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Darkwaterside


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Description
For a long while I didn’t believe the tune was mine because it seems very traditional but having asked many people who are far more knowledgeable about folk songs than I am if they knew it I found none of them did - so eventually I began to feel bold enough to claim the tune as my own.

Lyrically this song has gone through a number of variations and even changes in subject matter however I settled on the current lyrics (more or less) 2 years ago.

It’s been a long while since I’ve had anything new to post (8 months!) This is partly because I have been busy with live performing, other non-MJ recording projects and earning (or trying to earn) a living. Largely though I’ve been suffering a kind of paralysis or fear – I’ve had a barrel-load of ideas but have just been too scared to finish anything and risk putting it “out there…”

Incidentally in a moment of madness, I decided the track needed some bass - somewhat challenging as I don't play bass and indeed hadn't touched the instrument in at least 10 years!


KK









Words and music © 2006 Martyn Kember-Smith
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Lyrics
What do we know?
Oh no what can we know?
Those shadows deep within
That rarely ever show
With Jez not by her side
Bess can hardly sleep at night
These days she walks alone
Down by
Darkwater side

It goes that way
They say it goes that way
Someone can disappear
With not a word to say
No contact has there been
For a year and for a day
And now she walks alone
Down by
Darkwater side

“Oh join me here”
She seems to hear Jez say
But all is still
Nothing shows beneath the lake
No clues would lead to here
A search was never done
Does she walk alone
Down by
Darkwater side?

Darkwater side
How still you seem to lie
Reflections you’ll not yield
Of the cloud strewn Autumn sky
And beneath your waters deep
Are there secrets that you keep?
Linger not
Down by
Darkwater side



 Martyn Kember-Smith 2006

Song Stats
Hits: 3330
Comments: 38
Fans: 20
Plays: 91
Downloads: 109
Votes: 4
Uploaded: Jun 04, 2008 - 05:20:49 PM
Last Updated: Jun 04, 2008 - 05:20:49 PM Last Played: Mar 21, 2016 - 03:14:22 AM
Song License
Creative Commons License:
Attribution-NoDerivs-NonCommercial

Creative Commons

Song Actions
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Hardware:
Ted Brewer electric violin
Vox bass
Software:
Comments
Feter said 3454 days ago (June 4th, 2008)
Darkwaterside
very impressive ..very deep ...loved the lyrics realy
I m enjoyin all that .great vocal and arrangment my
friend .in writing songs I do believe everyone is not
everyone else .does that make any sence ? ..thnx alot
for sharin such gem !!!!!
Check out my latest song called Roll with it
Komrade K said 3454 days ago (June 4th, 2008)
Hi Feter
Gosh you were quick off the mark - many thanks for your comment, I think I understand what you're getting at!

KK
Check out my latest song called Urra Moor/The Leckie/Reel CJ/Willafjord
Peter Bauckham said 3454 days ago (June 4th, 2008)
It has been
a while... and well worth the wait! Love the combination of the violin and bass with your voice very forward in the mix. Great song.

Peter
Check out my latest song called Reality TV MJRF2010
Komrade K said 3454 days ago (June 4th, 2008)
Forward
Many thanks for your comment - it's a bit risky for me as an inexperienced singer putting my voice so far forward but I did it because I always imagined that how the vocal should be.

KK
Check out my latest song called Urra Moor/The Leckie/Reel CJ/Willafjord
Peter Bauckham said 3454 days ago (June 4th, 2008)
There's nothing
worse than having to strain to hear the words - especially on a song like this... I think it sounds great.

Peter
Check out my latest song called Reality TV MJRF2010
Jim Bouchard said 3454 days ago (June 4th, 2008)
Really great to hear you!
This reminds me a lot of John Cale, probably because I've been listening to "Songs for Drella" lately and he uses viola like you are using the violin here, as a rhythm instrument, and his voice is a tad similar to yours. I love this, and though there might be some bits I'd like to hear different in the bass part at times, I particularly like the harmonics at the end. Really great!
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Komrade K said 3453 days ago (June 6th, 2008)
Funny you should mention John Cale
He has definitely been an influence and although I wasn't necessarily feeling that when I worked on this track there's an arrangement of a traditional tune that I play with a band where my fiddle line quotes the JC riff from Venus in Furs!

KK
Check out my latest song called Urra Moor/The Leckie/Reel CJ/Willafjord
said 3454 days ago (June 5th, 2008)
Great...
Yes.. very deep. Great singing, great music work.. I guess it's different from your previous stuff but still a KK song! Happy to see you back...

Take Care
- Yeman A. Al-Rawi
Komrade K said 3453 days ago (June 6th, 2008)
Thank you Birdman
Deep? This track was inspired by a visit to Wastwater - reputedly the deepest lake in England.

KK
Check out my latest song called Urra Moor/The Leckie/Reel CJ/Willafjord
SteamingHeap said 3454 days ago (June 5th, 2008)
Very fine work
I understand that paralysis of fear so well - and even when you know it's probably just in your own head, it doesn't make it any easier to shake it off.

You have a really nice voice, it's a fabulous song, and the instrumentation is just beautiful. Wonderful fiddle playing and I really like the unsettling effect you've used on the solo fiddle. It must have taken a lot of (cat)guts to put your vocal out front like that, and you done good!

For what it's worth, I really honestly don't think you have any need to doubt yourself.
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Komrade K said 3452 days ago (June 7th, 2008)
Steaming Heap...
...what a fetching name you have to be sure!

Thank you for your very kind comments. I guess there are times when it's easier to conquer self-doubts than others - my feeling is having delivered this it'll be a bit easier for a while at least.

KK
Check out my latest song called Urra Moor/The Leckie/Reel CJ/Willafjord
SteamingHeap said 3452 days ago (June 7th, 2008)

I hope so. Good luck.
Check out my latest song called Phrygian Genius
caroline said 3454 days ago (June 5th, 2008)
blimey....
cecil sharp would be proud - this sounds so authentic - you know what i mean!! :) nice to see you martyn and to hear you too - big loves xoxox
Check out my latest song called i'm a reunion maid MJRF 2010
Komrade K said 3452 days ago (June 7th, 2008)
Hi Caroline
Thanks for dropping by and commenting - I appreciate it. Good to hear from you too.

KK
Check out my latest song called Urra Moor/The Leckie/Reel CJ/Willafjord
guitapick said 3453 days ago (June 6th, 2008)
Nice twists...
...from major to minor and back...reflective tune (no pun intended)...very nicely done, sir...
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Komrade K said 3450 days ago (June 8th, 2008)
Thank you Mr Pick
I haven't worked it out but my guess is that it's probably modal.

KK
Check out my latest song called Urra Moor/The Leckie/Reel CJ/Willafjord
lengold said 3452 days ago (June 7th, 2008)
You have been
missed Martyn - great to see you back.
Beautiful song, love your vocals and the violin sounds fantastic.
Cheers
Len


Check out my latest song called Decent Girl
Komrade K said 3448 days ago (June 10th, 2008)
Hi Len
Thank you for your lovely comments - it's good to know that I haven't been completely forgotten during my absence!

KK
Check out my latest song called Urra Moor/The Leckie/Reel CJ/Willafjord
mowguy3 said 3452 days ago (June 7th, 2008)
Darkwaterside
Fine song, the whole thing fits togeather very well. And you still have your bass playing fingers. Great voice,just very nice.
Thanks, Russ
Check out my latest song called What Would That Make Me?
said 3452 days ago (June 7th, 2008)
Darkwaterside
Thank you for commenting on my poem. I might never have found you.
I loved this song especially your singing and the music was excellent.
I really loved the whole production. Welll done. Will DL and listen again and again. WOW!!


Peace Dee.


screamalexz said 3451 days ago (June 8th, 2008)
...
oh very morrissey to the vocals. i like that a lot. like morrissey but lower. i think the vocals could be a little lower in the mix a tad not sure though. really like when the violin comes in. it comes up louder in the mix than the rest and really adds emotion. it sounds like it had reverb or something on it, sounds nice. i love the image i'm given of a girl walking by the dark water side.
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Komrade K said 3448 days ago (June 10th, 2008)
Spot on
I'm a huge fan of Morrissey's and I especially like his approach to vocals - I wasn't trying to copy him here but I'm certain some of his vocal style has rubbed off on me!

KK
Check out my latest song called Urra Moor/The Leckie/Reel CJ/Willafjord
Ibstrat said 3451 days ago (June 8th, 2008)
You haven't
played bass in 10 years!? I think you should keep playing it sounds great.I love this song- extremely well done all-around!
Check out my latest song called What the
Komrade K said 3448 days ago (June 11th, 2008)
Truth is...
... I've hardly played bass at all ever. For a long while all I could play were the bass riffs from the Stranglers' Peaches and Hot Lunch from Fame! However I plan to play it a bit more going forward - it's got 4 strings which is always a sign of a good instrument IMHO ;-)

Thank you for your very encouraging comments.

KK
Check out my latest song called Urra Moor/The Leckie/Reel CJ/Willafjord
dajama said 3451 days ago (June 8th, 2008)
I like this a lot
The lyrics are great - really evocative and well-crafted, and the way your voice is right up in the mix works very well, in my opinion. The melody is really nice, and the instrumentation is perfect - nicely restrained. A great arrangement, and a really nice song overall. Very cool. Nicely done. Peace.
Check out my latest song called Across the Wire (MJRF)
Komrade K said 3448 days ago (June 11th, 2008)
What can I say...?
I'm very flattered by your comments - especially about the lyrics as writing songs is not something I find easy (well finishing them anyway...)

KK
Check out my latest song called Urra Moor/The Leckie/Reel CJ/Willafjord
Komrade K said 3448 days ago (June 11th, 2008)
What can I say...?
I'm very flattered by your comments - especially about the lyrics as writing songs is not something I find easy (well finishing them anyway...)

KK
Check out my latest song called Urra Moor/The Leckie/Reel CJ/Willafjord
Komrade K said 3448 days ago (June 11th, 2008)
Oh no!
The curse of the double post strikes again!!!!

KK
Check out my latest song called Urra Moor/The Leckie/Reel CJ/Willafjord
ledebutant said 3449 days ago (June 9th, 2008)
Classic
What a lovely phrase, darkwater side. Where does that come from, Martyn?

This is such a lovely tune. I can understand why you thought it might be a song you'd heard before and then subconsciously borrowed, because it's very traditional and timeless, but also something lovely enough to stand the test of time. If you were feeling unsure of your ability to get something out there, it's not surprising that you'd have a hard time trusting that you could have written such a classic.

The bass is gorgeous and I hope you're pleased with the vocal, because it's perfect for the material, although I could easily picture a Rebsie vocal singing along with you in the next version.
Komrade K said 3448 days ago (June 11th, 2008)
Darkwaterside?
The title is an allusion both to 'Blackwaterside' (a beautiful traditional song covered by many well known folk singers but there's no better version than Sandy Denny's IMHO) and Wastwater (a strange and beguiling lake in England's Lake District).

It's very kind of you to call it a 'classic' - in fact I'm dead chuffed! As for Rebsie singing it what can I say? It would be wonderful to hear someone else interpret it.

KK
Check out my latest song called Urra Moor/The Leckie/Reel CJ/Willafjord
Rebsie said 3444 days ago (June 15th, 2008)

Well KK, you know where I am. :)
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SJB said 3448 days ago (June 11th, 2008)
Darkwater side
When I read you doubted the originality of this I thought maybe you had subconsciously borrowed from the traditional song Blackwater Side (Anne Brigs, Bert Jancsh etc) which does similarly contains the line %u201CDown by Blackwater side%u201D. Having listened to yours post I think you can definitely claim this as your own both lyrically and musically. A really great traditional feel to it and the electric violin along with your vocal style adds just the right atmosphere to the story. I really enjoyed this song so thanks for posting.
Best wishes
Steve

Check out my latest song called Harm(less)onics to Fade
Komrade K said 3448 days ago (June 11th, 2008)
Thank you for your knowledgeable feedback
I have a theory about the tune's origins which is many years ago I heard a version of 'She Moves Through the Fair' and the tune kinda bounced around inside my head becoming more and more distorted until it came out transformed into the tune we have here.

Well that's one theory however I do have a tendency to write tunes which sound as if they've been around for hundreds of years- not sure that there's much point to doing that but it's just what I do!

KK
Check out my latest song called Urra Moor/The Leckie/Reel CJ/Willafjord
Ed Hannifin said 3447 days ago (June 11th, 2008)
I'll admit...
...that I showed up expecting an offshoot of 'Blackwaterside'... Which I would've loved...

This is cool, though. I hear the John Cale reference... and it reminds me of this old collection I have somewhere in the basement called 'Electric Muse' with all these British Isle folkies transmuting themselves into folk-rockies... There's a bit Simon Nicol in those vocals as well...

The violin against the bass is neat...

Ed
Check out my latest song called Chime (Alone) (Inspired by Particle Dots)
Komrade K said 3441 days ago (June 18th, 2008)
I guess there was a risk...
... in calling the song Darkwaterside but that's what it's always been for me. Electric Muse, I've heard of but having looked it up on Amazon there only seems to be a version which also incorporates some more recent artists. Some of the early Steeleye stuff always struck me as having a Velvet Underground feel to it.

KK
Check out my latest song called Urra Moor/The Leckie/Reel CJ/Willafjord
Dragonas said 3410 days ago (July 19th, 2008)
Great lyrics!
I just love the words.
The poetry of the story about the girl that mysteriously disappears sounds so great accompanied by the haunting melody.
Your "Queen's English" (British accent) really makes the song magical for me.
(Us Americans have a fondness for british accents.) ;-)
Is the solo an electric guitar or is it your electric fiddle?
I like the outro as the bass guitar harmonics fade away at the end.
Sounds great!
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Komrade K said 3409 days ago (July 20th, 2008)
Thanks for listening...
and for your comments about lyrics - really appreciate these as I rarely find it easy to finish writing the words. The solo bit is electric fiddle run through an effects box.
KK
Check out my latest song called Urra Moor/The Leckie/Reel CJ/Willafjord
bud said 3402 days ago (July 27th, 2008)
Excellent bass -
have no fear. The lyrics and your vocal performance are classic - I could understand your concern - but you'll just have to take all the credit for this. I like the violin bed and could have heard it a bit louder at times. Small crit on a cool tune.
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I'm a folky who also happens to have strong predilections for dance music that also stimulates the mind muscle and the experimental noisy stuff which went on at the margins of punk during the late 70s and early 80s. I've played in punk ban... [see more]

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