Harvest Home - a Pagan rock song for Summer Solstice and all year round
Harvest Home photo
How Harvest Home began
Harvest Home is a folk rock or acoustic rock song by myself the Bard of Ely but it wasn't always a musical recording. Harvest Home started life as a poem that was published originally in the nineties by Alan Craw in his fanzine Cyrkel Spynn.
However, a friend of mine suggested that I should try putting some music to it because it would make great lyrics, so this is what I did, having worked out a chord pattern that fitted the verses. The words make direct reference to the Summer Solstice, a very important time and event in the traditional pagan and Druid calendars. This is the time of a major festival on the pagan calendar, when there is the longest day and shortest night and pagans celebrating this time of year await seeing the rising sun. Stonehenge attracts thousands of people for the Summer Solstice each year.
The story of Harvest Home, by the way, illustrates why it can be important to hold on to lyrics and poems if you write them, because you never know where they might end up in future, perhaps having been given a different treatment.
The Taffia EP
A lot of people liked the song Harvest Home and it was released online on various music sites but I was really delighted, as I am sure you can imagine, when Rhys Mwyn, who signed my controversial song You're a Liar, Nicky Wire to front a release on Crai Records entitled the Taffia EP, gave the go ahead for it also to be included as another of the tracks included on the release.
Crai Records, by the way, is part of Sain Records, a leading Welsh record label, and where the band Catatonia first started their career. Catatonia, of course, was the band that gave Cerys Matthews her break that led on to international recognition as a singer, and the band had a string of hits.
So Harvest Home was released on a CD EP in 2002.
How Harvest Home was recorded
I had my new song Harvest Home in its basic form, of a melody I played using a strummed chord-pattern, but wanted to get it recorded properly, and for the song to have a folk-rock treatment, so I asked my good friend and fellow singer-songwriter and rock musician, Nathaniel 'Nat' Shelley, if he could help. Nathaniel, by the way, is the son of bass player Burke Shelley of the legendary Welsh rock band Budgie, so music and talent definitely run in his family. At this point in time, Nat was writing songs for and fronting his own band called Transposer.
With a Nod to John Lennon
I sent a cassette recording to Nat so he could get an idea of how the song sounded and was structured so when we met up next we could record it using his home studio in Penarth. Both Nat and I are big fans of John Lennon and we thought we could make tribute to the former Beatle by giving it a psychedelic sound with some backward tape playing as the intro. This was done using the actual cassette recording.
I can't be sure what was actually being sung on the tape playing normally but reversed it sounds like "Horses can harm you." Much as I love these animals, funnily enough, I once was harmed by one when I got kicked up the backside, literally, by a mare in a field I was walking through as a boy.
I sang the vocals for Harvest Home and played acoustic guitar and Nat came up with the rest of the rock song backing and I was very pleased with how it all sounded.
Canadian singer-songwriter Daniel Iorio was so impressed with Harvest Home that he recorded a cover version of it. Daniel is a John Lennon fan too and his own songs have a distinct Lennon influence so he was just the right person to record a new version of the song.
Harvest Home by Bard of Ely
Links for this hub
- Rhys Mwyn - Biography
- daniel iorio | Free Music, Tour Dates, Photos, Videos
daniel iorio's official profile including the latest music, albums, songs, music videos and more updates.
Harvest Home included on a film soundtrack
Alan Craw, who has released two albums by me on DMMG Records - Welsh Wizard and Dive in Deep - is a good friend of Phillip Gardiner, author of the best selling book - The Serpent Grail, and who coincidentally was also in Cyrkel Spynn in the past. Besides being an author, Phillip makes documentaries and films for the major USA film/multi-media label Reality Entertainment.
Alan sent my promo pack to Philip last year (at time of writing), and I got in touch with him myself via Facebook, with the result that he was impressed enough with Harvest Home to include it as part of the soundtrack for the horror film Paranormal Haunting: The Curse of the Blue Moon Inn.
It has been very pleasurable watching the journey of a song that began life as a poem printed in a fanzine but ended up on a recording released by an established independent label, and later getting used in a film by a much-acclaimed director.
Paranormal Haunting: The Curse of the Blue Moon Inn: Official Trailer
© 2011 Steve Andrews