A while ago a friend of mine introduced me to the work of an artist called El Mandrake, and told that he liked our music. Which is always a happy thing to hear.
He had an exhibition in Belfast which I attended, and was very impressed with the collection of artefacts and antiquities he had amassed, presumably from every corner of the world.
One item of particular interest to me was an old beaten up guitar, which he had fashioned into a very unique resonator. I was invited to play it and spent the next hour or so whittling an idea together, amongst the other displays.
This song was what came out; another souvenir that will hopefully sit pleasantly with the other, older, relics from El Mandrake's grand tour.
I have seen this world by and by,
Through the coldest brass and fickle eyes,
By this time piece shown,
Untold centuries I roam,
By the stars I count the friends I’ve known.
While those mighty kings had cities fall,
And as their servants died against a wall,
And as the scores aligned
‘neath the ravages of time,
By these stars I know the friends I found.
I have heard the words of bibles,
I have heard the bombs of war.
I have seen the great revival,
Prepare to meet the Lord.
I have known the loss of lovers,
Who broke the heel of men,
Be they gilt in gold and silver,
Or the riches of the dead.
Find in every life a souvenir,
For we are never long in leaving here.
And should our roads depart,
Each great story has a start,
By the stars I find in every heart.
released 28 March 2013
Written and performed by Stephen Macartney, Rachel Coulter.