To The Pine Roots

by Iain Archer

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about

This is Iain's barest and most heartfelt work to date, full of woody tones, distant birdsong and and an uncommon sense of hope. The album was made a world away and it sounds like it. The breath of an old harmonium, the ring of an ancient autoharp, poetry in word and note.

credits

released March 23, 2009

Engineered by: Iain Archer
Dave Lynch
Matthias Kaufmann
Miriam Kaufmann
Produced by: Iain Archer
Mixed by: Iain Archer
Mastered by: Tim Branton at Joao Carvalho Mastering, Toronto
Published by: Kobalt Music Group

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about

Iain Archer London, UK

iain archer is a singer-songwriter from bangor, northern ireland

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Track Name: The Acrobat
The Acrobat

A drop at his heels, but no shiver in his back
He takes a deep breath and he flies
Over the crowd with knuckles of Ice
Everyone gasps in surprise
He swings a great arc to the apex
If Newton were here, he’d be perplexed by

The Acrobat

Three flips, and then he grips the trapeze
Whilst one hand appears to be waving
He throws his head backwards and hangs by his knees
Not one bead of sweat is he breaking
In one breath, he flies like a comet
With eyes closed, I shout “has he caught it?”

The Acrobat

So in the between times, when sleep half arrives
The Acrobat swings in my mind’s eye
The troubles that weigh on me at such a time
He easily does defy
Where troubles abound, in their places
Sit hundreds of mesmorised faces

The Acrobat
Track Name: Songbird
Making signs by waving your arms
No one comes to help you for hours
Thinking there’s a mark on your back
At target, or a sign to attack

Like picking out the stitches you sew
You keep learning things you already know
And sitting down to watch everyone
You’d love to be a bird or a bug


But we‘ve got the morning, we’ve got the afternoon
We’ve got all the hours til it’s light
You’ll be a songbird, I’ll be a drifting tune
Falling and then starting to climb.


Days spent like a storm in a cup
You can’t work out what’s keeping you stuck
You empty all the thoughts in your head
And arrange them in the shape of a rocket


Cos we’ve got the morning, we’ve got the afternoon
We’ve got all the hours til it’s light
You’ll be a songbird, I’ll be a drifting tune
Falling, and then starting to climb
Track Name: Black Mountain Quarry
With the pallor of a spook
And the wiry gait I undertook
There hung from fraying thread
My heart inside my hopeful chest
The gravel underfoot, the slow incline that bends my boot
I’ve lost my precious will, I have burned what I set out to fulfil


But I could dig a fresh gem from the Black Mountain Quarry
Oh! my heart is stone-cold and my soul is full of worry
But I’ll be waiting for the thaw like a little bird told me
Oh Black Mountain Quarry


The rooks cry with remiss
As if to say “I’m tired of this”
While on their sable wing
The stars, the moon and everything
That emanates a glow, is consumed and never spoken of
I too would meet this fate, but no glow have I recovered yet


But I could dig a fresh gem from the Black Mountain Quarry
Oh! my heart is stone-cold and my soul is full of worry
But I’ll be waiting for the thaw like a little bird told me
Oh Black Mountain Quarry
Track Name: Hey Mia, Don't Be Lonely
In the quiet room
In the quiet room, you came and combed my hair
In the swell of day
In the belly of the day, you came and said
Your dreams from sleeping


And your soft brown shoes, and your rock-pool eyes
Hey Mia, don’t be lonely
And your cotton shirt, and your neck so fine
Hey Mia, don’t be lonely


In the quiet room
In the quiet room, we talked through light-soaked air
I remember
I was holding you
I was holding you, and I felt your every breath


And your soft brown shoes, and your rock-pool eyes
Hey Mia, don’t be lonely
And your cotton shirt, and your neck so fine
Hey Mia, don’t be lonely

You’re my land and sea
You’re my day and night
Hey Mia, don’t be lonely
And the sky agrees
And the sun says aye
Hey Mia, don’t be lonely
Track Name: Everest
In the winter chill, in the wintertime
Warmth of heart got hard to find
Nowhere could we hear a familiar sound
The dawn broke with my heart
But I woke up in your arms that held me hanging on
Hanging on in my own sweet time

In the gathering dark, in the gathering night
Warmth of heart, so hard to find
A fiery flame of golden light
I will kindle with my breath
And with all that I have left I’ll just keep hanging on
Hanging on in my own sweet time


Hold my hand and don’t go looking back, hold my hand, don’t look back
I know a way to find an open track, hold my hand, don’t look back


All your hope is my hope, all of your joy, my joy
All your tears are my tears, all your loss, my void
I will tether your fear, if you fall, I fall
Though our days get lost afar
There’s an anchor in my heart that keeps me hanging on
Hanging on in my own sweet time


Hold my hand and don’t go looking back, hold my hand, don’t look back
I know a way to find an open track, hold my hand, don’t look back

(Some other day, when my morning comes,
I’ll be the one that’s waited all night)
Track Name: Frozen Lake
Are your tears mine to wipe?
Are your secrets mine to hide inside?
Cos it might be my chance to try
To try

The frozen lake where we walk
Is gonna change in the thaw, I know
It’s just a lake of every hope
That we own


And I wanna be someone
Who makes you feel beautiful
I wanna be someone who does
I wanna be someone
Who makes you feel beautiful
I wanna be someone who covers you with love


Is my idea something you like the sound of?
Cos I know I am always a born idealist
And I know I can hope too much


But I wanna be someone
Who makes you feel beautiful
I wanna be someone who does
I wanna be someone
Who makes you feel beautiful
I wanna be someone who covers you with love
Track Name: Streamer On A Kite
Listen to the sound of the swallow’s lost song
Harnessing the wind and saddling the unridden sun
The liver red fire at the heel of the sky
The beetle-black wing of the swallow telling you you can fly.

Listen to the way that the longest branch groans,
Dripping worried sap, and drying as the worried wind blows
All at once moves, and all at once breathes
You and I bend as limber as two saplings


And I’ve had it in mind to tell you
I’ve seen you in the sky
You’re the streamer on a kite
You’re the streamer on a kite

You’re the wayward streamer on a long-strung diamond of a kite.


Listen how like flies are the endless black wheels
The galactic harvest hoard of the fecund silicone fields.
The old dry well, now safe under stone
The trembling earth, the pumps of our hearts till we’re gone


And I’ve had it in mind to tell you
I’ve seen you in the sky
You’re the streamer on a kite
You’re the streamer on a kite

You’re the wayward streamer on a long-strung diamond of a kite.
Track Name: To Mend And Move Along
Today I’ll be an island, It seems I’m decided
Til ever forgetful, my hands hold my head
Despite my conviction, there’s something I’m missing
That all my attention just can’t wrestle back

And the time has come and gone to mend and move along
And who mends someone quite this broken?
The memories don’t fade, I think they’re here to stay
They’ve made themselves right at home anyway.

Today I’ll go searching, to see if there’s anyone
Seeing these colours in tones just like me
I’ll read and I’ll eavesdrop, I’ll people-watch non-stop
And maybe just someone won’t look straight through me

Cos the time has come and gone to mend and move along
And who mends someone quite this broken?
The memories don’t fade, I think they’re here to stay
They’ve made themselves right at home anyway.

I know it’s just me letting go, but why does it move so slow?
Just don’t pretend that you know

Today I’ll be an island, it seems I’m decided
Til ever forgetful, my hands hold my head
Track Name: The Nightwatchman
Colder now, the workers have gone
The factory stretches, it lets out a yawn
A torch, a newspaper under his arm
The keys to every office, and attic and hall


He doesn’t let the lonely silence bring him down
Nobody sees him as the nightwatchman does his rounds


The sound of his boots, his breath and the clock
The rain on the roof, a door he unlocks
A room with a light, a table, a chair
He takes off his hat, and smoothes out his thinning hair.


He doesn’t let the lonely silence bring him down
Nobody sees him as the nightwatchman does his rounds


A world asleep, he keeps a close eye
In empty rooms, he waits for the sun to rise


He doesn’t let the lonely silence bring him down
Nobody sees him as the nightwatchman does his rounds

He keeps himself awake, remembering aloud
Nobody sees him as the nightwatchman does his rounds