In late 2016, months after the dust had settled on the final Northern Oak gig, we were invited to a wedding between two very good friends of the band - Adam and Kate Page. Theirs was a love story interwoven with the band's own fortunes - they'd gotten together at one of our early gigs, and had confessed to us that Maiden, from our first album 'Tales From Rivelin', had struck a chord with both of them and become 'their song'. Across the years they'd been some of our staunchest supporters, even chipping in at the highest tier to help us get 'Of Roots and Flesh' made.
To mark the occasion of their wedding, we decided to get the band back together in secret and record a new version of that song which would be given to them, and only them - it'd be their song completely. Over several weeks we started putting the pieces together - drums were recorded by Wib at a studio in Chesterfield, Digby prepared his keyboard parts and the rest of the parts were recorded at Chris' home studio. The song was sent off to Redfern Studios with whom we worked on 'Triptych' for mixing and mastering, and we were then able to present it to Adam and Kate at their wedding in March 2017, on a wood-enclosed USB stick. They were surprised (and overjoyed!) by the present, which we hope made their special day even more special.
Fast forward to March 2018, and we received a message from the two of them in the week prior to their first anniversary - they were still thankful that we'd gone to so much effort for them, but also felt that it was a shame that they were the only people getting to enjoy the new version of the song. Generously, they asked us to release the track, so that others could hear and appreciate it. Today marks the day of that anniversary, which seems a fitting time to unleash the final siren's song of Northern Oak.
This, then, is the new version of Maiden- our tragic tale of spurned love, shared with you due to the generosity and love of two of our dearest friends. Enjoy!
Beneath the twilight sun
A young maiden stood,
At her conjugal altar,
Ardently awaiting her swain.
Through labyrinths of hedges, she at last him did spy.
In all his gleaming armour, how long she had yearned for this day.
Him she did follow,
Away from the altar,
And through worlds of mist so thick,
Whence the helpless sun does but shudder and flee.
Alas his tracks soon were lost,
As ghostly snow descended,
She wept amongst the banshees,
In the cold forsaken woodland.
But there remained a flicker of hope,
As torchlight she did spy,
And this, she followed...
Her legs grew weak though,
And ghostly clouds concealed her,
As she lay paralysed,
By Morpheus' kiss.
Then from her slumber,
A cold embrace did awake her,
Such glee reborn as her eyes met her knight's,
Forever safe in his arms.
But such merry fate would not meet her face,
For behind a countess lay,
Who with passion did taste,
Her knight's betraying lips.
Closer they drew to the girl,
With a smile that made her lips tremble,
'til her bridal veil swiftly turned,
To shrouded attire.
How she cried
As twin daggers bled from their mouths
Into her virgin flesh.
But her helpless cries
Were but a siren's song
To the ears of the knight
"Hush, sleep deep Endymion... and taste sweet immortality.
As I pour my potion into your cauldron
Behold this beauty... that only death could inspire!"
from Maiden (Revisited)
released March 25, 2018
Written by: Northern Oak (Sinclair, Williams, Mole, Loughran)
Performed by: Northern Oak (Wibberley, Mole, Williams, Brown, Collins)
Mixing and Mastering: Lee Redfern (Redfern Studios)
Photography/Model: Manadh Photography (manadh-photography.com
all rights reserved