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What Holds The World Together

by The Wilderness Yet

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Welcome, wild North-easter. Shame it is to see Odes to every zephyr; Ne'er a verse to thee. Welcome, black North-easter! O'er the German foam; O'er the Danish moorlands, From thy frozen home. Tired we are of summer, Tired of gaudy glare, Showers soft and steaming, Hot and breathless air. Tired of listless dreaming, Through the lazy day: Jovial wind of winter Turns us out to play! Sweep the golden reed-beds; Crisp the lazy dyke; Hunger into madness Every plunging pike. Fill the lake with wild-fowl; Fill the marsh with snipe; While on dreary moorlands Lonely curlew pipe. Through the black fir-forest Thunder harsh and dry, Shattering down the snow-flakes Off the curdled sky. Hark! The brave North-easter! Breast-high lies the scent, On by holt and headland, Over heath and bent. Chime, ye dappled darlings, Through the sleet and snow. Who can over-ride you? Let the horses go! Chime, ye dappled darlings, Down the roaring blast; You shall see a fox die Ere an hour be past. Go! and rest to-morrow, Hunting in your dreams, While our skates are ringing O'er the frozen streams. Let the luscious South-wind Breathe in lovers' sighs, While the lazy gallants Bask in ladies' eyes. What does he but soften Heart alike and pen? 'Tis the hard gray weather Breeds hard English men. What's the soft South-wester? 'Tis the ladies' breeze, Bringing home their true-loves Out of all the seas: But the black North-easter, Through the snowstorm hurled, Drives our English hearts of oak Seaward round the world. Come, as came our fathers, Heralded by thee, Conquering from the eastward, Lords by land and sea.
Old Brock 03:14
When the fox slinks silent from his lair, The robin sings a final air, And the moonlight wakes the sleeping hare, Its then we take our part.. Down in the dark where no-one can see us, Down in the dark through the sand and the loam, Down in the dark where no-one can hear us, Old Brock he's a digging, digging, digging. Old Brock he's a digging, digging his home. We spend the daytime in the deep Then walk abroad, while others sleep. We to ourselves our counsel keep, For that's our ancient way..... Down in the dark where no-one can see us, Down in the dark through the sand and the loam, Down in the dark where no-one can hear us, Old Brock he's a digging, digging, digging. Old Brock he's a digging, digging his home. One by one we venture out, For any danger cast about. Then turn again if there's any doubt, For time is on our side...... Down in the dark where no-one can see us, Down in the dark through the sand and the loam, Down in the dark where no-one can hear us, Old Brock he's a digging, digging, digging. Old Brock he's a digging, digging his home. There's no top table in our hall, We favour none but care for all. If you can't climb then you can't fall, And so we keep our law...... Down in the dark where no-one can see us, Down in the dark through the sand and the loam, Down in the dark where no-one can hear us, Old Brock he's a digging, digging, digging. Old Brock he's a digging, digging his home.
Charlie Fox 03:33
When the owl is on the wing the fox is on the paw, It's down into the farmyard to pay his friends a call, He'll grab the old drake by the back or maybe a fat old hen, Or even take a new-born lamb from its mother in the pen. Most times he hunts through hunger but sometimes its just for fun, But he is never hunting when the farmer's got his gun, He'll sit there in the leafy copse and mingle red with green, His nerves are of the toughest steel and all his wits are keen. He's woken by a distant sound all on an Autumn morn, His ears are cocked aloof as he hears yon huntsman's horn, He's thinking of his vixen and the cubs as she must mind, He'll have to draw yon pack away afore they make a find. So its up to break his cover and toward the fields so green, And out into the open where he knows he can be seen, He hears twelve couple speaking and the huntsman sound a view, And the weary feeling in his bones tells him his reign is through. Now when Charlie hunted rabbits and his partridge and his hares, He went out all on his own, he never went in pairs, He didn't need no horses nor no pack of wild hounds too, 'Cause of hunting, Mr. Huntsman, he knows twice as much as you. Now Charlie he was six year old afore he fell to hounds, And hundreds were the times he'd killed while on his farmyard rounds, But though his mask and brush have gone, in a trophy room to lay, Don't ever forget the fifty times that Charlie got away.
I cannot sleep for wonder Though I have laboured hard all this livelong night And in the wildwood yonder I hear the forest wake and whisper with delight For born to me a daughter And born to them a friend And born with you what once would be comes to an end I’ll give you thorn that through raging storm clings fast and steady And willow knows, to break and grow when time is ready And oak that you may see how the meek grow mighty And this will be your dowry And this will be your dowry What holds the world together but roots grown deep beneath the changing whims of man? But what is now was never And natures grip it slips as soil shifts into sand And what richness there she tethered, it falls from fields and farms With the bones of all those daughters held there in her arms Now I need not have fear I did not carry you warm just to lay you in the cold A life ahead appears, with fingers laced like strong roots braced, our place to hold We’ve bound your life to bounty It’s growing as you grow So not to gods or men but to them your life you owe
From heathered ridge To packhorse bridge The river springs her source Through brook and tarn 
 Past old cruck barn
 She runs her crooked course

 As streamlets surge
 In chorus, merge
 The wilds of stone and mud
 Each beck and burn 
In whirlpools churn
 The carol of the flood The river flows from moor and peak In trickle, torrent, rill and creek Though man her route has wrought upon The fish and fowl her waters don 
Down sleeping hill
 Through forge and mill
 Her waters drive the wheel
 Of nature’s sloth
 And mankind’s growth 
A city made of steel 
This city’s tale Has left its trail In weir and dam’s release Each pass and dale Each oaky vale Holds reservoirs of peace When nightjars churr And barn owls stir Her water foams and froths Their screech to drown As they swoop down Where light plays Lutestring moths This rush of life With wildness rife Fed from the Fairthorn flow And rivelin trout Swim riffles out Into the pools below Where herons wheel And fill their creel O’er maze of clawing briar They read the scrawl Of drystone wall Cross meadow, moor and mire As creatures tread The paths we’ve shed And swim the routes we shun The managed flood Their riverblood Unwittingly has won
When first to this country as a stranger I came I placed my affection on a maid of fine name She being warm and tender, her waist small and slender Kind Nature had formed her for my overthrow On the banks of Bann, where I first beheld her She appeared like fair Juno or a Grecian queen Her eyes shone like diamonds, her hair softly twining Her cheeks were like roses, or like blood drops in snow It was her cruel parents that first caused our variance All because I was poor and of a low degree But I'll do my endeavour to earn my love's favour Although she is come of a rich family My name is Delaney, its a name that won't shame me And if I had saved money I'd have plenty in store But drinking and courting, night rambling and sporting Were the cause of my ruin and absence from home Had I all the money that's in the West Indies Or had I the gold of the African shore I would spend it on pearls, and on you my fair girl For there's no other love in this world I adore And since I have gained her I'm contented for life I'll put rings on her fingers and make her my wife We'll live on the banks of the lovely Bann river And in all sorts of splendour I will style her my dear.
Of all the gods that man has conjured In his wonder and his fear And for their love torn asunder All the world for ten thousand years They cannot move me, for all their might Like my lover's arms that reach to find me in the night. Of all the treasures man has plundered In his arrogance and greed That from her depths the world surrendered, However unwillingly They cannot move me, for all their worth But one look from you and I move heaven and earth. With all the magic man imagines Fills the voids and lights the dark They cast themselves their false horizons Ruled by cards and joined up stars There's no spell upon me, no fated path I give myself knowingly and freely to your heart. I've jumped, not fallen Eyes wide open... All the words that man has wielded To his credit or his shame The words that both attacked and shielded Signed up or signed away They cannot move me or make a mark Like my lover breathing, keeping vigil through the dark. Of all the vices man falls prey to, It's pride that feeds wars constant rein Glory the name that vain men gave to What should make them weep with shame I won't let it rule me, pride I disown For you are as warm a lover as vanity is cold.
Once there was, yet once there was not In a beehive hut, on a mountain green A teller of tales both tall and short Who told of what is, and of what had been The last shanachie in the land of memory Sang a song the mountains sing for you and me... When candle waxed high and fire waned low With crackled words of grit & glory Wearied by age and tied by time He held all history as his story... A stitch in time of the wild mountain sort The fabric of our lives he darns As he sits and sows the seeds of a thought Spinning wheels of words into fine old yarns With bones bred from the mountain marrow A seam of stories mined of yore Rise once again from tomb and barrow Spoken, heard and smelted ore / o'er.
As I walked out one bright morning So early in the Spring I leaned my back on an old garden gate Just to hear two lovers sing To hear two lovers sing my boys And hear what they might say In case I'd learn just a little of love Before I go away T stands for Thomas I suppose J O N stands for John W E and M stands for my sweet William Because he is a clever young man. He said, "My love, come sit by me Where the grass is growing green For it's been three quarters of a long year Since together you and I have been seen" "Oh I'll not come and sit by you Or be a lover of thine For I hear you've been courting some other fair girl And your heart's no longer mine" "Oh I'll not believe what the old man says For his days be nigh well done And I'll not believe what the young man says For he's sweet on many's the one I'll not believe any man anymore Be his hair yellow, white or brown Unless he's high on the old gallows tree And he's swearing that he'd like to come down" Oh slowly passed the winter's night And slowly dawns the day It's many's the time I've wished you hear Now I wish you were away.
Hush thee my baby, dry you your eyes
 For the nightingale soon will take wing
 And he’ll lilt you a garland of sweet lullabies 
To the tune of an evening in Spring 
The dry notes of Summer will fade into brown
 As the air of the Autumn wind blows 
With the low strains of Winter he’ll whistle on down
 As the turning year shields your repose .

Hush now my dear one, shed not one tea r
For the nightingale’s vespertine song, 
For he trumpets a fanfare so full of cheer 
That he’ll ease your mind all the night long.
 With trebles and turns, he steers through the skies 
While we of the daytime lie still
 And hither he flies singing sweet lullabies
 With a cut and a roll and a trill.

 So hush thee my darling, as dusk turns to dawn,
 And the nightingale’s cadence then wanes
 As light brushes treetops and curtains are drawn
 He hushes his joyous refrains. 
A quiet encore for it’s daybreak once more
 Brings a peace that your voice will soon know
 So hush thee my baby, and rest here afore
 For the worries will grow as you grow.

Emigrantvisa 01:48
Tonight I must journey to a far-off land, One from whence I may never return. Farewell you fine fellows, may you understand That my heart will for you ever yearn. As the ship leaves the shore I will weep the more For the friends and the lovers I've left before, But it's you who are here who'll I'll hold most dear When I'm standing alone at the stern. When out 'cross the water rings a clear ahoy And a coastline appears at the prow, I'll think on this night and be filled with joy For the songs that I sing with you now. It'll always bring cheer these tunes to hear, It'll lighten my heart and will turn my ear When I hear them sung in a foreign tongue And I'm standing alone at the bow.


At a time of disconnection from each other and the environment, What Holds The World Together is an album grounded in our relationship with the natural world. This is an exploration of the world’s stories, seasons and sorrows, but also an album with deeply personal links. From The Last Shanachie, which features a wax cylinder recording of Rowan’s great-great-grandfather (a traditional Irish storyteller), to The Nightingale’s Lullaby, a song written to lull Rowan and Rosie’s newborn son to sleep, the album is centred around love, community and connection - and perhaps that’s what holds the world together, after all.

Holding the weight of the world on its shoulders, whilst simultaneously radiating the joy of life, What Holds The World Together is a rumination on everything it means to be human.

Reviews for The Wilderness Yet:

“Simply exquisite"
– Tom Robinson, BBC Radio 6 Music

“Beautiful musicianship & singing”
​– Ruth Smith, RTÉ Radio 1

“A timeless and heady mix of traditions… an outstanding collection from three musicians at the top of their game.”
– Folk Radio UK

“This is something timely... a lovely album with gorgeous artwork...”
​– Mark Radcliffe, BBC Radio 2

“It's truly a thing of beauty... the instrumental textures are intelligently sparing yet satisfyingly rich... steeped in folklore and nature..." 
– The Living Tradition


“Absolutely beautiful... the three of them together make an absolutely wonderful sound..."
– Mike Harding

“This trio has it all... bright new music & fresh interpretations of old songs... a title track worthy of the Voice Squad... a delightful album.”
– Irish Music Magazine


released July 21, 2022

Rosie Hodgson – voice, banjo
Rowan Piggott – voice, fiddles, double bass
Philippe Barnes – voice, guitar, flute

Joe Danks – bodhran, percussion (tracks 3,4,5,8,10)

Artwork – Adam Oehlers
Photography – Elly Lucas

Recording / mixing / layout – Rowan Piggott (Scribe Records)
Mastering – Sam Proctor (Lismore Mastering)


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The Wilderness Yet UK

The Wilderness Yet combines the acclaimed talents of folksinger Rosie Hodgson, traditional fiddler Rowan Piggott, and guitarist-flautist Philippe Barnes. Independently, they have earned audiences’ esteem as consummate musicians; together, they weave a tapestry of traditional & self-penned songs with a charm and familarity that is usually only found in seasoned line-ups.​ ... more

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