Postcards from France

by Robin Mitchell

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1.
marseille 02:19
in the grand old port of Marseille there is a man who stands on the harbour wall each day he waves the ships goodbye as they turn to catch the wind and sail away from the grand old port of Marseille and in the grand old port of Marseille is a man who stands on the harbour wall each day each ship that comes sailing home he welcomes with fresh aplomb says, I hope that you enjoy your stay here in the grand old port of Marseille and in the higgledy-piggledy houses, so many higgledy-piggledy people live their higgledy-piggledy lives, while you and I are just passing by Señor looks out from the veranda, the flavour of favela rising up from below as the sunset bathes the city in a golden glow in the grand old port of Marseille, join the boozers and the floosies in the general melee you might get your pocket picked if you step into the fray, but you can pour yourself a Ricard at the end of the day in the grand old port of Marseille, sip on a Cagole and watch the waves across the bay we leave at dawn tomorrow so please do not delay, better disembark, better leave your mark today here in the grand old port of Marseille
2.
avignon 03:25
throw me 50 centimes and I'll sing you a song about the fair streets of Avignon I'm a stranger in this town, I know that I do not belong but when a city lets you in, it's so hard to move on my love has dark eyes and long brown hair she moves through the bustling crowds with hardly a care and when I went a-wandering you know she couldn't find me anywhere go to where the shadows are longest go to where the shadows are longest go to where the shadows are longest, I'll be there and if you throw me 50 centimes and I'll sing you a song about the fair streets of Avignon I'm a stranger in this town, I know that I can't stay for long but when a city takes you in, it's so hard to move on my love has dark eyes and long brown hair she moves through the bustling crowds with hardly a care and when I went a-wandering you know she couldn't find me anywhere go to where the candles are shortest go to where the candles are shortest go to where the candles are shortest, I'll be there my love has dark eyes and long brown hair she moves through the bustling crowds with hardly a care and when I went a-wandering you know she couldn't find me anywhere go to where the beers are coolest go to where the beers are coolest go to where the beers are coolest, I'll be there walking the Avenue des Sources, guitar in my hand (of course!) the man in The Cage said he'd listened for an age but he couldn't understand my accent... my love has dark eyes and long brown hair she moves through the bustling crowds with hardly a care and when I went a-wandering you know she couldn't find me anywhere go to where the wine is warmest go to where the wine is warmest go to where the wine is warmest, I'll be there
3.
corconne 01:03
in Corconne, the bell in the little church tower chimes the time not once, but twice on the hour and the bell in the chapel on the hillside rings high, shrill and clear the way a choirboy sings ding-a-ling-a-ling, a-ling-a-ling ding-a-ling-a-ling, a-ling-a-ling
4.
mad dog 01:12
5.
omen 02:09
a bird flew into the window today I sense an omen, but then again I'm always seeing signs that don't exist a bird flew into the schoolroom today if I could cry freedom with every tendon I'd be borne away upon the wind an ember from the fire drifted down onto the carpet I wasn't quick enough to catch it amidst the dancing flames you could hear the whispered names of different birds, and the sounds of their songs the clouds outside the window are pulling faces at me they are drunk, they are ugly, they intimidate me I sensed the omen as a cloud stepped on my shadow it's going to be another long year there's already some grey in my beard and someone else is drinking my beer it's going to be another long year
6.
alès 02:13
better keep one ear to the ground when that circus comes to town we'll be first inside the ring when it's our turn to sing we're gonna tear this city down, boys take this city apart, we're gonna tear this city down, down, down, down, down when the wolves are on the prowl and the moon is high, you can hear em howl I ain't gonna sit around and wait gonna get in the ring, it's my turn to sing I wanna be in the ring when it's my turn I wanna be in the ring when it's my turn to sing the hyenas a-laughing the parakeets a-chattering the wolves are on the prowl, you can see 'em from the walls o the sound we'll make o the ruckus we'll create when we get inside the ring when it's our time to sing
7.
à l'aube 00:55

about

songs written in France in the summer of 2014 (mostly), then recorded onto a dusty 4-track tape recorder in a basement in Bristol

In Postcards from France, Robin fantastically reimagines his holiday adventures in various French towns, channelling the warm musicality of Calexico and Naïm Amor and the rich lyrical playfulness of Dylan.

credits

released June 23, 2015

all songs by Robin Mitchell
(mad dog by Robin Mitchell and Jesse Grace Hodgson)

Jesse played accordion and piano on mad dog
(all other instruments by Robin)

the first 3 are for Han

à l'aube is for Stuart Gordon

delightful artwork by Elisa Cunningham
elisacunningham.com

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