The Hour Before the Dawn

The Hour Before the Dawn is a departure from Four Branches’s Celtic storytelling theme as I focus closer to home. I turn inward and explore Nature and my own spirituality. A celebration of the world around us.

For example, the opening track Brothers of the Night is a piece I co-wrote with my brother years ago, and as one might imagine, it celebrates brotherhood and sisterhood of all kinds. The pagan community, as well as many spiritual paths, can come together to form a strong, family-like pack not unlike a wolf pack. This song celebrates the wolf packs of the world.

Then there’s the second track We Can’t Hold Hands When We’re Pointing Fingers. The title itself has been a personal motto for me for a long time, and it celebrates world peace, interfaith dialogue, community, and just plain ol’ getting along with each other.

And I Wish I Was a Tree is a song I wrote one February night when I discovered my Bardic, Druidic side, and has become a personal favorite of mine.

And then there’s the closing track, Early Bird. This song is where the album gets its title from. The chorus says: Do you sing for the night, do you sing for the day? Do you sing for the sake of the song? The song you sing I too will sing in the hour before the dawn. This song chronicles some of the most magical moments I’ve had in my life, nights where I decided on taking a midnight walk through the country roads of rural Kansas. Watching the night slowly turn to day has been an inspiring memory for me for years now.

Those are just a few glimpses behind a few of the songs on the album. It’s a much more natural, personal album for sure.

Brothers of the Night

The day is filled with midnight air
And that doesn’t seem to surprise me.
The wolves howl, and the cows scare
The wolves are out just a huntin’

I’m all alone just with my pack
I plan to catch us some dinner.
But the game is scarce and it’s getting late
The moonlight, it’s getting dimmer

chorus
Brothers of the Night,
They’ll never see us coming.
Together by our side
We’re forever running
Just looking in the places we have never been
And running in the races that we’ll never win

The fires are casting shadows from the trees
To me they look like big monsters
But the truth is revealed in the light
Cast by our moon our mother.

Our predators creep just out of sight
Hiding in the shadow of a shadow
But we strike them back with a stealthy attack
Guided by our Horned God, Father.

chorus

bridge
When we fall we get back up
Together we’ll win the fight!
Love is what makes us brothers.
Brothers of the Night
Oooooh.
Brothers of the night
Oooooooooh!

We Can’t Hold Hands When We’re Pointing Fingers

I’m not patriotic so to speak,
Cuz borders don’t mean much to me.
And freedom don’t mean much when not everyone is free,
So tonight I’ll lay down and try to sleep

I try to see things in a different light.
That’s the only way I know how to live my life.
But a few of us just don’t know how to live and let live,
And that’s what I’d consider a sin.

chorus
Sticks and stones may break my bones
But words will always linger.
We can’t hold hands when we are pointing fingers

There’s a man who’s different by his looks
He lives his life by a different book
They say, “He’s not one of us, and that makes him a danger,
“Why should we have to tolerate this stranger?”

I think you’d be surprised if you saw
Just alike how we really are
You can’t judge a book by what is on its cover,
You’d see the stranger really is our brother

chorus ver. 2
Sticks and stones may break my bones
But words will always linger.
We can’t hold hands when we are pointing fingers
Sticks and stones may break my bones
But hate will always linger.
We can’t hold hands when we are pointing fingers

So be is Muslim, Christian, Pagan, Atheist, or Jew
All the rest, we’re all human too!
So celebrate all those things that you think make us differ,
I’d guarantee you’ll see a bigger picture

Let’s all gather up and form a ring
Round the wide, wide world and we will sing
The song of Mother Earth, the song that tell the tale
Of how the human race and love prevailed

chorus

We swear by peace and love to stand, heart to heart and hand in hand
Mark, O Spirit, and hear us now, confirming his our sacred vow

Peace, love, and blessed be

Flying

I looked around the world for any sign of peace
I didn’t know where to look, I asked the world “Please!”

So I asked the eagle, and he said, yes he said “fly!”
I asked the sparrow, and she said, yes she said “fly!”

I asked the moon, and she said, yes she said “fly!”

Fly!

Garden of Ages

In the Garden of Ages are beautiful flowers,
beautiful flowers of yellow and gold.
Flowers, flowers, beautiful flowers
From far back in time, the ages of old

chorus
Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful Flowers
Beautiful Flowers, the color of Spring
Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful Flowers
Gorgeous aroma the flowers do bring

I like to lay in the Garden of Ages
And down in the scent of the flowers’ petals
And as I lay in the Garden of Ages
The flowers they whisper to me their riddles

they say,
chorus

The Queen of the Flowers, she was my lover,
Flower Face was what she was called,
But now my lover, she is now passing,
Her petals are withered and beginning to fall

chorus

Thunderbird

I walk to the center of the field
And I stand in the darkness, I yield
To the moonlit clouds moving in
And the shutters clatter in the wind

chorus

Oh, I’m frightened
By what you are bringing
Oh, Delighted
I hear you singing

Above, lights dance ribbons thin
And the thunder, it ripples in my skin
And the world around me starts to change
Into a world from a long forgotten dream

Chorus

I descend into a well so infinite
Of a strange, beautiful hell, I’m in it
Where the earth and rain, they meet
With the wind and the fire to shake me off my feet

Chorus

Now the storm and her power, I’m told
By the drums and the fires of old
Draws her strength like a thunderbird in the sky
And so I drink the rain so I might one day fly

Chorus

I Wish I Was a Tree

I wish I was a tree.
A mighty, wise old thing.
Greatly sweet, to have my feet
Deep snug in cool clay.

I wish I was a tree.
To watch the world of man.
Their wispy lives will pass me by,
Unfurling of their plans.

I wish I was a tree.
A creature of such patience.
Hundred years and leafy beards,
Not one to have to hasten.

I wish I was a tree.
Not lonely would I stand.
The earth I know, with creatures I’d grow,
My lover be the land.

I wish I was a tree
A whispering giant
The fruit I bear and the leaves I wear,
the cloak of the enlightened.

I wish I was a tree
Life from a buried seed
so much potential could be influential
To those who truly see

I wish I was a tree,
So I might know the truth.
To dance in place with ancient pace
But in spirit I’d surely move.

I wish I was a tree.
The seasons be my hours.
With oh so few, I’d share my view,
The lonely green watchtower.

I Heard We Got Rain

I met a man, he said “I don’t know what to do,
“I’ve got a hole in my pocket and another in my shoe,
“I worry ‘bout the weather, and I worry about my wife,
“I worry about death and I worry about my life.”

chorus

I said hey, life’s for living and death is the next
Life worth living, so don’t worry about death.
And as for the weather I heard we got rain,
But the sun will come out and shine once again

I met another man, he said, “Haven’t you heard?
“Tomorrow is the coming of the end of the world!
“With horrible weather for our children and wives!
“When swift comes our death, and short be our lives!”

Chorus

I heard a crowd chanting the words:
“Your life and your ways are headed for the worst!
“You don’t know whether to run or to hide,
“When swift comes your death, and damned be your life!”

Chorus

I met a child who said, “Isn’t it clear?
“Life and death should not be feared!
“Enjoy the weather, sunshine or rain!
“Enjoy the moment, it won’t come again!”

Chorus

Release

Be Free
Be Free
Release
Anger, resentment, and hate

Be Free
Be Free
Release
Desires your mind creates

Be Free
Be Free
Release
Delusions of the mind

Be Free
Be Free
Release
Pressures of humankind

Be Free
Be Free
Release
Suffering of the World

Be Free
Be Free
Release
Attachments taking hold

Chaff Before the Wind

Don’t take yourself to serious,
Don’t be too proud to bend!
Cuz in the cosmic scheme of things
We’re chaff before the wind!

chorus

Chaff before the wind,
Grist in the mill of time
When we leave we won’t be back again
We’re chaff before the wind!

Kings and queens and beggars,
They’re equal in the end
eternity’s the same for all!
We’re chaff before the wind!

chorus

While the universe rolls on
as it has since time began
Think not you can change its course
We’re chaff before the wind!

chorus

Early Bird

What do you say little early bird?
Have you caught the worm?
Or are you like me and you could not sleep
In the summer night so warm?

Have you been out since past midnight
Just like I have done
I’ve walked the ol’ back country roads
And now here comes the sun

And now as the world begins to wake
And hustles off to work
I can hear you singing your sleepy song
I understand your words

chorus

You sing “What do you say little early bird?”
Have you caught the worm?
Or are you like me and you could not sleep
On this summer night so warm?

Restless was I and I could not sleep
I decided on a walk
I could see Orion standing there
As solid as a rock

His hair so bright, his eyes they shine
His posture so sure
I pondered at the mystery
of the Midnight Warrior

And the coyotes howl beyond the hills
Somewhere in the east
But have no fear, Diana’s here
Her light, my fears will ease

chorus
What do you say little early bird?
Have you caught the worm?
I’ve danced across the eastern sky
With the Midnight Warrior

Do you sing for the night, do you sing for the day
Do you sing for the sake of the song?
For the song you sing I too will sing
In the hour before the dawn.

The dreamy, flickering dim night light
Of the porch light left on
Relents to the gentle yellow sky
In the hour before the dawn

The fingers of the eastern fires
play with the starry lace
As the moon and the blackness of the night
Greet the dawning day

I can see the sun’s coming rays
His colors bleeding bright
As they mix and blend with the midnight’s end
An ancient sacred rite

chorus

What do you say little early bird?
Have you caught the worm?
I’ve seen the darkest of the nights
succumb to the morning’s charms

I’ve seen the farthest reaches of space
In a gazebo in the park
I’ve chased my dreams and fairy tales
Walking in the dark

What do you say little early bird?
Have you caught the worm?
Or are you like me and you could not sleep
On this summer night so warm?

Do you sing for the night, do you sing for the day?
Do you sing for the sake of the song?
For the song you sing I too will sing
In the hour before the dawn.

All lyrics (C) 2016 by Bran Cerddorion, except Chaff Before the Wind, (C) by Wyman Griffith