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MP3 Elaine Davidson - Moon & Tide

Moon & Tide is about water/moon, freedom, the borders between Scotland and England and how it feels to live there

12 MP3 Songs in this album (51:29) !
Related styles: Folk: Celtic Folk, New Age: Celtic New Age, Type: Acoustic

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Moon & Tide
This, the title track was written after I read Credo by Melvyn Bragg. It is an historical novel about the life of St Bega, a seventh century Irish princess who ran away from an arranged marriage to a Norse King. There are legends about angels appearing to her and how she flees her homeland and ends up at what is now St Bees in Cumbria. As I see her, there are these two aspects: the spiritual character, but also the bravery of what must have been at that time a very difficult undertaking. I particularly love the fiddle part which Danny made of the melody. It is very dramatic and gives a taste of the sea and the moon as the backdrop to her escape. The picture of the wonderful Norman church door on the inside cover depicts the church at St Bees which is worth a visit just to see the door. Tim Ellis (graphic artist) also used the design on the door throughout the CD’s booklet.

Lightning Tree
Songs can often come from more than one direction and may appear to have no obvious connection to whatever triggered writing them. I was talking to a friend of my sister’s in the pub one night and he was telling me about how when they were younger there was a crowd of them that used to go and meet at what he called the ‘lightning tree’. I had never heard about this place but I remember thinking it would make a great title for a song. I often have lots of these kind of threads which may or may not materialise into a song, they are kind of on the back burner, waiting. I think it was quite some time after that I was in a Quaker Meeting when a F/friend came in and said that this character had turned up in the village at the pub in Blennerhasset, and again I thought ‘this sounds like a song’. The song proper can also take on a life of its own which it actually did in this particular case, as I think the lightning in this context is symbolic of some kind of epiphany.

The Foxes of Cumberland
This was the song from my first CD which many said was their favourite. And as Steve and Danny brought something different to the table this time round, I thought we should include the new version here. We also brought in a flute player on the CD called Terry Coyne and he sang some lovely backing vocals on this track as well.

Turning the Tide
I was booked to play for a Fairtrade event in Silloth and had foolishly said that I might write a song for them but actually forgot all about it. Then Chris, the organiser, phoned up the week before and said she had told everyone that I had written a song for their event! As I can never usually write ‘to order’ I said something to the effect of ‘no way’, to which she simply replied ‘I will pray for you’. Anyway, fair to say her prayers worked. Silloth is on the Solway coast and that’s where the imagery comes from of this great movement of people changing the way international trade works. When you see the likes of the major brands changing how they do business, you have to understand that large groups of people can actually change the way the world is being organised. Ours is a time where it is becoming apparent that the cult of the personality, and likewise the politicians who are always aligned to pressure groups, are almost useless as regards coming up with solutions to these kinds of problems. Such solutions can only come about by grass roots community groups. I read a great book titled The Aquarian Conspiracy by Marilyn Ferguson, who predicted this back in the eighties. I also attended an event by a related group at Cockermouth (Riversmeet) who said that at the moment the number of such groups is rapidly increasing. The Fairtrade movement has been particularly successful but there is still a long way to go in alleviating poverty globally.

Harvest Moon
The outline for this came as part of a trio (along with Foxes of Cumberland and Remember the One from my first CD) after I had been to a festival in Galloway. It was finished later on when I returned home another time from this festival. It was September and it was freezing, and there was a huge full moon that just sat on the hill, so beautiful, and all the girls (mostly) dressed as faeries dancing through the night. I later discovered that the moons throughout the year are named and that particular moon would be the harvest moon: obviously so, as at that time of year farmers would be bringing their crops in. So there was my title!

When the Wind Blows
There is a park opposite the Freeman hospital in Newcastle which has a tree that is covered in wind chimes. I spent quite a bit of time there when my husband was ill. This is about those times in life ‘when the wind blows’.

Written in Stars
This happy song is about the people who I work with, who are the best! Some people may think they have learning difficulties but I know they are masters of love! We work in a shop and I watch as they cheer everyone up. Not saying they are perfect, who is? They just have a great way with people which brings them out of themselves.

Calling on Love
I was thinking about those African songs which, while being very simple, uncomplicated pieces of music, have great warmth to them. It feels like a prayer.

Revolution Song
I wrote quite a lot about interior landscapes on my first CD Inside. This is also about breaking down the walls which we build within ourselves. Steve came up with this arrangement which really suits the song and Chris James from Carlisle plays some great slide guitar.

Hold Me in Your Arms
This has a Cajun/Country feel to it. A fairly uncomplicated, catchy theme which is easy for people to sing along/dance to.

Lady of the Lake
This came about after having been sailing on Ullswater, the serenity and peace being in complete contrast to life’s daily fare. I later found out that there is a steamer of the same name which sails up and down the lake for tourists and wedding parties etc., so we decided to have the CD launch on the boat one summer’s evening in August. We did the whole thing again the following weekend as we couldn’t fit everyone on the first boat. The first evening was dreamlike and lovely, the second was fine until we finished playing – and then the heavens opened. Everyone was drenched, but they all agreed it was worth it. Cumbria is famous for mist and rain and she looks beautiful in all weathers, so I’m not going to complain!

Galloway the Fair
Galloway is the stretch of land which we see on the other side of the Solway Firth. If it looks like it’s going to be a spectacular sunset, we will either drive up to Sandale or over to the coast to watch the sunset over Galloway’s hills. Also, it is where my husband’s family come from and even though his dad moved to Carlisle when he was young, he still hankered to go back all his life and had a great love for the area and the people. When I wrote this I could hear pipes in the background and as we didn’t have a piper on hand at time of recording, Steve managed to conjure one from his electronic wizardry.

As I said after writing up the notes for my first CD Inside, the best way to understand what a song is about is to simply listen to it! So again, I hope that you will listen and forget where I said they came from and let them open up your own interpretation of what they mean to you. Happy listening!

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