Cutting Free


Our first album as full-time musicians, officially launched at Derby Folk Festival on 5th October 2013.

Thirteen original tracks plus one cover (the first we've recorded, but written for Kip's Mum by our good friend Nick Keir who had recently passed away). Some of the songs were written while we were on the path to redundancy ("Consultation bullshit blues") and the title track is dedicated to anyone else who has taken a leap of faith and followed their dreams.

One of the Daily Telegraph's "Ten fine folk albums for Summer 2014".

“A classy and beautiful addition to this folk of grace and beauty” Peter Tomkins, R2 Magazine

"This is English folk music that deserves to be celebrated because the songs are strong, the themes universal and the performance top drawer" Neil King Fatea Magazine





1. Still Life in the Old Dog Yet

Thirty years I'd given them when I was shown the door.
The boss never got to say goodbye;
They gave him the push just a fortnight before.
And I can't deny it crippled me; it all came as such a shock.
No matter how I tried, I couldn't help but cry,
The last time that I punched the clock.

Ten thousand pounds redundancy; they said I could re-train.
I blew the whole lot on a college course,
I was trying to get back to work again.
50 grand a year they said, but it all came down to naught.
“It's a young man's game and you're past your prime”
No-one said it, but I know what they thought.

CHORUS      But there's still life in the old dog yet.
                     The wiser you are the older you get.
                     Shout out every day when you get out of bed,
                     There's still life in the old dog yet.

Jobcentre plus was my second home.
I'd call in every day, wouldn't leave them alone.
Time and again they'd send me in a rage
“We've got nothing here for a bloke of your age”.
Well I didn't give in, I was a total pain,
And perseverance it bought its gains.
I've got steady work though I don't make a mint,
But it beats being at home and it beats being skint.


Now I'm up every morning away on my bike;
It isn't all fun but it suits me all right.
One day at a time it's all you can ask;
I'm living each one as if it were my last.
Keep ducking and diving. Sail with the breeze.
Don't let 'em drag down onto your knees.
Roll with the punches and don't lose that grin.
Come out fighting again and again and again


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2. I'm Cutting Free

I'm looking down a long and winding road
Where it's leading me, I really do not know
But I'm too old to question it, and too foolish to care.
It's all about the travelling, not so much the getting there.

Step by rocky step
I feel like jumping in the water, I don't care about the depth
I'm brushing off the cobwebs and I'm lacing up my shoes
Damn the manuals and instructions, I have no time to lose
I’m on the move. I’m on the move

CHORUS      New shoots on old branches
                     New moves to old dances
                     Pushing out into an open sea, 
                     Oh lucky me. I'm cutting free

I never thought I'd find these wings
Though they're battered and they're rusty
It doesn't mean a thing
I'm getting lighter by the second and I'm staring at the sky
No reason why I cannot fly.


I have no maps, I have no plans.
I have no idea if this ship will ever make dry land
I'm casting off the routines that for years have held me sway
I'm on my way, I'm on my way.


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3. Avon's Bank

I met my love on Avon's bank ‘neath the drizzle of a grey March day.
He teased me as he softly sang, and with the melody did sway.
He teased me as he softly sang, and with the melody did sway.

My love had an eye of the roving kind, so fickle was his heart.
Though these diversions hurt me so, I couldn't bear for us to part.
Though these diversions hurt me so, I couldn't bear for us to part.

He walked me by the water's edge beneath the willow tree.
He sang a song of love afar, a love not shared by me.
He sang a song of love afar, though he knew it caused me pain.
Come sunset of this evening he'll not sing that song again.

For jealousy took hold of me. Its rage I could not quell.
I damned him his philanderings and cursed his soul to hell.
I damned him his philanderings, my anger on the rise,
As love turned into hatred for this fool before my eyes.

With all my strength I threw myself and pounded on his chest.
He laughed as he fell backwards, then the Avon did her best.
She wrapped him in her watery arms and laid him on her bed.
Only to release him when my love was cold and dead.

Now this night I sit alone, a bible in my hand.
I pray for God's forgiveness for the killing of a man.
Tho praying will not save me; my soul's beyond all hope.
And the dawn will steal my final breath 
At the end of the hangman's rope.

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4. We Still Get Along

Why is it when I have nothing to say
I insist on saying it anyway?
Why don't I learn to keep my opinions to myself?
I get lost in my own little troubles;
They mean bugger all to you.
What's no more than a grain of sand
Becomes a mountain when it's in my hands.

It's not Monday morning, but I'm feeling sore
We've both been down this road before
And we'll pass this way again.
I say it's all you, but I know that's not true.
I've only to look in the mirror
To see who's been the fool.

CHORUS     I know that I'm lucky
                    Your patience it is strong.
                    For of my frailties, we still get along.

What I'm trying to do is tell you that I'm sorry.
I'm trying to say the right words
Without tripping on my tongue.
But as you'd expect I get it all round my neck
But that's me, it’s just me


Every now and then I catch a shadow falling.
I know that it's coming, and I know that it will pass.
Time and again I find myself stalling.
You know that I love you, but you should not have to ask

                     Me I'm so lucky
                     Your patience it is strong.
                     For of my frailties, we still get along.

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5. A Door That Never Opens

He’s got a glass in his hand and a woman in his heart.
Between them they've conspired and done their best 
To tear his life apart.
He's walking paths that no one else can see.
It’s a life that's lived in dreams,
Between the door that never opens 
And a phone that never rings.

Sad Dads on Sundays with their children in the park.
Burger King for dinner; be sure you bring them home by dark.
Their photos sit upon a window sill.
She knows she hurts him still.
He'll have to take his medicine;
He'll have to take his pills. 

What happened to forever?
It doesn't last as long these days.
Landmarks once thought permanent,
They drift into uneasy shade.
To lose all sense of order, to lose all sense of worth
Takes some getting over.
To live your life with such a hurt.

Now there's letters left unopened, there’s bills no longer paid,
Final demands and court orders,
Spears they use to stalk their prey.
It's a day to day existence and it's blocking out the sun.
It's so vicious and it stings.
Between the door that never opens 
And a phone that never rings.

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6. Common Form 

Marching bands and flags held high.
Fingers point toward the sky.
To lead and steel and waiting foe
Glory glory onward go.
If any question why we died,
Tell them because our fathers lied

A blow upon a whistle, a handshake from a friend
It's 80 yards from here to hell.
For most this is the end.
While some born of a nobler stock sit safely out of range
Shuffling cards and dealing hands - the deadliest of games
If any question why we died………………………

Heroes lead by donkeys, to coin another's phrase
Condemned to die, lest some lose face,
And so a war was waged.
Testosterone and bullshit it's a heady potent brew
Pick up your kit boys, fall in line we've got a job to do
If any question why we died……………………….

From cities towns and villages these brave souls gave their names
On cold November Sundays we remember them again.
They gave their names to carve in stone. Eternity is theirs
Flowers pinned on button holes, soft words and whispered prayers. 
If any question why we died……………………….

Duty lad. It's your duty lad.
Go and show them how it's done.
We're proud of you, so proud of you
Said a father to his son.

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7. I'll Not Sing Auld Lang Syne

You could hear them singing in the harbour bars
To welcome in the year.
I stood waiting in a line, a man without a care.
The night was clear, the spirits high,
Such joy I'd never known.
Two years since I'd left the island,
Now I was going home.

Their songs carried on the water,
As we sailed toward the sea.
The sailors said we'd make good time;
There was a keen southerly breeze.
As we neared our destination, the rain began to pour.
A drop of water will not hurt us.
For soon we'll be ashore.

CHORUS      Now every New Year's Eve, I will remember absent friends,
                     Knowing that I'll never see the likes of them again.
                     I see no cause to celebrate the passing of the time.
                     I'll not drink the New Year in. I'll not sing Auld Lang Syne.

I froze with fear when I heard the crash.
I thought my heart had stopped.
A wave then lifted us up high 
And smashed us on the rocks.
I screamed out in the darkness,
But who would hear my cries?
Just one of near three hundred.
I knelt and closed my eyes.


I'd never prayed before or since
As I did on that night.
I count my blessings daily, 
As well you'd think I might.
I give thanks to John Macleod;
T'was he secured the line.
It's to him many owe their lives, 
It's to him I owe mine.


Some say the crew were drinking, when the beasts of Holm struck.
Some say it was misfortun, though I don't believe in luck.
Questions never answered; rumours never aired.
The truth died with so many men, on board the Iolaire.


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8. Been A Long Day

I was born before the winter came.
They wrapped me up in a blanket and gave me a name.

CHORUS     It's been a long day; getting ready for my bed.
                    It's been a long day; I’m gonna rest my head.

I knew my place, I knew my ilk.
You don't plant cotton, if you wanna make silk.


My father used to drink; my mother used to cry.
Must have been love somewhere, but I never saw a sign.


Sometimes an angel sits on my shoulder,
Sometimes there sits Old Nick.
Trouble, oh trouble, I can't tell which one is which.


I was looking in the rear view mirror, 
staring down the miles.
No cause for complaining, it always makes me smile.

CHORUS and repeat

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9. I've Got The Consultation Bullshit Blues

I keep looking over my shoulder.
I don't know what's going on.
First you tell me this will happen,
Then you tell me that I've got it all wrong.
Well left hand, right hand - I'm crap at juggling.
I keep dropping the balls.
Read my palm, tell me my future
And I'll take at a guess at yours.

CHORUS      I'm getting fit on consultation bullshit.
                     Pull my strings and I'll dance to your tune.
                     Caring, sharing, it's bloody despairing.
                     I've got the consultation bullshit blues.

Keep your head well down the fan is spinning;
Who knows what will land and where?
Don't be late for work in the morning;
Someone else might be sat in your chair.
I'd like to register an expression of disinterest.
I'm sick and tired had enough of it all.
I'll leave you my personal feedback number, 
But I bet you can't be arsed to call


Black and white - that's how I like it.
I don't do murky, I don't do grey.
Just give me the facts man; I can take it.
Tell me when it's over and I'll be on my way,
We're not machines to switch on in the morning,
To buy and discard however you please.
We got hearts and minds - heed my warning,
You make the cuts but we're the ones that bleed.


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10. What Does It Take To Face The Morning?

What does it take to face the morning,
And to get up out of bed?
To lift your head from off the pillow,
After saying what you said?
What does it take to face each new day,
And to chase away the night?
Now that it's clear that you don't love me,
What would it take to make it right?

I'd give my life if for one moment,
You could feel the way I do.
To feel the tangle of emotions,
The power when I'm holding you.
Then if only for one second,
It might help you understand,
That love's for life
And life won't disappear.
We're more than footprints in the sand,

I lie alone and watch the shadows on the bedroom wall,
Imagining they're you and I.
I watch them dance so closely 
As the moonlight starts to fall
They slowly disappear then die.
I tell myself I can't go on,
To draw a line across this love that's lost its fight.
I tell myself I must be wrong.
If loves that strong,
It must be right.

What does it take to face the morning?
What does it take to face the day?
What would it take to make you love me?
What would it take to make you stay?

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11. It Was Never In My Hands

If only I'd have met you in another place and time,
Free from all the baggage, all that shit that clogs your mind.
Out on a clear road, open spaces up ahead.
To free me from my dreaming.
To have lived that life instead

We would have made quite a couple.
Could've cleared the floor.
All eyes would have been upon us.
They'd be shouting out for more.
It's cruel of fate to cast its light
On these things we might have done.
Oh, If only I'd have met you,
Before the setting of the sun.

And what would you have made of this young fool?
Head in the clouds, feet on the run.
No time for the day, no time for a second glance,
Then I'd be gone, then I'd be gone.

I was lucky to have been in love;
It was the sweetest of songs.
The grass seemed so much greener there;
I felt like I belonged.
But time it was against us
And I hope you understand.
I was lucky to have loved you,
But it was never in my hands.

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12. The Field Behind Our House

In the field behind our house we would never suffer ploughing,
For the land there it was growing for a garden.
And we’d play there after school, if the wind was not too bitter.
If the wind was not too snell to send us in.
In the field behind our house grew the primroses in summer,
Like a carpet, said our mother, though we picked them everyday.
But how ever many bunches, they never seemed to lessen.
We were carpeted with flowers, in the field behind our house.

In the sunny days of summer we would play there after bed time
The northern sun was shining after bedtime.
Our mothers never noticed; they were talking in a doorway,
Talking to a neighbour in the sun.
In the field behind our house you could hear the ocean playing
As it roared upon the coastline, throwing spray onto the rocks.
We would sit outside and listen, shelling peas and singing softly.
Hear the wild, lamenting seagulls in the sea behind our house.

There’s a twelve-foot metal fence in the field behind our house
And the land is stolen from us once again.
The primroses are gone, for the earth is mud and water
Though no-one seems to go there very much.
In the field behind our house, some angry dogs are barking,
Strange aeroplanes are landing, in a blaze of foreign lights.
You can hear the soldiers shouting, as their boots crash on the concrete.
You would think that they were staying in the field behind our house.

In the field behind our house we would never suffer ploughing,
For the land there it was growing for a garden.
And we’d play there after school, if the wind was not too bitter.
If the wind was not too snell to send us in.

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13. I've Got One-Way Ticket (But A Return State of Mind)

I've checked my bags but it feels like something's missing,
Something I might be needing down the line.
Well I’m leaving here today,
But a part of me will stay.
I got a one way ticket but a return state of mind.

Ticked off all the jobs that needed doing,
Stopped the paper, paid the rent, said my goodbyes.
I’ve checked it time and time again,
But something's underneath my skin.
I got a one way ticket but a return state of mind.

    Always one eye on the road,
    I'm not the kind to settle down.
    Like a windswept scrap of tumbleweed,
    I roll from town to town.
    Maybe I stayed too long this time
    And the roots began to spread.
    I don't understand this feeling.
    Something's messing with my head.

Picked up my strings and threw my bag over my shoulder.
Turned away, just as tear spilled from my eye.
Well so long to you old friend.
Some day our paths may cross again.
I got a one way ticket but a return state of mind.

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14. Cold Blow December Winds

Three a.m. and I'm over the top
I've had more than one or two beers.
Worse for wear and getting ready to drop;
I know it's gonna end in tears.
Three parts stoned and miles from home
And I can't seem to get this right.
The woman I'm with’s not the woman I love,
But I'm tired of being alone at night..

I was taking my chances by myself
In a town I don't know too well
Using my skills as best I could
They're just products I'm trying to sell.
I'm not asking for much, just to make a living
With maybe a little to spare,
But it's a hell of a reach when you're walking these streets;
It's a different world out there.

CHORUS     Cold blow December winds,
                     Hot burns the August sun.
                     Turned over another year,
                     Tell me where's it all come from?
                     Another circle around the tree,
                     Another crease upon my brow.
                     With the luck of the draw I might break out even.
                     It all adds up some how.

And I've got a woman at home, she loves me so much
At times I can hardly breathe.
I try to do the best for her,
It's dragging me to my knees.
Like a punch drunk fighter in the final round,
Praying for the bell to ring.
It's only pride that keeps him up on his feet.
Pride's a powerful thing.


I was just fifteen when I first said I loved you
Saw the tears rolled down your face.
As I laughed and joked you hardly spoke,
We just said we'd get out of this place.
So many years gone and I'm still trying;
I haven't given up on it yet.
But if money were tears, after all these years
I swear I'd be a millionaire.


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