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Ashes

"Ashes" is the sixth track on the 2020 album Cures What Ails Ya. It was written by Robbie Sattin and, as such, is a Longest Johns Original.

Ashes follows a long and storied tradition of UK folk songs calling for gathering and unity, wrapped in themes of memory and mourning. If you like Ashes, you should check out the works of famed folk singer Dick Gaughan, as the themes and tune are very reminiscent of Gaughan's work.

About the inspiration of the song, paraphrasing Robbie:

Ashes is about how sometimes people expect folk music to have a certain role, and the fact that rather than trying to keep a phenomena (like folk music) alive, they would rather worship the ashes of it until it's dead and gone.


Lyrics

Watch that old fire as it flickers and dies,
That once blessed the household and lit up our lives.
It shone for the friends and the clinking of glasses.
I'll tend to the flame; you can worship the ashes.

Capture the wild things and bring them in line
And own what was never your right to confine.
The lives and the loves and the songs are what matters.
I'll tend to the flame; you can worship the ashes.

Do you feel heavy? Your eyes drop with grief.
Your spirit is wild and your suffering is brief.
So never you buckle and bend to the masses.
I'll tend to the flame; you can worship the ashes.

Get round the fire with a glass of strong ale
And tell us a story from beyond the pale.
Bury some seeds and expect some strong branches.
I'll tend to the flame; you can worship the ashes.

Now show me a man that can meet all his needs,
For what we need most now is unity's seed:
A common old song for all creeds and all classes.
I'll tend to the flame; you can worship the ashes.

I'll tend to the flame...

What will we do when the world it is ending,
And time it is halted for friend and for foe?
Try to hold on to the time as it passes.
I'll tend to the flame; you can worship the ashes.

I'll tend to the flame; you can worship the ashes.

I'll tend to the flame; you can worship the ashes.

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