Nina Murden - The Lewes Seamstress

While I work …..

Following on from my Meditative sewing post, whilst I work on curtains and when calculations and thinking about various stages abate, I can relax and listen to various things… Radio 4 is a staple, (excepting some programmes). Then there is the music, quite often I prefer  instrumentals, but this week I’ve been listening once and again to The Unthanks sisters.  New album out ‘Mount the Air’ .. title track:

and then love the dreamy ‘Flutter’ here on soundcloud:

Maybe though the favourite for me is a song using the lyrics of a Charles Causley poem, called ‘Hawthorn White Hawthorn Red’.  You’ll have to buy the album to hear that one! Charles Causley has sort of fallen out of fashion, maybe never been accepted in ‘academia’ anyway,  but I love his stuff, full of deep references too and reverence for the countryside, folk and Christian/pagan symbolism, ordinary people; and predominantly themes of belonging and estrangement.

Hawthorn White, Hawthorn red,
hanging in the Garden, at My head,
tell Me simple, tell Me true,
when comes the Winter, what must I do?
I have a House, with Chimneys Four,
I have a Silver Bell on the Door,
a Single Hearth, and a single Bed,
Not enough, the Hawthorn said.
I have a Lute, I have a Lyre,
I have a Yellow Cat by My Fire,
A Nighttingale , to my Tree, is tied,
that Bird looks sick, The Hawthorn sighed.
I write on Paper, pure as Milk,
I lie on Sheets, of Shantung Silk,
on My Green Breast, no Sin has Snowed,
You’ll catch your Death, the Hawthorn crowed.
My Purse is packed with a five Pound Note,
The Watch Dogs in My Garden gloat.
I blow The Bagpipe down My Side,
Better blow your safe, The Hawthorn cried,
My Purse is steady, as My Clock,
My Wits are wise, as the Weather Cock,
Twice a Year, We are overhauled,
It’s double Summertime, The Hawthorn called.
I have A Horse with Wings for Feet,
I have Chicken each Day to eat,
When I was born, The Church Bells rang,
Only one at a time, The Hawthorn sang.