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Historical Record vol​.​1&2

by Josienne Clarke

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here i am 00:38
Here I am, here I am How do you do (My dad:) “are you doing Twinkle twinkle little star then” “oh yes” (my grandmother) Twinkle Twinkle little star “go on josie” (my sister) How I wonder what you are Up above the world so high Like a diamond in the sky Twinkle twinkle little star (my grandma)“that’s nice, that’s well done” (my sister) “that’s great Josie”
I’ve tried and I’ve toiled Now I just want to sing to you I’ve lied and I’ve failed And I’ve been strung along Now I just want to sing you a song It won’t clever but it won’t be long
Everybody sings now nobody listens And I’m just the same a perpetrator of the crime What do we think that we are solving No protest song has ever changed my mind We’re on a hiding surely to nothing Down the drain to the end of the line
Moonlight, lighting my darkest hours Learning how deep these rivers are Midnight brings on a fever Knowing my love will suffer in art But song a chain of stars around my heart
Dawning, the weight of the world is breaking in all of the hard, soft, light, dark wait and hoping
for the dark 01:00
How dare you have that light they said How dare it be so bright You think yourself too good for the dark Please don’t take it for it grew from just spark For years now it’s burned here in my heart
easily sung 01:33
The lights in the dark are shining like stars And know where I’ll be There’s a fear, there’s a start, there’s a weight in my heart And I know what I need There’s a song with my name upon, easy When I wake, in my sleep, in my hands, on my feet Its every aching part There’s a tune on my tongue all the day till it’s done Its every end and start There’s a song with my name upon
a story 01:18
They’re nothing more than words Strung upon a tune That I’ve given meaning, by singing them to you It’s nothing but a show My story to tell That I’ve given meaning to By singing it so well (Nothing is….) no one is saved And nothing is solved It’s just a story familiar and old
Caught on the wing and tide Their courses that leave no trace on time To linger under dust in corners Then leave a space to know just where you were To leave your trace in time
I never learned French Like I said I would Never returned your call That book you gave me is still on the shelf I forgot about others and remembered myself I worried my parents when I didn’t come home To scared and too lazy to pick up the phone And I’ve sung the tune and forgotten the words And I let love languish and others be hurt
Work’s a world away I only do playing now My heart I give away, it doesn’t belong to me now Call me old fashioned I never knew so well The causes, the pressures they’re all consuming now
What am I supposed to do with my mind If I can keep it, sustain If I can turn the will to the way If I could strain it, refrain If I can take a pen to the pain And explain it again If I can bring the form to the frame What else can I do with my mind If I can bring the moonlight Down upon the water If I can bring moon Down on to the paper Then what else can I do with my mind
time is away 00:54
I've got nothing but time on my hands No bruises, no blisters but buckets of wasted sand and time is away, each and everyday I've got nothing but time on hands
All twisted up in your shell Never enough, never so well Leave me alone, to dwell All twisted up in your shell Never enough never too well Leave me alone to dwell
All twisted up in your shell Regressing back to your cells We are all but progeny Seedlings all Once yet to be Developing dirt year by year All hands in the earth Trying to root ourselves here The sun knows no better by now It all seems much littler somehow Stuck to the sky Living in hope Questioning why Thinking we know We are all a litany Of Seedlings all in-infini
boney 02:46
Boney is the look and feeble is the gait Those wide eyes put you in your place Your lost in the endless space From a mouth, repulsed and red No word of consequence is said But you’re lost in the longing inside your own head A vessel to carry your dreams A carcass of visible seams But somewhere to house all your insecurities
How will it go on The turn of the moon’s gone A further nine times along And I’m still not moving on Light limps along From the dusk into the dawn Then lights another long day beyond That I won’t be moving on We’re caught in the doorway Not sure of the game we’re playing And the stakes higher and higher raising Till something’s gonna give it away
this year 01:07
This year I will straighten my back I will lay down my weapons in good faith Live unready for attack This year I will shut my mouth I won’t waste my words I will listen And give up some ground
footfall 01:43
You can carry on shouting Till the darkness eats the light Endlessly narrating on This fistless little fight But we’re all done talking Till there’s footfall on the ground There’s nothing left to say We’re only going down As the tide will roll away
Like a ship in the night She will sail away But I am the shoreline Always to stay, gradually worn away She’s an island out on her own It’s her sirens guiding you on But I was your port in the storm The white cliffs of dover no longer you home We are the mainland, trapped alone Watching and waiting unchanged Undeterred until your return
It was something familiar like the sound of the sea I forgot I remembered, like some lost part of me It was only a flicker it was barely a trace Only there for a second and then gone from your face
It was something familiar like the sound of the sea I forgot I remembered, like some lost part of me It was only a flicker it was barely a trace Only there for a second and then gone from your face I wouldn’t say I was lonely but I know we’re alone And my mind clings to memory like flesh to the bone Reflections at sundown can make me so sad For there’s no way of keeping the day we’ve just had
With all the words I have, I’ve run out already A sentence in itself to strike on it squarely It’s just your tender heart pumping the blood around body It’s just your tender heart pumping my blood ….Is that enough
The lake was frozen over and we’d given up on spring Our hearts familiar feeling but what goodness could it bring The melody lilts slowly you know you will sing Syrup so sweet that you can’t help but drink A cause to remain, a love of pleasure and of pain A love longing in vain A break in the clouds, a parting of ways Her love a leitmotif His a simple refrain
Throwing and catching love We’ll never know the reasons why all of these things are done I waste my time I know there is line A life to leave behind but I can’t say it Lover set it free You never made the most of me My heart only dies with thoughts of greener grass on the other side Throwing and catching love
Overnight, Early morning London time I was waking I remember All the time
Overnight, Early morning London time I was waking I remember All the time A sleepy sight In the glimmer of first/that light I was wavering I remember All that night
Darkling bird, one for sorrow How you borrow love from the rest Darkling bird, for tomorrow How you squander love in your nest And Aye the magpie Coveting the twinkling things That others leave behind And Aye the magpie Borrowing and burying Of feral feathered kind
Let there be no more sad refrains you say Not another line for thorny is the vine You’ve had my heart entwined Endless briny seas the tears you cry for me But how sweet is the sorrow of my love My tale may turn the tide And you just might decide not to leave
I will stop writing you songs Take my love away I’m not made of stone darling I can feel alone, I recognize your pain I will stop giving a damn Make my little stand I’m no fucking fool darling You don’t know who I am Doubt you ever can
take time 01:02
I want to start slowly taking my time over I want to start slowly taking my time over I don’t want no fanfare you can leave it there For another affair
For a long time now I’ve wanted to say Something to lighten your load brighten your day But there aren’t the words for the colours I see The patterns they change, won’t stay the same And somehow my view is always imbued With melancholia hues, dusty blues At dusk and at dawn Moments to wonder but somehow to mourn These moments they pass to never return And turn to nostalgia as our memory learns For each pound of joy there’s an ounce of regret If the sun rises you know it must set So I’m noting it down to tuck it away Saving some sunshine for my rainy day And I’m trying to find that silverline That runs through the clouds that collect in my skies
Our love is a pendulum swing We are two bells with alternate rings In the sequence of high and low You’ll be the other side of wherever I go Forever repeating the only tune you know The other side of whatever I know Thought of resolving hanging in the air A pendulum swinging from here to there Our love is like bells ring, sweet and sad The pull of the longing is all we have
I thought a mother’s hands would grow on my arms somehow I thought I’d know, thought I’d have days and days to decide But maybe I don’t, maybe I won’t How easy it was to linger cling To the apron string It’s been so long might know none of my own Rock a bye baby on the tree top When the wind blow The cradle will rock When the bow break The cradle will fall Down come baby cradle and all
You bring me stones tiny and jagged Though all they’re all your own End up in my pockets We’re supposed to carry them Without a word No matter how heavy that burden You bring me stones
This heavy heart is lighter than the weight of your expectation I can be sad today at losing of the leaves that blow away The birds that never sing when a song is sung at the beginning of the day If I just wait the light turn to dark after the grey skies of afternoons That drift away like a sadness that pains
medal 00:58
Where’s the measure? where’s the metal? Pinned to my heart worn your sleeve You’ve pinned all your hopes on me
What do you want from me? To be cast in stone Whatever you get from me Does it make you strong? And I’m a fool, all alone But you didn’t break me I’ve never been strong What do you want from me? To be set in song Made my melody to be sung upon And I’m a fool to have played along But you didn’t break me I’ve never been strong
Your hand is tied to my hand And your dreams appear in my dreams You fall in the ocean and I’ll be dragged underneath Your is tied to my hand And your dreams appear in my dreams I fall in the ocean and you’re coming with me When did we cease to be what we are And never did near seemed quite so far away Now I miss the moments and you rue the day
You’re too open the light comes in When you're too open all teeth and chin And there’s no one following Oh to be an enigma like you Oh not to be seen right through I would give anything To not to be you
Cruel and random love Life is cruel Second guesses us little fools And any time try to find the answers They’ve eluded us Cruel and random love We are cruel It suppresses us Just we do And any time we thought we’d find the answers It just deluded us
All is myth I feel with my hands I don’t trust my eyes, they lie And so do my ears All is myth I feel I pretend I don’t know the rules to this life So I pretend I’m pretending I try when others aren’t trying And I sleep when they’re all awake I look for lines in the earth And I feel until my heart aches All is myth I don’t understand I’m still on my knees in the dark I feel with my hands All is myth I just like to sing I don’t know if there is an end In finding an ending
Live on the turn of the tide Ever to burrow but never to hide Always the tears in the edge of my eyes Delivering truth of the live and let lie Rivers that never run dry Red from this bleeding heart of mine Suffer the scratching thorn in my side Ever the itching of precious pride Lament of the lonely, the lost all along Only me only can carry them on This heart is so heavy I wish I was strong Only me only the only one The tide in the morning is nearly gone It’s lilting and leaving till back it comes The birds are all winging the dawn is done It’s only me singing the only one
The space is all I have, the calm A face is all I am no arms Reflecting in water like glass, the past Forever turning Love me silver love me blue All my evenings watching you Never the time of day How small the hours I’m waiting through Bright and tender, sad and true All the light I offer you Never to see your eyes But oh how I turn the tide on cue
Open my mouth to speak Nothing comes out I don’t want you to think that I don’t want you We’re all afraid of the dark We all believe ours is the weakest heart I don’t want you to think that I don’t want you But what I want to say is written on the stars So far away
Congratulations I’ve had more than I can take You wouldn’t know the line Until it was behind you You wouldn’t take the time You couldn’t learn the lesson You couldn’t find the way Though it was written on my face And all the times I’d say That this is just the way it is You hurt me so many times And you heard me so quiet And now it is too late For me to contemplate it To have a change heart To go where we started
It’s not Chicago’s fault that no one came to see my play It’s not the rain that ruined the parade The cookie’s gonna crumble and money’s gonna burn Make your peace with failure an early lesson that you learn You’re gonna look foolish as the sun is the sky Some of it is painful and you're gonna have to try But you wouldn’t trade for all that glitters gold You only went and made it despite what you were told And I just chalked it up to just another day It’s not Chicago’s fault that no one came to see my play And that’s only way
Caught in the lie where’s the money, where’s the time ? And when do you decide that you’ve been wasting your life ?
There’s nothing to be gained or lost But only the passing of time The paradise the pain the loss The devil the darkness defines What do you call that piece that binds you heart And where is the hope in earth and ash and dust
Trying to make, trying to prove That we can shape things, things of no use All out of knots, all out of loose ends Out of our heartache, out of our misadventure I’ve got string stronger than rope Its threaded with silver, it’s threaded with hope It’s made out of love I wasted on some It’s stitched to the skyline under the sun
It’s feeble and flimsy and hangs by a thread Can see it all ending in something I said And in losing my mind I would be losing my head I’m lost in the business of composing myself Get lost in the business of comping myself
anon 00:57
I could borrow a line or waste the rest of my time Waiting for a sign I’ve got nothing to give I know more than I did when I stumbled in


Long-time misery botherer and harbinger of melancholy Josienne Clarke brings you a new collection of rare early demos and song-writing sketches. It contains fragments and songs previously unreleased and entirely unheard by ears other than Josienne’s, alongside some early originals of well-known Clarke Classics.

A real collector’s collection. As the artist herself explains. “It’s the audio sketchbook for most of the stuff I’ve ever made. I record song ideas and sketch arrangement/production ideas, either sung in or attempted on the instruments I have to hand, before showing them to anyone.

Spanning the many years of her career, it starts with a recovered low-grade recording of the artist aged 3 doing an early cover version then wends its way non-chronologically through the various years’ releases and unreleased compositions in a double volume of 53 tiny songs at a total running time of 85 minutes.

Tracks such as ‘i never learned french - original demo’ expose the roots of Josienne’s production ideas and choices, such as the hummed string lines and mouth trumpet solo, that would later appear re-packaged on the 2015 release ‘Nothing Can Bring Back The Hour’. A treasure-trove of original ideas, a burgeoning song-writing talent, brimming with Clarke’s irrepressible originality.

This is the artist alone in her bedroom-studio-office, it’s where the magic lives, the bits you don’t normally get to hear, that first spark of an idea as it appears, complete with missteps and mistakes and the frisson with which such creativity is charged. It hisses and crackles with pure, imperfect, creative endeavour, the nearest you’ll get to seeing how it’s really done. Take a peak over the fourth wall, behind the stage curtain, way beyond the dressing room and into her home to take a seat with a view over her shoulder as she pens some of the finest songs in her catalogue, a catalogue which is among the finest original song-writing this country has to offer.

“It is a candid and exhausted documentation of a whole life spent in song and how utterly, beautifully pointless that is.” says Josienne.

The cover of Historical Record Vol 1 & 2 was designed by photographer & videographer Alec Bowman, using a photograph taken of Josienne in 2009 during a shoot for her debut album ‘One Light Is Gone’. Alec explains “Josienne is almost lost in a fog of digital degradation, but not quite; she’s standing, still, defiant in the face of all the noise. I used a hex editor to violate the integrity of the file & create the impression of a slow data collapse out of which Josienne appears, a quiet ghost in a static roar.’

Historical Record vol. 1 & 2 will be released on Corduroy Punk Records on 15th May 2020. It will only be available as a digital download & only on Bandcamp. “It will not be available on any streaming services, I’m sick of other people making more money from my creative endeavour than I do...”


released May 15, 2020

All songs written, composed, arranged & recorded by Josienne Clarke
Vocals - Josienne Clarke
Guitar - Josienne Clarke
Recorders - Josienne Clarke
Clarinet - Josienne Clarke
Audio Restoration - Guy Johnston @


all rights reserved



Josienne Clarke Scotland, UK

Songwriter/Singer 'Onliness (songs of solitude & singularity)'
Out 14.4.23 on Corduroy Punk Records


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