coil And if the ache screams in your joints Just follow where the way-marker points. The place smells of dust and moist mildew And the foul dark liquid he will brew In copper pots and dirty flasks Whose ingredients no one ever asks But here the magic of the fey Will help to take the pain away So every year the weak and old Will visit where new hope is sold If this world becomes too much If reality is hard to touch Then take a slice of bitter ‘shroom From the earth where sweet dreams bloom The cost is just a piece of mind So leave your hurts and cares behind And visit on a winter’s night To taste the harvest of delight No one will hear your painless screams With body healed but not your dreams For they are cultivated by The earth fruit that you dared to try For every kiss there is a fist Of something skulking in the mist In the apothecary the old folk say There is a devil’s price to pay
11.
Cronos (The Reaper) I wait round corners where the air is still, in darkened alleys wet with winter snow, the places only fools and dreamers go. You will not see me, but will feel my chill on exposed places where the ice will spill and with each prickle you will surely know that, soon, the ancient blizzard wind will blow and bring the reaper with it for the kill. For I am called from somewhere in the past to put an end to all that you have been, a mercy killing for this ancient life. The sinless child is born to us at last, the future cuts its cord with hopeful knife and once more blunts the sharp edge of my scythe. I am the scythe that cuts through old and young In cornfields where the idle crows watch on As scarecrows flap their arms in summer sun And wonder where the greedy birds have gone The weeds grow now where once the sharp blade fell Stealing from us all that we once held dear There are no devils in this weeping hell Only children transformed through pain and fear The creatures of the night come out to play And dance between the tombstones on the heath The countless names recorded day by day With no time left to give them all a wreath We didn’t think the warnings mattered much This is the price we paid for human touch
12.
The Raising Of The Trickster When the western sky turns slowly into the colour of an old bruise And the last orange streaks of daylight bleed from the setting sun A cold white vapour swirls through the fields of corn its fingers prising apart the stalks As the lands of Albion darken and strange noises start to crawl from the mist. At the edge of the fields there sprawls a verdant forest and there at its very heart sits an ancient gallows tree The lost shadow of the long-gone rope has stained the earth beneath its boughs where dead men are cut down and buried in unconsecrated ground This is where the Council Of Magyk meet on the shortest night of midsummer They discuss the business of the fey and make ready their preparations for the autumn slow death This, too, is where the crows first tell of the coming of the walking man And the prophecy that travels with him of death, rebirth and corruption. A hushed silence falls across the gathering of witches, sages and gentle folk For they know that this visitor sullies the true blood of the natural world He is an abomination – a harbinger of dark forces and harsh winters They know he will bring death and destruction in his dragging footsteps And so – they hire the services of a trickster A raven who will walk with the dark lord And whisper in his ear promises of redemption Which themselves will mask the true nature of deception For if the scarecrow touches the remnants of the fallen And steals from them their gold and silver adornments His soul will be cursed and in that cursing will hide his downfall And the spell, cast to enable his cycle of rebirth, will be broken As the full moon rises above the trees Their incantations can be heard in the towns and villages The sound of mother nature weeping and wailing The sound of new born hope
13.
Corruption 04:51
Corruption Here in the verdant meadows All on a summer’s day The dreaded army of the dark Met with the noble fey They fought until the long sundown And the lost blood of the dead Soaked into the sacred ground And turned the roses red When the fight was over And the legion of the flies Had swarmed across the corpses Stealing hope from sightless eyes The scarecrow from the hedgerow Ventured out across the plain And stole gold rings and bracelets From the bodies of the slain Into his patchwork pockets He placed the magic hoard Ignoring the accusations Of the black crows as they soared Above his shameful head chastising his evil deed and the damning motivation spurred by avarice and greed As day turned into night the corrupt scarecrow left that place And a pale light was cast Upon his twisted upturned face For when a heart is blackened It’s no surprise that very soon Even a kind and gentle soul Will end up howling at the moon
14.
Damnation Trail Through forests dark and shadowed vale He follows the damnation trail Along the river’s twisted course Through bracken thick and clutching gorse The ancient path cut through the land He walks with devil’s hand in hand He drags himself from dusk till dawn Across the fields of rustling corn Each hopeful sheaf each gathered bail Along the dark damnation trail And where his steps flatten the crops No more will grow the wheat and hops For he has footsteps cast in death He steals the failing summer’s breath There’s only winter in his eyes Where he treads salvation dies He leaves a trail of stiffened crows In ditches, furrows and hedgerows When he touches gentle things He is the grief that autumn brings His ragged clothes take on the hue Of fallen leaves and damp mildew At last he settles on the earth Awaits the reaper for rebirth The crow man who will wield his scythe and return to him a life. The dark angel answers his call for seasons rise as seasons fall.
15.
Resurrected 03:02
Resurrected Down here where the beetles crawl Where the leaves of autumn fall A spider’s web of veins uncoil To animate the resurrected Sap permeates the ancient heart A life’s blood for another start Coursing through the body Of the newly resurrected Orbs of light spark into eyes The keening of a newborn’s cries Escapes the brittle twisted lips The corrupt brain is resurrected Knotted joints creak and crack Straw and sawdust in a sack Of lifeless jumble sewn together The body of the resurrected It sees the world but doesn’t see It hears the prayer but not the plea It is the spawn of devilment The cruel resurrected It drags itself from stagnant ditch The bastard child of autumn’s witch Its voice is like a gravel pit it is the resurrected
16.
The Lazarus Curse I trudge across these ancient lands Where crops are reared by human hands And all I leave are footsteps deep a crop the scythe will never reap I see the changing seasons turn The new shoots grow, bonfires burn From the soil the world will grow I track the sacred rivers flow I seek the seamstress to sew my seams I seek the sage to heal my dreams I seek the witch my soul to save I seek the silence of the grave These things of beauty pass me by I have no soul I cannot die For I am cursed to walk the earth Unending cycles of rebirth I wished for resurrection, true I guess I never thought it through The gift of life is just a curse I am not dead, I’m something worse I cannot feel I do not breathe A trail of straw is all I leave The sun, the wind, the rain, the snow Travel with me where I go
17.
Cycle Of The Scarecrow A scarecrow in autumnal sheen thinks of all that he has been. His age old frame begins to lean as bitter winds blow in, so keen. He longs for days of evergreen, so buys back time, wipes the slate clean, gives his soul to the pumpkin queen - the witch who walks at Halloween. The scarecrow dreams of living free He thinks he’s gonna survive The summer sun, the winter snow, He’s never felt so alive. The scarecrow dreams of living free He thinks he’s gonna survive The springtime thaw, the autumn leaves, He’s never felt so alive. A scarecrow in the wax moonlight is snowed upon one winters night and as the crystals, soft, alight he dreams perhaps some day he might take footsteps off into the bright ice world. His skeletal delight some hours later, fat and white with snow-flesh - waiting for coal sight. The scarecrow dreams of leaving home He thinks he’s gonna survive The summer sun, the winter snow, He’s never felt so alive. The scarecrow dreams of leaving home He thinks he’s gonna survive The springtime thaw, the autumn leaves, He’s never felt so alive. A scarecrow in a cutting rain watches his slush slide down the drain and as it leaves, he feels the pain as bones of wood protrude and drain. Weak sunlight sows the sleeping grain as he is called upon, again, to stand guard over crops – attain dominance over winters stain. The scarecrow dreams of working hard He thinks he’s gonna survive The summer sun, the winter snow, He’s never felt so alive. The scarecrow dreams of working hard He thinks he’s gonna survive The springtime thaw, the autumn leaves, He’s never felt so alive. A scarecrow dries in summer sun knowing that, once more, he’s won the right of those, which he is one, to face the crows of Albion. Then as the solstice webs are spun and shadows lengthen, day is done – he knows that he cannot outrun what autumn’s beetles have begun. The scarecrow dreams of dying now He’s not so sure he’ll survive The summer sun, the winter snow, He’s never felt less alive. The scarecrow dreams of dying now He’s not so sure he’ll survive The springtime thaw, the autumn leaves, He’s never felt less alive.

credits

released January 1, 2021

WORDS & VOCALS: Ian Whiteley
MUSIC & INSTRUMENTS: John Kettle

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all rights reserved

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