ONCE AND FUTURE AMAZONS - Lyrics, Musician Credits, Notes (c) 2020, Dancing Tree Music

From Ruth Barrett:

 

My new recording, ONCE AND FUTURE AMAZONS, is a celebration of women’s embodied mysteries, ancient sovereign goddesses, and the seasonal cycle of Mother Nature.  The music incorporates African, Middle Eastern and Celtic folk rhythms, with original and traditional folk songs and chants.  A number of the pieces were written by friends and elders who have passed.  Their memories live on in their music inspiring a spiritual trail to follow.  For those of you that seek music that affirms and fills your sense of the sacred through the magic of sounds and words, I leave my legacy to you.

 

It was an honor and pleasure to once again co-produce this project with Scott Fraser, my long-time recording engineer, and to play with such talented musicians from California and the Midwest. It was especially joyful to record again with my daughter Amanda and my two brothers, Joel and Daniel. Playing folk music together was always an important part of family life growing up, bringing us together in ways that only music can. I am deeply thankful to Pele, Jenn, Shawna, Samantha, Jacqueline, Edward, Rachel, Falcon, and Doug for bringing their sensitive talents to this project. They made the music come alive.

As an independent artist, being able to raise funds necessary to produce a high quality recording depends on friends, fans, and family.

My heartfelt THANKS to the supporters of this project who pre-purchased copies and made donations great and small. You made this recording possible.

 

WITH SPECIAL THANKS to Mar Martin and She Who Wishes To Remain Anonymous

Hag of Winter was sponsored by Nicki Harris

Scythe To The Grain was sponsored by Arborel LizardTongue

Brigid Lead Me Home was sponsored by Tess Meuer

You all have my thanks and my heart. I could not have done this without you.

DEDICATED to the memory of my beloved mother, Florence Bienenfeld, and to the memory of these wise elders and wild loved ones – Sparky T. Rabbit, Brigit Silverbranch, Nora Cedarwind, Kay Gardner, Shekhinah Mountainwater, Helen Farias, and Patricia Monaghan.

 

MY GRATITUDE to Claudia Kunin, Ursula Hoppe, and Rachel Alexander for their invaluable specialized support.

Scott Fraser, my sound engineer and co-producer for forty years. You are the best. I am thankful to recording engineer Corey DeRusha for our Lansing sessions, Cedar Kindy for allowing me to use her iconic painting “Moonspinner” for the cover, Ursula Hoppe for photographing me as “Crone Amazon,” and to Rick Whitmore for pure artistic genius in the graphics design. To my beloved wife, Falcon River, for everything.

 

THE MUSICIANS

Ruth Barrett – vocals, mountain dulcimer

Rachel Alexander – alto recorder

Amanda Barrett- vocals

Doug Berch – hammer dulcimer, harmonium

Joel Bienenfeld – flute

Daniel Bienenfeld – concertina

Scott Fraser – drones

Jacqueline Fuentes - vocals

Falcon River – mouth harp

Shawna Selline – Celtic harp

Samantha Cooper – fiddle

Pele Yemaya – percussion

Jennifer Vallely – percussion

Edward Willett - cello

 

1. Hag Of Winter (2:53)

         Ruth Barrett

 

Hag of Winter, Crone of Time

Your sap held still in silent rhyme

as visions bud on frozen vine

and wait for Spring’s return

 

Hag of Winter fast asleep

Neath withered tree stump dreaming deep

From shrunken womb Her daughter seeds

Awakes for Spring’s renewal

 

She rests within the frozen bark,

Contained within her hidden spark

of seeds long held within the dark

To wake at Spring’s return

 

Conceiving self within herself

The barren one, She carries wealth

Of all revealed or once beheld

As old springs new again

 

Boney fingers reaching out

from fertile soil sleeping sound

Til season’s time comes round about

And She springs new again

 

She waits and breathes patient and slow

Her heart beat drums beneath the snow

She’ll bide her time til she let’s go

To welcome Spring’s return

 

Ruth Barrett - vocals, mountain dulcimer

Amanda Barrett - vocals

Edward Willett - cello

Pele Yemaya - frame, chime, toenails

 

 

2. I Summon Her (3:30)

         Kiki Williamson 

 

By the Air, I summon Her breath

I draw Her into my lungs

 

By the Fire, I summon Her spirit

I draw Her into my soul

 

By the Water, I summon Her blood

I draw Her into my veins

 

By the Earth, I summon Her body

I draw Her into my flesh

 

I am, She is, we are together

I am, She is, we are together

I am, She is, we are together

Together as one.

 

I stretch my wings

I spark the flame

I ride the waves

I climb the mountain range

 

 

Ruth Barrett - vocals

Amanda Barrett - vocals

Jacqueline Fuentes - vocals

Jennifer Vallely - riqq

Pele Yemaya - frame, djembe, shaker, claves, kin kini

 

 

3. Song Of Brigid (Gabhaim molta Brigid) (3:44)

      Traditional Irish. Words adapted by Steven Posch

 

Gabhaim molta Bride
Ionmhain í le hÉireann
Ionmhain le gach tír í
Molaimis go léir í

 

I will sing praise to Brigid,

Beloved is she in Eirinn,

Beloved is she in all lands,

Let us all praise her.

 

Bright torch of Leincester,

Shining throughout the land,

Pride of youth of Eirinn,

Pride of gentle women.

 

Dark the house of Winter,

Cutting with its sharpness,

But on the Eve of Brigid

Spring is near to Eirinn.

 

Ruth Barrett - vocal, mountain dulcimer

Daniel Bienenfeld - concertina

Joel Bienenfeld - flute

Scott Fraser - drone

Shawna Selline - Celtic harp, hurdy gurdy

Samantha Cooper - fiddle

 

 

4. Brigid, Lead Me Home (3:13)

         Tradition Irish prayer translated from the Gaelic by Patricia Monaghan,

adapted with original music by Ruth Barrett

 

Brigid, red-gold woman             

Brigid, blaze and honeycomb             

Brigid, sun of womanhood        

Brigid, lead me home                          

 

You are a branch in blossom

You are a sheltering dome

Bright precious freedom,

Brigid, lead me home.

 

Ruth Barrett - vocals, mountain dulcimer

Amanda Barrett - vocals

Jacqueline Fuentes - vocals

Shawna Selline - Celtic harp

Edward Willett - cello

 

 

5. Triple Goddess Chant (3:02)

       Sparky T. Rabbit aka: Peter Bruner Soderberg 

 

Holy Maiden Huntress, Artemis

New Moon, come to us.

 

Silver shining wheel of radiance

Mother, come to us

 

Ancient Queen of Wisdom, Hecate

Old One, come to us

 

Ruth Barrett - vocals, mountain dulcimer

Amanda Barrett - vocals

Joel Bienenfeld - flute

Jennifer Vallely - riqq

Pele Yemaya - djembe, bell

 

 

6. Brigid Upon The Highland (4:03)

         Melody and lyrics adapted from the traditional song, Brigit O’ Malley

         Original words by Helen Farias and Craig Olson

 

Oh Brigid Upon the Highland, 'tis you've left my heart shaken,

with joyous adoration as before you I stand.

'Tis wonders of admiration your quiet face has

 taken, and your beauty can awaken the ones of the Golden Land.

 

Oh the white moon above the pale sands, the pale stars above the thorn tree,

are cold beside my darling but no purer than she.

I gaze upon the cold moon 'til stars drown in the warm seas,

and the bright eyes of my Darling, are ever on me.

 

Oh Brigid of the Mantle, sweet nectar from the bees, now.

My heart is thrown open, my heartbreak is healed.

Oh, joy springs forth within me, as apple blossoms on the trees, now.

Forever will I love thee in green Avalon fields.

 

Oh Brigid upon the highland, 'tis you've left my heart shaken,

With fires of inspiration, and the Promise of Spring.

Please stay with me, my darling, to never be forsaken.

Of your beauty and mystery I ever shall sing.

Of your beauty and mystery, I ever shall sing.

 

In the last years of my mother’s life, she loved to sing along to this melody, even when she was unable to sing the words. This is for mom.

 

Ruth Barrett - vocals, mountain dulcimer

Amanda Barrett - vocals

Doug Berch - hammer dulcimer

Daniel Bienenfeld - concertina

Joel Bienenfeld – flute

Samantha Cooper – fiddle

Shawna Selline - Celtic harp

 

 

7. I Enter In Love (2:42)

       Ruth Barrett

 

I enter in love

To all that shall be

Blessed is the Mystery

Opening me

 

Variations you can sing include "I open to love", etc.

Ruth Barrett - vocals, mountain dulcimer

Amanda Barrett - vocals

Jacqueline Fuentes - vocals

Joel Bienenfeld - flute

Shawna Selline - Celtic harp

Pele Yemaya - frame drum 

 

8. Spring Song (4:25)

         Bill Thorpe (Billy Bardo) lyrics, Traditional Breton melody

 

What was white and grey, cold and gleaming

Feels the longer day, and Spring is greening

What was white and grey, cold and gleaming

Feels the longer day, and Spring is greening

 

Snowdrops budding and birdsong chattering

Mud wind scented and sun upon skin

Lovers and strangers are flirting and flattering

Give a deep breath and take it all in

 

Feel the change that’s on its way

It’s in your blood, it’s in your play

Awaken to the longer day,

This is the season’s turning

 

Rising up within you roots

The rhythm flows like sap to shoots

The recent seeds of ancient fruits

It’s life itself returning

 

What was white and grey, cold and gleaming

Feels the longer day, and Spring is greening

What was white and grey, cold and gleaming

Feels the longer day, and Spring is greening

 

Thunderstorm claps and the clouds are rumbling

Wind is winging like a wondrous song

Ice is broken and the waters are tumbling

Spring is coming it won’t be long

 

Feel the change that’s on its way

It’s in your blood, it’s in your play

Awaken to the longer day,

This is the season’s turning

 

Rising up within you roots

The rhythm flows like sap to shoots

The recent seeds of ancient fruits

It’s life itself returning

 

Ruth Barrett - vocals, mountain dulcimer

Rachel Alexander - alto recorder

Joel Bienenfeld – flute

Samantha Cooper - fiddle

Falcon River - mouth harp

Jennifer Vallely - darbuka, riqq

Pele Yemaya - frame drum

 

 

9. Breton Dances (3:06)

Traditional. I learned these dances from the playing of the great pipe band, Brezeus.

 

Ruth Barrett - vocals, mountain dulcimer

Joel Bienenfeld - flute

Falcon River - mouth harp

Shawna Selline - hurdy gurdy

Jennifer Vallely - darbuka, riqq, zils

Pele Yemaya - frame drum

 

10. Queen of the Starry Night (2:10)

 Ruth Barrett

 

Diana, Diana, Diana, Diana,

Queen of the Starry Night, starry night

Touch your daughters with your love

In your holy light

 

Ruth Barrett - vocals

Amanda Barrett - vocals

Jacqueline Fuentes - vocals

Jennifer Vallely - shaker

Pele Yemaya - duns, samba, kin kini, frame

 

 

11. Whole Unto Myself (2:52)

        Ruth Barrett

 

I am whole unto myself,

One with goddess, as are we

Mothers, sisters, daughters three

Spinning life eternally

 

Can I take you to the stream

Where the waters tumble down

And the source of that hidden spring

Lives within us underground

 

There are many who are lost

Yet many more now who have found

That our power lies within

Rising from the Mother’s sound

 

From the rhythm of my heart

I can feel the pulse of time

Drumming constant to the beat

Dancing to our Mother’s rhyme

 

We are gentle, we are strong

In our rage and tranquility

Joining hands and hearts as one

Let us raise our sovereignty

 

In the temple of myself

Is the mirror where I see

That my body is the source

Of a sacred reality

 

From this source from deep within

lives the ancient mystery

I can give birth to myself

from my womb, the primal sea 

 

Ruth Barrett - vocals, mountain dulcimer

Amanda Barrett - vocals

Samantha Cooper - fiddle

Pele Yemaya - frame drum

 

12. Woman’s Blood (1:32)

         Ruth Barrett

 

Born of woman’s blood

Born of woman’s body

Born with woman’s blood

We are holy

We are whole.

 

Ruth Barrett - vocals

Amanda Barrett - vocals

Pele Yemaya - djembe, samba, ken kini, dum, bells, shaker

 

13. Packington’s Pound (2:27)

        Anonymous. Written in the 16th century for the lute, and was purportedly one of Queen Elizabeth’s favorites. Adapted from a  Dulcimer arrangement by Randy Wilkenson.

 

Ruth Barrett - mountain dulcimer

Rachel Alexander - alto recorder

Jennifer Vallely - dumbek, riqq, tar

 

 

14. Holy Door (1:45)

      Ruth Barrett

 

Blessed is my womb

The jewel at my core

Waxing, waning

Holy door

 

Ruth Barrett - vocals

Amanda Barrett - vocals

Pele Yemaya - frame drum, shaker

Jennifer Vallely - daf

 

 

15. Diana’s Calling (1:25)

         Jules Assata

 

It is my intention that shapes the arrow

It is you as my source that powers its flight

Together we strive to right the balance

That the Wheel cycles on, as day into night

 

Diana, Artemis, Amazon Womyn

Your daughters, we gather, we heed your call

With our efforts and magic in Her service

For the love of the Mother, and life for us all

 

Now in this moment, I shape an arrow

Name it, knock it, draw in my source

For it is my intention and my magic

And the Goddess within that gives flight to its course

 

Ruth Barrett - vocal

 

 

16. Once And Future Amazons (5:45)

         Words by Ruth Barrett, Traditional melody

 

Daughters of Artemis, we raise our voice in song

With bow and arrows on your back, riding proud and strong

We reach for you through herstory, we dream of you and long

For we are you in present time, once and future Amazons

 

Your myths are carved in granite stone, your power all can see.

Refusing of Apollo’s light, you set your sisters free

We feel you rising in our breasts, when Themis holds her scales

And we’ll speak our truth with urgent voice that justice will prevail

 

Each breath we take and step we make, recalls your sacred stride

Across the desert wilderness and down the mountainside

We will refuse the master’s tools, and set our own selves free

And we’ll find and follow where you lead on the path to liberty

 

Daughters of Artemis, we claim your holy name

The bright torch of our sisterhood burns as sacred flame

Upon our breast, upon our bloods, we swear a secret bond

For we are you and you are we, once and future Amazons

 

Priestess, Prophet, Warrior, Queen, and Daughter of the Torch

You loose the arrow in our souls to run the wild course

We reach for you through herstory, we dream of you and long

For we are you in present time, once and future Amazons

 

Ruth Barrett - vocals, mountain dulcimer

Rachel Alexander - alto recorder

Doug Berch - hammer dulcimer, harmonium

Dan Bienenfeld - concertina

Joel Bienenfeld - flute

Falcon River - mouth harp

Pele Yemaya - djembe

 

 

17. Scythe To The Grain/ Fear Not The Dark (2:41)

        Brigit Silverbranch/Ruth Barrett

Scythe to the grain

The Great Wheel is turning

Scythe to the grain

The summer sun fades

Scythe to the grain

Ripening to harvest

Scythe to the grain

Mother to Crone

 

 

Fear not the dark

The womb of creation

Reach for the dark

And find revelation

 

Ruth Barrett - vocals

Amanda Barrett - vocals

Jennifer Vallely - darbuka, tar

 

 

18. Before the Snow (3:13)

      Ruth Barrett 

   

Ruth Barrett - mountain dulcimer

Doug Berch - hammer dulcimer

Daniel Bienenfeld - concertina

Joel Bienenfeld - flute

Shawna Selline - Celtic harp

Edward Willett - cello

 

 

19. Rozhanitza (2:46)

     Helen Farias

 

Rozhanitza of the snows

Rozhanitza of the barren trees

Rozhanitza of the hungry birds,

Come near our fire.

 

When the killing blizzard blows,

When the berries on the bushes freeze,

Rozhanitza, hear our tender words,

Come near our fire,

Stay by us till spring breaks through.

 

Little Mother of the deer

Little Mother of the winter sun,

Little Mother of the starry night,

Come near our fire.

 

When the fields are bleak and sere,

When the icy streams forget to run,

Rozhanitza , hold aloft your light,

come near our fire,

Stay by us till spring breaks through.

 

Ruth Barrett - vocals, mountain dulcimer

Amanda Barrett - vocals

Doug Berch - hammer dulcimer, harmonium

Pele Yemaya - toys, chimes

Edward Willett - cello

 

20. We’ve Already Begun (2:18)

         Ruth Barrett

 

Like the new moon,

We’ve already begun

To be what we’re becoming.

 

Ruth Barrett - vocals

Amanda Barrett - vocals

Jacqueline Fuentes - vocals

Pele Yemaya - dum dum ba, frame, concert drum

 

21.  The Star (Tarot Key #17) (3:25)

         Shekhinah Mountainwater

 

Gently truth will touch you when she comes

No loud fanfare blares her forth


But in the deepest space of silence
 

Angels' silver calls embrace the earth

 

Now I lie beneath her loving gaze

And I the open lake receive her cup

Now I float within her gentle heart

And I the open earth am filled with hope

 

Now I take my lady’s form

And pour out all my love on bended knee

Seven temples open seven doors

And hope forever changed to certainty

 

Gently truth will touch you when she comes

No loud fanfare blares her forth

But in the deepest space of silence
Angels' silver calls embrace the earth

 

Ruth Barrett - vocals

Scott Fraser - drones

 

22. Mother, Listen (3:56)

         Trevor Wentworth and William Rowan

 

Mother listen as I sing

Keep me in your thoughts

Mother watching over me

Guard me in the night

 

 Holy Mothers guard us

Guide us

Holy Mothers guard us

Guide us

 

Ancient voices sing your praise

On this sacred night

Silent through the winter’s dark

Streaming to be heard

 

Holy Mothers guard us

Guide us

Holy Mothers guard us

Guide us

 

Now forgotten rites renew

Praise we sing again

Honor to the Mothers all

Hail their holy names

 

Holy Mothers guard us

Guide us

Holy Mothers guard us

Guide us

 

Ruth Barrett - low vocal, mountain dulcimer

Amanda Barrett - lead vocal

Doug Berch - hammer dulcimer

Shawna Selline - Celtic harp

Edward Willett - cello

 

 

 23. Back To The Bones (3:16)

          Steven Wehmeyer

 

The skin is a mask that we shed with the season

Inside hides a secret that’s older than stone

Enmeshed in the flesh is the door of deliverance

If you would know freedom, go back to the bones.

 

Chorus:

We go back, we go back, we go back to the bones.

We go back, we go back, we go back to the bones.

 

The dead know the names of all things that are hidden

Of secrets unspoken and tidings unknown

For the brave every grave holds the knowledge of ages

If you would know wisdom, go back to the bones

 

Chorus:

 

The dead have a voice that can never be silenced

A power more potent than pulpit or throne

To attend and defend at the call of the righteous

If you would know justice, go back to the bones

 

Chorus:

 

We are bound to the dead by the cords of communion

They abide by our side we are never alone

They continue within you forever beginning

To know who we are, we go back to the bones.

 

Chorus:

We go back, we go back, we go back to the bones.

We go back, we go back, we go back to the bones.

We go back, we go back, we go back to the bones.

We go back, we go back, we go back to the bones.

 

Ruth Barrett - vocals

Amanda Barrett - vocals

Jacqueline Fuentes - vocals

Jennifer Vallely - riqq, daf

Pele Yemaya - djembe, shaker, claves

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Mason, MI, USA
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