I may have mentioned Ed’s notebook before.
It was the one he wrote the story for The Frozen Lake in.
He wrote ideas in this notebook for an album’s worth of folky songs and tunes…some were well-formed ideas, others just titles. After I wrote “The Frozen Lake” a couple of years went by before I looked at the scan I’d done of the notebook.
It was during the first Covid-19 lockdown in 2020. I had time on my hands and looked at my photo of a page of the notebook. There was an idea for a song called “Beasts of Burden” and a list of animals.
It said “heavy blues with hammond”…but as soon as I started playing around with it it morphed into a more strummy Neil Young kind of vibe. So I stuck with that. Sorry Ed. Well, now the lyrics are there so we can always do a bluesy version another day!
The animals included are by and large those from the notebook, although I think I added the mule and left out a bison.
On this recording I play my Martin HD28V guitar, Musicman Stingray Bass, Fender Stratocaster through virtual amps in logic and a virtual Hammond organ (a mix of organs from the Logic standard midi library put through a Leslie simulators). Recorded at Avalon as ever and mastered at 6 Bit Deep by Joel Krozer.
And the words are:
On a mountain side no turning back
Gales around us give no slack
If we were carrying our pack
no further could we roam
Bearing our wares on its back
Ever strong our trusty Yak
Onward down the rocky track
We make it safely home
Beasts of burden – Carry our load
Horse and mule ox and buffalo
in the mines the fields on the canals and down the dusty road
Carry our load
Beasts of burden
In the desert endless sand
Rocks and stones scattered across the land
A thirst that could kill a man
With goods to sell so far away
The camel in this climate stands
Making few demands
In a place where no other can
Take the cold of night and heat of day
In the corn fields of England
The might shire horse used to stand
And pull the plough across the land
With strength and pride
These giants gentle broad and grand
Could not keep up with modern man
Will beasts of burden understand
The turning tide