Cold Days of February

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about

This song was written by the under-appreciated genius that is Robin Williamson, and is one of the Incredible String Band’s lesser-known gems. Daragh was lamenting one evening that a band that influenced The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Led Zeppelin (amongst others), and was also arguably more creative and inspiring, should end up in relative obscurity, with Robin still plying his trade at small folk venues across the world, while these others are filling stadiums. To which the ever-wise Mr. Lawless responded that at least Mr. Williamson can play whatever he likes, continuing to explore and expand his repertoire with Celtic mythological tales, traditional harp, fiddle and whistle tunes, as well as his own folk songs, while the likes of Mick Jagger still has to waddle around singing ‘Satisfaction’ over and over again. Definitely one to make you ruminate on the meaning of success. Daragh rang the number on Mr. Williamson’s website one day to ask permission to record the song, but only got an answering machine. He was delighted to be woken up the next morning by a phone call from the man himself to say he would be delighted for us to record it and to make sure to send him a copy. So, here you go Robin, hope you like it!

lyrics

As I beside some winter's fire
Sat writing words strange and steady
Amongst my own internal choir
Came voices to my mind unready
Of those who died on either side
While friends cry o'er their bones unburied
Go sighing through the north east winds
These cold days of February

Some clerk with papers and his pen
Some banker with his poison pity
Some captain careless of his men
These fan the flames that maim the cities
And bigots in the name of Christ
By thorny paths obscure and muddy
Can fear to roam through years of cold
Bewailing how their hands are bloody

Whether they were from here or there
Their race and place I would not be heeding
The men who caused such bitterness
If hearts they have let their hearts be bleeding
Who neither for age nor the young child
Would turn the shot of the arms they carried
Go bear the guilt a weary ways
For the cold days of February

credits

from Cold Old Fire, released May 25, 2014
Comp. Robin Williamson

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Lynched Dublin, Ireland

Gritty folksongs from the heart of Dublin city.

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