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Many A Long Hour

by Thomas McCallum

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Mitchfynde
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Mitchfynde Thomas has improved upon his unique brand of Canadiana in every way. Less sweet this time and more longing. Haunting, like the ghost of someone you loved still warm in your memory. Listening to "Many A Long Hour" fills me with nostalgia for stories I'd never heard. Favorite track: Mary Pratt.
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    Six-panel digipak case with full lyrics, lupin photography by Corey Isenor.

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1.
In the Hills 04:38
When we were in the hills, and the dog was like a kite, returning at a whistle, it was easy to forget about pride. But the great betrayal, oh me, oh my, my own familiar friend, we never saw it coming. Jerusalem which is above is free, the mother of us all. A city at unity, to which we all aspire. But when I look below I see not stone upon stone. To everything there is a season. And maybe you should go away, maybe you should go away, maybe you should go away, maybe you should go away. You turned to me and said, “Better broken closed than open.” You turned to me and said, “All things flow, all things flow.” But the only life worth living is the one that’s every day broken open. And maybe you should go away, maybe you should go away, maybe you should go away, maybe you should go away.
2.
Sometimes 03:59
All the questions roll into one: Is it love or is it exile? Is the measure of freedom equal to the measure of suffering? Do the lines fall in pleasant places? When will they stop tearing me apart? All the questions roll into one: What is the nature of desire? Is it better to look at the moon, or its reflection on the water? Why do I keep staring at the sun, knowing I’ll go blind? Sometimes I sleep where I fall, Sometimes I walk in a dream, Sometimes I say your name, Sometimes I say your name, Sometimes I say your name, Sometimes I say your name.
3.
Mary Pratt 05:22
Wind in the trees Screen door sway, Should I go, or should I? Tell me ‘bout the things you lack: I change my mind I change it back. I live in the moment between looking and turning away. Saw you walking with the evening star, A firefly in your hair. Snipe was calling night season's song: All nature was inclined, but not for long. I live in the moment between looking and turning away. Pawn you my gold watch and chain: Nocturnes for old country songs. Wish I'd forget that sweet caress, Wish I loved her a little more, or a little less. I live in the moment between looking and turning away.
4.
Peter and Anna drove on through the night, Heading for Upper Canada, hope things turn out right, The year was nineteen-ninety-four, prospects they were few, The morning star was shining, the early light it grew. Like some frail, migratory bird, Blown here by the storm, They'd fallen through the cracks in love, Found each other warm, Found each other warm. Peter turned to Anna, with a child in her womb, Said, "I'll rent you a grand piano, put some flowers round your room." Said she, "It's all been done before, I have my old guitar, And I will sing my child to sleep when you are gone and far." (Refrain) The swallow finds herself an house, foxes have their dens, The traveler has the wilderness, as do our two young friends. Anna sleeps as on they roll, toward Hamilton's foul fume, As their love is woven on God's celestial loom. (Refrain)
5.
The sun was falling through the dust, For the king of the long goodbye. He’s been this way for many a long hour, You can hear his mournful cry: Farewell, so long, make a great swan song, For the king of the long goodbye, Goodbye my friend, I don’t know when I’ll come to you again. Our treasure buried by the old white church, You’ll know what I’ll mean. Sydney, David, and Baby Birch, I missed the golden seam. Oh, why did I forsake our happy little home? A life with neither spot nor shame, to be loved, but never owned. Our love was like the river, A gash across the land, The drive back to the city, The night you held my hand. The sun was falling through the dust For the king of the long goodbye, Goodbye my friend, I’ll be sure to tell you when I’ll come to you again. I’ll come to you again.
6.
Canada 03:40
Canada, you can get betrayed here, sleep on the beach here, live in your car. Run all the roads and make no money, see nobody by the big stage lights. Everybody’s got to run from something, how else would any work get done? Everybody’s hands got to fall asleep, every father’s got to face his son. There’s danger on every highway, I like things my way, by the dashboard light. And women, those seven women, taste of persimmon still on my lips tonight. (Refrain) I’ll soon cross over to make amends with a dear friend of yesteryear. But I can’t forget the islands, those lonesome islands stuck out there. (Refrain)
7.
Drive the darkened highway through the wilderness, to the city by the sea. There I’ll dwell a year or so despite these snows of May, or perhaps until Transfiguration Day. When I hear your heartbeat echo through your hollow frame, I hear life and death: the city and the sea! I am just some animal; I don’t know how to pray – Will you love me on Transfiguration Day? And this might be a warning, this might all be in my head, and this might be a thorn in my side – your money or your life. I am only dreaming up a paradise to sell you: Do you like my little city by the sea? Oh, my little China doll, without one word to say, how I’ll kiss you on Transfiguration Day! And this might be a warning, this might all be in my head, and this might be a thorn in my side – your money or your life.
8.
Early Spring 04:32
How could I condense a day, ‘tween mind and mouth to give to you? Between the bay and slender birch, – touch of snow, the skies of blue. When I came out here in the early spring, I thought things were going my-a-way, I thought I could bring the world to me, I recoiled at the first sign of decay. How could I tell my little town about the love between the string and bow? Still, they sat, mouths agape, half awake – The privileged ones who’ll never know. (Refrain) If you’re passing through on that dreadful day, If you head for the hills you can head for mine. If the sea should boil, or if the stars align, It’d sure be nice to see you one more time. (Refrain)
9.
Mariner 04:46
The gang’s all here, but it’s pretty quiet, as I think of the moment I let in the sea. Would they ever ‘magine I’d rather be with her, than here in the stillness of luxury and ease. Ah, but when the wind, it shifts, you’d be a fool to think there was something you could do. When I first made her, I knew I was crazy, knew that I’d strain her, knew what I’d demand, but when the wind caught her, she’d shoot like an arrow, coming to life at the touch of my hand, Ah, but when her mast come off, what would you even try to say to me? There’s a restless sadness that’s never too far away, you don’t have to like it – it’s part of the deal. If something is lost, be it love, luck, or memory, then the best you can hope for is to know it was real. And it’s funny who’s left standing at the end of the day – Didn’t think it would be me. No, I’d rather it not be me.

credits

released September 14, 2021

Music and lyrics by Thomas McCallum, except music to “Early Spring” by Aaron Comeau.

Vocals, cello, and guitar for tracks 1-5, 7, 8 recorded by Diego Medina at The Old Confidence Lodge, Riverport, NS.

Tracks 6 and 9 recorded by Aaron Comeau at The Trailer, Toronto, ON, with additional recording at All Saints Church-Community Centre, and Howie’s Loft.
Additional vocals recorded at Fort Rose, Hamilton, ON.

Produced, mixed by Aaron Comeau.

Mastered by Reuben Ghose, Mojito Mastering.

Graphic design, lupin photography by Corey Isenor.

Musician photography by Evan McIntyre.

Musicians:
Thomas McCallum – vocals, guitar, tin whistle
Lydia Mainville – cello, vocals
Karis Tees – vocals
Aaron Comeau – guitar, electric bass, piano, pump organ
Michael Eckert – pedal steel
Kinley Dowling – violin, viola

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Thomas McCallum Halifax, Nova Scotia

Thomas McCallum is a singer-songwriter from Six Mile Brook, NS. His first album, "Many A Long Hour," features nine original songs. He released a five song EP, "Crocus Song," in 2014.

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