The Going Away

by Helen Dorothy

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pip3676 Helen as I have known her as all my life, is my oldest friend, we grew up together singing together, and when she moved away to NZ I felt lost, but so incredibly proud of her, her music, lyrics and artwork are all incredible. Very close to my heart, it brings Helen closer even though we are the other side of the world, and a lifetime away. Her soundtracks keep me boosted until I see her again in person. Pip x Favorite track: Eucalyptus Man.
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    6-panel cardboard cover (plastic tray). Artwork (collage) by Helen Dorothy.

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1.
The Going Away © Helen Dorothy (2005) I grew up near old London town Then moved up north to settle down To see the mountains, lakes and sea Breathe the air that’s smoky free Now I’m only half a day Over the hills, not far away I call you up to hear you say “We wish you well with you going away” I lived sometime in that northern town Then moved back south to settle down To see the rolling hills and streams Find a home for all those dreams Now I’m still half a day Over the hills, not far away I’m always touched to hear you say “We wish you well with you going away” Well I lived a year in that southern town Then moved back north to find my ground To see the marshes, fells and moors Close behind me those open doors Now I’m more than half a day Over the hills, a little further away And if you never come to stay You’ll still wish me well with me going away I was several years on the northern ground And times were up, and times were down I packed my bags for the clean and the green And all this time that’s where I’ve been Now I’m only half the way Across the world where night is day I’m always hoping to hear you say “We wish you well with you going away, And we miss you now, but here’s good luck in your day” And I miss you now, but here’s good luck in your day And I miss you now, with me always going away And I wish you well, with me always going away
2.
Island in the West © Helen Dorothy (2005) On a rocky shoreline, where the sea mists lie The darkness is rising with the echo of an oystercatcher’s cry And the ghost of a gull drifts by And me and Col and Shimmy wait for a boat to take us back to Skye On this morning in this place I’ve never been The sky it warms to silver shades of green The most absorbing light I’ve ever seen And who would ever guess A time remembered best Me and Col and Shimmy at the wharf On an island in the west The fields were frosted over, our fingers wrapped in fleece We ate hot macaroni pies, and filled our flasks with soup and sweetened teas And we soon forgot the freeze And me and Col and Shimmy searched the crofts for wild arctic geese On this morning in this place I’ve never been The sea reflects my favourite shade of green It really is an illuminating scene And who would ever guess A time remembered best Me and Col and Shimmy at the wharf On an island in the west Found the stag of a red deer not long drowned in a creek He must have drank the cool water, his antlers locked in the bank when he was weak It was cruel and it was bleak And me and Col and Shimmy touched his hide Not one of us could speak On this morning in this place I’ve never been The sun it rises a mystic shiny green The most beautiful sun I think I’ve ever seen And who would ever guess A time remembered best Me and Col and Shimmy at the wharf I had no worries I had no cares With that lovely big green sun up there Shining down on me On an island in the west
3.
Dark and Fair © Helen Dorothy (2006) She’s got one small child—he’s dark and she is fair And the father lives round the corner But he might as well not be there One pair of tiny feet rushing to the door But it’s only the letters falling to the floor Sarah, Sarah wears her smile everywhere Sarah, Sarah And it’s a smile that she never fails to share She’s got two small children—both dark and she is fair And the father still lives round the corner But he might as well not be there Two pairs of tiny hands pressed against the glass But it’s only the neighbour waving as he’s going past Sarah, Sarah takes her smiles everywhere Sarah, Sarah And they’re smiles that she never fails to share Sarah, Sarah, Sarah takes her smiles everywhere Sarah, Sarah And they’re smiles that she never fails to share She’s got three small children—all dark and she is fair
4.
Dream to Meet © Helen Dorothy (2006) Sinking moon on violet sheet Soft sedge flowing under feet Flowering flax the sun to greet And with the flower, my dream to meet A thousand shades of green defeat The shiny skink on boulder heat And where the vine and branch compete In misty light, my dream to meet And high above on rocky pleat The stormy skua to fear to meet Wings, on wind, will slice and beat But swiftly flies my dream to meet Below, the milky tides retreat And steely rays the blue fish cheat Pools, the probing bills deplete On salty cliffs, my dream to meet Fluttering ghosts through dusk they sleet Softly fall, their calls repeat And corpses, jointed limbs will eat While gently sleeps my dream to meet Dark dissolves the day of sweet Black robin warm, her nest discreet And in the lichen lining neat The feather of my dream to meet
5.
Windy Nights 04:16
Windy Nights © Helen Dorothy (2006) Whenever the moon and the stars are set Whenever the wind is high All night long in the dark and the wet A man goes riding by Late in the night when the fire’s are out Why does he gallop and gallop about? By at the gallop he goes, and then By he comes back at the gallop again By at the gallop he goes, and then By he comes back at the gallop again Whenever the trees are crying aloud And ships are tossed at sea By on the highway, low and loud, By at the gallop goes he Late in the night when the fire’s are out Why does he gallop and gallop about? By at the gallop he goes, and then By he comes back at the gallop again By at the gallop he goes, and then By he comes back at the gallop again
6.
Free-ranging 04:24
Free-ranging © Helen Dorothy (2006) When I was a kid, on a Saturday night We would have our tea in the glow of the firelight TV flickering black and white As a treat we could have it on trays on our legs Pull the table to the middle of the floor Lay it with a cloth like we’ve done so many times before Mum stands at the living room door She says: “Which way would you like your eggs?” Hey, hey, ski-doodle-aye-ay The hens are in the shed and they’re about to lay Lay, lay, about to lay And we’ll have our favourite on the table for tea today Sister glued to the box she can’t decide Dad always says he prefers them fried “However they come” is how I usually replied As I move close to the fire to warm my legs Mum doesn’t seem to mind at all She likes them poached but goes with someone else’s call Her voice through the kitchen wall She says: “How well done would you like your eggs?” Hey, hey, ski-doodle-aye-ay The hens are in the shed and they’re about to lay Lay, lay, about to lay And we’ll have our favourite on the table for tea today That’s the question that I never find easy It doesn’t really matter as long as they’re not greasy Dad puts in an order for ‘over-easy’ And sister says: “Sunny-side-up for my eggs!” Mum well she never really seems to mind She likes them firm if they’re eggs of the scrambled kind But goes with the majority we find She says: “Would you like some toast with your eggs?” Hey, hey, ski-doodle-aye-ay The hens are in the shed and they’re about to lay Lay, lay, about to lay And we’ll have our favourite on the table for tea today Sister, sister, life is changing Now we’re older, and we’re free-ranging If you need a shoulder to cry on Cook yourself an egg, it’s something to rely on And when your anger’s boiling over Drop one in and three minutes later Crack the top with a shiny spoon And marvel at the sun wrapped in it’s moon And feel that melt-in-the-mouth comfort that it’s bringing And soon your melted mouth will be singing……..
7.
First Light 05:30
First Light © Helen Dorothy (2006) The days, the weeks, the months, the years, they never drift apart When one is heading to its end the next is soon to start I like to think of the rising of the sun As a time that marks the time that’s gone and the time that’s just begun First light—I know she’s always there There’s all these deadlines to be met and headlines to be made But you only have to lift your head to watch the colours fade They fade to grey, then grey fades away, it seems I’m waiting in the darkness in a shooting starry dream For first light—and I know that she’ll be there. On ‘Walk-‘em-up’ they walked them up, the horses to the fire Above them buzzed a chopper that the TV news had hired Tourist boats were twinkling, anchored to the time Watching the horizon, and waiting for a sign Of first light—and feeling lucky to be there And when the noisy muttonbirds had taken off to sea First light sent her first ray to touch the hearts of you and me The sky was dark and cloudy, the rocks were bathed in gold And first ray move on its way to let the day unfold And all around the turquoise turmoil Rises, falls, swells and rolls Hides ‘crays’ in mesh pots soon to spoil The tables of those other lucky souls Frothy breakers tumble over glass Leave spiral shells and biscuit stars In the first light—and I knew that she’d be there First light—I knew that she’d be there First light—I felt certain I could taste the cold first air First light, when she came, I was there.
8.
Song for Melody © Helen Dorothy (2005) Once there was a Song He was young and he was free And he yearned for a friendship With the lovely Melody So he courted her on silver strings And they met in secret keys And they wooed each other in my mind And in my memory And I’m waiting for the tune to turn The way I long to hear it turn For Song to take her And bring her back to me My Song he is a traveller He travels far from me And he never travels on his own He takes his Melody And they journey at the speed of sound To the minds of mystery And there they stay together In a score to imagery And I’m waiting for the tune to turn The way I long to hear it turn For Song to take her And bring her back to me For Song to take her by the hand And lead her back to me Now Melody is dancing She is dancing all alone And Song he is a-drifting In a different time and tone But they journey at the speed of sound To the minds of mystery And when they find each other They will fade in harmony And I’m waiting for the tune to turn The way I long to hear it turn For Song to take her And bring her… Yes I’m waiting for the tune to turn The way I long to hear it turn For Song to take her And bring her back to me For Song to take her by the hand And lead her back to me For Song to take her by the hand And bring her back to me
9.
Pink Soda Lakes © Helen Dorothy (2008) Here comes the music, pouring from our ears Flowing down our faces in sweet musical tears And I know it came to crush all our fears And I am hoping like crazy It stays with us for years and years and years Here comes the rhythm, pounding at our heals Flying from our fingers in wild fanciful reels And I know the touch, and I’ve felt the feel And under its wing We’ll stay safe and warm for years and years and years Take us on a journey and that journey’s end we’ll make It’s not a lonely planet, but a lonely path we take And when the polar cap ice melts into pink soda lakes There’ll still be rhythm and there’ll be music And it will see us through the years and years and years
10.
Let the Children (Push their Fingers Down into the Dirt) © Helen Dorothy (2008) Let the children push their fingers down into the dirt And put those fingers in their mouths And wipe them on their shirts And give those shirts another day in the soil, the sand, the sun It’s half the water, half the soap, And it’s twice the children’s fun What’s with a mission statement on their first day back at school: “I intend to do my best, And not grow up a fool” And why all this homework when they’ve worked the whole day through There’s such a thing as family life That a family’s got to do But what’s the point in family life if the family has no fun And it’s not safe for the kids to go out In the soil, the sand, the sun, And love lost and broken is anchored to the ground By the child that’s never spoken So the cycle keeps on going round and round There’s fast cars on dead-end streets and fast food on TV So the kids they grow up faster And fast-track past the ‘young and free’ Teach them to talk to faces and not just to their cells It’s a face that they will want to see When things aren’t going well But what’s the use in family life if the family has no fun And it’s not safe for the kids to go out In the soil, the sand, the sun, And love lost and broken is anchored to the ground By the child that’s never spoken So the cycle keeps on going round and round
11.
Ballad of an Albino © Helen Dorothy (2006) Far in the north Where the day spends the night searching for its morning A young man lives In an icy world that he wished he wasn’t born in His skin is pale As pale as the snow that thickens all around him And his eyes are pale As pale as the northern lights that flicker around There’s nothing for Noi to see Except the vast expanse of ice that was once the sea Noi reaches up And he reaches out And no-one seems to see him Or know what he’s about Noi disappears down And he reaches in And in his mind he tries to find A place to start again He drives a car That he stole from the street on the corner by the food-store But he doesn’t get far The car is out of gas and there’s nowhere he can get more He should be at school But he likes to hang out in the basement of his grandma’s house He’s nobody’s fool And he pictures the northern lights that flicker around There’s nothing for Noi to do Except argue with his gran and her drinking crew Noi reaches up And he reaches out And noone seems to see him Or know what he’s about Noi disappears down And he reaches in And in his mind he tries to find A place to start again Then one day the whole town shook with a rumble and a roar The mountainside crumbled and slipped into the fjord The snow buried power-lines, and cars and houses too And Noi was in the basement and he knew, he knew, he knew…. In passing time Noi sleeps, he wakes, he listens and he calls out They come just in time Men with shovels who clear the doors and pull him out His skin is pale As pale as the snow that buries the entire town And his eyes are pale As pale as the northen lights that flicker around There’s nothing for Noi to feel Except the heat in his throat as he swallows a decent meal So Noi heads south to a land of colour and heat He doesn’t know what he’ll do or who he’ll even meet Maybe he’ll head for a metropolis, or maybe not But he’ll get a job, and he’ll meet some friends And he’ll be happy with his lot Noi reaches up And he reaches out Now everywhere they notice him And ask what he’s about Noi doesn’t go down And he won’t go in No, he’s up and out, to laugh aloud And start his life all over again And he’s reaching out Now everywhere they notice him And ask what he’s about Noi doesn’t go down And he won’t go in No, he’s up and out, to scream and shout In a place where his life can begin
12.
Eucalyptus Man © Helen Dorothy (2007) Here’s a tale Set in New South Wales Where the ironbark rails Weave through the dusty ranges pale There’s a man Acquires a plot of land Plants a eucalyptus stand Then offers his daughter Ellen’s hand To the suitor who can name all the trees Five hundred of them, ragged and pale Shivering in the breeze And Ellen she said As she lay down on her river-gum bed ‘I’ll never be wed to a eucalyptus man’ So, they came and they went The bushman and the city gent But the rules could not be bent, Then, a scientist from Kew Said he’d stay a month or two And they marveled at all the gums he knew And she hoped and she prayed He’d get his stringybarks, his bloodwoods, And his blues mixed up with his greys And in Ellen’s gloom She stayed inside her bluestone room Crying ‘I’ll not be entombed with a eucalyptus man’ Soon, it came to pass The day to name the very last And lift the spell that had been cast And share together the stories of their pasts But such a simple, simple mistake One that any gum tree expert could make And as he stumbled to the road He sealed Ellen’s fate She threw back the sheets Came running down no shoes on her feet Singing ‘My life is complete without the eucalyptus man’ And down in the groves Waits the boy from town she already chose And the hot wind blows away the eucalyptus man.
13.
Wedding Song 04:45
Wedding Song © Helen Dorothy (2006) You’re calling us together You’re calling us to you To share with you your wedding day And hear your vows said true You ask if I can sing a song To send you on your way And if I were to sing that song Then this is what I would say Keep yourselves in rhythm And move to each other’s tune And it’s alright, it’s alright To only sing the words that work for you Speak in present tenses And with the one that’s close to you And it’s alright, it’s alright If they don’t feel like talking too And when you part Part like it’s the last time that you’re parting And greet as if the journey’s only starting… Listen to all the distant voices But hear the one that’s close to you And it’s alright, it’s alright That others hear it too

credits

released April 1, 2009

All songs written by Helen Dorothy except
'Windy Nights': poem by Robert Louis Stevenson

​Recorded/engineered by Robbie Duncan at
Braeburn Recording Studio, Wellington, New Zealand

Produced by Helen Dorothy with Robbie Duncan
​​
Helen Dorothy—vocals, acoustic guitar, accordion
Richard Prowse—double bass
Fiona Smythe—violin 
Duncan Davidson—mandolin, flute
Robbie Duncan—Kay guitar
Chris Price—percussion

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Helen Dorothy New Zealand

Helen Dorothy is “an acoustic folk artist in an honest sense” (NZ Musician, 2009). She writes "beautifully-crafted, intelligent songs rich in memorable imagery" (fRoots Magazine, Jan 2014).

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