FIELD & DYKE

Danny Pedler & Greg Russell bring you the Field & Dyke project; a project combining traditional music with the sounds of industry. Grown out of an oral history research project conducted by Danny, the music incorporates samples of dialogue from Field & Dyke Interviewees as well as being based around factory machine rhythms. These innovative music making techniques create brand new songs that explore folk music as a vehicle to communicate the feeling behind the social and cultural themes present in 21st century England.

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This project is funded by Arts Council England, Transported art, and Freshlinc LTD., and is working in factories in South Lincolnshire in 2019 providing arts engagement for factory floor workers. There will be a tour in January 2020.

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FIELD & DYKE - LYRICS

Down & Deeper
Drawing us down and deeper and drowning
Drawing us down and deeper and finally
Rising and still hard working
Cutting ground where once we played
Playing and dancing, skating and singing,
Drawing us down below, the wash calls
Cutting and digging, farming, the cycle
Of the years has changed.
Our wealth has always dwelt below us
I’ve heard tell
Hail to the land that raises
those with whom we dwell
Always lived and shared with
Those we’d welcome last
I’ve heard stories of odd things
Dwelling in the marsh
 Cries in the night, they wake us
Shrieking their sound
Boggarts, bogles child, they own this
Old, sodden land
Don’t go out, after nightfall
Don’t follow lights
These are the fen men
Lamenting their might/trying to fight
Don’t go down below, its dark there
Misty and cold
Still foreign people gather seeking what they can
Banking, fishing, sifting, digging
the rich land keeps you
the fens draw you in
When the wars range and muskets
rattle their cry
The people do rise to fight for
Their common land
Shared by the hated, the feared, misunderstood
Against you drainers
Doing no good
Industrial surgeons
Cutting more wounds
Holland cries dry tears
As gangs dig down
Men from the west come seeking
Wages to buy food
The land does ise
The land does fall

Poverty Knock
Up at every morning at 5
It’s a wonder that we’re still alive
Standing and yawning, in the cold morning
It’s back to the dreary old drive.

We’re never going to be late
The bus is from door and to gate
It pays to be quiet, just head down and take it
Commerce employs by the crate

Poverty poverty knock
The engines are saying all day-o
Poverty poverty knock
The masters too skinny to pay us
Poverty poverty knock
With always one eye on the clock
My thoughts can collect, with the day’s final check, no more
Poverty poverty knock

Oh dear my poor head it rings
To loud to talk, joke or to sing
The clamour of voices, the clanking of noises
Oh lord how I wish I had wings

David he’s on shift again
He’s tired but he’s chatting to Ken
Suspicious looks and obvious head jerks
Aimed towards Piotr and Len

Sometimes a motor it breaks
Health & Safety close down the place
All officers fawning, sincerity scorning
We know it’s all show, saving face.

When the employers above
Come round with a clap and a laugh
With enrichment sessions and free English lessons
Division’s enforced with a glove

I spose we should all count our luck,
Clean floors when before they were muck
Though it is tedious we know it’s convenient
That’s the bargain that we all have struck

Vesta’s been courting our Steve
She’s so big, you wouldn’t believe
(but) She’s a gang worker, and they’re not together
More kids who think fathers all leave

S.K.Y
You should see the skies round here
Towering over all
And while the mist may fall
The air is clear
From my little house
That guards a view so long
I see the difference in all
And that we all belong

The world is covered up
A simple concrete ball
Suspended in the sky
Where people feel like
They yearn to see that sky
A simple stretching blue
Working down the wash
It’s here for me and you
More faces I don’t know
Less tongues I understand
Less communal work
Less living off the land
But what would my old man say
He’d take me by the arm
They’re working just like us
They’re not doing any harm

Old ways not going strong
Farms favour machine parts
No lines of working men
It’s farming without hearts
The land’s not on the mend
The people coming in
Continuing our might
South Hollanders all
I think back to that time
Endless spendless days
Playing in the wash
That was my everyday
The deep dug dykes
To hold back the tide
Afforded us the play
Lit by streetlights

Like the temper of man
The waters rise and fall
I see more people coming in
Different languages to call
They’re doing jobs our fathers did
Taking care of the land
While we disconnect ourselves
On tarmac we stand

Ready Hands
Community is shattered here no ones out about
The rich folk from the south that come
Its them that need the shout
And every house they buy with southern gold
Is one less here for us
The young are off for jobs and (of) course
It’s us misunderstood.

Some fly the nest and some chose to come
And here they land a lot
From town and port at sky at night
It’s here they’ll gain a plot
How and why they do here just isn’t my concern
I want them gone before closing time
Whichever way they turn

And if no-one knows my name no more
Then what really is the point
Of living here at all anymore
Putting noses out of joint
There’s no sticks left for me to up
No leaves left to turn
No point in living in homeland (if)
I’m the last one left to burn

But there’s nothing new about newcomers
They’re just the latest ready hands
In this fertile land of picking food
And sending to other lands
From the mythical to the magical
To the straight and to the known
We all landed here at some point and
Made it feel like home

So it’s community not an ism
We think that we deserve
A right to feel at home without
Touching other nerves
Don’t aim displeasure at your fellow friend
But at the source of harm
But it’s getting them, and knowing them
And finding the right arms

The Boggart and the Farmer
There was a young farmer, in South Holland did dwell
Who spied some drained land to grow crop for to sell
So gather round people his story I’ll tell
How the new met the old and the new it prevailed
This ambitious young farmer enclosed the new land
With thought to gain wealth and to take a fair hand
When from out of a drain, a creature did jump
Who snarled and who spat, and did fury command
A squat little man, body bound in grey hair
With eyes full of rage, and a menacing stare
His arms long as bean poles, hung down by his sides
His sinews as strong as a six-year old mare
The farmer, though scared, was a keen businessman
Who thought with some cunning he might gain the top hand
He welcomed the boggart, with a calm and an ease
‘Lets share in the bounty that comes from this land.
As a creature of muck, used to water all round
You’ve right to claim half of whatever is found’
The boggart he looked the farmer up and all down
I’ll return in a year and claim what grows above ground
A year then did pass while the farmer worked hard
Sowing seeds of potatoes in the rich peaty yard
He laughed as he planned to fool his hairy landlord
And thought himself clever to have played the right cards
The boggart returned and on seeing the pitch
Was left with nout but the haulms and the twitch
He said you young rascal have respect for the old
Next year I will claim what’s beneath the earth’s soil
A year it passed by and then at the backend
The boggart returned, his pride for to mend
And on seeing the field of freshly cut wheat
He turned on the farmer and a new deal he penned
‘You’re not rid of me yet, I’ll have what I’m owed
I’ve lived in this land, and looked after what’s flowed
Another year will pass and we’ll see who does laugh
We’ll keep for ourselves what our own hand has mowed’
The farmer, he thought himself finally undone
His wits can’t be beaten by this Tiddy Mun
He sought out the wise man and asked for his aid
Thus a curse it was laid on the old by the young.
At the end of the year, our boggart returned
Both started to mow and the earth for to churn
While the farmer kept on, the boggart he tired
Fell into a sleep and no crop did he earn
Raging and screaming, he returned down the dyke
The only remains of his waterlogged life
The farmer kept all and so its been since
And all signs of folklore has gone when once rife

Field & Dyke
Farewell my native land
Farewell my country
I can no longer stay, but
Know that I love thee

The lowland fields that lure water’s might
How will I leave thee?
My father’s dead and the money’s tight, but
Know that I love thee

The fox, the hare, the eel, the pike
South Holland bred in Field & Dyke
On fenland soil I trod my way
On fenland soil I lived my days

I will miss my lowland farm
Though the roofs let the rain in
And the winds that whistled through the barn
Now I must leave thee

The broken machines that I played upon
With friends, feeling so free
They’re gone away and I’ll do the same, and
Now I must leave thee

A man gave me work and I thought him kind
Paid me more than I hoped for
But wages became a deathly bind
Fields, how I miss thee

10 to a room and I can’t get out
The bus (comes) at five every morning
Taking us to the dreary old drive
Fields, how I miss thee

Working to build the bonuses
For the people above me
Living our lives in this noisy hell
Now I want to break free

I remember my family’s farm
Why did I leave thee?
The wealth I had was beyond compare
Now I want to break free

Where water meets the lowland fields
is our home across the sea
you say ‘ it’s just like Poland here’
but I disagree

We made the journey and came to your land
To work in your fields and factories
but you spit at our feet and tell us to leave
how can we ever be free?


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