Triptych

by Northern Oak

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about

Triptych is made up of three songs which were written and recorded as Kickstarter rewards for three of the backers of the Of Roots and Flesh album; we asked these backers what they wanted us to write a Northern Oak song about, and then created the tracks based on their brief.

'The Court of Owls' was written for Adam Page & Kate Tomlinson, whose brief was "a song about owls"; 'Ellan Vannin' was written for Jim Waterman, whose brief was "a song about the history and mythology of the Isle of Man"; and 'A Portrait' was written for Sarah Aggarwal who asked for a song which would represent a time of great personal hardship for her.

We did not take the responsibility of writing these songs lightly, and we hope you enjoy listening to them as much as we enjoyed responding to the challenge set by our backers.

This free download includes the instrumental versions of all three songs.

credits

released November 29, 2015

Music & lyrics: Northern Oak
Recording/mixing/mastering: Lee Redfern @ Redfern Studios, Sheffield
Artwork: Augustinas Naslenas

Special thanks to Adam Page & Kate Tomlinson, Jim Waterman and Sarah Aggarwal.

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about

Northern Oak Sheffield, UK

Founded in early 2006 during a wintry excursion to the Peak District, Northern Oak have been spreading their unique brand of flute-heavy progressive folk metal across Sheffield and the rest of the UK ever since.

Our music sounds like Jethro Tull played by extreme metal fans with an appreciation for everything from Pink Floyd to Emperor.
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Track Name: The Court of Owls
Only when the dusk starts to fall
Does the court of owls spread its wings
A nightmare spawned of moonlight
A warning to the young
Ruling from the shadows
Conspiring 'gainst the living

Do not move in the eyrie silence
'tis a knell summoning us to service

Mantling your form until our design is through

We'll roost in your nests
Despoil your sanctuaries

How shall we honor you?

How will we tell your tale
In talon torn viscera?
Let the littlest decide.
Track Name: Ellan Vannin
Wherever you throw me, I will stand.
Born of Vannin, sworn to Vannin.
My will is
Born of Vannin, sworn to Vannin.

Long before your birth
I have watched this isle
Witnessed its vagaries

The kin of this land quaked when you first arrived in your long ships, as your Tynewald was formed. How we all feared your savagery, that your lawgivers had to be fenced from your brutality. It wasn't long until your drove the denizens of this land with cold steel to the fringes, into hiding apart from those who wear defiance as their mantle.

Even now you still pay respect before crossing Ballona bridge.
Lay your reeds so Mananán mac Lir may guard you with fog.
Tremble at my form, my name, Buggane.

Wherever you throw me, I will stand.
Born of Vannin, sworn to Vannin.
My will is
Born of Vannin, sworn to Vannin.

Long after your death
I will see this isle
Freed from your betrayals

**You would cage even the Ben Varrey
Who sheltered you from the storm.**

Your cold iron and railways that killed the hill people was not enough. Now you heat it until it screams and belches smoke, forging demonic Steeds for nothing more than racing for some useless sport.

Ta mee maynrey
Ta mee maynrey
Ta me cummal ayns Ellan Vannin

I rejoice in Ellan Vannin because I know it was born of magic and your squabbles over kings and faiths have made no dent in its majesty. How could humans who nearly lost their own tongue until a visitor intervened hope to last? Learn all the songs of the four winds and surrender your will to Vannin or you will soon end.
Track Name: A Portrait
I would feel your hands for twelve moons of my adult bloom.
You nourished my timid roots. Guarded my shoots from frost.
So how was I to pay the same kindness? How was I to protect you?
When they arrived with their shackles of law and administration.
I Couldn't stop our dog at night puncturing the hills
With the sound of two lovers being pulled apart.

That last Christmas we shared we should have raced out into the night far from smoke and concepts. Far to where the pines would shield us, our connection the only hearth we'd need, we'd have built a land without boundaries. Where a fallen cup once shattered could simply gather itself back up once more.

Be whole once more.

Instead we lived in our bubble until the hour. Until I pursued you, I pursued you across this earth, welcomed with open arms among your kin and spent three weeks a fugitive in a world where your fingers could melt the snow.

Conversation became something beyond beauty, it was weaved long into every night. I have seen love take many forms. You wrote this feeling in me like a symphony, that rings with chords and keys of safety, peace and home. How I long for its composer to return so I can tap into its tune once more, see that world once more. For now I content myself with the choirs of angels.

Who will buy my sweet red roses?
Who will buy that day for me?
I would treasure it,
My charm from all the memories that pierce my heart.

No matter if I should love again,
This feeling is in every fibre of my being.
It cannot be bought, cannot be lost,

It's yours.

It's yours.