Watching Ghosts​.​.​.​and Other Songs

by Helen Dorothy

supported by
pip3676
pip3676 thumbnail
pip3676 My Oldest and Dearest Friend Helen's albums are wonderful, Such a mix of emotions, her lyrics, artwork, harmonies, and vocals, together joined with supporting artists create wonderful, visual tales, and must not be missed!
One incredibly talented Folk Artist from The UK, who I grew up with, whilst we sang along to my three Brothers Folk band Triality, found herself eventually in NZ, and has done amazingly well with her music. So proud. Pip x Favorite track: Mrs Chippy & Harry NcNish.
/
  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

      $10 NZD  or more

     

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Recycled cardboard packaging with boutique print cover. Lino-cut artwork by Helen Dorothy. Liner notes enclosed.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Watching Ghosts...and Other Songs via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 7 days

      $20 NZD or more 

     

1.
05:02
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
05:32
7.
8.
03:38
9.

about

All songs written and produced by Helen Dorothy
'Watching Ghosts' a poem by Michael O'Leary
Pipes tune in 'Mrs Chippy & Harry McNish' based on
'The Stone Frigate' by Donald Carrigan

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

credits

released September 16, 2013

Helen Dorothy—vocals, acoustic and resonator guitars, mandola, piano, accordion, chimes, glass, percussion

Richard Prowse—double bass
Richard studied classical violin and composition, but his life-changing moment arrived when he heard his first live jazz big band in the early 1970s. He started playing bass guitar in 1975 and took his first tentative steps on double bass a year later...the rest is history!

Fiona Smythe—violin
Fiona picked up her first violin at 6 years old, and it has been her soul mate ever since. Long abandoning the rigours of classical training, she now plays gypsy, pseudo-jazz, tango and European folk music, and has performed with the local Tandrom Trio, and Philomena in Prague.

Kevin Clark—flugelhorn
A nationally acclaimed musician, Kevin has twice been the recipient of the New Zealand Tui Music Award for Best Jazz Album.

Robbie Duncan—Kay guitar
A well-respected guitarist and recording engineer, Robbie has composed and produced some high-calibre dynamic instrumental albums.

Oscar West—Scottish smallpipes
Oscar is one-half of the talented multi-instrumentalist duo Polytropos, bringing new and exciting elements to traditional Celtic music.

license

all rights reserved

tags

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).

contact / help

Contact Helen Dorothy

Streaming and
Download help

Track Name: Twilighting
Twilighting
© Helen Dorothy (2009)

There’s a time of the day
When light fades to grey
And the wood smoke sits low in the sky
And the shops close their doors
They’re sweeping up the floors
As the good folk are passing on by
And down on the pond
The Aylesbury’s have gone
To find a safe place to roost in the grey
Hear the glasses being cleared
For more whisky and beer
As they twilight their evening away

The flowers fold in for the night
Leave scented delights
To flavour the damp air
Potatoes, minty and hot
And greens from the plot
And savouries with onions and bay
And the kids finish their games
Told to wash their hands again
As their folks catch up on news of the day
Push the curtains far to the side
There’s nothing to hide
As we twilight the evening away
And we’ll twilight our evening this way

And there’s never a word
The silence can be heard
And it’s a silence I never have to ask for
And it’s golden
I don’t want to laugh about things
I don’t want to cry about things
And there’s never a glance
In this twilighting trance
And it’s a space that I never have to ask for
And it’s golden
I don’t want to talk about things
I don’t want to shout about things
Don’t want to think about them
But I can sing about them…

And we’ll twilight the evening away
Let’s go twilighting every day
And we’ll twilight the evenings away
Let’s go twilighting every day
And we’ll twilight the evenings away
Track Name: For Peace & For Green
For Peace & For Green
© Helen Dorothy (2008)

Jack he is small, but he sure stands tall
As he walks the talk and talks little about it
From the Birmingham Blitz
A boy lost in the midst
Of the blackouts, and sirens, the rubble and husks of homes

Now Jack he is small, but he sure stands tall
As he walks the talk and talks little about it
Soul-searching engineer
Downs tools without fear
To march the talk on a protest for peace and for green

Let’s welcome the day that Jack is on his way
To fight for a cause we would all like to fight for
And don’t let him fade
The man on this crusade
Shines light on the dark so the good powers can push it away

Now Jack he is small, but he sure stands tall
As he walks the talk and talks little about it
On a South Seas quest
To stop nuclear testing
He sailed the talk to the front-line for peace and for green

Let’s welcome the day that Jack is on his way
And he fights for a cause we would all like to fight for
But don’t let him fade,
The man on this crusade
Shines light on the dark so the good powers can push it away.

Now Jack he is small, but he sure stands tall
As he walks the talk and talks little about it
To keep our rivers fresh
And stop logging in the West
He climbed the talk to the tree-tops for peace and for green

Let’s welcome the day that Jack is on his way
Fighting for a cause we would all like to fight for
And don’t let him fade
The man on this crusade
Sheds light on the dark so the good powers can make it go away

Jack he is small, but he sure stands tall
As he walks the talk and talks little about it
He’s ‘Johnny on the spot’
He gives everything he’s got
To live the talk and keep for us the peace and the green
Track Name: Father de Carli
Father de Carli
© Helen Dorothy (2008)

Adelir Antonio de Carli
A Roman Catholic priest
Last seen high in Brazilian skies
Floating to the east
Adelir Antonio de Carli
In a thermal, aluminium suit
A thousand coloured party balloons
And a safety parachute

He drifts away, away
Father de Carli asked for us all to pray
What was going on in his head
He should have tried to break another record instead
Now he’s missing, presumed dead
What a price to pay!

Adelir Antonio de Carli
In a thermal, aluminium suit
A thousand coloured party balloons
And a safety parachute
Adelir Antonio de Carli
On a gravity-defying mission
With each balloon that bursts
He rises closer to his heaven

Away, away
Father de Carli asked for us all to pray
What was going on in his head
He should have tried to break another record instead
Now he’s missing, presumed dead
What a price to pay!

He drifts way, away
Father de Carli asked for us all to pray
What was going on in his head
He should be here delivering his sermons instead
Now he’s missing, presumed dead
That’s a price to pay!

Adelir Antonio de Carli
A Roman Catholic priest
Last seen high in Brazilian skies
Floating to the east
Track Name: Weeping Waters
Weeping Waters
© Helen Dorothy (2010)

Water soft, water clear
Rolling river, falling tear
Memories of the young and the old
Lying now as river gold
High above on a mountain steep
Once her emerald lake began to weep
Broken crater, engine steam
Thundering river, broken dreams

Water fresh, water pure
Then the cause, and now the cure
On this new bridge folk may have stood
Petals falling from the steel and the wood
High above on a mountain steep
Once her emerald lake began to weep
Broken crater, engine steam
Thundering river, broken dreams

And as we wind across the tussock plains
The Overlander passes Weeping Waters once again
My face is cold, and there’s a trace of diesel in the air
And I wonder who those people were who lost their lives there

High above on a mountain steep
Once her emerald lake began to weep
Broken crater, engine steam
Thundering river, broken dreams

Water soft, water clear
Rolling river, falling tear
Track Name: Circular Bend
Circular Bend
© Helen Dorothy (2010)

I used to like flying to take me on a high
Bursting through the atmosphere with the storm clouds drifting by
A lightning crack could send me back to earth and I know why
I have this fear to fly

Sailing on the ocean to get to somewhere new
I’d find me in a lumpy swell and there was not much I could do
Except hold on tight, white-knuckle fright, and I’d be thinking about you
As we go down, down into the blue

Here we go now…
Round and round and round—round the bend
Waiting—to get back on track again
And it’s anyone’s guess when the spiral will end
Until then, I’ll keep on heading round the circular bend

Strap me in a car seat and take me for a drive
Give me absolutely no control and see if I survive
I’ve got sweaty palms and twitchy feet and a will to stay alive
But I’ve lost, lost the will to drive

If I have the option then I’d rather go by track
Though the Eurostar in winter might be hard for me to hack
And crossing a river canyon, well I’d have to just sit back…

Here we go now…
Round and round and round—round the bend
Waiting—to get back on track again
And it’s anyone’s guess when the spiral will end
Until then, I’ll keep on heading round the circular bend
Round and round and round the circular bend

Air, sea, rail and road
We use it without a care like it’s something that we’re owed
I’m not singing this song like it’s some kind of campaign
But the next time you’re heading away, I recommend the train!

Round and round and round—round the bend
Waiting—to get back on track again
And it’s anyone’s guess when the spiral will end
Until then, I’ll keep on heading round the circular bend
Round and round and round the circular bend
Track Name: Curio Bay
Curio Bay
© Helen Dorothy (2007)

Noodles in a cooking pot
They swirl and swell and slap against the fossil forest rocks
There’s a surge of salting froth, flowing
As toothpaste does from a child’s mouth
Then a shiny rounded fin
Cuts through the waves
Like scissors through tin foil
At Curio Bay

How can I tell you about Curio Bay?
I so want to tell you about Curio Bay
Track Name: Watching Ghosts
Watching Ghosts

Lyrics by Michael O'Leary from: 'Toku Tinihanga (Self Deception) selected poems 1982–2002' (published by HeadworkX, Wellington 2003). Music by Helen Dorothy (2012)

From hiding places they came to me
An ancient army on the march
Whilst watching Ibsen's 'Ghosts' on TV
The present became the past

My long-dead mother holding her son
An image in the 'living' room
A few decades ago her blood had run
When she held me in her womb

My father was there, a spirit of the air
Who flew in the war and lived
Only to die in a suburb near here
The blood bursting in his head

Well, funny old life and all that
No wonder I feel like little boy lost
While my friends in the room chat
I sit here watching ghosts
Track Name: Tractor Jean
Tractor Jean
© Helen Dorothy (2013)

Jean, Jean, tractor Jean
Drives a Ford 4000, it's an old machine
Whistling tunes when she opens up the shed door
Jean's the kind of woman that likes to drive a tractor!

Jean likes to mow in the late evening sun
Round and round in circles, getting smaller each one,
She switches off the engine, then sits and waits
'Til out pops a partridge with its red-legged mate
She smiles as they fly off over the green
Far from the wheels of the tractor that belongs to Jean

Jean, Jean, tractor Jean
Drives a 4000, it's her mean machine
Waving at the kids, warbling like a jackdaw
Jean feels happy when she drives her tractor

Jean's always likes to work on the land
Give her the nod and she'll give you a hand
She can drive in a fence post, operate a baler
And Jean's the kind of woman who can reverse a trailer!

Jean, when she's having a bad day
Spinning the wheels, stuck in the clay
Or the engine cuts out; she'll be under the hood
To find a nest of blue eggs all broken and cooked
And back in the yard, she still has to clean
All the muck that’s sprayed up on the tractor that belongs to Jean

Jean, Jean, tractor Jean
Drives a 4000, it's her dream machine
In the wind, the rain, the snow and the thaw
Jean's feels lucky when she drives her tractor

The lights are all on in the tractor shed
Jean's day is done, the engine is dead
And up on the hood she'll lay an old jersey
And later 'Old Puss' will make himself cosy
There's paw prints on the hood, so she knows that's he's been
On the jersey on the bonnet of the tractor that belongs to Jean

Jean, Jean, tractor Jean
Drives a Ford 4000, it's an old machine
Takes her oily old clothes off at the back door
'Cos Jean gets mucky when she drives her tractor
Whistlin' tunes when she comes in through the back door
Jean's real happy when she drives her tractor
Track Name: Mrs Chippy & Harry NcNish
Mrs Chippy & Harry McNish
© Helen Dorothy (2012)

For honour and recognition and for small wages it is told
The crew of the 'Endurance' braves the dark and the bitter cold
The Imperial Trans Antarctic Team—trapped on the icy Weddell Sea
Twenty-eight men, dogs and a shipwright's cat bound for one man's destiny

The shipwright he is Harry McNish, Mrs Chips devoted feline friend
A single shot rings out across the ice as Shackleton orders her bitter cold end
The Imperial Trans Antarctic Team—wrecked on the frozen Weddell Sea
The sledges they haul to the Elephant Isle bound to one man’s destiny

Harry prepares the wee 'James Caird' for a journey on the open sea
Fifteen days, 800 miles, to the whaling station where help will be
No polar medal does he receive, nor comfort as he grows old
But now Mrs Chippy, bold in brass, lies upon his rested soul

Now there are tales to make us wonder and tales that leave us blue
And there are tales that we would rather not share—tales that tear us clean in two
So here's a tale to make you feel warm, I hope it will appeal to you
It's the tale of a man and his feline friend; they were companions through and through

So, here's a tale to make you feel warm
I hope it will appeal to you
The tale of Mrs Chippy and Harry McNish
Bound together, still loyal and true

If you like Helen Dorothy, you may also like: