ON THE PEBBLE

by Tom Mikkelsson

/
  • Streaming + Download

    Includes high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more. Paying supporters also get unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app.

      name your price

     

1.
2.
03:57
3.
04:55
4.
03:49
5.
6.
7.
8.
04:02
9.
04:34
10.
03:46

about

In June 2011, I travelled to the Hebridean island of Iona, under the impression that was about to spend three very uneventful months living in relative solitude.
If only.
What followed was two bewildering years of travel and exploration, of finding myself constantly drawn back to the island and to the remarkable people, and equally remarkable way of life, I found there.
The ten songs on this album document this time.

credits

released June 22, 2014

All songs written by Tom Mikkelsson.

Musicians:
Jane Bentley: Percussion on tracks 5,6,8; Vocals on tracks 3,9
Stephanie Hollenberg: Vocals on tracks 3,4
James MacCallum: Drums; Vocals on track 3
Margaret McLarty: Vocals on tracks 2,3,6,9; Ukulele and Flute on track 5
Joel Pitts: Vocals and Mandolin on track 5
Hannah Sissons: Vocals on track 9
Tom Mikkelsson: Vocals; Guitar; Bass; Keys; Percussion; Mandolin on track 2; Drums on track 4

Produced by Tom Mikkelsson.

© Tom Mikkelsson 2014

tags

license

all rights reserved

about

Tom Mikkelsson York, UK

Tom Mikkelsson is a Glasgow-based songwriter, guitarist and pianist. Originally hailing from North Yorkshire, Tom moved to the remote Hebridean island of Iona in 2011. It was there that his fascination with folk music began, and after relocating to Glasgow in the winter of 2012, Tom began work on his debut album 'On The Pebble', a collection of songs that document his time in the western isles. ... more

contact / help

Contact Tom Mikkelsson

Streaming and
Download help

Track Name: On The Pebble
ON THE PEBBLE

Yesterday, a letter came, seems she's still working wonders,
Changing lives in every corner of the earth.
So I'm resolved, I must away, to paint my own true colours –
To improve my mind for all that it is worth.
And night and day, she casts her spell on all the sleeping mourners,
Who would rid themselves of everything they want.
So now every day must start the same, I tell myself each morning
That she was only half of who I was.

And of all the thoughts of leaving that have ever filled my mind,
None have been so strong as these right now, right here.
And all the thoughts of leaving that I had to leave behind
Still come back to haunt me at this time of year.

Well the past won't quit, and nothing fits, I flit around in circles
Till I'm dizzy, and I'm tired of what I've got.
And a year down here has made it clear: by now I should be someone.
By now I should be someone, but I'm not.

Well the world out there is too severe for me to go and wander,
And discover my own life beyond these trees.
You spoke your kiss soft in my ear, to which I don't take kindly
And you wore a heart of stone upon your sleeve.
And the winter raid has run it's course, but still these leaves are barren,
Still this frost keeps fogging up my mind.
And clouds will bring the rains, that bring the leaves, that bring our summer,
But I see clouds that only walk on by.

And on the square at midnight, I catch glimpses of her smile,
The same one that she shot me when we said farewell,
So I rearrange these houses, just to follow her a while,
Down streets where all the best days of my life were spent.

And so, today I bring myself to write you back a letter,
Saying I miss you dear, but let us go our ways.
Cause now every day my thoughts stray back to life up on the pebble,
And the hope that I'll return to her some day.

And of all the thoughts of leaving that have ever filled my mind,
None have been so strong as these right now, right here.
And all the thoughts of leaving that I had to leave behind
Still come back to haunt me at this time of year.


© Tom Sissons 2014
Track Name: How
HOW

I don't know what you were looking for.
And I don't know what I was hoping for.
And I know what you will say,
That I've got to back down now.

I should've learned my lesson, but I never took the time.
Could've lived without you, but I never understood why.
And I don't know what else there is to say, no more.

Now that you've gone away, babe, I know I shouldn't be afraid.
And now that you've left this place, I shouldn't tell myself again,
That I could have been your love, but the chance never came my way.
Well you know that I have spent too long, killing time till you come back some day.

Now that I've met you babe, I don't care to be alone.
And ever since I met you babe, the questions in my mind go round and round,
And the games go on and on.
But how can I trust you, when you can't even trust yourself?
Do you think you could love me better if I could somehow be somebody else?

And I don't know what you were looking for.
– should've learned my lesson, but I never took the time.
And I don't know what I was hoping for.
– could've lived without you, but I never understood why.
And I don't know what else there is to say.
– should have known better, but I couldn't keep away.

So please don't worry babe, you know I wouldn't tell the truth.
And I ain't fooling no one babe,
I know that I could never be good enough for you.
But then how could you love me, when I can't even love myself?
Do you ever find yourself alone, just wishing you could be somebody else?
Yes, could you really love me babe, if I could just be someone else?


© T.Sissons 2014
Track Name: Home
HOME

Lover, take me to your home –
I want to tell you that I robbed you, and took all of your soul.
Lover, take me to your place –
So I can tell you that I want you, though I can't change my ways.
'Cause I've been drifting far too long,
Just let me come home.

Lover, take me to your home-
I want to look over your shoulder, and feel like I have grown.
And times when I can't sleep at night
Are times I want to tell you that I love you,
So I can feel all right for a while.

I've got a ticket ready by my door – just let me come home –
'Cause I've been drifting far too long.

And I've worn holes in my shoes,
Trying to find a place to run to,
How could anyone live the way you do?
And I've worn holes in my brain,
Trying to find a place that feels the same,
How could anyone live this way?

Lover, take me to your home –
But send me away tomorrow, so I can learn through fear.
Could you hear me out once more,
And could you keep a secret?
I'm not happy here.

I saw you just in time to slam the door – just let me come home,
'Cause I can't do this anymore.

And it's another cold way of living life without paying,
And it's been another cold year.
Well last post, last day, I guess I've nothing left to say, just,
I want to tell you I was wrong,
'Cause I've been drifting far too long.

And I've worn holes in my shoes,
Trying to find a place to run to,
How could anyone live the way you do?
And I've worn holes in my brain,
Trying to find a place that feels the same,
How could anyone live this way?


© T.Sissons 2014
Track Name: Devils
DEVILS

A stranger washed up on our sands inside a bottle neck,
He wore a tag upon his wrist that read 'return to this address',
And every word that left his lips told of a nightmare he had fled,
He got lost just trying to find the road again.

And time and time again, you see, his dreams would go astray,
So now he only will believe in what will get him through the day;
And where he'll be tomorrow – who could ever say?
He just knows that he can't carry on this way.

So we try to please
These devils in disguise, who'll only bring us to our knees,
So if I don't come back, please try to understand,
I just want to get my feet on solid land.

And we will want for nothing, save to run from our regrets.
We've got all we need, but can't sleep soundly in our beds.
So now we dream up ways to break the roof over our heads,
And live outside security instead.

Now I am stuck upon this shore and I am sick again,
Stuck upon this shore and I am sick again,
And we've no way of leaving; still let us all pretend
That the tide is right, the wind is on our side.

So I wait here 'cause I know she'll be round today,
I wait here 'cause I know she'll be round today,
And tell me all the things I want to hear, but cannot bring myself to say,
She's a devil, she's unravelling my brain.

And so we try to please
These devils in disguise, who'll only bring us to our knees,
So if I don't come back, please try to understand,
I just want to get my feet on solid land,
And I promise I'll do everything I can.

Well now child, you've suffered for too long,
And your honesty's a curse,
Still your friends reach out with love,
But now that only makes things worse,
So when you're flat upon your back,
Asking 'what is all this worth?'
Don't give up,
You'll find your place upon this earth.

So take me to the ocean, let me drift away,
Take me to the ocean, I could drift for days,
'Cause now I know I never could return to my old ways,
I could never give up on this, babe.

And so we try to please
These devils in disguise, who'll only bring us to our knees,
So if I don't come back, please try to understand,
I just want to get my feet on solid land,
And I promise I'll do everything I can,
And I'm half a mile from being half a man.


© T.Sissons 2014
Track Name: I Don't Know Where I'm Going
I DON'T KNOW WHERE I'M GOING

Dark cloud on the water,
And down into the glen.
I've got no place of shelter,
And I never did back then.
And now my pockets I have emptied
To travel light upon the breeze.
But those numbers etched upon my purse
Always served to keep me free.

And now I don't know where I'm going,
Or just where I could be,
I don't know where I'm going,
But I hope you're going with me.

We could run to the islands,
Conceal ourselves in rain,
With the names of our fathers
Always hot upon our trail.
And we could run from our bodies,
Leave them buried in the braes,
But when we get to turn back time,
Then we have to start again.

And now I don't know where I'm going,
Or just where I could be,
I don't know where I'm going,
But I hope you're going with me.
And this tide could carry me homeward,
Or right back out to sea,
But I'll go where it flows slow,
If I go in your sweet company.

I could fall down to music of the sound,
Music of the sound I love.

So take my hand inside your hand,
And I can close my eyes.
And guide my way, home again
To find the sun in midnight skies.

And now I don't know where I'm going,
Or just where I could be,
I don't know where I'm going,
But I hope you're going with me.
And this tide could carry me homeward,
Or right back out to sea,
But I'll go where it flows slow,
If I go in your sweet company.


© T.Sissons 2014
Track Name: These Four Walls
THESE FOUR WALLS

The drum falls out of time; the red light goes off.
The drum falls out of time; the red light goes off.
There's a sign for every station, but the beat says stop.
I'm still waiting for this moment to let up.

The train pulls out of town and the dust rolls off.
The train pulls out of town; the dust comes rolling off.
And I change at every station, I still can't get close enough.
I'm just waiting for this moment to let up.

'Cause these walls have ears, and they're breathing in,
It's just another early warning of the shape you'll find me in.
And these walls have ears, and they're breathing in,
I'm still waiting for this moment to forgive.

The drum falls out of time and the pile-up burns.
We fall out of line and the pile-up burns.
And she could change our lives, but really that is none of my concern,
I'm still waiting for the moment that I've earned.

And we ignore the warnings, and we refuse to land,
But we've seen through the truth; it's all achieved by sleight of hand.
And I forgot the meaning of the turns that I regret,
I'm still sweeping all my footprints from the sand.

'Cause these walls have ears, and they're breathing in,
It's just another early warning of the shape you'll find me in.
And these walls have ears, and they're breathing in,
I'm still waiting for this moment,
We're still waiting for this moment to forgive.

One, two, three, four,
– and this is how I fell behind.
One, two, three, four,
– so maybe I have had my time.
These four walls must have stripped me in my prime,
These four walls have lost the fight.

So if my drums beat out, and it's time to go,
If my drums beat out, then at least I know
That I filled each moment, yet
I only filled them with regret.
If my drums beat out, then I must go.


© T.Sissons 2014
Track Name: Of All The Songs I Know
OF ALL THE SONGS I KNOW

No one can tell, nobody knows
How the wind sings, how its story goes.
But if I too could sing my secret tune,
It would tell only, my love, of you.

Nobody knows, no one can say
How each shore sings, and sings in its own way.
But if I could hear one song alone,
I'd hear your sweet song, that calls me home.

Sings; even in winter, there is a spark
That trembles when hope is near.

Even in hunger, there is a drop
That ripples through all my fears.

I took a fall, but you took my arm,
Side by side, and eye to eye, in your warmth.
And if I could hear one song alone,
I'd hear your sweet song that calls me home.


© T.Sissons 2014
Track Name: Shuna Beach
SHUNA BEACH

I believe:
This has all been written down
By those more eloquent then me,
Those who wouldn't fear
To let you see just what they see,
And those who put their faith in
Things too good to be believed.

I believe:
This has all been written down
By those who have the words to say –
To describe every colour,
Every flicker in your face,
Those whose words could move you babe
To turn my way again.

I confess that no one's ever left me
In such a beautiful mess,
No one's ever stripped me clean
Of all good sense,
In quite the way you do
Each time you turn toward me.

And if I should pass this way again,
I think I'll think of you as summer turns.
And if I should pass this way again,
I think I'll see your face in all I've done.
'Cause nothing seems the same now that you've gone.

I believe:
Nothing here can stay
Just the way it ought to be,
And as these leaves will drift away
From every single lonesome tree,
So I'll stand upon this shore,
Without you next to me.

I confess that no one's ever left me
In such a beautiful mess,
And ever since we said farewell
I only wish that I had left,
To follow my own feet
To be where you will be.

And if I should pass this way again,
I think I'll think of you as summer turns.
And if I should pass this way again,
I think I'll see your face in all I've done.
'Cause nothing seems the same now that you've gone.

And I don't want all this to change you.
And I don't want to say you're just like me.
But I've no way to silence every stone on Shuna Beach,
They're calling out your name,
To the land that followed you across the sea.

And if I should pass this way again,
I think I'll think of you as summer turns.
And if I should pass this way again,
I think I'll see your face in all I've done.
And if I should pass this way again,
I think I'll think of you and think of love.
And if I should pass this way again,
I think I'll see your face in all I've done.
'Cause nothing's making sense now that you've gone.


© T.Sissons 2014
Track Name: More
MORE

So we get torn sometimes,
Between coming clean, and the need to hide
Behind needless, fragile, everyday lies,
The desire to feel, and the need to survive.

So we get torn sometimes,
By winds of change, that change the times.
But God forbid we should ever know why.

So spring, don't wake me yet.

When we burst at the seams,
Divided, I fall all the way to my own wrongs.
And still, we're cutting our teeth,
But this is not all; we should be more.

And winter never struck me dumb,
Back when I was brave, and when I was young,
Before I learnt that death, it answers to no one.

So spring, don't wake me yet.

When we burst at the seams,
Divided, I fall all the way to my own wrongs.
And still, we're cutting our teeth,
And we should be more.

And I can never shut the door,
On the silent fears that keep me sworn,
To asking what each day is for.

So spring, don't wake me yet.

When we burst at the seams,
Divided, I fall all the way to my own wrongs.
And still, we're cutting our teeth,
And we should be more.

Winter never seemed so cold,
Back when I was brave, and before you grew old.
And spring shows mercy, but I want more.


© T.Sissons 2014
Track Name: Nighttime
NIGHTTIME

If you had your time again, what would it be?
Would you still tie yourself, or rather be free of me?
If you have the time, could you answer me straight;
How long did you have to wait, just to get away?
Are you stronger now honey, just like I've heard?
Are you out there,
But with someone new to make you smile?
Could you spare me a thought once in a while?

'Cause the nighttime comes too early every time.
The nighttime comes too early every time.

If you had your time again, what would you change?
Are you happy in your skin? 'Cause I tell you,
I'd even change my name.
Are you stronger now honey, could you bear to hear
That I still think about you, dream about you,
Go back to the time that you said goodbye?
And that when I think about you, I should try to smile.

Well, the morning comes too late every time.
The morning comes too late every time.

And I say to myself:
Don't be so naïve, this day had to come.
And I say to myself:
Did you really believe she was the only one?

'Cause now I know that I've got to say goodbye,
And when I think of you, I will try to smile,
But not out of love for you, no; for my own peace of mind.


© T.Sissons 2014