Dead Susan – Talis Kimberley

“Dead Susan,” a deliciously creepy song by Talis Kimberley.

Talis posted it on Halloween a few years back with the following explanation:

Quite one of the nastiest songs I’ve ever written… for those of you who enjoy such things, and especially this day when the veil is thinned between the worlds.

The writer of the vintage postcard I bought at an antique shop many years ago really should have checked her handwriting. I expect she meant ‘Dear Susan’ at the start of her message… let’s hope so.

That’s not what it looked like to me, however.

Available for download on bandcamp.

Filksong Genealogy: Sealskin

filkyeahfilk:

I never thought that I could hold you forever
Always knew deep down you’d have to go home
I can be grateful for these bright years together
And I know you miss the salt sea foam
If you hurry, you can still catch the tide, my love
If you hurry you can still catch the tide.

“Still Catch the Tide” by Talis Kimberley, performed here by Seanan McGuire with Michelle “Vixy” Dockrey, Tony Fabris, S.J. Tucker, and Amy McNally.  Lyrics are available here.

This is one of my favorite songs to sing along to when I want to be Sad About The Sea (a specific emotion that I experience with alarming regularity.)

If you want a selkie song with a happy ending, check out “The Maiden and the Selkie” by Heather Dale or “Glass Half Full of the Sea” by Benjamin Newman.

She puts on sealskin with a steady hand
Beast at sea, woman on land
She puts on sealskin, the color of foam
She knows what’s next: going home

“Sealskin” by Batya Wittenberg, performed here with the able assistance of Gary Ehrlich (guitar) and Joshua Kronengold (vocals), is the story of “Still Catch the Tide” rearranged to the tune of another Talis Kimberley song about a shapeshifting woman with a human lover: “Velvet” (lyrics and audio here).

… and it owes its existence in no small part to Bob Kanefsky’s “Velvet Tide” (lyrics here), which is a comedic song that takes the story of “Velvet” and rearranges it to the tune of “Still Catch the Tide.”

(Series: Filksong Genealogy)

 

Still Catch the Tide – Seanan McGuire and friends

I never thought that I could hold you forever
Always knew deep down you’d have to go home
I can be grateful for these bright years together
And I know you miss the salt sea foam
If you hurry, you can still catch the tide, my love
If you hurry you can still catch the tide.

“Still Catch the Tide” by Talis Kimberley, performed here by Seanan McGuire with Michelle “Vixy” Dockrey, Tony Fabris, S.J. Tucker, and Amy McNally.  Lyrics are available here.

This is one of my favorite songs to sing along to when I want to be Sad About The Sea (a specific emotion that I experience with alarming regularity.)

If you want a selkie song with a happy ending, check out “The Maiden and the Selkie” by Heather Dale or “Glass Half Full of the Sea” by Benjamin Newman.

Lady Moon – Talis Kimberley

Lady Moon, will you dance with me
Just once while I am mortal?
For there is no woman I would rather
Gather in my arms
And though the price of my impertinence
Be such that after just one dance –
I burn away to ashes, so I choose;
Lady Moon, tell me: what have you to lose?

“Lady Moon,” by Talis Kimberley.  I don’t know why people keep trying to date the moon, I thought Avatar taught us all that was a bad idea.

Polly – Talis Kimberley

The splendid Scottish folksinger Karine Polwart tweeted one day about witnessing a girl being told not to climb a tree because she was in a very nice skirt. Or maybe just in a nice skirt, it was some time ago, and either way, this little song fell happily out and has been sung a handful of times since.

There is a particularly British distinction, I think, betweem a skirt, a nice skirt, and a very nice skirt. And you can climb trees in any of them, so there.

“Polly,” by Talis Kimberley, a very modern song in a charmingly traditional style.

Fences (A Sheep Shanty) – Talis Kimberley and Chantelle Smith

Alfie Purl, Christopher, Ruby and Zack;
Move the sheep and the fences around!
Take the ones from the front and put these in the back
Move the sheep and the fences around.

Why would you write a shanty about sheep?  Why not.  Sung, appropriately, in a field, by Talis Kimberley and Chantelle Smith.  Featuring the names of real sheep!

Small Mended Corners – Talis Kimberley

There are women I’ve been who you would not have liked
Very much – and I can’t say I’d blame you for that;
but I had to be them before I could be me
They are threads on the loom of the woman you see

And they’re all – here – sewn in the lining of me
In the seam-folds and the small mended corners
Tucked into collar and sleeves in the lining of me

“Small Mended Corners,” by Talis Kimberley, a song about identity and sewing – which, as someone who has struggled with both, I appreciate.

Queen of Spindles – Talis Kimberley

And love will seal my lips to every murmur
For silence was the witch’s best advice
And love will heal my hands of every blister
For that too is a portion of the price,
I am the Queen of Spindles.

“Queen of Spindles,” by Talis Kimberley.  About a fairy tale, but not the one you probably expect.  Lyrics here.

The Finding of a Feather – Talis Kimberly

I am here though you won’t see me
You won’t feel me you won’t hear me
But I’m everywhere, I’m everywhere you are
I’m in the shifting of the weather
And the finding of the feather

I’m everywhere, I’m everywhere you are

Everywhere you are

“The Finding of the Feather,” by Talis Kimberley

I’m not quite sure what this song is about, but it seems important.