SWALLOW

I N S P I R A T I O N

Swallow was possibly the first song I wrote after moving to Dorset in October 1994. I lived in a cottage on Windy Ridge in the Piddle Valley. This was also the summer home for swallows, swifts and house martins galore and therefore probably where inspiration for the lyrics was drawn. Originally it had four verses with one for each season. There is a youtube version: Swallow. The track can be heard on Soundcloud.

  

Swallow

Winter sees the skeletal trees, the chilly blast and the storm.

Mortals strive to stay alive and shelter in the warm.

In the hold of icy cold, when farm and field lie fallow,

Cast an eye to southern sky and the homeward flight of the swallow.

 

The windy roar, the frosty hoar do truly take their toll,

Blight the span of mouse and man and freeze the heart and soul.

Then by nature’s quirk of fate, the leaves form on the willow,

Then earth can take her stock and wake to the homeward flight of the swallow.

 

To balance mend, the rains descend, to swell the hip and haw,

Deck the fields and trees to yield a bounteous autumn store.

'Though, I’ll never fully understand the instincts fledgelings follow,

For wing and beak, I touch my peak, to the homeward flight of the swallow.


Paul J Openshaw (1995 ish)

….and with chords. I play this in DADGAD and capo three and so have illustrated here with D chords.

Verse 1

D            A              Bm         F*M    G        Em            A

Winter sees the skeletal trees, the chilly blast and storm.

D              A               Bm    F*M        G           A          D

Mortals strive to stay alive and shelter in the warm.

D          A            Bm  F*m            G                Em         A

In the hold of icy cold, when farm and field lie fallow,

D            A            Bm            F*m                 G                    A                     D

Cast an eye to southern sky and the homeward flight of the swallow.


Verse 2

D                   A               Bm       F*m             G     Em             A

The windy roar, the frosty hoar do truly take their toll,

D                   A              Bm              F*m           G                 A                  D

Blight the span of mouse and man and freeze the heart and soul.

Bm             F*m          G             D               G                    Em       A

Then by nature’s quirk of fate, the leaves form on the willow,

D                             A               Bm               F*m                G                  A                      D

Then earth can take her stock and wake to the homeward flight of the swallow.


Third verse follows a similar pattern to second verse.

 

© Paul J Openshaw 2012