Black Raven

by LUNATRAKTORS

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about

Black Raven is a new English mis-translation of a traditional Cossack folk song that is well known in Russia, reworked through the lens of English folk and blues. We found it while researching world music about corvids – crows, ravens, magpies – which are a kind of clan emblem for us. The tune feels soaring, magnetic, with extremely deep roots. Something in the melody transports us, seems to open up a landscape, a trans-temporal space of connection with something very big, and very old, and very dark.

Special thanks to Sophie J of Thetford Grammar School, who won our competition to design the Black Raven image.

lyrics

O Black Raven, Old Black Raven
Quit your hangin’ round my head.
Nothin’ for you here O Black Raven,
Well Old Black Raven I ain’t dead.
Nothin’ for you here O Black Raven,
Well Old Black Raven I ain’t dead.

Quit your cryin’ Old Black Raven
Quit your divin’, sheath your claws.
Nothin’ for you here O Black Raven,
Well Old Black Raven I ain’t yours.
Nothin’ for you here O Black Raven,
Well Old Black Raven I ain’t yours.

Well I am wounded, but this token
Which my Mother gave to me,
It will be my solace and my bandage
Well Old Black Raven leave me be!
It will be my solace and my bandage
Well Old Black Raven leave me be!

Well fine then take it, O Black Raven
Take this bloody handkerchief.
Fly back home and give it to my lover
Tell her that I set her free.
Fly back home and give it to my lover
Tell her that I set her free.

Tell her I have met another
On this very battlefield.
Tell her we were wedded by an arrow
And my best man was my cold steel.
Tell her we were wedded by an arrow
And my best man was my cold steel.

Old Black Raven, is there a reason
Why you were sent to me?
Fly down here and whisper me your
secret / Whisper it into my ear.
Fly down here and whisper me your
secret / Whisper it into my ear.

credits

released February 14, 2019
Lyrics: Le Couteur / Jefferson
Arrangement: Le Couteur / Jefferson

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all rights reserved

tags

about

LUNATRAKTORS Margate, UK

Broken folk experiments by Clair Le Couteur (vocals, loops) and Carli Jefferson (vocals, percussion).

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