The Rain on the Mountainside


Words & Music: Jake Thackray

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The rain is on the mountainside,
The beast is in the silent meadow,
The north countryside is patiently waiting again.
Blackbird is dumb in the juniper,
Lapwing shivers in the dripping thicket,
Down in the stone-faced town, one door opens.

For though the weather blow wild
I see the shepherd step up to his moorside;
And in despite of the cold
The poor farmer going to his meadow below,
Going to his meadow below.

When the birch tree is agonised
And when the little river is tormented,
The land on its knees, the house on its hunkers,
There is a figure moving by the wall,
Leaning for breath upon a stony shoulder,
His eyes to the skies seldom lifted.

For though the weather blow wild
I see the shepherd step up to his moorside;
And in despite of the cold
The poor farmer going to his meadow below,
Going to his meadow below.

North-Country countryside,
The grim indifference of your nature,
Most other men would turn, stumbling homeward.
But this one is a different kind:
He knows the pinches of an older hunger;
A greater storm than yours in his heart rages.

For though the weather blow wild
I see the shepherd whistling on his moorside;
And in despite of the cold
The poor farmer singing in his meadow below,
Singing in his meadow below.

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