Contraband

by Kirsty McGee

/
  • Streaming + Download

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

      £7.50 GBP  or more

     

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    CD in 6-panel gatefold sleeve, designed by Mat Martin and featuring the photography of Ed Swinden. Full lyrics included.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Contraband via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 4 days

      £10 GBP or more 

     

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    An opportunity to support independent music by paying a little extra for a personalised copy of Contraband. Kirsty will sign your copy of the 6-panel digifile with a message of thanks for the support you've shown in choosing to buy this edition.

    Please note that copies will be signed to the delivery name you provide unless you email us at info@kirstymcgee.com to ask otherwise. Delivery may take a little longer than advertised due to the personal nature of the offer.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Contraband via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 6 days

      £14 GBP or more 

     

  • Full Digital Discography

    Get all 9 Kirsty McGee releases available on Bandcamp and save 30%.

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of Diamond Days EP, Those Old Demons, Sandman [Single], Contraband, No. 5, Hobopop E.P., The Kansas Sessions, Live Downloads, and 1 more. , and , .

    Purchasable with gift card

      £26.60 GBP or more (30% OFF)

     

1.
It’s funny how the water always falls down to the ground And no matter how you listen their voices make the same old sound You hear them in the evening when the sun sinks far below You’ll hear them sing some kind of melody Familiar as your own familiar face You do not recognise tonight… That’s why you’re sure there must be something going on… And you notice in the mirror like you noticed once before That there are signs of age upon you And that gradually you notice more and more The years that tug your skin A prominence of bone And while you once saw light within your eye Your eye is dull as some old river stone That drags the river to its heart That’s why you’re sure there must be something going on And it’s tearing you apart And there is colour in the cheek But there is sadness in the smile Not that there’s anyone to notice Not that anyone has noticed for a while And you try to make a difference You try to bluff that carefree smile And while you swim away your broken heart It’s harder by the day to feel worthwhile And there are evenings when you wish the sun would stay If only stay to keep you company, To keep the night at bay Cos all the nights are longer than they ever were That’s why you’re sure there must be something going on Cos life is nothing like before.
2.
I slept last night in the boughs of a tall tree That stretched its branches skywards If I have learned any lesson from sleeping beside you I’d say keep your feet planted firmly on the ground I rode many journeys both with and without you Travelled the roads till my feet were their colour I saw many stars even before I met you When you held my waist and my feet left the ground And oh, it hurts more than I can say To have your whole world and then to have it swept away A raging fire couldn’t do me any harm And I know because I burn for you I burn for you I burn for you I’ve known your love since before you could speak it I held you closer than she ever will We burned so bright that the night was extinguished Bright as the music that flowed through our fingers
3.
04:16
Old Tom lies blind, tell me, what do you see Why’d you shake your locks when you look at me Oh love is blind, love is blind as the adder in the sand You can’t see the diamond for the sequins in your hand Old Tom lies blind, tell me, what do I do? If it weren’t for my eyes, I’d be blinded like you For I cannot see further than this once-promised land I can’t see the diamonds for the sequins in my hand Oh love unravels like a tumbling sea Unravelling love, why do you carry me? If I drown in your arms, make it easy for me Let me die before I ever know you’re gone away from me Old Tom lies blind tell me what do you say? Why’d you shake your head so sadly? Why’d you turn and look away? Oh love’s tides and her currents I will never understand If I can’t see the diamonds for the sequins in my hand Oh hold me close like you used to do before I have come a long way since you went from my door And though I rage, oh how I need you Won’t you take me by my hand Won’t you help me find my way back home through this blinding sand? Oh love unravels like a tumbling sea Unravelling love, why do you carry me? Oh I’ve seen how you sparkle when I let you float free Won’t you take me once more to your breast before you’re gone from me? Oh you sparkle like a diamond when I let you float free Won’t you take me once more to your breast before you’re gone from me?
4.
03:32
The world is not a happy place The people in it are not nice There’s danger lurking everywhere And there are snakes in paradise You have to work it out somehow I’m through with giving you advice Don’t listen to a word I say Who taught you, son, to trust that way? The world is not a pretty place The people in it couldn’t care What trusting men and women do Won’t make allowances for you You have to work it out somehow Find a way and muscle through For you will find as I have found There’s no one will take care of you That way lies madness and despair I can tell you, I’ve been there. The world is not an easy place You learn to swim or else you drown There’s poison in the drinking cup Where cynicism knows no bounds And you’ll find beauty everywhere It isn’t easy to ignore Though you may find some solace there Of pointless beauty child, beware In righteousness, for glory’s sake Turn on your heel from your mistakes Don’t listen to a word they say Who taught you, son, to trust that way?
5.
04:37
Morning comes, so full of its own importance With a single piece of gold upon its tongue To chase away the shadows so they hide under the stones Until the afternoon when they grow long And in the summer morning comes, it comes too early When in the winter she will always come too late You can’t rely on the morning to awake you Because mornings never give, they only take, take, take Summer’s child, you’re prettiest when you’re sober With a tied and tattered promise in your mouth To chase away his demons so they hide under the stones You only give him him so much Then you head for home For he will follow, like a swallow, ever after As well you know for you have planted every seed He can rely upon your being there to meet him But how long you will be there you will not concede… Evening comes and I will not fight the darkness For the darkness holds forgetfulness and sleep I won’t chase away the shadows if they hide me For they hide me from the vigilance she keeps And you would not lead a thirsty horse to water Like you would not heed a beggar in the street Your only thoughts are for yourself, for your own sanity and health And while you kick over the traces you just take, take, take And you… Oh you break me every day And your heart is a hard stone at my heel Oh Rebecca, cease to be, Oh cease your torturing of me Oh cease your endless trials and troubling of my brain Rebecca you could drive a man insane
6.
03:03
Wings fold around you like they did before Does your flying astound you, new bird? Feathers unruly and truly so free To catch the wind’s shadow as once you caught me Oh are the hills brown still, do the rivers run wide As bright silver ribbons that capture the light Unfurled, you unwind, like all new things you’re blind Does your flying astound you, new bird? Broken the tether, harsh winds on bright feather You’re stronger than smoke and you’re pale as the air The big skies surround you now the wide world has found you Yet your bold and bright shadow still falls everywhere No fear ever after, no fear only laughter And smiles where the sun shines so far away from here Oh you’re precious still to me and your words still renew me But your golden heart’s flown just as sure as I’ve shed every tear Fly bright in sun’s rising, fly bright and fly wisely, My foundling, my darling, my precious bright word And love may sustain you in the places she takes you But remember our love and remember the silence we shared… Wings fold around you like they did before Does your flying astound you, new bird? Feathers unruly and truly so free To catch the wind’s shadow as once you caught me
7.
Mercy, mercy, won’t you see what I’ve become I see the new day a-coming and I turn around and run You say the old day is over and the new one’s just become But won’t we all go to heaven with the setting of the sun Oh oh all of my nighttimes and all of my days I’ve been looking for something I’ve been looking through a haze And I could have done so many things that should have been left undone But won’t we all go to heaven with the setting of the sun Clap hands Clap hands Well I was born into this world so happy and so free But your kind of loving got a hold over me Your love is following me, following me like a killer with a gun But won’t we all go to heaven with the setting of the sun? Cain slew Abel didn’t he kill him for a price And nothing ever comes for free and least of all advice I’ve been looking for a reason why I came undone But won’t we all go to heaven with the setting of the sun? Well didn’t they say that love was free? Didn’t they say that love was free? Didn’t they say that love was free?
8.
God loves the sparrowherder And the sparrows love him too They all follow in his footsteps Just as I have followed you… But you know god loves us most of all When we’re straying from the path I would not put my trust in Jesus To bring us all To bring us all… God loves the sparrowherder Cos he sees himself within You see a sparrow’s wing, all dusty brown? Well, it’s radiant to him So they follow in his footsteps Just as I have followed yours Cos god loves us most when we’re ill at ease When we’re hiding from our flaws Oh the blessed ones, they follow He is tender, he is wise And the sparrows see their radiance Reflected in his eyes For the sparrow’s song is a broken song But who are they to blame? And I’ve learned the words so I sing along Again and again and again and again God bless the sparrowherder He is gentle, he is kind Are we fools to follow after? Are they fools that stay behind? For the song he sings is rich and sweet And it leads us from the path I would not put my trust in Jesus To bring us all To bring us all To bring us all back
9.
03:13
The rain that falls all over town Catches the dust as it falls on down And it falls on the rich And it falls on the poor It falls on my hands As i walk from your door. It’s an equal thing Like the sun in the sky The rain that falls on you and I And it equally falls on the weak and the strong It falls on the righteous And the ones that do wrong I’m not saying anything at all I’m not saying you’re wrong in the scheme of it all I’m not saying you’re right cos it equally falls Like the sun in the heavens Like the rain when it pours There’s a chill on the breeze And the smell of the rain Brings me your tears all over again And the water’s all gone But the memory remains Like the smell of the dust rising after the rain Like the smell of the dust rising…
10.
03:59
There’s a place in every city in a bar room, dimly lit Where some yellow-headed girl whispers anyone who’ll listen how she feels She stoops too low, but she will conquer With no malice and no guile She’s the child of late night whisky talk If late night whisky talk had a child Do you remember Aberdeen When you and I were seventeen? Eyes ablaze and thick as thieves And Alice, you’ll remember all the promises he made That night you told me all about him in the bed where you had laid And all the sheets were rolled like restless waves Thrown around in disarray And I loved you then but I dared not speak for fear For fear of what you’d say And the roads roll by so dully grey And I tell myself that they’ll end someday When I find out what I mean to say When words come a little closer If I’d known back then what I’ve since learned How a fire can warm, how a fire can burn We dashed down the stars but at every turn If I was lost In the silence I could hear your heart beating. In a bar room in a city street With a pretty girl with blistered feet I don’t know about you but I can’t compete When it comes to drinking games You stoop too low but you will conquer As you have conquered every time You’re the child of late night whisky talk If late night whisky talk had a child And I’ll leave you there in Aberdeen In a torn red dress with that crazy grin A ragged girl: red hair, white skin How you made me giddy when you drew me in I will leave you there in Aberdeen With my heart in your hands, the way it’s always been The girl I loved so deeply but I dared not win before the stars… Before the stars came down.
11.
03:09
Hang out the streamers Bring out the wine Crack open the bottle Cos baby, you’re mine There’s bunting on the staircase And ribbons in the hall Some have a half-measure But i’ve got it all Let yours be the last face I see every night Soft crows the rooster, the dawn clings so bright When the stars are all staggering home in the light You’re the string baby, and I am the kite Let yours be the only hand that I hold To have me, to hold me, until I grow old May our eyes be wide open and our hearts never cold I’m the lost sheep and you are the fold May I still read your face when my eyes lack their lustre In a warm feather bed, in the cold winds that bluster May the dust of sweet blessings rain on you tonight I’m the string baby, and you are the kite
12.
Oh god, you are a tricky one Like the fulsome, rolling sea Got a whole lot of anger behind my tongue And I’m saving it all for thee What’s the good of this world that you brought me to If you fill up my eyes with tears When I’m deaf to the birds and your trembling words For the curses that fill my ears And lord you’ve made me travel Till my boots wore through at the heels But to shake his love must I truly lie And be broken upon your wheel? I will roll on down like a thundercloud All full of light and of rain But when it’s spent, each increment Comes back to me again. Oh god, you know the heart of me Is built from solid stuff I may seem to crumble like the sand But like glass I break and I cut And the thousand pieces of my heart That were all trodden down in the dirt They may rise up like a bird in flight But they never can shake this hurt. Oh god, you are a tricky one Like the salt sea in my ears And when I die if I come to you There’ll be questions in my tears What’s the good of this world that you brought me to If the good in a man’s so frail Nobody will ever love again When they know what love entails (So put your fingers to your lips… Lest you tell what love entails…)
13.
03:52
Turn back the clock Give me my time Give it back to me Return what is mine What you stole from me I cannot conceive All my sleepless nights you would not believe Out of my fingers Slipping through my hands Like some bird with jewelled feathers Like contraband Turn back the clock Give me my time Give it back to me Return what is mine Oh love, what did you say? Did you say you were staying Or going away? Oh love, what did you mean? Do I read your words Or the spaces between? And I gave you my heart And it didn’t even sting A song and a promise and a fine silver ring What you stole from me I cannot conceive I had you down for a lover Never for a thief From a clamour of voices Turn me round in the silence Turn my body round sideways In the icy cold flow They say time will heal But it’s flowing like water Rolled deep in the river Like contraband
14.
There used to be a time that you were crazy about me And if I had to go you went crazy without me Oh my sweet love, all things must change I know you want nothing more than my blessing upon you But how can I bless you when I still want you here? All things must change There’s a hole in my soul and it lets the daylight through I don’t remember it was there before you How did we sour all the sweetness? How did we come to this? There used to be a time when I was lost without you Now I find my way… but it’s so dark without you And I wanted so badly for things to stay the same But oh my sweet love, all things must change

credits

released November 26, 2012

Kirsty McGee - Vocals, Guitar, High-String, Flute, Glockenspeil
Nick Blacka - Double Bass
Carrie Elkin - Vocals
Josef - Trumpet
Hugh Lawrence - Drums, Percussion
Barkley McKay - Piano, 1961 Hammond Organ, Glockenspeil
Clive Mellor - Harmonica
Myshkin - Vocals
Danny Schmidt - Vocals
Inge Thomson - Accordion, Vocals
Mike West - Banjo, Mandolin

Produced by Kirsty McGee & Barkley McKay
Recorded and mixed by Barkley McKay at Valley Wood Studios
Mastered by Russ Hepworth-Sawyer of MOTTOSound

Danny Schmidt and Carrie Elkin appear courtesy of Red House Records

All songs by Kirsty McGee
All songs published by Kirsty McGee | Big Oak Songs
All content © 2012 Kirsty McGee | Big Oak Songs
All rights reserved
Photography by Ed Swinden, Design by Mat Martin

license

all rights reserved

tags

about

Kirsty McGee Manchester

A wandering maverick and spellbinding live performer with a voice that has been described as having the texture of smoke & velvet, McGee defies categorisation, to make 'hobopop' –“music of no fixed genre”. Her continuously evolving musical personality is proof that a freedom from artistic restraints can sometimes produce a unique, enthralling and original voice with a rare honesty. ... more

contact / help

Contact Kirsty McGee

Streaming and
Download help

Shipping and returns

Redeem code

Report this album or account

Kirsty McGee recommends:

If you like Kirsty McGee, you may also like: