WITH THE DAWN

by Bella Hardy

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about

"Nothing short of a masterpiece" - The Sunday Times
"A triumph of folk art-pop" - Songlines Magazine
5***** The Financial Times 5***** fRoots 4* The Guardian
4* The Telegraph 4* Q Magazine - "... a credit to her and the genre"

Bella Hardy's seventh solo album With The Dawn – her first since being named BBC Radio 2 Folk Singer Of The Year in 2014– isn't just the latest collection of songs from this prolific and ingenious artist. The album is an account of one year of her life. Where previously Bella has adapted and explored traditional ballads and fables to tell her contemporary folk tales, the stories that inspired these songs are her own experiences: good and bad, happy or sad.

With The Dawn is a more intimate and reflective album than before. Working with producer Ben Seal, the arrangements are more instinctive, more reactive, as befits the mind-set that informed the lyrics. Vivid brass gives way to lonesome piano; choral voices peal; banjos emerge out of beats and blips. Elements of the initial demos, sometimes recorded into a phone as the thoughts occurred, have been kept giving With The Dawn its striking immediacy.

These are songs written on the road, full of that sense of displacement, longing and contemplation that all itinerant musicians know. On With The Dawn, Bella Hardy's soaring kite-like voice is married to lyrics that poetically question everything she's seen and done up till now; letting go of expectations, both other people's and her own. But with closing lullaby And We Begin there's a light at the end... or rather the beginning. Only one song didn't spring directly from Bella's year of touring and tumult. Jolly Good Luck To The Girl That Loves A Soldier was commissioned by Songs For The Voiceless, a project which gathered the country's best folk artists to sing some of the lesser known stories of World War I.

The resulting album was one of many bold paths Bella Hardy's career has taken in recent years. From collaborating with Martin Simpson, John Smith and others on the hugely acclaimed Elizabethan Sessions, to a joint tour with Edinburgh miserablist Blue Rose Code, and an international songwriter exchange with Canada's Cara Luft who also guests on this album.

credits

released April 1, 2016

North America Release Spring 2016
Magenta/Noe Records at Bella Hardy Music

UK Release 30th March 2015
Noe Records at Bella Hardy Music

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Track Name: The Only Thing To Do
The Only Thing To Do
(Bella Hardy)

I've been travelling, I've been thinking I've been flying, driving, training I've been reading, I've been gazing
I can't see what I've been faking I'm too tired and I'm fading projecting and forsaking
I've been drinking wine I've been singing all the time Scared myself half blind with the shadows in my mind I've been running running running I've been trying to make you rhyme But you won't stand still
So should I hide a broken heart? Or let the world tear me apart again? They say the gods will have their way Well surely if that's true, the only thing to do is love

I've asked the tall trees, and the coldest seas I've asked the hot dust dragged from short grass by the summer breeze
All the new sounds felt like old sounds Felt like kisses in a whisper in a rain of silver birch leaves
I've been drinking wine I've been playing all the time Danced with strangers on the run Danced with the shadows in my mind I've been writing writing writing different men in every line But they won't stand still
So should I hide a broken heart? Or let the world tear me apart again? They say the gods will have their way Well surely if that's true, the only thing to do is
hide a broken heart And let the world tear me apart again They say each dog will have it's day Well surely if that's true, the only thing to do is love

So I'm sending my love back where your days are ending and mine are just beginning I'm sending my love back to the city Sending my love back to the hills Sending my love home

There's nothing keeping me on track except the tree upon my back except the skyline in my heart With every word so neatly placed with every demon found and faced should ever lesson be unlearnt?

Or should I hide a broken heart? And let the world tear me apart again? They say the gods will have their way Well surely if that's true, the only thing to do is
hide a broken heart And let the world tear me apart again They say each dog will have it's day Well surely if that's true, the only thing to do is love
Track Name: First Light Of The Morning
First Light of the Morning

(Bella Hardy)


I wished that you were

the first light of the morning

But it was only a train signal shining behind me


The narrow grey railway line split the dark valley

The 6am moon showed her face in my bracelet

and crowded stars sang to her radiant chorus


They lit up the silver wood gatepost where I lent and I wrote

"I think I might love you now"


Under dark silken skies of December

I walked across fields that knew my name

I walked beneath stars that knew the pain in my heart

I walked between trees that knew my start and my ending


On a quiet Christmas morning

I sang back to my valley and I asked her kindly for a miracle


And I wished that you would be

the first light of the morning
Track Name: The Darkening Of The Day
The Darkening of the Day

(Bella Hardy)


Oh see, with the darkening of the day

How all my cares and troubles fly away

And though through this weary world we stray

All my cares and troubles fly away

With the darkening of the day



Oh see, with the rising of the sun

How light's an equal gift to everyone

And though down these endless roads we run

Light's the gift to each and everyone

With the rising of the sun



Oh see, kind words cause the clouds to part

And friendship warms each lonesome broken heart

And though things seem desperate at the start

Friendship warms my lonesome broken

And your kind words cause my darkest clouds to part



Through the shadows and sidelines

In riddles and bad rhymes

There's signs, songs, and smiling hearts called home



So see, with the darkening of the day

How all my cares and troubles fly away

And though through this weary world we stray

All my cares and troubles fly away

With the darkening of the day
Track Name: Jolly Good Luck To The Girl That Loves A Soldier
Jolly Good Luck to the Girl That Loves a Soldier

(Bella Hardy)


It’s a cold wind that calls through the darkness

But here’s a home fire burns bright

To those that say go and those that say no

Jolly good luck to the girl that loves a soldier



To the VADs, munitionettes, and Land Army girls

To Wakefield’s Nelly Spindler lost at Passchendaele

To the sweethearts of the Tommies, to the sweethearts of the Hun

Jolly good luck to the girl that loves a soldier

Jolly good luck to the girl that loves a soldier



To the widows of the frenchmen mortar buried at Verdun

To Maria Bochkareva and her death battalion

To all those who think that having one as big as theirs will stop the bomb

Jolly good luck to the girl that loves a soldier



To our Little Mother and our sickened state

To our German sister nurses that you call for us to hate

Whilst our streets are cooly littered with white feathers and disgrace

Jolly good luck to the girl that loves a soldier

Jolly good luck to the girl that loves a soldier



To those stood waiting hand in hand and those who wait alone

To those who know the inconsolable despair of the unknown

To those whom only shells of men or ghosts of men come marching home

singing "Glory glory hallelujah…"
Track Name: You Don't Have To Change (But You Have To Choose)
You Don't Have To Change (But You Have To Choose)
(Bella Hardy)

My wandering friend, he might not be the one

My dark-eyed friend, he might turn out

another of life's troubled, troubling sons



But you don't have to cut your hair

And you don't have to change the clothes you wear

And you don't have to change



So even if your future grows

in tiny hands and tiny toes

it's only half the one you chose



And through the telescope of time

where every strange look is a sign

doesn't mean they'll judge you either way



He might still be the one you choose

And you don't have to cut your hair

And you don't have to change the clothes you wear

And you don't have to change



You don't have to change, you don't have to change

You don't have to change (but you have to choose)
Track Name: Another Whisky Song
Another Whisky Song

(Bella Hardy)


My darling really loves me
after whiskies one and three

When his kisses sweet and sticky come so freely

But when there's an old waltz from the band

And it's time to take my hand

That's when my man can't be found



My love's day's only done
after whiskies three and one

When I hide out in the yard so he won't find me

But when he's passed out in his chair

Well why don't I leave him there?

It's because I know he needs me



My man needs me and just another glass of whisky
Track Name: Oh! My God! I Miss You
Oh! My God! I Miss You

(Bella Hardy)


I always knew I'd miss the snow

I didn't think I'd have to say goodbye to winter too

Somedays I long to lie out in the cold the way we used to do

Because oh my god I miss you

Oh my god I miss you



When no-one cares you'll wonder why

But if you never leap you'll never learn to fly

And I've got to let you go I know, but how,
I wish I knew

Because oh my god I miss you

Oh my god I miss you



Misplace the words and I am lost

Erase the way things were but at what cost?

Love had me thinking strength was blindness
now I see that isn't true

because I'm self aware and mindless
and clear thoughts just can't break through

and I wish I knew how not to feel this way,
lord knows I do

Because oh my god I miss you

Oh my god I miss you

Oh my god I miss you
Track Name: Gifts
Gifts

(Bella Hardy)


I gifted you the sparrow's wings

And tail-feathers from that tiny body

Still warm with newly misplaced life

Limb from limb I cut with the kitchen knife



I gifted you the sparrow's wings

And tail-feathers from that tiny body

Still warm with newly misplaced life

Limb from limb I cut with the kitchen knife



Trying to fit into you, trying to fit in

Trying to fit into you, trying to fit in
Trying to fit into you, trying to fit in

Trying to fit into you, the offering at your bed-foot



I woke that night from dreams of wingless pecking at my window

I'm here and I can't fly I can't fly I can't fly

I can't fly I can't fly I can't fly

I can't fly I can't fly I can't fly

I can't fly, it's me, I've come home, let me in



Trying to fit in
Trying to fit into you, trying to fit in

Trying to fit into you, trying to fit in

You were painting layers of space and I gifted you nothing but trouble



I gifted you the sparrow's wings

I gave you the songbird that no longer sings

And we took each meaning from this life

Limb from limb we tore through the fading light



I was trying to fit into you, you were trying to fit in

I was trying to fit into you, you were trying to fit in

I was trying to fit into you, you were trying to fit in

I was trying to fit into you, you were trying to fit in, and now

I can't fly I can't fly I can't fly, I can't fly I can't fly I can't fly

I can't fly I can't fly I can't fly, I can't fly I can't fly I can't fly

I can't fly I can't fly I can't fly, I can't fly I can't fly I can't fly

I can't fly I can't fly I can't fly
I can't fly, it's me, I've come home, let me in
Track Name: Time Wanders On
Time Wanders On

(Bella Hardy & Cara Luft)


I've seen the Rockies rise high above the trees

I've seen the northern lights, brought me to my knees

Where you are, where you roam

Time wanders on, time leads you home

I've chased the river's rush, run down to the sea

Charted seasons in the skies, clouds do as they please

Where you are, where you roam

Time wanders on, time leads you home



I've seen the sun scorch the land in flame

Harvest fields burnt beneath her blaze

Heard the wild geese cry as they cross the plain

Heard the wind call my name



I've seen a hundred towns, cities shining bright

Slept among the summer stars, danced through winter's nights

Where you are, where you roam

Time wanders on, time leads you home
Track Name: Lullaby For A Grieving Man
Lullaby for a Grieving Man

(Bella Hardy

)
My name is written in your hand

a single line
a simple sign

Love don't forget our secret tongue

Don't give my name to some other charming one you'll find



My name is writ there in your palm

Plain as a ripple in a summer calm

Oh darling let me stay

Oh darling let me stay



On rocks the wise man built his house

Well I'll put on my coat and boots

and I'll head out to find some rocks like yours, dear friend

To find some rocks like yours dear friend



The stars aren't falling from the sky

And this June rose won't fade and die

Time keeps standing still and racing by



So all the while, I'd ask you to

remember crocodile
wherever these pathways lead us to

Wherever these strange pathways lead



A silver strand from me winds back

to where my name is written there

upon your hand, dear friend

I'm written there upon your hand



And the stars aren't falling from the sky

And this June rose won't fade and die

Time keeps standing still and racing by



So darling believe me

You'll never need to grieve me

Because here I am



And the stars won't fall down from the sky

And this June rose won't fade and die

Time keeps standing still and racing by

Not safe not sorry and nor am I

And the stars aren't falling from the sky

And this June rose won't fade and die

Time keeps standing still and racing by
Track Name: And We Begin
And We Begin

(Bella Hardy)


They say the night will always win

But I've seen bold Phoebus breaking in

through a tow truck window

As the world rolled out below

I sang "favourites is a fools game"

I was wrong because along you came

and now I know



There's nothing that I wouldn't give

To start and end my days like this


I sang "time can't be turned back"
as we lay in shades of blue

And in your room of green, you sang
"It's the natural thing to do"



So I'll map the marks upon your back

I'll trace a course, a finger's track line

to be lost and found in

Oh we're all just navigating

A three star constellation on your chest

my weary head rest

and we begin



There's nothing that I wouldn't give

To start and end my days like this