September 24, 2017

What the hell is going on?

WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?
Bellows the man in the football crowd.
His team is losing. The referee  (who's just 
Fouled our striker on the way to not awarding
Him a stone-dead penalty) doesn't 
Know what he is doing.The officials 
Have lost control. And everyone is
Shouting an increasingly one-eyed
Version of incomprehensible events.

He speaks for all of us. 

September 16, 2017

The Ballad of Hereward The Wake by Waywood - World Premiere

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Published below for the first time the full text of our new ballad "Hereward The Wake."


SPOKEN INTRO…
Twilight in the greenwood, is Hereward  awake?
Grey and ghostly shadows are gliding through the brake,
Shadows of the dappled deer, dreaming of the morn,
Dreaming of a hooded man that winds a shadowy horn.

HARP MUSIC STARTS

In the Lincoln greenwood,
In the Bruneswald,
Yellow-haired, sky-eyed,
Great-hearted and bold,

For the soul of England;
For your own spirit's sake,
Lift your heart and voice up
For Hereward the Wake!

A wild swan, a curlew,
A fen-son, a tiger;
His high blood-tide exiled
By Edward the Confessor.

Performs magic deeds
In Cornwall and Ireland;
Fights fearless and feared
For Flanders, his wife-land.

Family home 'Normaned'
With his brother's severed head;
Returns, puts the murderers'
14 heads there instead.

In the Lincoln greenwood,
In the Bruneswald,
Yellow-haired, sky-eyed,
Great-hearted and bold,

For the soul of England;
For your own spirit's sake,
Lift your heart and voice up
For Hereward the Wake!

As free as the waters
That flow through the fen,
As the wide heaven-skies
In the eyes of good men,

To the Saxon Abbot
Of Ely he speeds;
Lords, with King Sweyn of Denmark,
Its marsh, mere and reeds.

Raids Peterborough Abbey,
Frees God's Saxon gold
From the thief-Norman grip
Of the tyrant monk Turold.

In the Lincoln greenwood,
In the Bruneswald,
Yellow-haired, sky-eyed,
Great-hearted and bold,

For the soul of England;
For your own spirit's sake,
Lift your heart and voice up
For Hereward the Wake!

From the Normans learns war,
From Flems love, bonds with Danes
But when King Sweyn makes peace,
Stays true to the thanes.

With Saxon Earl Morca
Defends Ely Isle
Fights war-craft and witch-fire
With fire, bow and guile.

The Norman machine
Cannot conquer that fastness;
Greed's causeway sinks
In full armour and harness.

In the Lincoln greenwood,
In the Bruneswald,
Yellow-haired, sky-eyed,
Great-hearted and bold,

For the soul of England;
For your own spirit's sake,
Lift your heart and voice up
For Hereward the Wake!

His wood-spirit leaves-drops
The Conqueror's hush-biz
Then is gone like a breeze
Through the secret rushes.

Though our monks will give up,
Afraid for their lands,
Their arms and his paths,
He will slip through their hands.

As free as the waters
That flow through the fens,
As the wide heaven-skies
In the eyes of good men.

In the Lincoln greenwood,
In the Bruneswald,
Yellow-haired, sky-eyed,
Great-hearted and bold,

For the soul of England;
For your own spirit's sake,
Lift your heart and voice up

For Hereward the Wake!

© Gareth Calway 2017

This celebration of Hereward is folk duo Waywood's latest. The world premiere as performed by the poet with harpist Vanessa Wood-Davies' latest melody was performed  at Hereward's birth-place of Bourne, Lincolnshire on Thursday 7 September, the 950th anniversary of the great Saxon's homecoming.  It tells the famous (and truer than you might think) story of how Hereward - delinquent son of Leofric Lord of Bourne and (some say) Lady Godiva - came to lead the English resistance to William the Conqueror from the woods and the fens, with star turns in the years 1067-72 for Bourne, Peterborough and Ely. The timeless style of Waywood's performance art -  ballad verse and harp as the days of the mead hall - is a perfect fit for this hero tale. Waywood will also be performing homages to Robin Hood and Wicken Fen. And that's only our bit - there's a Bayeux tapestry to see, Hereward scholarship for a popular audience, storytelling, film and much else besides.


Waywood harpist Vanessa Wood-Davie spreparing for action in  Hunstanton last June, 

September 07, 2017

The Ballad of Johnny Hopper (the Nerveless Nazikiller)


(born May 1912 King's Lynn, Norfolk; moved Normandy 1924; survived 8 months Gestapo HQ 1942  and 3 years Mauthausen and Dachau 1943-45; East Anglian mushroom farmer, 1945-1991.)

See August issue of BBC History magazine for the full story



Johnny Hopper of Lynn and Normandy,
Forest fugitive, bandit, sinner,
Hit Hitler's Paris in the spring
Took his wife Paulette out to dinner.

"Give me my usual table, boy,
With my back against the wall,
And your two-faced entrance in my sights
And a hand on my trusty pistol.

His 'Resistance' contact  came on time,
A Gestapo and soldiers in tow;
He blew them away as he hit the ground,
Copped a wound, and a crueller blow.

With a fate worse than death closing in,
He shot dead his wounded wife,
"I've relived that fatal moment
Every day of my life."  

'Never give up and never complain'
His old priest in Normandy said.
The only lesson that ever got through
His lone-wolf bullet head

A long horse-face as pale as Death,
The hood life, stripped to the bone;
A wolf with 5000 francs on his head,
As lupine-lean and as lone.

He shot the quisling sheriff of Caen:
He shot the deputy as well
And an SS - "a Nazi piece of goods" -
Beat Dachau, but not his own hell.

With a fate worse than death closing in,
He shot dead his wounded wife,
"I've relived that fatal moment
Every day of my life."  





August 25, 2017

Bourne Again In Time For Lynn Heritage Day! Is Hereward Awake?! (September gigs for Waywood)


Bourne Again In Time For Lynn Heritage Day!

Sedgeford Folk Duo Waywood  (Poet Gareth Calway and Harpist Vanessa Wood-Davies) return from their summer break for two exciting engagements in early September.
On 7 September the pair are part of the launch of the prestigious Hereward the Wake project and will be providing the folk music at the 950th anniversary of to lead the English resistance to William the Conqueror in 1067.  
https://www.herewardthewake.co.uk/bourne-7th-sept
Waywood will perform there the world premiere of a new ballad commissioned by the project "The Ballad of Hereward The Wake" another new piece written in an Old English style, "Wicked Fen," and an established favourite "Lancelot and the Grail Maiden" which draws on an even older tradition of British history and legends.
Then on 10 September, Waywood will be showcasing their new album of Norfolk stories as part of Heritage Day in Lynn  These stories include homages to the extraordinary number of pioneers Lynn has produced through the ages. Characters like William Sawtrey one time priest of St Margaret's Church (now Lynn Minster) - and in 1401 the first man to be burned for his beliefs in England - and his famous parishioner, Margery Kempe, who combined marriage and fourteen children with a unique visionary life travelling as a pilgrim throughout the Hanseatic world and beyond and also famously wrote the first autobiography in English. Waywood also tell such strange ghost stories of ordinary Norfolk people in history as that of Susan Nobes, who was struck by lightning in Sedgeford Church in 1819 - a ballad that has now had nearly a thousand plays worldwide on Soundcloud - and of Norfolk gentlefolk like the Brown Lady reputed to haunt both Houghton and Raynham Hall.  "The Brown Lady", as the ballad explains, was Dorothy Walpole not just sister of first British Prime Minister (and Lynn MP for 40 years) Sir Robert Walpole but also the wife of 'Turnip' Townshend. The mysterious nature of her death and the assertion that she is the only ghost every to have been photographed (on the stairs of Raynham Hall in 1936!) all add to the crepuscular glamour of this tale. 
Gareth will also rap his "Ballad of Badass King John - As Seen On TV!" for the first time since he did so at the official ceremony unveiling King John's statue in Lynn last October, when the performance was shown on the BBC News. Vanessa will join him for only their second public performance of a ballad commissioned from them by the Borough of West Norfolk and King's Lynn about the other West Norfolk figure honoured last June with a statue - Henry LeStrange, the man who invented New Hunstanton.
Waywood will be introduced by town historian Dr Paul Richards at 1 pm in the Gallery at Hanse House on Heritage Day (Sunday September 10) and will perform for about an hour. The show is free. Audiences are welcome to drop in and stay for a song or two or for the entire concert, whichever they prefer. "We know that visitors have a lot of great things to see and hear in Lynn on that day," commented Gareth.
"It will be worth seeing us just for the costumes!" said Vanessa, who has been busy creating a fetching Robin Hood i' the Greenwood look for the duo's new Hereward material to add to the Lancelot and Grail Maiden chic Waywood enjoyed modelling on their recent album cover. "Not many realised Lancelot was wearing the standard of the Hanseatic League on his tabard for that cover shoot," (see above) Vanessa explained. "But with so much Lynn and Hanseatic material in our repertoire, why wouldn't you?"

August 19, 2017

Lancelot and the Grail maiden - Waywood's first album


LANCELOT AND THE GRAIL MAIDEN - click to hear the new Waywood album.

Hear our Soundcloud hit!




We are Waywood. A voice and a  harp telling stories. Here is our contribution to an ageless tradition. We hope you enjoy the new stories of Norfolk we tell.

Next gigs: Bourne, Lincs, 7 Sep.


Lynn Heritage Day, Hanse House, Lynn,  10 Sep


On 10 September, Waywood will be showcasing their new album of Norfolk stories as part of Heritage Day in Lynn  These stories include homages to the extraordinary number of pioneers Lynn has produced through the ages. Characters like William Sawtrey one time priest of St Margaret's Church (now Lynn Minster) - and in 1401 the first man to be burned for his beliefs in England - and his famous parishioner, Margery Kempe, who combined marriage and fourteen children with a unique visionary life travelling as a pilgrim throughout the Hanseatic world and beyond and also famously wrote the first autobiography in English. Waywood also tell such strange ghost stories of ordinary Norfolk people in history as that of Susan Nobes, who was struck by lightning in Sedgeford Church in 1819 - a ballad that has now had nearly a thousand plays worldwide on Soundcloud - and of Norfolk gentlefolk like the Brown Lady reputed to haunt both Houghton and Raynham Hall.  "The Brown Lady", as the ballad explains, was Dorothy Walpole not just sister of first British Prime Minister (and Lynn MP for 40 years) Sir Robert Walpole but also the wife of 'Turnip' Townshend. The mysterious nature of her death and the assertion that she is the only ghost every to have been photographed (on the stairs of Raynham Hall in 1936!) all add to the crepuscular glamour of this tale. 
Gareth will also rap his "Ballad of Badass King John - As Seen On TV!" for the first time since he did so at the official ceremony unveiling King John's statue in Lynn last October, when the performance was shown on the BBC News. Vanessa will join him for only their second public performance of a ballad commissioned from them by the Borough of West Norfolk and King's Lynn about the other West Norfolk figure honoured last June with a statue - Henry LeStrange, the man who invented New Hunstanton.
Waywood will be introduced by town historian Dr Paul Richards at 1 pm in the Gallery at Hanse House on Heritage Day (Sunday September 10) and will perform for about an hour. The show is free. Audiences are welcome to drop in and stay for a song or two or for the entire concert, whichever they prefer. "We know that visitors have a lot of great things to see and hear in Lynn on that day," commented Gareth.

"It will be worth seeing us just for the costumes!" said Vanessa, who has been busy creating a fetching Robin Hood i' the Greenwood look for the duo's new Hereward material to add to the Lancelot and Grail Maiden chic Waywood enjoyed modelling on their recent album cover. "Not many realised Lancelot was wearing the standard of the Hanseatic League on his tabard for that cover shoot," (see above) Vanessa explained. "But with so much Lynn and Hanseatic material in our repertoire, why wouldn't you?"

Pics below by Bhas Allan, Elaine Bird, David Maile, Joan Wall and Zariah Wood-Davies.


The newly unveiled statue of Henry LeStrange 

Waywood sing his praises

'He carved his vision from carrstone rocks"

"A holiday heaven from his hands"

Lovewood, her work done.

The sculptor and Loveway the poet suffering for their art after the ceremony. 
(This is the easy bit)

No, not REM, Waywood at the album launch.

Lovewood making the harp talk

Lovewood and harp as one

Just to show it wasn't easy making that album cover look easy

Mine's a pint, please, Grail maiden.

The real William Sawtrey, first man to be burned for his beliefs in England

Loveway playing Sawtrey in our Morality Play - "A Nice Guy: The Burning Of William Sawtrey" at the Lynn Fringe in 2015. Lovewood is just out of shot left playing Soul. Bhas Allan ( for once not taking the pics) is the devil telling Sawtrey he's toast.

Waywood harping tall histories (and looking vertically stretched) at the 2016 Heritage day in Lynn

Original press release


Poet Gareth Calway and Harpist Vanessa Wood-Davies, both of Sedgeford,  are releasing a 'craft' album of their Norfolk ballads at the Bury St Edmunds Festival on May 19. All but the title track of these harp-accompanied verse tales commemorate a real character from Norfolk's past - from national figures like William Sawtrey of Lynn, the first man to be burned for his beliefs in England, to unsung ones like Susan Nobes of Sedgeford, killed by lightning in Sedgeford Church in 1819. As Waywood (the artists previously known as Lovehearts and Redwine), the two have written, composed, performed, recorded and produced the album themselves and will be performing them on the opening night of the Festival. Andy Wall and Gareth will close the evening with their Ely Folk Festival commission, Bread or Blood, about the Littleport and Ely Riots of 1816 and singer Sharon Clifton will commemorate Ann Boleyn (executed May 19 1536) and Margery Kempe in song .   www.buryfestival.co.uk