Passing Fayre

by Paul Newman

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    Picture: Tod Von Basel by Rudolf Scheistel

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Passing Fayre is a tribute to Death.

Death has many positive aspects, but like so many natural things, modern life has made it grotesque - something to be feared and shunned.

I hope you will enjoy these songs and that they will enjoy you.

May we each come to terms with our own mortality and live more sensible, continent, joy-filled lives as a consequence.

Paul Newman, October 2010, Sheffield, U.K.


released October 31, 2010



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Paul Newman Sheffield, UK

Sheffield-based musician.

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Track Name: New York Trader
The New York Trader

To a New York trader I did belong.
She was built for sea both stout and strong,
Well rigged, well manned, well fit for sea,
We were bound for New York in Americkey.

Our cruel Captain as we did find
Had left half of our provisions behind
Our cruel captain, as we understand,
Meant to half-starve us before we made land;

At length our hunger grew very great,
There was but little on board to eat.
And we were in necessity
All through our captain's cruelty,

Our captain in his cabin lay,
A voice came to him and thus did say:
"Prepare yourselves and ship's company,
For to-morrow night you will lay with me."

Our captain awoke in a terrible fright,
It being the very first watch of that night.
Aloud for his bos'n he did call,
And to him related the story all.

"Captain," said he, "if that be so,
Then pray let none of your ship's crew know,
But keep your secrets in your breast,
And pray to God to give you rest."

"There's one thing more I have to tell
When I in Waterford town did dwell,
I killed my master, a merchant there
All for the sake of his lady fair.

I killed my wife and my children three
All through that cursed jealousy
And on my servant laid the blame
hang-ed he was all for the same."

Early next morning a storm did rise
Which our seamen did much surprise
The sea was all o’er us fore and aft
‘Til scarce a man on deck was left.

Bos'un he up and declared
That our captain was a murderer
And it so enraged the whole ship's crew
That they overboard their captain threw.

When this was done a calm was there
Our good little ship homeward did steer
The wind abated and calmed the sea
And we sailed safe to Americkey.

And when we came to anchor there
Our good little ship all for to repair
The people wondered much to see
What a poor distressed shipwreck crew were we.
Track Name: Forest

Cold, like the winter
Frosted on the window sill
So, memories linger
Like a windless bitter chill

Crying out for solace,
Reaching back far behind
Flying through the forest
Of your Soul in the garden of my mind

Now nights are longer
And the fire’s not so bright
Darkness is stronger
Without you to bring me light
Track Name: Haunted

V1 What becomes of tomorrow
With yesterday still on my mind?
Do you think I could borrow
Another year from Father Time?

I want to be like the Serpent
Coil around and eat my tale
Maybe then, I’ll find healing
In the belly of this Whale

Ch Running fast and going nowhere
I’ve got nowhere left to hide
And if I did I wouldn’t go there
Not without you by my side

V2 Oh, I know where to find you
I know where you’ll always be
Let me know when the rent’s due
I’ll make sure your drinks are free

Only you know how to tame me
And your kiss is like a dove
Will I ever be the same me?
When that voice comes from above?


V3 Life’s a clock, my time is turning
Soon I’ll lay me down to sleep
From both ends my candle’s burning
But is there something I can keep?

Ch x2
Track Name: Lavondyss

Mist in the trees, lying low.
Crawling - you don’t want to go
Wisps in the leaves, cold like snow.
Calling - I must know.

What can you see at the edge of your eyes?
Disappears when you try to surprise
Forest has known your energies
Something has grown out of your memories.

Search for the path for so long and at last you can pass,
But what’s here in the shape of a deer?
It’s a ghost of your mind who will help you to find what you seek.

Time slowing down as the year turns around
and it bounds through the year while your heart’s full of fear
And you want to stay close or your lost… but you’re weak.

Deep in the wood, what have you seen?
Robyn the Hoode? Jack in the Green?
Forest grows old, myth out of mud
Flesh of your mind, bone of your blood.

High on a hill, a fort of not-stone,
Deep runs the chill, echoes you’ve known
Long time ago, already seen
Know in your heart where you have been.

Deep in the wood of your mind you will find there
Your death and rebirth and the stories behind
All the ways of your bones and the ways of the stones where the ice is.

There is a place where your memories trace
in the snow, long ago: what your ancestors know -
Take me there – back to Lavondyss.
Track Name: Portico
Track Name: Providence

1. My husband was a writer and a good one.
He said the ruling party was to blame.
For civil rights abuses and corruption
By day he spoke, by dead of night they came.

My twelve year old, he fought against them bravely
They struck him down and held him to the floor
They made him watch while other men disgraced me
And now my son will speak to me no more.

I took the girls and sought my husbands family
And left my son within my mother’s care, but though I pleaded on my knees they would not have me.
For fear the ruler’s henchmen would come there

I’ve always tried my best to raise my family
To be a loving daughter, mother and a faithful wife
But what’s the use struggling on so proudly,
When your daughter tries to take her own sweet life?

2. My Mother had a flock of sheep to feed her
She sold just half and told me what to do.
A man would help me run away to England,
Where we could start our lives again brand new.

I can’t remember much about my journey
I spent so long in darkness on my own.
But one day I woke up alone in London
With no papers and no way to call back home.

I was tired, I was scared and as a stranger
I didn’t have a place to lay my head
I never knew how much I was in danger, until
A man defiled me in my cardboard bed


3. I found a job and learned a little English
I saved up hard to let my daughters come
And after two long years were up and over
I’d saved enough to rent a little home

My mother sold her sheep to pay their travel
This time they could afford to come by plane
But someone on the plane thought there was trouble.
And my woes were just beginning once again

I met a lovely woman at the airport
She asked me if I’d tell her all my tale.
Policemen came and stood then all around me.
And when I’d done they said “it’s off to jail.”

4. They took my daughters off to some far city
To live where someone had some room to spare
But someone found my daughter far too pretty
And added to my little girl’s despair.

They let me go to fill in all the papers
I told them everything there was to know
But I couldn’t name the current shadow sec-ra-tree back home
And when the form came back they just said no.

So, there we were - all facing deportation
Not allowed to earn ourselves a wage
We lived on what the country gave my daughter
For she was less than eighteen years of age


5. And then one day my daughter was a woman.
A group of people burst in through our door.
“Take”, they said “one bag of your belongings”
“You haven’t any time for any more.”

They cuffed us and they put us in their transport.
They drove away to God knows where or when.
They put us in a room without a window.
And I wonder when we’ll see the sun again.

If we go back where we came from it’s all over.
My husband was an enemy of the state.
I pray to God each night that He will save us
But, I guess my darling daughter couldn’t wait.
Track Name: Just a Matter of Time
Just a Matter of Time

You're in the park, it's after dark,
your mates all gather round to 'ave a lark
and someone's comin'
who should be runnin' away.

Under the skin - adrenaline -
like their face, it'll soon kick-in.
The beats keep drummin'
and the blood is flowin' your way

There ain't no honour in violence.
There ain't no blood in a righteous war.
How much more of the bullshit must we endure?
It's just a matter of time.

In fear and hate, you contemplate:
"How much longer do we sit and wait
'til someone strong enough
rights what's wrong in our land?"

"The times dictate a new mandate:
All blood criminals must migrate.
Before our country shatters,
we must take matters in hand."

There ain't no courage in silence.
Words are bombs in a righteous war.
We're all just visitors, prisoners on this shore.
It's just a matter of time.

Your lies conceal the pain you feel -
a barbed wire prison for a heart of steel
but the tears we're cryin' will turn that iron to rust.

What makes you free, the eye can't see.
It's only living in community
that can make us challenge
the things that scavenge in us.

You want the courage of lions?
To know yourself is what life is for.
You're only runnin' around for ten and three score.
Track Name: Winters End
Track Name: Shore of Dreams
Shore of Dreams

The taste of salt and oceans roar
On a coast I’ve never been before

Too-ra-loo-ra-aye. (etc.)

The stones are strange, the sand is brown,
I close my eyes and lay me down.

I see a ring of dancers there
with moonlit skin and waist-long hair

I find a coat to keep me warm
that I may watch the dance ‘til dawn.

That coat is mine she says to me
and is my passport to the sea

Though on the land I sometimes roam,
the waves and water are my home.

I say “Fate has brought us here tonight
I’ll keep this coat and hold it tight.”

“I live such a lonely life,
if I keep this, you’ll be my wife.”

“Maybe so,” she says to me
“What will you give for my dowry?”

I swear to you by wave and foam
To give you comfort hearth and home

She breathes her name into my ear
As daylight comes and sun appears.

A name I will hear evermore
When I hear waves upon the shore.
Track Name: Club of No Regrets
Club of No Regrets

I've always thought it better to light up a single candle
than to sit and curse the darkness on your own,
But there are many ways to lose yourself amidst the madness
and forget about the truths you've always known.

But deep inside you can't hide from yourself.

And every now and then, I see my eyes and wonder who looks back at me. And every now and then I hear my lies and know what I should be.
And every time I do I wish that I could join the Club of No Regrets,
but it gets so hard, so hard doing it on your own.

I used to think that life would bring some friends that I could trust in,
Who would keep me in the way I ought to go,
But I won't forever for someone else to make the first move
Or to tell me things I should already know.

The deepest mind can blind you from yourself.

There's a time when you must draw a line and not back down for anything, And there's a time when you must see it through and hold on to your dreams No matter what they say and when you do, you join the club of no regrets And it's not so hard, so hard, and you're not alone.


(reprise V1)

And every now and then I realise how others have got cause to mourn,
And every time I do I wonder if I know that I've been born.
'cause when I see the things that people do to join the club of No Regrets, then it's not so hard, so hard, and I'm not alone.
Track Name: The Somerset Ploughman
The Somerset Ploughman

He was the last of an ancient dynasty
to work with team and plough,
A Master at hand with the horse and the land,
He's in greener pastures now.

Herbie Ogbourne his name who a legend became
Earned his fee in the fields all day
From Redhill to Wrington,
From Lulsgate to Lye
working in the Somerset way.

His Grandfather John earned the praise of the King -
A Master craftsman recognised
For ploughing a furrow so perfectly formed
Underneath a clear blue sky.

From morn 'til night he would follow behind
Ploughing rows straight and true
Turning fields of green into furrows of brown
And changed the landscapes hue.

The majesty of the heavy horse!
A sturdy and a well feathered shire.
In winter would sow and in summer would mow
To the headland from the byre.

The brass hangs proud on the old parlour wall
With trophies and photographs too.
Though the horses and harness are all long gone
Their ghosts never fade from view.

Now time's moved on and the ploughing is done
By tractor, where his shires once roamed.
He rests at last, his day has passed
And he's found his harvest home.

I am a Goddess in her power and a bird that’s taking flight,
I’m the beauty of the flowers and the stars that shine at night,
I am every man and woman, I am bird and beast and hill -
If you strike me down, my heart is beating still.

I am the Mabon in the Morning and Apollo in the Noon,
You can feel me in my power on the twenty first of June.
Let the huntsman come to get me, for the fox in his den -
I am Barleycorn and I shall rise again!