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Down by the river I sat and wept when I remembered Zion.
There on the poplar I hung my harp, my songs all to forget.
Play us a song, new lover said. Take down your harp! Take up the pen!
But no song of mirth to sing again, for all songs came from Zion.
May I lose my hand.
May my tongue cling to my mouth.
Oh, Jerusalem, leveled to the ground.
All this garlic sprouting yellow should have died, but it thrives.
Lay my head on some new pillow; I don’t cry.
On the daybed I sat and wept when I remembered Zion.
Was Zion my mirror? What did his hands look like? What is a poplar tree?
You feel so tired, my comfort said. And all things wild must go to bed.
The paint gone dry, the yeast all dead. I hang my harp for Zion.
Did I lose my hand?
Does my tongue cling to my mouth?
Oh, Jerusalem, would you know me now?
All these houseplants growing flowers — are they bad?
And these dogs who’ve lost their mothers, still they’re glad — are they bad?
Is Zion safe? He said he’d drown
in Jerusalem, my wild town.
Draw the shade; it’s far from here.
It’s all okay; it disappeared.
released May 10, 2019
John Dunlop | Cello
Sofia Hirsch | Violin
Laura Markowitz | Viola
John Drumbo French from Captain Beefheart and The Magic Band worked with Thompson on two albums along with Fred Frith and Henry Kaiser.
Those two French, Frith, Kaiser and Thompson albums led me to this.
Also, Richard Thompson taught Hugh Cornwell (of The Stranglers) how to play the bass guitar in a band when they were both at the same school (Emil and The Detectives?).
With a career spanning 50 years and playing with two of my heroes (French and Cornwell) Thompson has produced a fascinating EP.
An amazing meditation on heartbreak with vocals that cut deep and give you chills. I saw her in Portland, Maine, with Clever Girls and Plains, and she is one of those rare artists who can convey the same feeling and brilliance, live and in the studio. Definitely one of the best releases this year! Nate Thorne