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​The Fiddler

This song is by June Tabor and appears on the album Aleyn (1997).

The fiddler's fingers bend upon the soundboard
As steady as the hand that draws the bow.
The silence before horsehair hits the cat gut
Is the quiet of a heavy fall of snow.

'I remember Driscole's shanty', says the fiddler,
'The sound of seaboots on the wooden floor,
As we played the wind turned round a quarter
And morning found them far from Scotland's shore.'

Their faces are all hid behind the quavers,
A thin veneer to paper up the cracks,
Breaks like crazing on the varnish,
Forgetfulness is what my memory lacks.

The fiddler's fingers bend upon the soundboard
As steady as the hand that draws the bow.
The silence before horsehair hits the cat gut
Is the quiet of a heavy fall of snow.