Land of the vast horizon

by Gavin O'Loghlen & Cotters Bequest

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The long awaited third album from Australia's progressive Celtic ensemble. A Celtic history of South Australia, this album explores the journeys of two Irishmen Michael O'Loghlen and John Henry Cahill from the first arrival at Port Adelaide in 1854 until the last death in 1911. The album visits the Celtic communities in which they lived and worked - Irish shanty towns, Cornish miners, Welsh smelters and Scottish shepherds, as well as examining the ways of life of teamsters, farmers and the Aboriginal clans of the Parnkalla and the Peramangk. The musical styles covers a broad progressive spectrum from Gaelic choirs to roaring reels, each track featuring the unique and distinctive Cotters Bequest sound: soaring melodies, lush vocal harmonies and a vast array of 33 instruments including Highland, Uilleann, Northumbrian and Scottish Small pipes.

".....a Celtic King Crimson, .... a smooth Clannad, Capercaillie & Wolfstone.... with a sprinkling of Peter Gabriel"


released February 1, 2006

Gavin O'Loghlen : Acoustic 6 & 12 string guitars, mandolin, electric guitars, drums, bass, fretless bass, bodhran, percussion, keyboards, vocoders, programming, Prophet 5, ARP synth, Hardie highland pipes key of A, custom Bill Hart Scottish smallpipes keys of A, Bb, C and D, Howard low D whistles, Susato & Clarke C & D whistles, bagpipe chanter key of Eb, Dudley 1880 accordeon, vocals
Angelee Theodoros : Lead vocals, cello
Stephanie Graeber : Violin
Anne Dormer : Vocals
Harry Theodoros : Accordion
Robert Shaw : Dijeridu
Jim Petkoff : Lead guitar
Jack Brennan : Alain Froment concert D Uilleann pipes, Swayne D low whistle, Northumbrian pipes key C
Seonaidh MacFhraing : Scottish Gaelic translations
Magdalena and Gilbert Aue : German lyrics Sevenhill © 2006


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Gavin O'Loghlen & Cotters Bequest Australia

Cotters Bequest is a seven piece progressive Celtic band playing 28 instruments including Highland, Uilleann, Northumbrian and Scottish smallpipes, Irish whistles, violin, cello and accordion wrapped in layers of acoustic and electric guitars, vintage keyboards and rich vocal harmonies.

In the style of "a Celtic King Crimson..a Pink Floyd with bagpipes.. with a sprinkling of Peter Gabriel."
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Track Name: Port Adelaide 1854 The Arrival
Like the debris that drifts on the ocean tide
like the flotsam that floats to the shore
we have packaged our dreams
into tea chests of promises
over the oceans and over the seas
battered by tempests and becalmed in lees
we have mortgaged our past
for deeds of expectancy
ceded our language, our culture, our lives
cut loose the chord, the umbilical ties
no retreat, no return.

Thirteen slow weeks of endless recitative
salted water world governs our lives
with our biscuits and bully beef
weevils and lemon juice
sweltered ‘neath night’s equatorial skies
slept above decks in a bid to survive
we then fathomed the forties
wrapped in our overcoats
huddled below decks in mountainous seas
cold, damp and sea sick, we sort some reprieve
some retreat, some respite...
... we have burnt our boats this time.

Like clams on the rail we searched for the shore
wind in our hair, tears in our eyes
coastline of sandy dunes, no towns,
no houses seen
are there people here?

Moored at the mouth, a muddy brown creek
mangroves as sentinels, guard our retreat
inching up with the tide
wharf one we draw aside destiny we keep.

Final farewell, we’re cast off
hear “disembark”
like leaves, our past life floats down stream.

Skirts hoisted high we trudged through the mud
swampy tin town made of hessian and wood
footbridge to breach the tide
into this world we stride
wood mills, smoke and smells.

Children fall ill, Port Admiral hotel
a black woman’s cure “this is no place to dwell”
no roads, no railway tracks
horse and dray, all up back
off to Adelaide.

Soft pastel sunset farewells our past
dirt track of promise winds into night
tea chests and great coats tattered and worn
past, present, future - our now is born.
Track Name: The Peramangk
Time there was when I felt free so wonderful to be
Sounds and songs and signs lived here, so wonderful - so free
Time there was when I held dreams so wonderful to see
Tales of ancient lands so real so wonderful to me

Ngadjuri language:
Alawara bunga bera
gadla be:la mutanga
wadla, budna
wala, bilda
nakuka’idla wadli
bungari janduwitjanu
bungari juru indata

English Translation:
Evening shadow moon
fire embers dance
wallaby, goanna
bustard, opossum
look at the camp
tribal country sunrise
tribal country blackfellows dead

Time there was when I lived here so wonderful - so free
Track Name: Kapunda 1856 The Cornish Miners
And we came like blind moles
digging the ground, digging our holes
from our whitewashed coastline sailors of old
to this new green quick seam
chasing the load, chasing the load
we have come (Cousins Jacks)
with our men (and our sacks) and sons.

And we crouch like blind moles
deep in the ground, deep in our holes
with our mallets and picks, steel gads and bars
chasing the load
in this candle lit gloom the cradles are borne
down to the stopes where the mullock is thrown
for the tribute and pare
we have traded all chance of return.

Chasing the load, holding the seam
fighting the water and stemming the streams
raising the ore, winning the race
shovelling the flume and dissolving the waste
hand pick the prill, hammer it flat
bound for the smelters and melted
and black on the slag heaps we stand
with our fool’s gold in hand
we survive - we succeed.
Track Name: The Burra 1861 The Welsh Smelters
Govannan - master of fire
cauldren glows
blows reign down
Children of Llyr toil in the deep
warden Bendegeit Bran
the cauldren glows

Children of Don, white harp of fire
blows reign down Govannan
the sky glows

With wings of sail we soar
off to conquer foreign shores
we must follow the forge
and streams of molten ore.

Left our women far behind
and no families to remind us
each of our homes
our language or our cause.

Seven years we signed for service
some for fourteen, some deserted
made our way by bullock dray
to The Burra mine.

Were no houses for us workers
had to dig our creek bed shelters
knew no English, spoke in Welsh
God what have we done.

Govannan the smith
Master of fire
Bendegeit Bran
Cauldron of life.

Thousand men who
worked these smelters
stoked the ores
the furnace melted
thousand tons of
wood each week
fed the raging fire.

In the din and pandemonium
belching flames
and copper roasting
we would sing
of ancient times
songs inside our head

So in Paxton Square we prayed
and in the Burra Hotel we saved
our voices for song
the company of men.

But the mine ran down and failed
and so back to Wales we sailed
our voices as one
the male choir had begun.
Track Name: Port Augusta 1869 The Teamsters
As vast as an ocean
as far as I can see
blue mountains frame
a blood red plain
‘neath an azure sky.

Ravines dipped in honey
scent of morning dew
gorges of shale
and snake like trails
takes your breath away.

Like cards on a table
we’re dealt the hands we choose
but blue mountain range
and blood red plain
is enough for me.
Track Name: Gulnare 1872 Death of the last born
Mother: Long ago, in some far dream land
I held you close, my new born child......
and the years that flowed
through broken, troubled nights
of fever, fatigue and pain......
and each new dawn
of smiling eyes and laughter....
we’d coaxed you from the grave.

Father: Why?
what sense
what need
to heed the call
to give a life so small?

Mother: Take me.
Track Name: Sevenhill 1873 Johann Pallhuber SJ
Aimen mit Blumen und Edelweiß
Wiesen mit Kräutern und Enzian
Kühle Quellen aus Gletschergrund
Rößlein, bringst Du mich hin?

Herrgott laß’ mich die Almen noch schau’n
Laß’ mich die Glocken der Kühe noch hör’n
Einmal noch fahren im weißen Schnee
Herrgott einmal noch im Leben.

Te Deum laudamus
Te Deum laudamus _ te Dominum confitemur
Te Deum laudamus
Te aeternum Patrem omnis terra veneratur

In hac mensa novi Regis
Novum Pascha novae Legis
Caro cibus, Sanguis potus vetus terminat.

Vetustatem novitas umbram fugat veritas
Quod non capis, quod non vides
Noctem lux eliminat.

Quod in Coena Christus gessit
Faciendum hoc expressit In sui memoriam;
Doctic sacris institutis panem, vinum
in salutis Consecramus hostiam.


Meadows with flowers and Edelwiess
Meadows with herbs and Enzian
Cool springs flowing from glaciers
Little horse, you take me there.

Lord, let me see the meadows once more
Let me hear the cow bells again
once more driving through white snow
Lord just once more in my life.
We praise Thee, O God
we acknowledge Thee to be the Lord
We praise Thee, O God
All the earth doth worship Thee
the Father everlasting
On this table of the new King
This the new Law’s Paschal offering
Flesh from bread and Blood from wine
Brings to end the olden Rite.

Here, for empty shadows fled is Reality instead
Doth it pass thy comprehending?
Here instead of darkness, Light.

What He did at supper seated
Christ ordained to be repeated in his memory divine;
Wherefore we, with adoration
Thus the host of our salvation
Consecrate from bread and wine.
Track Name: Knockatuna Quorn 1879 The Farmers
Song of the stonemason drifts on the breeze
rattle of harness and Clydesdale
white wooden cottages grow from the ground
butcher, the baker, the candle ...
burns .... and we’re rolling and rolling along..
with our heads high and hearts full of ...

Song of the rain as it follows the plough
silos are bursting with new gold
breath of white steam, locomotion and schemes
merge into promise and new found
land .... and we’re rolling and rolling along..
with our heads high and hearts full of song
and we’re rolling and rolling along..
with impossible dreams

Reins in the hands as the team moves on
follow the plough, backs to the sun
Teamster, the butcher, the abattoir,
stations and farms, life is ours to enjoy
Hooves pound the track as the race is run
bright diamond brooch that the filly has won
Kids ride the wind or thats how it seems
the future is ours - with impossible, impossible dreams.
Track Name: Nantabra Hut 1895 The Scottish Shepherds
Scottish Gaelic:
Cìobair an dois - anns an dùthaich ùir.
Cìobair an dois - fada bho a dhachaidh.

English Translation:
The bush shepherd in a new country
The bush shepherd far from his home

Blood red sands weep tears of ochre,
river beds run dry
dingoes howl their piobaireachd
to the moon deep in the night

Camp fire flickers, dawn approaches
dressed in scarlet plaid
frozen fingers stir
the oatmeal gruel - this is my life.

And its a long way from the Glens of Argyshire
to a wooden hut and saltbush
through a trail of mulga, mallee, pine
and on we go through the bluebush and the haze
to the woolshed well
- so far from home

Scottish Gaelic:
Laithean samhraidh tethe
Sudagan is strubag
A' ghrian air m'ghnuis
Tha an saorsa ann an seo

English Translation:
Hot days of summer
Damper and tea
The sun on my face
The freedom is here
Track Name: Udenyaka (Death Rock)
The dream is over a Celtic requiem
no screams of wailing banshees
just whimpered tales to tell.

Tea chests of expectation, a second Celtic home
old cultures in a new land
now dust within our hands.

I watch these grains of sand,
these empty children
all I see is Celtic servants,
Rainbow Serpents on the run.

The dreaming now is over, Yurlu’s on the wing
Akarru’s in his canyon and Yura Bila sing.

White sails on vast horizons
just passing through we thought
new cultures in an old land
we’ve passed our last resort.

I watch these ancient circles, windswept sarsens
all I see is stone engravings, runic totems
all I feel is ochre faces, woad adornings
all I know is five thousand years
of ancient wisdom will not die

Parnkalla language:
Malakunna ninna
ngukanna warrulputu
wailbi kumanni
gadla murru pailba
yerta ngartendi
ngarring elbudninge -
ninna Parnkalitti

English Translation:
From the moment you
went on a journey
to the south
west country alone
the camp fire
embers died
You who inquire
of the land through us -
you are Parnkalla.

Its time to pass the baton
to children hand in hand
our own self preservation
the Kinsmen and the Clans.

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