Live at Woodford '96​-​'97

by Penelope Swales

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about

There were numerous pros and a couple of cons to the idea of recording a live album at Woodford Folk Festival. On the up-side, I knew the vibe would be great, because it always is, it would enable me to record a number of gigs relatively inexpensively in a short space of time, and it would provide an historical record of part of that festival. Also, it offered an opportunity to show the way a soloists' performance varies from show to show depending on the vibe and the circumstances of the individual gig. On the down-side, festival gigs have to run to a very tight schedule, and that made setting up the recordings a very rushed process - something that I think Siiri took in stride admirably. It also affects the way I tell stories on stage, as I have to try and fit everything into a stated time. My personal feeling is that the "Lost and Found" introduction suffered a little from this, but I include it anyway, because I hope people will appreciate it even if the delivery is a bit rushed.

The other risk I had to take was that I might not be in peak form when the festival came. As it turned out, I was rather ill with tonsillitis and nearly didn't make it to the festival at all! However, thanks to Dr John Lee and his elephant-sized vitamin C shots and my mother's faithful nursing, I managed to pull myself together enough to get on the plane.

Now, many years later, I'm not entirely sure I should have released this album. After all, I think the listener can hear that I'm sick. Also, when it was released it was instantly slammed by a Melbourne critic who didn't seem to understand that I am a storyteller as well as a songwriter, and who objected to the inclusion of long sections of spoken-word material. I had never been berated like that in the press before and I was devastated. It destroyed my confidence in the recording and only the one pressing was ever made.

On the other hand, I felt that it was an honest representation of what I was doing - even if I did have tonsillitis. I was still learning how to manage my heath while on tour, and I had tonsillitis a lot in those days. I was never sure how it was received. I include it now for the sake of completeness and because some songs do not appear anywhere else in my catalogue. Also, none of my other albums include the storytelling element that has been such a large part of my live shows. I would be interested to hear you feedback.

credits

released January 7, 1997

All songs copyright 1997 except "St Peter's Fields" by Jim Woodland and "Steel-Hearted Annie" by Kath Tait.

Recorded live at Woodford Folk festival between 27th December 1996 and 1st Jan 1997 by Siiri Metsar. Mixed and edited by Siiri Metsar at Cloudburst Studio, Fitzroy, Vic. Mastered at Crystal Mastering by John Ruberto. Produced by Penelope Swales and Siiri Metsar. Cover artwork by Black Widow graphic design. Photography by Janoel Liddy and a faithful fan who's name I didn't catch who gave me the series of 3 shots on the front cover.

Special thanks once again to my ever-faithful engineer Siiri Metsar for all her work and effort, John Durr, Elly Mantzaris, Janoel Liddy, Bruce Jaques from Cloudburst, John Ruberto, Dr John Lee, Janet Russel, Jim Woodland and Kath Tait, Eve 'n' Steven, the gorgeous Lou Schetzer and the delectable Jamie Sawyer, Kerryanne Farrer, Annie Dellar, Bill Hauritz and all the dedicated Queensland Folk Festival volunteers who make Woodford happen. Extra special thanks to David Allsop for making it all possible

tags

license

all rights reserved
Track Name: The Panther
The Panther
© Penelope Swales 1997

I couldn't say to save my face
That he dragged me into his lair
More that I 
sat at the door and hugged my knees and said
"Can I come in there?"
He 
smiled, turned away, arched his back and then he said "Mmm....."
He smiled 
as though embarassed, thought awhile and then said " Yeah, hop in"
It was 
then that I realised I'd climbed straight into the den of a panther
Like 
Leda and the Swan but more carnivorous
I put my arms around his deep chest, 
I put my face in his fur
I breathed deep his animal scent, arched my back 
beneath his paws

And there rose inside me,
Deep in my human flesh,
Deep in 
my female flesh,
n answering panther call
Rraah!

I watched him play like 
big cats play, with water
I watched him cautious like big cats are with 
fire
I watched him watching me, that sideways, feline glance burning with a 
cool fire
The flicker of interest concealing the furnace of desire

In the 
middle of the night, I rang my mother
I told her all about the Panther
She 
said "My dear, these are the best years of your life.
You should just go 
ahead and fuck"
I said "Well, I would have anyway, but it's nice to have 
your sanction."
She said "My dear, I completely understand.
Sometimes it 
happens that way,
Sometimes you find a man
Who'll bring it all out in you. 

Who'll pull it all out of you
Who'll pour it all into you."
Oh, all night, 
every night I'm in there rolling with the Panther
In the day I wear my 
scratches and my bruises with pride
In the evening I stalk the city streets 
with the Panther by my side
I ride the Panther's back,
I ride the Panther's 
flanks
And he rides mine
In wild lands of bitumen and traffic fume,
I 
found me a panthe
He said "If Chippendale's a jungle then we may as well 
be wild beasts"
He said "I like it when you're really demanding. Go ahead, 
do what you want with me"

And I felt inside me,
Deep in my female flesh, 

The Panther's claw,
ooked in my belly,
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Pulling it 
all out of me.
Pouring it all into me
Pulling that call out of me.
Oh, all 
night, every night I'm Riding the Tiger with the Panther
In the day I wear 
my scratches and my lovebites with pride
In the evening I stalk the city 
streets with the Panther by my side
His liquid movement
My liquid 
tendencies
His panther pride.
The Panther came with me as far as the Blue 
Mountains,
Then he switched his tail and turned away and went back the way 
we came
He said "When I've finished constructing this particular cage, I'll 
be free
I might just come sniffing after you so keep your hunter's moon out 
for me."
And he caressed me there, at the station in his panther paws

Pressed against me, yeah, just a reminder oh
Of that panther claw in me
Pulling it all out of me
Pulling that call out of me
Oh, all that day, 
like blinding sunlight in my eyes, all I could see was the Panther
All that 
night I fled Sydney like a cat out of hel
Fleeing my recent past into my 
not too distant future
Hurtling towards it, hurtling towards that day
Hurt, hurtling towards that moment, hurt, hurt, hurtling toward that 
instant
I'm hurtling still.
Rraah!
Rraah-la-lul-la-lul-lul-lul-la-lah.
Who 
can make sense of female response?
Who can map the logic of desire?
What 
makes it fly, what makes it cry,
What makes it strive, what makes it die? 

What makes it strive, what makes it die?
Who can translate for me, what 
happened to me?
Who can make sense of it?
Hey, hey, what happened to me with 
that Panther man?
Vocals, Guitar - Penelope Swales. Violin - Paul Jonas. Mandolin - Jim Fisher. Bass - Mal Webb. Drums - Ajax.
Track Name: Our Apartheid
Our Apartheid
© Penelope Swales 1995

Oh-wey-oh Stephen Biko,
Oh-wey-oh Mandela.
Oh-wey-oh children of Soweto, 

Oh-wey-oh Sharpeville Massacre.
Oh-wey-oh death in Johannesburg
Corruption 
in Pretoria
Oh-wey-oh, Inkatha-Zulu, ANC
Oh-wey-oh Africa. 



When you were sitting in your prison cell,
For twenty-seven years,
Did you 
risk your sanity by dreaming of this day?
Breaking rocks on Robben Island, I 
tell you,
We never thought we'd see the day

When a black man would rule 
South Africa,
Where black dreams have shaped the world
A long and bloody 
fight and so many have died
To bring about such a relatively peaceful 
revolution

When Daniel Yock was sitting in his prison cell,
Your victory 
was already guaranteed
We who have sat here, next-door in the Southern 
hemisphere
Some of us signed petitions hoping you'd be freed
We have 
thought about ourselves as so egalitarian
So superior to whites in your 
country
And yet there's so much that bears comparison
But in your land 
Aparthied's over and in my land it's still here

Well I never said it was 
official government policy
And Mabo rolled hope and despair into one
Lip 
service ifs effective and it's free
And the mining machinery rolls on
One 
obvious difference is in your country
Black people have always outnumbered 
whites
Yet here the white race worked so much more efficiently
And many 
people live and die never even having met a Koori

Over there in your 
country how do your people feel tonight?
Dancing in the streets, exuberance, 

"At last we have our rights!"
Over there in your country how do white people 
feel tonight?
It's fun to speculate on the trembling of the fascist 
two-percenting right
Over here in this country how do white people feel 
tonight?
Oblivious or nodding their approval
Rolling over and turning out the 
light.
Here in this country how do black people feel tonight?
Daniel's 
relatives could be excused for having their fists and their lips clenched 
tight
Aiee, Maralinga. Kurnai, Wurundjeri, Daniel Yock
Truganini, 
Namatjera
So many thousands nameless lost

You still have so far to go in 
your country
And we yet further here in ours
Take care old man, don't 
dance to late
We all know you're more ill than you make out
But they need 
you and we need you
And we all know that you're tired,
But we want you to be 
the hero,
We want you to make it right
‘Coz we don't make it right
Not 
here in our lives, not here in this land,
Not here in our Aparthied.
Track Name: Back to Me
Back to Me  1992 Penelope Swales


Word got back to me
Gives me some indication of what you thought of my request
Well, It got me thinkin’
Find it’s much what I expected though always hoping for the best
This suite of songs
This spate of songs dedicated to one I love
Well, they’ve got me thinkin’
Hasn’t done me too much good
Maybe I should dedicate one to myself

This song is dedicated to my capacity to survive
This song is dedicated to my love of being alive
It’s dedicated to other hearts like mine
I know there’s other hearts like mine
And other hearts like thine

Passion is a curse
You may fly higher but you fall lower
And noone ever knows what you’re talking about
Satisfaction
Satisfaction will flee before you just like leaves before the wind
Gratification – whoo! Forget it!
You may scream and cry and shout
And they’ll never know what you’re talking about
Compensation
Learn the read the signs and take in stride and take some pride and learn to shout

This song is dedicated to my capacity to survive
This song is dedicated to my love of being alive
It’s dedicated to other hearts like mine
I know there’s other hearts like mine
Lovin’ other hearts like thine

Word got back to me
Somethin’ someone said about somethin’ that you had somethin’ to say about
People question me
Wanting simple answers watin to betold just what to think about it
Some of themtesting me, teasing me
What’s this I hear ‘bout da-de-da-de-da-de-da-de-da-da-da”
Whoa – the complexity
Is beyond a loving heart so why should I pander to that spite

This process is frustrating, but I have the capacity to survive
This pain is compensated by my love of being alive
It’s compensated by other hearts like mine
By having the love of other heart like mine
So, if word gets back to you
If you feel you’re implicated in any of the songs I write
Well – no, it isn’t true
On this occasion, something else was on my mind

This song is dedicated to my capacity to survive
This song is dedicated to my love of being alive
It’s dedicated to other hearts like mine
And if you’ve got a heart like mine

This song is dedicated to your capacity to survive
This song is dedicated to your love of being alive
It’s dedicated to other hearts like mine
I’m dedicated to other hearts like mine
Track Name: St Peter's Fields
St Peter’s Fields
© Jim Woodland

St Peter’s Fields in Manchester
On a day we need not name
Soldiers standing in the sunlight
One by one the people came
And the women were dressed in white
Wearing wreathes of laurel green
St Peter’s Fields in Manchester
1819.

And you would think that reform
Was a child that must be born
And you would think democracy
Would give us hopes of liberty
But do you think it’s true?
Have you heard the news?

Phoebe Webber has been slaughtered
On the fields of Peterloo
And the red upon the green grass
Sparkles like the morning dew
May your tears fall down like water
And wash the blood from you
Phoebe Webber has been slaughtered
On the fields of Peterloo


Someone tell me how it happened
I know even less than you
Their swords were out and sharpened
A hundred thousand pushing through
We were standing in the front line
Still I can’t believe it’s true
I saw her eyes, she saw mine
She was dead before she knew

Phoebe Webber has been slaughtered
On the fields of Peterloo
And the red upon the green grass
Sparkles like the morning dew
May your tears fall down like water
And wash the blood from you
Phoebe Webber has been slaughtered
On the fields of Peterloo


When you wake up in morning
Thank the star that shine on you
That the likes of Phoebe Webber
Always do the things they do
From the bloody streets of Dili
To the ghettos of the USA
From the haunted squares of China
To the graveyards of the cape
She will die again tomorrow
Just as she died yesterday
She will die until the sorrow
And the tears are washed
Now the green leaves of the laurel
turn a red and deadly hue
Phoebe Webber has been slaughtered
On the fields of Peterloo
Phoebe Webber has been slaughtered
On a street not far form you.
Track Name: Doin' the Right Thing
Doin’ the Right Thing
© Penelope Swales 1993

Chorus:
Well my life feels like a necklace breakin’
My days are slipping away like beads off a string
Ohh-hoa, my mind’s eye, can’t see for the smoke o’ my bridges burnin’
Hope I’m doing the right thing, Yeah, well

My friend said to me – oh, you’re so young!
You’re just a baby. Your life has just begun
Well maybe I was taking big steps at an age when she was just taking little ones,
But sometime I’ve gotta wonder what I’ve done. Ho--ho

Chorus

The girls I went to school with, they’ll all be secretaries
Or maybe at university, or unemployed, or married
But if you ask me what the date is, the chance is I don’t know
But when I lift my head I’m amazed at how fast the weeks go, ho-o-a-hoa,

Chorus

Yeah, I hope I’m doing the right thing
Hope I’m doing the right thing
Hope I’m doing the right thing
Hope I’m doing the right thing
Ooh – hoo…

Chorus

Oh, my friend said to me – you know it never goes away
This old age barrier. I still get the same today
She said I’m 35, 40 doesn’t even know that I’m alive
And my days are drowned in a routine and I hope I’m doing the right thing, she said

Chorus

My life – ugh!
Haa…..
My mind’s eye can’t see for the smoke of my bridges burning under me
Hope I’m doing the right thing
Yeah, well my love, says all he wants is peace and tranquillity
But you know he’ll never reach the end of the road, no
Not while he’s travelling with me
In my life.
Track Name: Danger Zone
And a deliberate mistake will bring the close for a moment
Just close enough to make the juices flow
And the smell of her hair is too much in his hunger
Down, down, down the defences go
Track Name: Already Begun
Already Begun
© Penelope Swales 1995
My heart hangs like a ripe fruit. Hangs before your eyes, a perfect peach. 
If you would pluck me now, and press me to your lips, all my sweetness, all 
my juices, and the fine fur of my skin, sun-warm, would burst into your 
mouth. My heart hangs like an over-ripe fruit in the baking sun. Hangs 
before your eyes, a perfect, dripping fig. If you don't pluck me now, I may 
well start fermenting. An alcoholic repungence, a bitter wine. In the baking 
sun, attacked by these, the grubs of doubt. I believe this process has 
already begun, I believe....... If my heart should hang too long. Hang 
before your eyes, in the baking sun while you make no move, well I could 
fall on the ground and rot, disgusting underneath your feet. But I would 
probably hang on. Dried by the sun and wind, smaller and smaller and harder 
and more withered - this sun-dried fruit in the baking sun. Anyone who 
dared to bite me (hard enough), bring me the moisture from their lips, might 
find me still good, if somewhat tough, I believe this process has already 
begun, I believe this process has already begun......My heart hangs a 
withered fruit. Hangs before your eyes in the naked branches, in the 
setting sun. Silhouette against the sky, in the raw ozone of autumn. Hangs 
dormant, hangs prepared to sleep through this pending winter. The kernel 
lodged inside may still make its way to the loving endometrium of earth. I 
believe this process has already begun.
Track Name: Aunty Betty
Aunty Betty 

© Penelope Swales 1995
Ooh, insulation. A small room away from the ground, away from the sky. Ooh, 
insulation. Blankets over the windows, keep out the night, keep out the 
light. We don't live together, we live seperately and winter's coming. We 
don't live together, we live separately and hard times are coming. People 
create their own individual rooms, their own surrogate wombs. People say to 
each other "Won't you come up to my room?" People sit together - incense and 
candlelight. 
People talk together, sharing smoke, sharing wine. Oh, living in this city. 
Oh, it's like living in a labyrinth. The dripping corridors are the 
wet-brick walls and low-slung, oppressive sky. We're just creatures, small 
cave-rats, living in a labyrinth. Amid the putrid phosphorescence, shop 
windows, traffic lights, stalactites. Ooh, isolation. Houses on the 
outskirts of town. Ooh, endless frustration. McWilliams port, sorrows to 
drown. People live together, yet seperately, with their own kind. With 
people that live together, share their smokes, share their wine. Oh, living 
in a redneck town. Oh, it's like living in apartheid. The conciousness of 
your colour and your birth is reflected in everyone's eyes, black or white. 
And Aunty Betty said "I said to my nephews 'Come home, come live with me by 
the creek. Come home, come home to the Land.' but they're too drunk with 
anger to listen to me "Aunty Betty said "I've done my share of destroying 
myself." Yeah, Aunty Betty said " I know you care, 'coz I can always tell." 
Aunty Betty and I looked at each other over campfire, over breakfast. Over 
two hundred years of war and hate, and Aunty Betty said, she said "I love 
you, sis." Ooh, sisalation. Back in the city we seek natural ways to live 
unnaturally. Ooh, implementation. Sit 'round our bar radiator drinking 
herbal tea. We could live together, close to the ground, close to the sky. 
Be friends with the weather. Accept the wet, embrace the dry. Oh, we try to 
do it anyway. Sitting 'round a candle as if it were a campfire. Here in this 
hell our race has made. Plaster caves, concrete canyons, bitumen forest 
floor. We try to do it anyway, sitting 'round a candle as if it were a 
campfire. But you know, Aunty Betty said we could go visit her anytime, 
anytime, anytime. She said "We could live together, not seperately, but side 
by side. Be friends with each other - I don't care if you're black or 
white!" She said we could live together, close to the ground, close to the 
sky. Be friends with each other. Accept the rough, embrace the happy times. 
Aunty Betty said, Aunty Betty said, Aunty Betty said. And you know, if Aunty 
Betty said it, then it must be true.
Track Name: Steel-Hearted Annie
Steel-Hearted Annie


© Kath Tait


Steel Hearted Annie came home from work
Through the park in the dark where the rapist lurked
Behind the bushes and about to attack
With the cold wind whistling across his back
He pounced on Annie coz she was slim
Coz she looked so frail and feminine
But he wouldn't have done it if he only knew
That she was a master of Kung Fu!



Chorus:

Steel-Hearted Annie with an iron will
Looks about as frail as a daffodil
But you don't take a chance with a small slim dame
With a punch like a piston on a steam train


Steel-Hearted Annie don't like to pose
Like a trembling victim in a movie show
She gets mad when she's in distress
Like an animal in the wilderness
There's nothing she wouldn't do to survive
Got a strong desire to stay alive
And she looks cute in pink or blue
But she is a master of kung fu

repeat chorus


Steel-Hearted Annie lived near a jail
Where a psycho-killer was released on bail
He crept stealthily through the night
Broke into her house to give her a fright
And the cold wind whistled through the window frames
Made a sound like ghost rattlin' chains
But the psycho-killer ran for his life
When he saw Annie comin' with the carving knife!


repeat chorus

Steel-hearted Annie told all her friends
Ya gotta stand up to violence
She went to classes and learned to fight
Now she's not afraid to walk around at night
She's a great big shark in a little tin can
A little firecracker with a great big bang
So just be careful what you do
Coz Annie's now a master of Kung Fu!
Track Name: Dizzy Edge of Freedom
Dizzy Edge of Freedom

© Penelope Swales

I see you
Standin' on
The dizzy edge of freedom
But it takes courage to take the leap
On the edge
I hold my breath
To see you soarin', but
Will you do it?

Here's a story
'Bout a very talented man that I once knew
Who could write song and tell stories
That put all the hardest things
About life into words for me,
And every time I saw him I felt
New worlds opening up before me
I wished the world could hear him sing

He played guitar and sang in a band
That played in a town that some people call a city
And sometimes worked his nine-to-five
And sometimes schemed his unemployed schemes
And came from a culture that said
Tryin' to live for music is a foolish dream
And you must be stable and serene

I saw you standin' on
A stage that I'd just stepped from
"Who's the spunk with the guitar?"
We both thought
I drove miles
Out of my way to drive you home and
You said, "I'm sorry, It's not to be,
I've been well and truly caught."

And you said
"As my thirties yawn before me
I'm getting edgy.
I've always dabbled, but never done
I have stayed safe,
Stayed close to the hearth
Close to love
Ah, but something's gonna have to give soon."

I wheeled wide, far in my
Orbit of the East Coast
The next time through, I cocked my ear
A hunted smile, a matter of time
You said "I love her
But I can't keep shedding these tears"

Gossip and debate were raging
'Bout your behaviour
Then Rome crumbled in a day
Amid the cries of accusation
The condemnation
We took our chance
In the warm afternoon,
For one sweet hour we lay

I held my breath
To see what you'd do next
Would you take the chance and fly away
To where opportunities lay
You were making plans
That changed and changed and changed again
In the unexpected fragile dawn of a new day
I think you were realisin' you were
Gonna have to go away

I saw you
Wrestlin' with a
Stage that I have been through
I takes courage to follow dreams
Livin' with the
Fear of failure
Takes getting used to
To leave your home and what that means

Amid all your intoxication
The exhilaration
I could see the fear of freedom in your eyes
In your moment of doubt and hesitation
There was somebody waiting
And she took the chance to secure her prize

The next I heard,
The new word was
- well, maybe next year
And I knew next year would never come
And I hear your
New lover
Don't like to share you with the music
she's gonna feed those fears
And keep you close to home

Darlin', love is not always the answer
Sometimes it's a cancer
You can swap one prison, one lover
For another
On and on and never have to
Face your life

I saw you
Standin' on
The dizzy edge of freedom
But it takes courage to take the leap
On the edge
I held my breath to see you soarin', but
You didn't do it

Here's a story
'Bout a very talented man that I once knew
But like so many others of us
When he got the chance to make his dreams come true
He hesitated, deliberated
Liberation is scary and new and well,
He didn't do it

It's just a story
'Bout a very talented man that I once knew
Who could write song and tell stories
That put all the hardest things
About life into words for me,
And every time I saw him I felt
New worlds opening up before me
And I wish you could have heard him sing
Track Name: Lost and Found
Lost and Found
© Penelope Swales 1993

I must admit in hindsight that you took me by surprise
I never thought I’d like you so much so fast
And through the braids and makeup, heavy lids that hide your eyes
I caught a glimpse of that old horror in your past
In your past.

I met you on the breadline, you were feeling pretty down
Fighting off the deadline, I was new in town
I made sure in the daytime that we ate and got around
And in the night you took me to the lost and found
The lost and found

I find these places garish, there was a name band on the door
Half the crowd were flying, the rest were out to score
I was cool to be there so I allowed myself the time
Ah, but you were in your element, hanging out,
Hanging out to find a line.

And hey, my little cocaine queen
Where are you now?
Did word that you were homeless get around?
Did you take the last step backwards
To the hammer-beaten track?
Did you fly so high you’re never coming back?

You seemed to be a regular, they all knew your face
I’m not the sort of person that they’re used to in this place
In your eyes, it’s a wonderland and you sure get around
But to me it just looks like the lost and found
The lost and found.

Morning finds us sleeping till the afternoons is sweet
Evening finds me singing for our supper in the street
Nighttime finds us waiting for our chance to hang around
In the early hours in the lost and found
The lost and found.

And although you didn’t seem to mind being accosted every day
I could have spend all my time trying to keep the vultures at bay
My protective and possessiveness was just my heart trying to say
That I think I fell in love with you
In a funny kind of way

And hey, my little cocaine queen
Where are you now?
Did word that you were homeless get around?
Did you take the last step backwards
To the hammer-beaten track?
Did you fall so low you’re never coming back?

They said you looked just like a junkie in your leather and your black
I felt just like a bodyguard trying to keep them off your back
We did well surviving, as a team we had the knack
Oh, yes, but one night in the Cross I turned around
And found that I’d lost track
Of you, I’d lost track

Well it tried so hard to find you, but I couldn’t hang around
You can stay here only so long before your senses start to drown
But if come the weekend I’m still living in this town
I’ll be looking for you in the lost and found
The lost and found.

And hey, my little cocaine queen
Where are you now?
Did word that you were homeless get around?
Did you take the last step backwards
To the hammer-beaten track?
Did you go so far you’re never coming back

Hey hey, my little cocaine queen
Where are you now?
Did word that you were homeless get around?
If come the weekend I’m still living in this town
I’ll be looking for you in the lost and found
The lost and found.