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Bok, Muir, Trickett - A Water Over Stone

Dark Old Waters (Bok)
Run, Come See Jerusalem
Hearth and Fire (Bok)
Dark Old Waters (Bok)
Hush Ye, My Bairnie/Buckeye Jim
Aragon Mill (Kahn)
North-South Handy (Eskimo Dance)/Sweet Richard
A Water Over Stone (Bok)
Go and Dig My Grave
Andy's Gone for Cattle
Run, Come See Jerusalem
Scarborough Settler's Lament
Lament for Owen Christy (Stewart)
Hearth and Fire (Bok)

Bok, Muir, Trickett - A Water Over Stone


This is Folk-Legacy's third recording of Gordon Bok, Ann Mayo Muir, and Ed Trickett ("TBM," as they are referred to in our staff's affectionate shorthand). Most of you will be familiar with their earlier albums, as well as with those we have produced of Gordon alone, of Ed alone, and of Gordon with Ann. Perhaps those who have only now discovered their music would like to write for our catalog in order to learn more about their previous work.

At any rate, the distinction between what these three artists comprise when they perform together and what is normally called a "trio" seems to be worth a brief discussion.

Gordon, Ed, and Ann are less a trio than an "ensemble of three" in which each supports the others in various ways contributing vocal harmonies and/or additional instrumentation, but never submerging his or her individual artistry into a whole that can become curiously less than the sum of its parts, as is the case with so many trios. While a few of their songs are appropriately performed in their entirety by three voices, TBM usually feels that a given song is better served by a single lead voice, with the others adding harmonies only on the refrain and they are right.

Our English-language folksongs, despite the popularity of several "folk" trios in the recent past, are more often than not the statements of an individual personal, intimate. To arrange such a song into standard trio form would be like transforming an introspective Shakespearean soliloquy into the detached, expository recitation of a Greek chorus, robbing it of its immediacy, wrenching it into the abstract. Yet, when a song has a refrain, as have many of the songs here recorded, the addition of the other voices in fully appropriate, becoming, in effect, an affirmation of the story by the singer's own community. The refrain invites participation, the narrative does not.

Thus it is that Gordon, Ed, and Ann approach their music: finding what seems "right" for each musical statement, seeking vocal and instrumental textures which serve to reinforce the meaning of that statement, rather than imposing an artificial harmonic structure upon it in a cynical search for a more "commercial sound." The result is a treatment that carefully avoids any meaningless distortion of the original source as it fashions an ancient theme into a contemporary setting. Would that all who make use of our folk sources were equally sensitive in their approach.

Sandy Paton Sharon, Connecticut November, 1980


Side 1, Band 1.
I wrote this originally for the film documentary of the short life of the schooner John F. Leavitt, by the Atlantic Film Company. It's two ways of looking at the birth of a sailing vessel. (GB)

Don't be thinking of me,
All away and alone,
On the rolling old sea,
On the foreign ground,
For I laid your keel and that's
dandy for me,
On the dark old waters,
All alone.
Where you go, go well,
And a fair wind home.


Don't be thinking of me
On the rolling old sea,
For I raised your frame and that's bully for me...

And where will you go
With your rail dipping low?
And where you may wander there's none can know...

Don't be thinking of me
On the rolling old sea,
For I hung your canvas and sent you to sea...

And where will you be
When the winter comes nigh?
And where will you be when I'm thinking of thee?

And how stands the wind?
Will he come as a friend
And keep you from dangers that lie off the land?

And how stand the stars
In the whispering dark?
May they guide you and bless you and the seas you sail on. . .


Oh hey, oh ho...
Oh, where will you bide
At the end of your ride,
And who'll sing you songs when I'm not at your side?


Oh hey, oh ho...


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