Land of the vast horizon

by Gavin O'Loghlen & Cotters Bequest

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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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. Translations: 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.
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.
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
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 makkarniti nurallidni 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.


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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