Tell Me Where the Ocean Went

by Elly Hadaway

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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    The EP in physical form, with a beautiful card sleeve designed by Somhairle Kelly of Eithin Arts.

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  • Sheet Music

    An A5 book containing the sheet music and (as relevant) lyrics and chords of all the songs included in the EP. It also contains bonus writing about each of the pieces, and some illustrations by myself and Somhairle Kelly.
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  • Full Digital Discography

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    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of Rosebud in June, The Donkey, The Lady of the Woods, Down in Yon Forest, Tell Me Where the Ocean Went, Sigh No More, Ladies, Dancing Day: songs for Christmas and Yule, Fair Maid on the Shore, and 1 more. , and , .

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Five songs of the British landscape, ranging from hiraeth for mountain country through Derbyshire industrial history to an artist's view of a forest in autumn.


released September 23, 2015

All songs by Somhairle Kelly (lyrics) and Elly Hadaway (music)
Voice, ukulele, post-production: Elly Hadaway
Graphic design, recording, post-production: Somhairle Kelly



all rights reserved


Elly Hadaway Derby, UK

Folk singer, ukulele player and songwriter. Mountain-powered, disabled, queer, Christo-Pagan. :-)

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Track Name: I Am the Mountain
I am the mountain.
I am the river that flows down its flanks.
I am the wind that dances through the peaks.
I am the buzzard who drifts on the wind.
I am the rowan and the hawthorn,
the gorse bush green and golden-scented.
I am the road through the mountains -
the high pass and the broad highway.
I am grey rock and warm earth,
bracken and springy heather.
I am the rain and the daylight,
the tall hills that cradle us.
I am the mist lifting, and the cloud coming down;
I am a cold hard wind, and a warm homecoming.
Track Name: Allotment 17b
1. The trees are gnarled and gentle,
The grass is long and fair,
A hundred years of workers
Fed their hungry families here.
We're finding flowers in corners,
The grass is full of light,
And in this dark and breathing soil
We'll see our crops come right.

Chorus. Food to eat and food to keep,
And plenty yet to give away,
The earth is always generous here,
And beautiful as day.

2. We took the iron to the land,
A bill-hook 'cross my lap,
With fork and spade and secateurs,
We fixed two years' mishap.
We found panes for the greenhouse,
And nettles everywhere,
We pulled five thousand dandelions,
Threaded speedwell in our hair.

3. We bared the living soil,
Trimmed back the briar and bind,
We wove the willow, laid the thorn,
And cut the bramble-wynd.
The earth breeds scraps of porcelain,
Grown from someone's planting pot:
Willow-pattern, fifties flowers,
And old forget-me-not.

4. We're digging up potatoes
Eating raspberries from the cane
Picking poppies in the sunshine
Peas and strawberries in the rain
The plum-tree's dark and heavy
Fruit enough the branches break
We're making staves, and jars of jam
And there's crumble still to bake.

5. The soil will be our mentor
As our knowledge slowly grows
We'll move our squashes late next year,
Plant the carrots all in rows.
Here we'll grow our food and flowers
Just like hundreds did before
Earth this good is earth well-tended
Earth that loves and feeds us all.
Track Name: Toad-Stone
1. Tick, tock, toad-stone
Crouching in the river bed
Tell me where the ocean went
Tell me where you lay your head.

2. Tick, tock, toad-stone
Swaddled in the ocean's bone
Show me where the river goes
Show me what the limestone knows.

3. Tick, tock, toad-stone,
Why do you sit here alone?
I'll tell you what I've always known
Down in the river's autumn.

4. Tick, tock, toad-stone,
Tell me where the branches fall,
Each new branch a world alone,
Rake and vein and manifold.

5. Tick, tock, toad-stone,
Tell me where we're going now,
Ocean, forest, metal, me -
We're all there for you to see.
Track Name: The Sea Singer
1. If I was a turn-stone,
I'd hop along the shore,
I'd pick and pry and lift up stones,
And never wish for more.

2. If I was a seagull,
I'd circle and I'd dive,
I'd preen and I would swagger round,
The proudest bird alive.

3. If I was a stormcloud,
I'd shout and boom and sing,
I'd plant my fleeting glory-trees,
And love the light they bring.

4. If I was a lighthouse,
I'd shine so gleaming bright,
For every sailor's my dear love,
To come home safe tonight.

5. If I was a seal,
I'd tumble and I'd play,
I'd love the rough and dancing waves,
And every stormy day.

6. If I was a limpet,
I'd cling so very tight,
I'd never leave my homely rock,
But hold with all my might.

7. If I was a wave, now,
I'd dance on black-rock sand,
I'd jump and splash and ramble round,
And court the lovely land.

8. If I was a cliffside,
I'd crumble and I'd fall,
For when the waves come out to play,
Then who would stand so tall?

9. If I was a boulder,
I'd call and call the sea,
For every wave that touches land,
It takes a part of me.

10. If I was a selkie,
I'd harrow every beach,
For someone took my skin away,
And left it out of reach.
Track Name: The Druids' Harvest/November Leaves
The woodland looks fantastic at this
time of year. (In the strictest sense;
a fantasy, a mere collage of every
smeared and painted word.) It begins
with greens; I'll spare the list I
heard, and only note: they're mostly stones.
The amber, though, is always
earth. There's nothing trapped, and no
beginning there; no tree to bleed,
no time laid down for bandages.
The gold's a cousin-rhyme to autumn
sun; we know it's dying now, and
yet it isn't gone. All down each
leaf, the shellfish-trickle runs;
one last imperious hurrah, some
bastard stateless church. So read
the book you brought; it doesn't matter
which. You need a brush, a pen, a
memory - whatever ink you always use -
and wait. The link will forge itself.