Iscariot

by Daniel J Townsend

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released August 16, 2015

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Daniel J Townsend TAS, Australia

Daniel J. Townsend was born on a tiny island on the edge of the world, veins coursing with a cocktail of English convict and Aboriginal blood. Poet, folk musician and dilettante historian, he has been singing stories ever since.

"Incredible. A bit of a discovery."
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"Fantastically poetic."
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"Uniquely brilliant."
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Track Name: A Red-Headed Man
There were twelve bonfires burning on the lawn
Every disciple he had one and one alone
There was one for Peter, there was one for John
There was one for the betrayer and it stood upon its own

Burn, burn, Judas burn slow
Bright, bright burning, burning for the Lord
Burn, burn, Judas burn slow
Judas was a red-headed man

It was a proper green smoke for all to see
But the fire burned sweet for our Lord upon the tree

Burn, burn, Judas burn slow
Bright, bright burning, burning for the Lord
Burn, burn, Judas burn slow
Judas was a red-headed man

Down by the marish they smoked away
They smoked all night and they smoked all day

Burn, burn, Judas burn slow
Bright, bright burning, burning for the Lord
Burn, burn, Judas burn slow
Judas was a red-headed man

There were twelve bonfires burning on the lawn
There was one for the betrayer and it stood upon its own

Burn, burn, Judas burn slow
Bright, bright burning, burning for the Lord
Burn, burn, Judas burn slow
Judas was a red-headed man
Track Name: Cherry Tree Carol
When I was a young man living by the sea
I did love a young girl with everything in me

One night as we were walking through the garden green
There were cherries on the tree, full as may be seen

Then she says unto me, gentle, meek and mild,
“Gather me some cherries for I am with child.”

I flew into a rage until I couldn’t see!
“Let that baby’s father feed you cherries from the tree.”
Track Name: The Holy Well
It fell upon one morning
Upon bright holiday,
Jesus asked his mother
If he might go out to play.
“Go play, my little one, go play.
To play, pray get you gone,
And let me hear of no complaint
At night when you come home.”

And so he went to yonder town,
As far as the holy well,
And there he met fine children
As any tongue could tell
“God bless you, every one,
Your bodies save and see.
Little children, shall I play with you
And you shall play with me?”

But they shouted at him, “No!”
They were lords’ and ladies’ sons
And he, the lowest of them all,
Born a maiden’s child in an oxen’s stall.
Jesus turned around,
He neither laughed nor smiled,
But the tears came trickling from his eyes
Like water from the skies.
Track Name: Hymn of Kassiani
Woe to me!
In my misery,
Night has now become to me a dark and moonless pain

My tears receive,
Thou who made the seas
To give their waters to the clouds only to fall again

Bend to me!
My heart is filled with grief!
I will kiss your feet and I will dry them with my hair

O, my mother Eve
Heard footsteps through the trees
And naked ran and hid herself and cried in lonely fear

Turn your eyes to view
Your maiden before you;
I know the hands of every other man within this room
Track Name: I Can Keep the Peace No More
Forty days of desert, forty days of flood,
An ocean made of sand and a promise made of blood
We gave it all away for something more,
But I can keep the peace no more

I spent a thousand mornings mourning for our souls,
Yearning for someone to come and make the part a whole
I thought it might be you I’d waited for,
But I can keep the peace no more

Lead me through the wilderness and leave me in the sun
Tell me you’re the King Of Everything, The Chosen One,
Tell me that it’s you I must adore
I can keep the peace no more.

Another day of famine, another day of feast,
Another day of wise men looking for you from the East
The sun has long gone down on days of yore
And I can keep the peace no more

My sword is in my scabbard; my eye is on the crowd,
My heart is in my chest and my feet are on the ground
While you are getting lost amongst the poor
I can keep my peace no more

Walking on the water and drowning on the land,
Feel the wind come blowing through the windows in your hands,
Introduce the tax man to the whore?!
Well, I can keep the peace no more

Treasure in the soil, camel through the eye,
Handshake in a temple and a lover’s kiss goodbye
Bring not peace to me, just bring a sword
I can keep the peace no more

“Cursed is the man who hangs from a tree…”
Thirty coins to buy a man a life of slavery;
A symphony of silver on the floor
I can keep the peace no more

One sun is a-rising,
One son is betrayed,
One son flees the crowds and finds a quiet tree with shade
Tie that rope to hold me strong and sure…
Track Name: My Dearest Dear
My dearest dear, the time draws near
When I and you must part
And no one knows the inner grief
Of my poor aching heart
Or what I suffer for your sake,
The one I love so dear
I wish that I could go with you
Or you could tarry here

I wish your chest were made of glass
And in it I might behold
Your name in secret I would write
In letters of bright gold
Your name in secret I would write,
Believe me what I say,
You are the man that I’ll love best
Until my dying day

But when you’re on some distant shore,
Think on your absent friend
And when the wind blows high and clear,
A line or two pray send
And when the wind blows high and clear,
Pray send it, love, to me
That I may know by your hand-write
How time has gone with thee
Track Name: Child Ballad XXIII
It was a Holy Thursday when the carpenter arose
Loving, kind and gentle were the words that he then spoke
"Judas, go buy food. Thirty silver coins you’ll need
And when you’re well upon your way, your kinsmen there you’ll meet."

He came across his sister, who was better left alone
"Judas, you are worthy that men killed you with stones.”
“Be silent, my dear sister! May your heart break in two!
If my lord could only hear your words, the stones would fly at you.”

"My brother, lay down in my lap and sleep upon the stone."
But when he wakened from his rest, the silver coins were gone
He pulled himself by his hair, so that blood it bathed his head
The Jews within Jerusalem all thought that he was mad

Forth came a man of power, his fingers bright with rings
"Would you sell your lord to me, for any shining thing?"
"I’ll not for blood red rubies or for emeralds of green
But for the thirty silver coins that he entrusted to me."

In walked the lord as the disciples all sat down to eat
“I am bought and sold today for the bread on which you feed.”
"Am I that man?” spoke Judas. “I’ve not spoke evil of you,
And I have always done exactly as you’ve asked me to.”
Track Name: Ubuntu
This is where love comes in and pain walks out
And broken hearts turn into smiles
And Mary holds her baby child
While the angels dance up in the sky tonight

I am waiting here for you
Do you want me to?
You pick me up; don’t let me down
Like a deer runs for water, find me running
Find me

This is where love comes in and pain walks out
And broken hearts turn into smiles
And Mary holds her baby child
While the angels dance up in the sky tonight

Persecution, Constantine,
Organisation, Reformation
So, the people scatter
Like a deer runs for water, find me running
Find me!
Track Name: Of Two Mothers
For two thousand years in this garden I’ve grown,
My branches to many a sparrow a home
Through autumn and spring, through sunlight and rain,
I live and I die and I am born again

One morning one mother went walking alone
She carried no load but the loss of her son
And under my branches, in the cool of my shade,
She there met another, her son in the grave

Their tongues got to talking, their tales they did tell,
From babies to young men to sudden farewells
Two women together, two sons and two tombstones,
Too many years crying their tears on their own

“How precious his birth, his first steps and first words,
The songs he would sing and his prayers overheard
‘Look at the sparrows, o mother!’ he’d say
While out in the meadow his brothers did play.”

“I too know those joys,” her companion did sigh
“From forts in the field to the sword by his thigh
He spoke his own mind and he knew his own heart
If you know where you’re going, you know who you are.”

“They strung up my son on the outside of town.
He hung in the air 'til he lay in the ground.”
“My son was hanged, but with no-one around,
It was three days before his dear body was found.”

“My boy was a leader…”
“My boy he was led…”
And then in the silence, no more words were said
For each mother knew by her story’s sad end
The sons they’d thought strangers had once been called friends

For two thousand years in this garden I’ve grown,
My branches to many a sparrow a home
Through autumn and spring, through sunlight and rain,
We live and we die and we are born again
Track Name: The Builder's Boy / Fiddler's Green
I've got splinters in my hands
Dirt within my skin like him
Splinters in my hands