Ashes & Dust


Album number eight with thirteen new songs, eight of them written during the recording process. "Ashes & Dust" doesn't pull any punches - very much an album for our time.

“If you already own some or all of this outstanding duo’s previous releases, you know why you need to add this to your collection. If not, herein lies one of your most treasured album purchases of 2016”       -       Nigel Schofield, Living Tradition

"Winter Wilson's superbly-crafted musicianship and heartfelt songs and peformance are the bedrock on which this country's folk circuit rests and both it and the world would be a poorer place without them"        -         Mike Davies, Folk Radio UK

"Austerity is one of the strongest songs of the past twelve months" Mike Harding Folk Show

"Winter Wilson have a touch of the prolific about them, but when prolific's this good, more please" Neil King Fatea Magazine

"Dave and Kip are both very skilled lead singers, and they provide intuitive vocal harmonies to die for. ....... Classy!"  David Kidman, fRoots

"Their instrumental dexterity makes for a diversity of styles that maintains interest throughout the record. While it's superficially easy to listen to, there's plenty in the lyrics to think about" Four Stars Dai Jeffries, R2 Magazine





1    Weary Traveller  

Oh rest you well, oh weary traveller.
Sit down a while with me.
Your journey’s long, oh weary traveller.
Tell me of the sights you’ve seen.

How many miles, oh weary traveller?
You say it’s fear that drives you on.
It’s simple things that you are asking,
Your voice it sings the saddest song.

You speak of bombs and desolation,
Of children floating in the seas.
What kind of race allows such madness?
Surely there’s none in times like these.

You must be wrong, oh weary traveller.
We would not treat a dog this way.
Our arms are wide, our hearts are heavy.
You’re welcome here, my friend, please stay.

For I’m so sorry, weary traveller.
I could never do enough.
I could be you, and yours my children.
I wish you peace, friendship and love.
I wish you peace, friendship and love.

Repeat first verse

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2    Doreen And Joe  

Doreen and Joe shared a two-bed tenement,
Drafty as hell, but fit for king.
Joe promised her someday he’d build her a mansion,
Lottery tickets and fairy-tale dreams.

Doreen she yearned for the crying of babies.
She ached with a passion that near drove her wild.
Yeah, your mansion can crumble for all that she’s caring.
It won’t fill the longing she has for a child.

Doreen carried her shopping up four flights of stairs,
The lift long since defunct.
There among her groceries, a litmus paper mystery,
Doreen kept believing.
She could not give up.

Pink was for euphoria.
Blue was for despair.
All of her dreams on the kitchen table.
Both of their futures wrapped up in there.

Joe he’d seen her crying too many times.
He’d bury is head and shout “Please go away”.
He wished he had her faith, but nature was lying.
It crippled Joe to witness such pain. For he knew that

Pink was for euphoria.....

Doreen felt her life it was passing her by;
So many years in the blink of an eye.
Always believing her moment would come.
Who’s stolen those years?
Where have they gone?

When Joe heard the scream it half scared him to death.
He ran like a madman with fear in his eyes.
There was Doreen waving her wand.
She said “It’s pink Joe, it’s pink Joe, 
It’s pink Joe”
And both of them cried.

For pink was for euphoria...


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3    Is It True That His Eyes Are Like Mine? 

Do you know of a traveller called Michael?
I’m told that he settled round here.
Quite a lad in his day; handsome rogue, so they say.
Used to wear a gold ring in his ear.

He was a good one at shoeing the horses,
With a hammer and tack he was fine.
He followed the fairs, drinking hard, trading wares.
I heard tell that his eyes are like mine.

I was a young thing, not yet seventeen,
So much to learn, and yes, I was keen.
Trouble it found me, as ever it does,
But whatever I did, I did it for love.

Thirty years, and still I am searching.
I still grieve for what’s taken away.
What was done for the best brought peace to the rest,
But for me there’s a price yet to pay.
Yes, I pay a hard price every day.

I was a young thing....

If you see Michael, please tell him I’m sorry.
Maybe you’re right and I’m wasting my time.
But there’s never a day that I don’t feel his pain.
Is it true that is eyes are like mine?
Please say it’s true that his eyes are like mine.

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4    I’d Rather Be Ashes Than Dust  

Oh fill up your glasses and I’ll sing you a song
Of a hard-drinking man, whose days are long gone.
Born out of wedlock, born for the sea,
A writer, a scholar, Jack London was he.

From humble beginnings our Jack did alright.
A good man to have by your side in a fight.
He stood for the unions and marched with the men,
From Oakland to Washington, back home again. 

He said 
I’d rather be ashes than dust,
To burn like a comet, than slowly to rust.
Better to shout like a madman than fade with a hush.
I’d rather be ashes than dust.
I’d rather be ashes than dust.

He said “Life’s for living; you’re long enough dead.
I’ll be topping the waves, while you’re rotting in bed.
There’s a sloop in the harbour and the tide it won’t wait.
You can trust in your gods. Me, I’ll trust in my fate.”

For I’d rather be ashes than dust...

Gold digger, a writer, a jailbird, a crook,
A pirate, a boxer, our Jack pushed his luck.
A hunter, a drinker till his dying day.
Old age wouldn’t have him, Jack went his own way.

There’s a green mossy stone marks his last resting place,
But I bet if you look there you’ll not find a trace.
He’ll be digging for gold. He’ll be shooting the stars.
Oh here’s to Jack London, wherever you are.

Said I’d rather be ashes than dust....

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5    To Hell With Monday Morning  

Paint your nails, my pretty one.
I’ve been paid and the night is young.
There’s a roll of hard-earned cash in my pocket
That will not see the morning.
There are lights burning out across this town,
But tonight you and I will be the brightest stars around.
Let’s hit it while we’re hot,
For the mercury is falling.

Let’s dance like we don’t have a care,
Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire.
There’s no-one that can touch us;
There’s no-one can come close.
Come Sunday, then we’ll say our prayers 
With the rest of the two-day millionaires.
Tonight our dreams are calling.
To hell with Monday morning.

Well, the shine from off my shoes has headed west.
That dress that you are wearing has long since seen its best,
But it doesn’t change a thing for you and I.
It’s good to be alive.
And this might not be the book we planned to write,
But we have to tell our story before we lose the light,
And there’s no-one that can say we haven’t tried.
So sweetheart don’t you cry.

Let’s dance like we don't have a care......


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6    The Healing Time  

It felt strange somehow to see you, 
After goodness knows how long.
I thought I saw a flickering, maybe I was wrong.
We’ve both had our ups and downs, it was good to reminisce
I’m sure your smile said something, as we parted with a kiss.

I know you’re right we both have changed, 
It’s been so many years.
There’s something so familiar. It all seemed crystal clear.
Was it only my heart pounding, while we sat and spoke?
Could it be I’ve fallen for a cruel and heartless joke?

You have to tell me did you care?
Did I leave some kind of mark?
Was I beneath your radar, no recognition on your chart?
There’s so many songs we never sang,
So many verses without rhyme.
The speculation’s over. This is the healing time.

Well time, they say, it takes its toll on those who can’t let go.
Doubt disturbs the slumber of the unresolved.
I’d forgive you other lovers. I’d forgive you anything
If you’d only say you thought of me as more than just a friend.

You have to tell me did you care........

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7    Nothing Stays The Same  

Bell went off in my head one morning.
Couldn’t see it coming, there wasn’t any warning,
I just knew my life had changed.
Couldn’t work it out, there wasn’t any reason.
Something shifted, a change in the season.
Love songs and aching hearts remain.
You can dream all you like but nothing stays the same.

Like that mouse on a wheel, I’m pushing forward.
There’s not a thing gets in my way.
It’s all about making deals, it’s not about the way you feel.
Love songs and aching hearts remain.
You can dream all you want but nothing stays the same.

I tried blowing on a whistle, beating on a drum.
You do what you do, just to get things done.
Put your shoulder to the wheel, roll up those sleeves.

Thought I’d figured it out, thought I’d got it sussed,
But all I’m getting are weeds and rust.
And a fool’s just a fool and like a fool I believed.

Like that mouse on a wheel, I’m pushing forward.
There’s not a thing gets in my way.
It’s not about the way that you feel, it’s about making deals.
Love songs and aching hearts remain.
You can dream all you want, but nothing stays the same.

Now I’m looking around at this unholy mess.
I can’t get a measure, can’t see any progress.
Don’t tell me I’ve been marking time.
I see a whole lot of riches
None of them’s mine.

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8    Hark The Blackbird’s Singing  

Hark the blackbird’s singing, high up in yonder tree.
He sings the sweetest love song; he sings it just for me.
He sings ’cause you’re not here.
He sings to ease my pain.
He sings to while away the dark and dreamless hours
Until our paths they cross again.

My love it grows through separation 
Though it causes me to grieve.
I count my blessings with the days
Since you my love did leave.
I’d give up all of my possessions,
Surrender all my lot,
To spend another night with you.
I beg you please, forsake me not.

Work took you far away
“No prospects here,” you said.
“Give me a year and I’ll send for you,
A year and we will wed.”

But promises they came to nothing.
No fortune to be made.
Your working days both long and plenty.
Little spare there is to save.

Hark the blackbird’s singing.....

These winter days, I walk for hours
Through the bitter winds and snow.
Try as I might, I cannot fathom
The reason why you had to go.
I see a face within a mirror;
It’s not a face I recognise;
The pain of loss I feel so keenly,
The only proof that I’m alive.

No matter what it takes my sweetheart,
No matter what I have to do,
The highest mountain I would climb
To share this gift of love with you.
So now be patient my dear lover.
Stay patient and stay true.
There is no cost I would not suffer
To end my days with you.

Hark the blackbird’s singing......

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9    Don’t Try To Give Me Something I Don’t Need  

Friend of mine, she’s a good-looking girl.
She swears too much and her hair don’t curl,
But I don’t mind, that’s alright by me.
She don’t try to give me something I don’t need.

She comes home it’s late at night.
We don’t argue, don’t fuss nor fight.
She just makes love sweeter than a honey bee.
Don’t try to give me something I don’t need.

Oh lord, I can feel it’s coming.
I get paranoid every time there’s a knock on my door.
Don’t want that pain, just want that woman.
She don’t give me something I ain’t been asking for.

What I haven’t got I can do without.
Don’t care what it does or what it’s about.
I got food in the kitchen, books that I can read.
Well don’t try to give me something I don’t need.

Oh lord, I can feel it’s coming....

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10  Merciful Father  

Oh merciful father, what have I done?
I carry a rifle. I carry a gun.
I use them to kill, to wound and to maim.
All of these actions I do in your name

My parents they raised me true to my faith,
But now they’ve disowned me, for I am disgraced.
But merciful father, we both know the truth.
My hands and my conscience are guided by you.

Is it nature or nurture, what do we believe?
What leads some to hunger drives others to greed.
I’m guided by spirit; I’m guided by light.
Dark are my days, but darker my nights.

Oh merciful father, I feel truly blessed,
A heart filled with hatred burns strong in my breast.
But merciful father, my day soon will come.
Will you praise me or shame me for all I have done?

Oh merciful father, what have we done?
I carry a rifle. I carry a gun.
I use them to kill, to wound and to maim.
All of these actions I do in your name.


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11  Gallows Hill  

Picked out a postcard from a dusty drawer,
It showed the view from Gallows Hill.
It made me smile, it stung my heart and more
It caused my weary eyes to fill.

Now, looking back o’er almost fifty years
When we climbed high that dusty path
To hide from Sunday’s gloom, its wrath, its fears,
We never knew just what we had.

Gallows Hill, oh Gallows Hill,
How cruel a view so fine!
To some such beauty brought despair,
To me such happy times.
To me such happy times.

And then a scarf I chose from that same drawer.
I wrapped it loose around my neck.
The faintest scent that I had known before.
Oh, how the senses pull you back.

It made my mother come alive,
It set her lonely spirit free.
I made me laugh, then made me cry.
It brought my mother back to me.

Gallows Hill, oh Gallows Hill....

Repeat first verse

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12  Going Back Home  

I don’t like the taste of the water, what it is I cannot tell.
It’s not salty, it’s not bitter, but it doesn’t suit me well.

You’re telling me, you’re telling me, 
You’re telling me that something isn’t right.
You’re telling me, you’re telling me, 
You’re telling me you cannot sleep at night.

Drag the bags out of the attic, 
Throw the suitcase down the stairs,
We’ll be leaving in the morning, 
Phone your folks and say your prayers.

Time has passed for thinking, there’s nothing to discuss.
My feet are getting itchy. We need to catch that bus.

Cause we’re going back, going back, 
Going back, going back home
Yes, we’re going back, going back, 
Going back, going back home

I don’t mind the weather, we’ll wrap up against the snow.
For nothing lasts forever, it’s time for us to go.
Smell that cooking in the kitchen, the kettle’s on the boil.
I need loving arms around me, I need familiar soil.

So we’re going back, going back, going back.....

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13  Austerity

I told my boy when he turned eighteen,
Cast your vote for those that need it.
You don’t know what’s round the corner, son.
It doesn’t pay to get too greedy.

Time may come when you need a hand,
A safety net to stop you falling.
Across this green and pleasant land
A dreadful bitter day is dawning.

One rule for the rich, ten for the poor.
Don’t go fiddling those expenses.
The checkout girl gets shown the door
While others reinstated

Beware, beware the grabbing hands harvesting the money.
How soon before they realise you need bees for making honey?

I’ve had good fortune, I don't deny,
But now I feel such heavy sorrow
For those so desperate for a break.
What hope for their tomorrow?

They cut so deep that skin runs red.
And there’s no money for sticking plasters.
The shareholders, they must be fed.
Know your place, and know your masters.


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