The Goblin Market - Beneath Far Gondal's Foreign Sky Green Monkey Records

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And what joy do we have for your musical pleasure?

Ahh - it's The Goblin Market - Beneath Far Gondal's Foreign Sky! In case you have been inattentive, this is the third Goblin album, following 2001's Ghostland and 2005's Haunted (there is also a fine digital download album of their only live performance on the Goblin Market site). If you have been even less attentive, you may have missed this is a side project of the Green Pajamas' Jeff Kelly and Laura Weller. Like its predecessors, this is a literary affair, based on the works of the Brontë sisters. Spare, haunting, a night wandering the moor.

There is a back story I would like to tell you. As you read the credits, you will see the album is dedicated to Tony Dale, who died last year. Some of you know Tony, some not. I never met him, I only knew him from correspondence and from his work. As you probably are aware, I have known Jeff for a long time. I made records with Jeff originally from 1986 to 1995, then I took a break ‘til 2009. For Jeff during that time, I think Tony was a savior, an smiling Australian in the wilderness. Starting in ’97 with the brilliant Strung Behind the Sun, Tony put out ten Pajamas/Kelly-solo/Goblin Market releases on his Camera Obscura label over the next 12 years, half of Jeff’s oeuvre from that period.

Tony put together some beautiful packages for Jeff – probably none nicer that the 4 CD boxed release of Jeff’s ‘80s solo home-recorded cassettes Melancholy Sun. I am very much enjoying the opportunity to work with my old friend Mr. Kelly again, but I am thankful to Tony for keeping the flame tended while I was attending to other matters.

We also have a lovely video of A Lonely Thing on your favorite youtube channel – Green Monkey Records! Next month our AotM will be the #1 band in Cle Elum, The Of. Pretty exciting. Also – Howie has taken the month off from working on the AotM to have some fairly major surgery. He is recovering well and looking forward to continuing our divine madness.

td

March 2012


True confessions of a brontëmaniac by Jeff Kelly

Kate Bush.  I blame her for my Brontë sisters fixation.  Well – actually I guess it was, in truth, my wife.  We were in the car, listening to Wuthering Heights and I was saying – man, what a great song.  Susanne said: “Have you ever read the book?” 
I said, no.
“Oh my god, Jeff.  You absolutely have to read that book!”
And that was the start.
But I think the first book I read in this regard was The Brontë Story by Margaret Lane, a biography based around Mrs. Gaskell's famous The Life of Charlotte Brontë.  This is where it first started getting interesting for me.    
The family’s story is as fascinating as the fiction they wrote and one tends to find oneself, via the diaries, letters, recollections by others, poems and, ultimately, their fiction, in a very...voyeuristic position.  You start to really get to know these girls; you see them running from a storm blowing hard off the moor; Emily in the kitchen making bread; playing their – as Charlotte called them – “bed games” and living in their imaginary worlds of Glass Town, Angria, Gondal.
You feel close to them as they are growing up; you see them pace by the fire, reading each other the latest chapters of their works in progress – Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and Anne’s, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall – as the rain pours on the gravestones just outside the front window.  One gains a vivid mental image of Emily, coming into the Black Bull inn each night to collect her troubled brother, Branwell, and walk him – probably more like carry him - home. 

Their lives are well documented and yet…there is the stuff that never got written down.  And that presents to us an enduring mystery: What happened in those minutes and hours and days in between

Like many before me, I became obsessed with the Brontës, especially Emily, who became, truly, an infatuation.   As I read Wuthering Heights, I found myself thinking of what she may have been thinking while she wrote down the lines.  What she was wearing while she wrote them down.  I imagined her in her small room, writing her musical poems as the night wind “waved her hair.”
I learned that Charlotte later edited her manuscript poems for publication, which I found extremely annoying; how could one hope to go in and “fix” such beautiful language?  (In setting her poems, I have only ever used the original manuscript versions.)
I wondered what she looked like in real life, when she smiled or cried.  How her skin smelled, her hair felt.  I wanted to get in a time machine and go back there.  I imagined what it might have been like, walking along a dirt road and suddenly coming upon Emily and Charlotte, two anonymous girls in their little carriage, on a day trip to Leeds.
 
The strange thing is, I slowly started to realize that there were thousands of others just like me.  Obsessed.

Imagine then my shock while in 1999 touring their home, now a museum, and seeing an actual lock of Emily’s hair!  (It had been cut off to save, in the tradition of the time, shortly after her death.)
I kept going back to that room, that glass case and looking again and again.  She was real, not some mythical thing I had dreamed up.  I was hesitant to finally leave.

Hence my song, The Lock:

                A piece of you, there is a lock
                Nothing more and nothing less
                It blew wild in the moorland rain
                Felt your sister’s caress

                The lonely nights above the graves
                It brushed against your face
                And if I could I’d take it
                Steal it from this case

                And if I could, I’d kiss it and hide it away
                So that no one was as close to you as me

Still this song is not completely autobiographical.  I like to think of it as an homage in a way, to the others who suffer from acute brontëmania, some afflicted with the disease far worse than me, destined to suffer a lifetime.
And it is also a tribute to Emily who, in Wuthering Heights, wrote about obsession in a frightful manner.  She, I think, was one of us.

I could carry on and on about the beautiful prose of Jane Eyre, the unimaginable heartbreak of Patrick Brontë’s long outliving his wife and all six children, the breathtaking beauty of Haworth moor and the joy of drinking a pint with my family in the very Black Bull inn where Branwell got shit-faced every night.   And the truly otherworldly quality of Wuthering Heights, the only book I’ve ever read twice.
And I will happily do so if you corner me in a bar sometime and say, tell me about the Brontës.
Suffice to say, this new record is Laura’s and my very humble tribute to some very shy sisters who – as it turns out – just so happened to change fucking everything.  They were the foundation of the gothic revival in literature: the virginal Charlotte and Emily imagining and then writing down the two greatest romances of all time – Charlotte in her refined and perfect language, Emily, in her sensual and queer…  Plainly, there is truly nothing else like Wuthering Heights

Luckily, Charlotte lived to see the success of Jane Eyre though she would of course never know its great influence.
Emily died on the parsonage sofa at 29 years old, never even to begin to imagine, in that December of 1848, the success of her novel or how it would affect so much and so many, right up to this day.  

Winter eyes, gray to blue
You, the one whose only lover was the moon…


Laura Weller’s thoughts on the Brontes:

I’ve always been fascinated by the deep imagination and passion of their fiction and poetry. I was inspired by how their own lives, which were lived within a tight family circle, resulted in such an extraordinary explosion of creative output. That it is the imagination itself that takes us on the most extraordinary adventures, and which can produce the most vivid images of beauty and truth.


Goblin Market - Haunted. buy download link1. The Night Is Darkening Around Me
2. Remembrance
3. The Lock
4. The Night Wind
5. Tell Me, Tell Me
6. Song (The Linnet In The Rocky Dells)
7. High Waving Heather
8. If This Be All
9. The Moorland Ghost
10. A Reminiscence
11. Love Song (Beneath Far Gondal’s Foreign Sky)
12. A Lonely Thing

For Tony Dale

Produced by Jeff Kelly
Performed by Laura Weller & Jeff Kelly
Mastered by Tom Dyer at TDS Productions

Photography by Jeff
Photo: Moon in the Trees, by Jane Kelly
Thanks to Tess, Jane & Olivia.
Thanks to Tom for kick starting this again.
Thanks to Poli for the wise advice on the cover photo.
From Jeff: Special thanks to Susanne for all those pints in The Old White Lion and Black Bull.  And last night.
From Laura: Special thanks to Scott for giving me a love of the bitter draught and moorland wanderings.
And thank you to all our friends and  supporters.

The Green Tea Graphic Design Co.


The Night Is Darkening  Round Me
     (E Brontë, Kelly)

The night is darkening round me,
The wild winds coldly blow;
But a tyrant spell has bound me,
And I cannot, cannot go.

The giant trees are bending
Their bare boughs weighed with snow;
The storm is fast descending,
And yet I cannot go.

Clouds beyond clouds above me,
Wastes beyond wastes below;
But nothing drear can move me;
I will not, cannot go.
© St. Brigid Publishing / BMI

Remembrance
     [fragment] (E. Brontë, Weller)

Cold in the earth - and the deep snow piled above thee,
Far, far removed, cold in the dreary grave!
Have I forgot, my only Love, to love thee,
Severed at last by Time’s all-severing wave?

Now, when alone, do my thoughts no longer hover
Over the mountains, on that northern shore,
Resting their wings where heath and fern leaves cover
Thy noble heart forever, ever more?

Cold in the earth - and fifteen wild Decembers,
From those brown hills, have melted into spring;
Faithful, indeed, is the spirit that remembers
After such years of change and suffering!

Sweet Love of youth, forgive, if I forget thee,
While the world’s tide is bearing me along;
Other desires and other hopes beset me,
Hopes which obscure, but cannot do thee wrong!

No later light has lightened up my heaven,
No second morn has ever shone for me;
All my life’s bliss from thy dear life was given,
All my life’s bliss is in the grave with thee.
© Laura Weller / BMI

Goblin Market - Live at the Showbox. buy download linkThe Lock 
    (Kelly)

A piece of you, there is a piece
Up on the hill, under the glass
They say that it’s grown lighter than
It was in the past

On the sofa where you died
Was it darker, was it black
Who held it, who cut it
Do you wish you had it back
The lonely nights above the graves
It brushed against your face
And if I could I’d touch it
Take it from this case

A piece of you, there is a lock
Nothing more and nothing less
It blew wild in the moorland rain
Felt your sister’s caress
The lonely nights above the graves
It brushed against your face
And if I could I’d touch it
Steal it from this place

And if I could, I’d kiss it
And hide it away
So that no one was as close to you
As me
© St. Brigid Publishing / BMI

 

The Night-Wind
     (E. Brontë, Kelly)

In summer’s mellow midnight,
A cloudless moon shone through
Our open parlour window
And rose-trees wet with dew.

I sat in silent musing,
The soft wind waved my hair;
It told me Heaven was glorious.
And sleeping Earth was fair.
I needed not its breathing
To bring such thoughts to me,
But still it whispered lowly,
“How dark the woods will be!

“The thick leaves in my murmur
Are rustling like a dream,
But still it whispered lowly,
“How dark the woods will be!

“The thick leaves in my murmur
Are rustling like a dream,
And all their myriad voices
Instinct with spirit seem.”

I said, “Go gentle singer,
Thy wooing voice is kind;
But do not think its music
Has power to reach my mind.

“Play with the scented flower,
The young tree’s supple bough,
And leave my human feelings
In their own course to flow.”

The wanderer would not leave me;
Its kiss grew warmer still’-
“O come,” it sighed so sweetly,
“I’ll win thee ‘gainst thy will.

“Have we not been
     from childhood friends?
Have I not loved thee long?
As long as thou hast loved the night
Whose silence wakes my song.

“And when thy heart is laid at rest
Beneath the church-yard stone
I shall have time enough to mourn
And thou to be alone.”
© St. Bridgid Publishing / BMI

Tell Me, Tell Me,  Smiling Child
     [fragment] (E. Brontë, Weller)

Tell me, tell me, smiling child,
What the past is like to thee?
An autumn evening, soft and mild,
With a wind that sighs mournfully.

Tell me what is the present hour?
A green and flowery spray,
Where a young bird sits gathering
     its power.

To mount and fly away.
And what is the future, happy one?
A sea beneath a cloudless sun;
A mighty, glorious, dazzling sea,
Stretching into infinity.
© Laura Weller / BMI

Song (The Linnet In The Rocky Dells)
     (E. Brontë, Kelly)

The linnet in the rocky dells,      
  The moor-lark in the air,            
The bee among the heather bells            
  That hide my lady fair:

The wild deer browse above her breast 
  The wild birds raise their brood;             
And they, her smiles of love caress’d,
  Have left her solitude!

I ween that when the grave’s dark wall
  Did first her form retain,              
They thought their hearts could ne’er recall
  The light of joy again.  

They thought the tide of grief would flow
  Uncheck’d through future years;           
But where is all their anguish now,
  And where are all their tears? 

Well, let them fight for honour’s breath,
  Or pleasure’s shade pursue— 
The dweller in the land of death              
  Is changed and careless too.    

And if their eyes should watch and weep
  Till sorrow’s source were dry,  
She would not, in her tranquil sleep,
  Return a single sigh!    

Blow, west wind, by the lonely mound:
  And murmur, summer streams!             
There is no need of other sound              
  To soothe my lady’s dreams.
© St. Brigid Publishing / BMI

High Waving Heather
     (Kelly)

The scarecrow dances through the storm
All self possessed and mad
Why does she thrill me with her form
So soft and loosely clad
I count the rows of buttons
Feel the fiber, silken, soft
As the rain melts it away
Like snow instead of cloth

Out here in the high waving heather
Out here in the high waving heather
I want to hold your cruelty
Up against the starry night
And watch it fall across the face
That burns in the moonlight
I want to feel the body
That no man could ever hold
I want to clutch your sunburnt wrists
And bind your chainless soul

There are those that want to change us
Save us from ourselves
And they would have us see the light
And blind us with their help
But evil does as evil will
We needn’t an excuse
The changeling and his apparition
Set the wild dogs lose
© St. Brigid Publishing / BMI

Goblin Market - Ghostland. buy download linkIf This Be All
     [fragment] (A. Brontë, Weller)

O God! if this indeed be all
That Life can show to me;
If on my aching brow may fall
No freshening dew from Thee,

If with no brighter light than this
The lamp of hope may glow,
And I may only dream of bliss,
And wake to weary woe;

If friendship’s solace must decay,
When other joys are gone,
And love must keep so far away,
While I go wandering on,-
If souls must ever keep from sight
The glories of the Sun,
And I must suffer winter’s blight,
Ere summer is begun;

If Life must be so full of care,
Then call me soon to Thee;
Or give me strength enough to bear
My load of misery.
While all the good I would impart,
The feelings I would share,
Are driven backward to my heart,
And turned to wormwood, there.
© Laura Weller / BMI

 

The Moorland Ghost
     (Kelly)

Were we only dreaming or just spirited away
In the early evening of that soft September day
Past the graves, the old church door
We walked up to Haworth Moor
And were witness to a strange display

She was dancing, dancing just for us to see
She was dancing, dancing just for you and me

Her dress was blowing wild, a thousand ribbons in - the wind
She moved against the sky, weaving in and out and in
And I loved you even more than I ever had before
When we glimpsed that spectral vision

We left for The Old White Lion without saying our goodbyes
Just the soft moaning strains of the wind upon the rise
For what more can someone say to a ghost in full display
Except “Thank you for the poetry!”
© St. Brigid Publishing / BMI

A Reminiscence
     (A. Brontë, Kelly)

Yes, thou art gone! and never more
Thy sunny smile shall gladden me;
But I may pass the old church door,
And pace the floor that covers thee,

May stand upon the cold, damp stone,
And think that, frozen, lies below
The lightest heart that I have known,
The kindest I shall ever know.

Yet, though I cannot see thee more,
‘Tis still a comfort to have seen;
And though thy transient life is o’er,
‘Tis sweet to think that thou hast been;

To think a soul so near divine,
Within a form so angel fair,
United to a heart like thine,
Has gladdened once our humble sphere.
© St. Brigid Publishing / BMI

Love Song
(Beneath Far Gondal’s Foreign Sky)
     (Kelly)

Winter eyes, grey to blue
You, the one who’s only lover was the moon
Mystic girl of the moor
Will we meet at last upon a distant shore

The wild north wind is blowing high
Can we meet beneath far Gondal’s foreign sky

On battle fields blood would run
Beneath the crimson standard, black against the sun
But you’d be safe in castle walls
As I undressed, caressed a figure, graceful, tall

Blow, love song, blow
Go and find The Chainless Soul

Your body must remain unknown
And I can’t kiss your hair here where the heather grows
And they will try through history
But they will never, ever solve your mystery
© St. Brigid Publishing / BMI

A Lonely Thing
     (Kelly)

In afternoons the Belgian sky
Leaked its rain into my eyes
And still it seems they’re never dry
For love is a lonely thing

I lie awake and dream at night
He’s in his office twilight
Writing words he’ll never write
For love is a lonely thing

One little star left in the sky
Is all alone and so am I
Too late to wish or wonder why
Love is a lonely thing
Love is a lonely thing
© St.Brigid Publishing / BMI