Laker Music
lyrics and liner notes
Skating Rink
     
 

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photos by Beth Girdler and David Francey

"This album is stunning".... Les Sieminiuk for Penguin Eggs Magazine

Skating Rink wins a 2004 JUNO!


Skating Rink Liner Notes and Credits

Go to David's page at Festival Distribution to listen to the title track www.festival.bc.ca


The songs on Skating Rink are drawn from various stages of my life. Most were finally written down at the kitchen table where, if you look out the window, you can see the lights of the skating rink throwing at least a small part of the world into sharp relief.

All songs, Words and music by David Francey



Skating Rink


I live in a small village in Quebec across the street from the skating rink. In winter the rink becomes the focal point of the village. It is the meeting place, the spark of joy in the winter darkness, the very image of Canada in the heart of winter. From my house I can hear the thin music from the loudspeakers, the sound of hockey being played, the cut of steel on ice, the thud and boom of the puck on the boards, and the yells of joy and disappointment; sounds that seem to laugh in the face of winter itself.




The music from the skating rink
Drifts across the town
The stars of heaven high above
Forever looking down
I stand here looking upward,
And I'm listening to the sound
Of the village in the lonely heart of winter

The lights above the skating rink
Illuminate the scene
And on the snow the shadows show
Footsteps where we've been
And Danny's breath hangs motionless
Hovers like a dream
Above his head, in the lonely heart of winter

The sky above the skating rink
The blackened weight of space
Falls endless on the frozen world
Upon the saving grace
Of the lights around the skating rink
Laughing in the face
Of the darkness at the lonely heart of winter

Ayer's Cliff Quebec, February 19, 2002

Vocals: David Francey
Guitar: Dave Clarke
Guitar: Geoff Somers
Fiddle: Geoff Somers



Broken Glass

This was written for my daughter, Amy, when she was 14 years old. I remembered what it was like to be a boy in love, and unable to say so. I realized that all the awkwardness and unrequited passion of high school days remain unchanged from generation to generation.


Saw you standing in the cafeteria line
I'd have given the world just to make you mine
Saw you at your locker, in the high school hall
And it didn't take a minute for my heart to fall

When you hear a sound like broken glass
That's my heart every time that girl walks past
When you hear a sound like the rush of wind
It's just me catching my breath again

Saw you on the bus, on the way back home
You were sitting so pretty, sitting all alone
Couldn't think of anything much to say
Except I'll love you forever, 'til my dying day

When you hear a sound like broken glass
That's my heart every time that girl walks past
When you hear a sound like the rush of wind
It's just me catching my breath again

Seeing her now makes me think of then
And I remember how and I remember when
You'd go to a party hoping that she'd show
Then you'd dance in the darkness to Abbey Road

When you hear a sound like broken glass
That's my heart every time that girl walks past
When you hear a sound like the rush of wind
It's just me catching my breath again

Under Bunker Road, Ayer's Cliff, Quebec, 1993

Lead Vocals: David Francey
Guitar: Dave Clarke
Backing Vocals: David Francey


Exit



A song about one man's passing and the realization that we all carry our own burdens.


Saw him walking through
The hotel door
He'd had one or two
Or three or four
Saw him walking home
With shoulders bowed
Not made to carry
Such a heavy load

Rich or poor, young or old
Some of us carry a heavy load

You have to deal
With what you've got
You can choose your time
Or maybe not
Turn left or right
Down a gravel road
Not made to carry
Such a heavy load

Rich or poor, young or old
Some of us carry a heavy load

A motel room
The dark of night
The years weigh down
In the fading light
Streetlight shines
On an empty road
Not made to carry
Such a heavy road

Rich or poor, young or old
Some of us carry a heavy load

Ayer's Cliff, Quebec, May 28, 2002

Lead Vocals: David Francey
Guitar: Dave Clarke
Mandolin: Geoff Somers
Backing Vocals: David Francey



Come Rain or Come Shine

One of the first love songs I wrote for Beth, on a rainy night on Highway 401.


Long road, dark night, nothing but headlights
But I'll see some bright lights, when I get home to you
Framed in your doorway with your arms open wide
I'll hold you in my arms, enfold you inside

And I want to tell you
Come rain or come shine
That I'll always be your love
If you'll always be mine

Sometimes I wonder what you see in me
Is it someone you're wishing or hoping I'll be?
Sometimes I wonder, I can't help myself
Will your love go someplace, with somebody else?

And I want to tell you
Come rain or come shine
That I'll always be your love
If you'll always be mine

Sometimes you wonder what I see in you
Just picture the sun on an ocean of blue
Just picture that ocean so deep and so wide
Feel the sun on the water, feel the pull of the tide

And I want to tell you
Come rain or come shine
That I'll always be your love
If you'll always be mine

Ennismore, Ontario, 1989

Lead Vocals: David Francey
Guitar: Dave Clarke
Fiddle: Geoff Somers
Backing Vocals: David Francey



Midway

A song about the Ayer's Cliff Fair and the sights you see there on any given night. The fair represents both a celebration of summer and a recognition of its passing.


Down on the midway
Down on the midway
Night turned into day
Down at the fair

Well there's somebody making noise
And it's one of the foundry boys
He's found a girl to romance
So he hasn't a care
They're walking hand in hand
Down by the barker's stand
Love is a game of chance
A straight or a pair

Young family comes into town
Put the kids on the merry-go-round
Young boys staring down their fears
Pointing up in the air
Lights tumble like shooting stars
On the barns and the bars and cars
Young girls in a house of mirrors
Combing their hair

Down on the midway
Down on the midway
Night turned into day
Down at the fair
Down on the midway
Down on the midway
Rag end of summer hangs
Up in the air

And after the country band
We all stand around shaking hands
Talk of the summer's sins
Are a reason to stay
'Cause the end of the summer's gone
With the coming of Monday morn
Start of the fall begins
With the dawn of the day


Down on the midway
Down on the midway
Night turned into day
Down at the fair
Young girls in a house of mirrors
Combing their hair
Rag end of summer hangs
Up in the air

Ayer's Cliff, Quebec, September, 1997

Lead Vocals: David Francey
Guitar: David Francey
Guitar: Geoff Somers
Backing Vocals: Geoff Somers




Belgrade Train

I had the great good fortune to take the train through Yugoslavia in 1980. A reflection on the trip and a love that got lost along the way.


Crossed the river at Opatija
Saw the world from the Belgrade train
Loved you then like I loved no other
I'll never see those times again

Watched the fields and the farmers passing
Watched the faces rise in vain
Loved you then like I loved no other
I'll never see those times again

By the light of the bridges burning
By the light of the past in flames
The hard grind of the world turning
The low cloud and the cold rain

Stood together in the crowded passage
Drew pictures on the window pane
Loved you then like I loved no other
I'll never see those times again

Dark streets of the cobbled city
Soft kiss of the summer rain
Loved you then like I loved no other
I'll never see those times again

By the light of the bridges burning
By the light of the past in flames
The hard grind of the world turning
The low cloud and the cold rain

Left standing at a distant station
Past love, past hope, past pain
Loved you then like I loved no other
Loved you then, on the Belgrade train

Ayer's Cliff, Quebec, January 21, 2001

Lead Vocals: David Francey
Guitar: Dave Clarke
Mandolin: Geoff Somers
Lead Guitar: Terry Tufts
Backing Vocals: Jenn Cianca, David Francey



Streets of Calgary

The view from my hotel window in Calgary, overlooking the corner of 4th Avenue and 3rd Street on a warm night in summer.


Scarecrows painted up like dolls
Hemmed between the concrete walls
Didn't have too far to fall
From where they started out

Beneath the streetlights' masking glare
The stillness of the midnight air
The quiet of the passing stare
The car that turns about

The empty streets this time of night
The ever-changing traffic light
You stand there higher than a kite
Too high in your high heels

You stroke your hair and stand demure
As if you really weren't sure
If you're the catch or you're the lure
But I know you know the deal

The midnight world was passing by
I crossed the street and caught your eye
In a voice as hard as nails you sighed
"Do you want some company?"

"No, thanks," I said and crossed the road
Then I watched you in the street below
Among the cars that move so slow
Through the streets of Calgary

Calgary, Alberta/Ayer's Cliff, Quebec, 2001

Vocals: David Francey
Guitar: Dave Clarke



Evening News

I was watching the news on TV one night and wondered through whose eyes I was seeing the world.


Jesus at the harbour stands
One foot on water
One foot on land
His life a gift, His life a curse
No sign of heaven
Here on earth

The hangman mounts the gallows steps
Slips the rope around the neck
The prisoner on the scaffold stands
His fate in the hooded hangman's hand

And some they sit and they see right through
The kaleidoscope of the evening news

The firing squad stands in a line
The prisoner awaits his time
He's just a hooded target now
About to take his final bow

And some they sit and they see right through
The kaleidoscope of the evening news

The bomber waits to draw a crowd
To howl mighty, howl loud
The cameras record the scene
For the TV and the magazines

And some they sit and they see right through
The kaleidoscope of the evening news

York Village, Maine, 2001

Lead Vocals: David Francey
Guitar: David Francey
Guitar: Dave Clarke
Accordion: Karla Mundy
Backing Vocals: Karla Mundy


Grim Cathedral

The events of September 11th, 2001, as they unfolded on my TV screen.


The grim cathedral's arch alone
Towers over dust and stone
Monument to flesh and bone
Twisted, stark and bare

And the floodlights' sharp relief
Magnifies the weight of grief
In the ruins that lie beneath
That emptiness of air

The papers from the building flew
Hung in the air, in a sky of blue
Souls of the newly dead and gone
Shone so bright on a Tuesday morn

In the canyon streets, the towering cloud
Tumbles on the running crowd
Falling like a funeral shroud
Darkening the sun

Staggered statues, concrete grey
Man as ashes, dust and clay
Desolation of the day
Falls on everyone

The papers from the building flew
Hung in the air, in a sky of blue
Souls of the newly dead and gone
Shone so bright in the morning sun

I watched it on my TV screen
Devolution of the dream
Images a nightmare scream
To wake the likes of me

A charnel house of sight and sound
Familiar streets a killing ground
The day they brought the buildings down
Down for all to see

Ayer's Cliff, Quebec, November 8, 2001

Lead Vocals: David Francey
Guitar: Dave Clarke
Backing Vocals: Jenn Cianca



Annie's House

The days when God is in His heaven and all's right with the world are few and far between. I wrote this song at my friend Annie's house in Tamworth, New Hampshire, on just such a day.


I went down to Annie's house
Down the road and across the river
And I stood there in the warm sunshine
And I wished that day would last forever

And I look upon her face so fair
And I cannot see what shadows lie
Behind the smile that lights her face
Behind the kind and open eyes

In these green New Hampshire hills,
The town lies nestled, clapboard white
Sits in silence, picture-still
Sleeping in the warm sunlight

I walked down the empty street
Can't see behind the window glass
Can't see the town that lies beneath
Between the present and the past

I went down to Annie's house
Down the road and across the river
And I stood there in the warm sunshine
And I wished the day would last forever

I stood upon a rounded rock
I stood upon the flowing water
And I was safe and warm within
The kindness of the postman's daughter

I went down to Annie's house
Down the road and across the river
And I sat there in the warm sunshine
And I wished the day would last forever

Tamworth, New Hampshire, April 19, 2002

Vocals: David Francey
Mandolin: Geoff Somers
Guitar: Dave Clarke



Valley's Edge

I used to live in Spruce Court Co-op in the Cabbagetown area of Toronto, just above the Don Valley. I spent a lot of time wandering through the neighbourhood and the valley below.


Saw a light from a window
Shine down on a street below
Saw a light from a window
Shine down from a house I know
I remember walking
Through the alley in the falling snow
Walked over to the valley's edge
Then over and down I'd go

I trace our footsteps
I think about us then
When we were lovers
When we were lovers and friends
Took a walk through the graveyard
Colder than the standing stones
Walked over to the valley's edge
Then over and down I'd go

Could we be lovers?
Could we be lovers again?
Could we be lovers?
Could we be lovers again?
What the daytime brings us
The night-time ends

Well the spring rolled over
And the summer rolled in
Took a walk through the wilderness
To reflect on my sins
Walked over to the public pool
Where I could sink like a stone
Walked over to the valley's edge
Then over and down I'd go

Could we be lovers?
Could we be lovers again?
Could we be lovers?
Could we be lovers again?
What the daytime brings us
The night-time ends

Spent my time on the hammers
With all those Portuguese boys
Couldn't hear what my heart said
For all the dust and the noise
But I built it back up again
From out of that rock and stone
Walked over to the valley's edge
Then I walked on alone

Ayer's Cliff, Quebec, 1998

Lead Vocals: David Francey
Guitar: Dave Clarke
Mandolin: Geoff Somers
Backing Vocals: David Francey



Nearly Midnight

The view through my windshield on a drive alongside Brome Lake, Quebec - in the dead of night, in the dead of winter. This is a love song for Beth and for the Eastern Townships. They are both so very beautiful.


Moon is high
There's a veil of cloud
Like a wedding dress
A funeral shroud
The land lies sleeping
Stark and still
Chain of lights
On the darkened hills

It's nearly midnight
And I'm nearly home
And I'm travelling down
This road alone

Snow and shadow
Blue moon light
Farmhouse window
Warm and bright
Promised shelter
From winter winds
Absolution
For a passing sin

It's nearly midnight
And I'm nearly home
And I'm travelling down
This road alone

On a silver journey
Through the night
The distant stars
Winter bright
In the darkened world
Of this road I'm on
You are the light
The coming dawn
Lake lies silent
Still as stone
Hard as rock
White as bone
The telephone poles
Stagger drunken home
Down the twisted roads
Of the great unknown

And it's nearly midnight
And I'm nearly home
And I'm travelling down
This road alone

Knowlton, Quebec, December, 2000

Lead Vocals: David Francey
Guitar: Dave Clarke
Backing Vocals: David Francey



A Winter Song



When I was young our family always sang on car trips, short or long. Now I sing this song in the car with my own family. Consequently, the voices you hear on this recording belong to my wife Beth, my youngest daughter Julia, my son Colin and myself.


Sweet baby do you wanna go
Sweet baby do you wanna go
Out walking while the moon is low
Sweet baby do you wanna go

Then we'll go walking, you and I
Underneath that winter sky
Up the hill and around the bend
Turn around, come home again

And sweet baby do you wanna go…

Under Bunker Road, Ayer's Cliff, Quebec, 1992

Vocals: Beth Girdler, Julia Davie, Colin Francey, David Francey
Banjo: Kate Murphy


Skating Rink Credits:

David Francey: Vocals, Backing vocals, Guitar

Dave Clarke: Guitar

Geoff Somers: Mandolin, Fiddle, Guitar, Backing vocals

Karla Mundy: Accordion, Backing vocals

Kate Murphy: Banjo

Terry Tufts: Guitar

Jenn Cianca: Backing vocals

Beth Girdler, Julia Davie, Colin Francey: Backing vocals

Produced by: David Francey, Dave Clarke and Geoff Somers
Arranged by: David Francey, Dave Clarke and Geoff Somers
Engineered and mixed by: Keith Mariash
Recorded at: Puck's Farm Studio, Schomberg, Ontario and Frontline Studios, Toronto, Ontario
Mastered by: Simon Pressey, Good Noise Recording Services, Arundel, Quebec.
Cover photo Beth Girdler, back David Francey
Inside photography: Beth Girdler and David Francey
Design: Ben Wolfe


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