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    The full album released on hand stamped CDr with full lyric sheet.

    All physical copies of the 'Woe' album also include a download of the 'When I Was Single' EP in a choice of formats.

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1.
THE RIVER OF MEN FLOWS WITHOUT END i got my hands on your shoulders and the cold isn’t cold now and as the rain chucks it all down my fingers cling on and i gather your hair up and i breathe it all in and it’s dark and it’s heavy and we're tangled and soaked and every short breath and every tight grip is a piece of the story is a part of the song oh that you were my true love oh that you were my young wife and that the heavens would open and drown us tonight
2.
MEN IN CORNERS i didn’t think before i opened up i didn’t think i’ve not been thinking much now you got questions boys that’s fair enough you wanna pull some teeth gotta get things done the day was dark the night was long the wind was whipping up a wicked song deep december sheets of ice a sliding star the farm alight well i came to buy but i was told to sell so i went to court cause i needed help i went to court and i lost my nerve it’s fair to say we’re not on the best of terms men in corners they start fires men in corners they are hungry liars we set a place what were we thinking of give em knives they’re gonna cut things up show a hand they’ll cut it off i just came to thee for to rest a while i never dreamed that id be pressed to fight i’ve not got much no mouths to feed sometimes you want sometimes you need give an inch they take a mountainside tell em stay they sail oceans wide raise a glass they leave you high and dry steal a glance they pluck out eyes men in corners they start fires men in corners they are hungry liars we set a place what were we thinking of give em knives they’re gonna cut things up show a hand they’ll cut it off they plugged me with wires gold green and copper blue they scrubbed my eyes tears fell like parachutes they bled the best of me wide away they took desperate measures of volume and weight they took teeth they took hair they looked for kindness it wasn’t there they will not stop they’ll never have their fill they started early they work there still men in corners they start fires men in corners they are hungry liars we set a place what were we thinking of give em knives they’re gonna cut things up show a hand they’ll cut it off 
3.
MAKE EACH OTHER ANEW so i pulled all the leaves down from the trees i gathered them up and took them with me and the night came on and the day getting gone and you are well on your way so here comes the song we were forever alight and never without it was blow winds blow and scream and shout and i stood up straight thought i could handle it all but you are built for the mountains and i’m built for the fall these days i know we cannot win my head loses face and my compass spins and immediately we become strangers again  we got to make each other got to make each other anew and from the london docks to the water well you are the source and the cause of the ocean swell you are weighted at rest and as steam on the move you are fearless on tiptoes clumsy and true well i stumble on my feet but i run on my knees you have a tongue that can cut and fingers that bleed i am childless aimless without and behind you are the peach and the plum and the thorn in my side these days i know we cannot win my head loses face my compass spins and immediately we become strangers again  we got to make each other got to make each other anew now there’s not much to lose down here in the mire theres nothing cowardly about having to hide there ain’t nothing new in the shape of the song and theres nothing to see here girls move along you wrote you’d be here in time you were hours late you said i’ll see you tonight you were gone for days i should be used to the silence the holding of breath but it hasn’t to be honest got easier yet and hearne the hunter still haunts the old woods  he had a home in the oak and we slept there too and you clung on close and you whispered to my skin all the ways you would take it and pull it in by now the fighting has stopped and the birds have returned they settle themselves on the Yew and the Birch the fields turn soft it’s almost spring we got to wait and see what the warm weather brings
4.
I DO YOU DON’T so if god moves on the water the devil moves on the land and there ain’t no such thing as angels with wings only demons on the ground the stuff that dreams are made of the hopes and the promises made may they all go to hell well we dragged that boat up the coast before the tide came in but the water wants what the water wants and one should not fight with it and as the rain fell fast as the waves came hard my hopes and my promises made yeah they all went to hell but if you give me an inch i will dive in deep and i need not rise for air i believe my breath will not leave me in death but will swell my shell under there but youth seemed to vanish as quick as it came and nine months later i don’t know my face at all cut the ropes i am slipping and if i’m going i cannot hold on don’t stop, it hurts my love i do you don't i do you don't but every minute of every day we get a chance to do what’s right and there’s no confusion it is clear and it is cold it is cut and it is black and it is white and we all hope to fall with the butter side up and we cling to this thing we believe called luck and his father Yes every minute of every day the question is what’s right but i seize the bad with both of my hands and i squeeze out all the life and the choke sounds to me like a joke so as it coughs well i just scoff it all away cut the ropes i am slipping and if i’m going well i cannot hold on don’t stop, it hurts my love i do you don't i do you don't oh say what you will i will stay around still please keep me within reach there is something they call the spark of life i only know where the darkness is and the missing is the thing that kills me if you were really gone it could be easier to be without cut the ropes i am slipping and if i’m going i cannot hold on don’t stop, it hurts my love i do you don't i do you don't
5.
Woe 10:52 video
WOE i saw fourteen tall black flags on the western road and there was no one left there was nowhere else to go so we walked back to the horses to turn around and you were fine and light we were leaves upon the ground but there are bullies and bastards and broadswords let’s get gone i know you’re not one to run but the cause was never more lost and red stars like embers low in the ash filled sky they fall on our skin and they burn some oh my life woe, woe, woe, woe, woe woe, woe, woe, woe, woe and the rain came pouring down and the dark clouds seemed to frown and the rain came pouring down on me smoke and steam in the scottish evening the northern line the train above the water a coal black night beautiful railway bridge of the silvery Tay gives it up with a groan and it’s gone and suddenly away at pluck the crow point the planks on the pebble beach how simple sometimes to lose such a powerful thing and i never took your love to heart i never believed that one so young and wise could fall for me woe, woe, woe, woe, woe woe, woe, woe, woe, woe and the rain came pouring down and the dark clouds seemed to frown and the rain came pouring down on me tonight the stables roll as the foals within them dream yeah they breathe in deep through hay and straw and sleep and i was on the air i was blown and i’ve come to rest on your waist, your hips, your cheeks your delicate chest and you sigh i move I try to be true i swear the beast from the east can cut and rub me bare but in the shade of your sun my one i'll worry less yeah man up boy be brave and blame thyself woe, woe, woe, woe, woe woe, woe, woe, woe, woe and the rain came pouring down and the dark clouds seemed to frown and the rain came pouring down on me fourteen tall black flags on the western road braids and books and woe woe woe woe woe now a shadow falls slow upon my heart oh my days i never knew it so dark oh that you were my true love
6.
HOLY TROUBLE NO MORE there are boats there are boats there on the mountain side there’s a fire and there’s a fire on the shoreline i never did it i never did it i never lit the match i didn’t start this fight but i’ll bring it back holy holy holy holy trouble no more that lake there at the top i know is miles wide and she threw off her dress and she stood so fine there is a need i got it too we want to jump right in well i did it and it’s true i jumped right in holy holy holy holy trouble no more but there’s a question there’s a question on the lips of my my lover she asks me to run and hide i take a room i make it new somehow start again and theres a place here for you plans and promises holy holy holy holy trouble no more my north my lord how the snow does fall upon the sea and everything that fell before no vessels can there upon the billows ride nor well placed oars the heavy waves divide holy holy holy holy trouble no more
7.
THE FOG HAS NOT LIFTED the fog has not lifted and the birds do not sing they settle on the branches but they don’t say a thing and this used to be green fields where the stroudwater runs but ten thousand boots have churned it to mud  and if my letters reach you if the parcels get through well i hope they bring some sort of comfort for you  but i’m too scared to ask too frightened to say do you think that you’ll make it do you see a way cause the fog has not lifted the sea out of sight it’s sits there somewhere in the thickness and white and i walk on wet stones i have salt on my lips and it’s as if you were with me it’s as if you were here yeah it’s as if i had listened it’s as if i had been kind it’s as if i could have known how this would wreck me in time should get to some cover hear a whistle and a cry and there’s a ringing in my ears and there's smoke in my eyes the fog has not lifted it presses on the ground so i wait for an answer a signal a sound but the sky stays soupy and the wind does not blow the air hangs cold with slow falling snow and my way home is unclear my footprints fade and i know not now from whence i came no i know not the hour no i know not the place i have written and waited and wasted the days
8.
I KNOW HOW THIS HAPPENED well the guests left early today cause i was silent and sullen and strange i know i wasn’t made to flatter and if we ever get to berlin again remind me to care less those reliable friends i can count them on one hand i know, i know how this happened i know, i know how this happened our shoes are caked with dirt cause we walked to the end of the earth and back again but it really doesn’t feel flat and your dresses are perfumed and wet and i loved to pull you out of them we did lay down like nothing else mattered and i know, i know how this happened i know, i know how this happened and if i ever want a good night’s sleep i got to get you out of my dreams change the train and drop off the baggage cause you are present in every breath as the morning comes creeping in nothing works you are missed and happy and i know, i know how this happened i know, i know how this happened

about

'Am 28. Dezember 1879 ereignete sich nahe der schottischen Stadt Dundee eine der großen Katastrophen der Eisenbahngeschichte. In den dunklen, winterlichen Abendstunden stürzte ein Teil der drei Kilometer langen Brücke über den Meeresarm Firth of Tay unter dem Gewicht eines Passagierzugs ein, wobei mehr als siebzig Menschen verunglückten. Über Jahre wurde der Fall untersucht, man kam zu dem Schluss, dass schlampige Bauarbeit und mangelnde Wartung zu dem schlechten Zustand der Brücke beitrugen. Nie wurde man sich aber einig, ob und wie sehr die Ingenieure, die die Tay Bridge konstruiert hatten, mit Schuld an dem Unfall waren.

Auf dem Cover des neuen The Great Park-Albums “Woe” ist das bekannteste Foto der eingestürzten Brücke zu sehen, und dies ist nicht die einzige Referenz an das Ereignis. In einem der Songtexte sind Passagen aus einer historischen Darstellung enthalten, doch bei genauerem Hinhören entsteht schnell der Eindruck, dass die acht Songs auf vielfältige Art mit den Ereignissen um den Unfall verwoben sind und das lyrische Ich sich immer wieder neu mit (echten oder fiktionalisierten) Beteiligten vage überblendet und so deren Ängsten, Schuldgefühlen und resignativen Gedanken eine Stimme gibt – oder in ihnen eine Allegorie für seine eigenen findet. Doch die Texte sind zum Glück zu eigenwillig und die in ihnen anklingenden Geschichten zu ausschnitthaft, um dies genau festlegen zu können.

All dies verschmilzt zu einer untrennbaren Einheit mit dem vertrauten folkigen The Great Park-Sound, dessen Skelett aus sanften oder spukhaften Gitarrenpickings und Stephen Burchs Gesang (der an einigen Stellen noch verzweifelter und heißerer anmutet als sonst) diesmal mit Keyboard, einer zweiten Gitarre und perkussiv verwendeten Ketten und Rasseln ergänzt wird. Streicher und Bläser, mit denen Burch hier und da liebäugelte, kommen in den letzten Jahren und so auch hier nicht mehr vor, und vielleicht würden diese auch zu sehr vom Wesentlichen, nämlich vom ergriffenen Charisma des Gesangs und den in ihrer Schlichtheit so eindringlichen Akkorden ablenken.

Natürlich ragt auch hier wieder einiges heraus, exemplarisch sollen das psychologisch feinfühlige “Make Each Other Anew”, das in seiner Direktheit erschütternde “I Do You Don’t” und das epische “Men in Corners” genannt werden, dessen beklemmende, angsterfüllte Stimmung, die nur halb hinter der staunenden Melodie und dem hypnotischen Takt kaschiert wird, in eine Klasse mit großartigen Songs wie “We Should Have, We Could Have, We Didn’t” gehört.

Als Konzeptalbum würde ich “Woe” dennoch nicht bezeichnen, zu vage und diffus bleiben die Bezüge der Songs zum Tay Bridge Desaster, so dass einen immer mal wieder das Gefühl beschleicht, man bilde sich den thematischen Rahmen letztlich doch nur ein. Doch auch wenn man so weit nicht gehen will, funktionieren die Songs auch ohne Wissen über diesen Hintergrund, so wie man einen guten Umberto Eco- oder Antonia Byatt-Roman auch ohne die entsprechenden Geschichtskenntnisse lesen kann. Wie die Klammer eines imaginären Faktenromans wirkt Woe allerdings, da sich fast zeitgleich zu seiner Veröffentlichung der Einsturz der Ponte Morandi in Genua ereignete, in dessen Folge sich die Diskussionen von damals in den Statements von Technikern und Politikern z.T. fast buchstäblich wiederholen. Dies verleiht dem Ganzen eine weitere tragische, beinahe surreale Dimension.' (U.S.)

africanpaper.com/2018/09/01/the-great-park-woe/

credits

released August 19, 2018

Stephen Burch: Martin D35 acoustic guitar, nylon string guitar, keyboards, percussion and vocals.

‘Woe’ contains lines from William McGonagall’s ‘Tay Bridge Disaster’ and ’Holy Trouble No More’ contains lines inspired by Ovid’s ‘Tristia’.

Cover photograph ‘Fallen girders, Tay Bridge’ from the National Library of Scotland.

‘I Do You Don’t’ and ’Holy Trouble No More’ recorded in Aarau, Switzerland. Everything else recorded at home in Fürth and at Stefanie and Maria’s apartment in Nürnberg, Germany. Many thanks to them.

All songs written and recorded by Stephen Burch. Copyright 2018, all rights reserved.

Woodland Recordings catalogue number WR074.

www.thegreatpark.co.uk
thegreatpark@icloud.com

www.woodlandrecordings.com

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The Great Park Germany

Stephen Burch. Problem folk, songs with words.

"Ein Singer-Songwriter ist immer auch Poet. Und Burch ist ein ganz besonderer." (Süddeutsche Zeitung)

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