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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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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all rights reserved

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about

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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Track Name: The Going Away
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
Track Name: Island in the West
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
Track Name: Dark and Fair
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
Track Name: Dream to Meet
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
Track Name: Windy Nights
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
Track Name: Free-ranging
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……..
Track Name: First Light
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.
Track Name: Song for Melody
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
Track Name: Pink Soda Lakes
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
Track Name: Let the Children
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
Track Name: Ballad of an Albino
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
Track Name: Eucalyptus Man
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.
Track Name: Wedding Song
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

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