Captain Jack and The Mermaid
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Captain Jack and the Mermaid

Last Revised: October 12, 2000

Let the sea trumpets blare ! Let the jelly fish dance ! A massively huge announcement is to be made concerning Captain Jack and his Mermaid has made the leap from analog tape to CD ! Released November 2000 and, as you can imagine, it was no easy task selecting the bonus tracks to go on this Special Edition CD. I decided to choose only original songs and to also include 3 'Live' tracks as well. All of the other songs that appeared on the albums "Dream of Light Horses" and "Swing the Cat" were also transferred to digital format and you will be able to get those songs by ordering a custom CD burned just for you (by Meg) with the songs you choose on it. I'll have an ordering page up for that as soon as possible (still delayed as of February 2002 due to music engineer slowdown).
A great deal of work went into the making of this Special Edition 2000 CD and you all have David Greenspan from the Interlochen Music Academy to thank. The master tapes for all of my earlier albums were becomming so deteriorated that, if Mr. Greenspan hadn't rescued them when he did, all of the recordings from Captain Jack to Swing the Cat would have been gone forever. The masters were taken to a unique lab in Washington, D.C. and baked in a special process which bonded the 'sound' layer to the tape layer of the masters. This special process took many long hours to complete. When that was done, it was then time for David Greenspan and his lab engineer to remix and digitize all of the music from the analog tapes. The 'baking' process saved the music but Greenspan could only run the tapes through the analog machines ONE time to get the music off them. As they were being played that last time the music was literally turning into oxide dust and floating away. Saved in the nick of time, these recordings now come to life as if I had just stepped out of the recording booth. Layers of sound which I originally recorded in the studio now come to life and present a new depth and never heard before.
I am very pleased that all my years of songwriting have come together in this collection but this CD never would have been realised without the support of some very special people in my life. They are quiet people, working behind the scenes, encouraging me to sing and write music again, keeping me smiling through my painful days. It is because of their friendship and love that my music continues to be heard and played and I hope that I can return their belief in me by writing music that will stand the test of time. Another big 'Thank You' goes to the Sci-Fi and Fantasy fans and authors who have stood by me all these years. It is they who have managed to spread my recordings far and wide from Helsinki to Tokyo....from Anchorage to Antarctica....and keep me singing across the airwaves of the world.

I am gratefull to you all :) Meg Davis, September 9, 2000

Release Notes / (C) 1979 All Rights Reserved / BMI / Harry Fox Agency

All music and lyrics written, produced and arranged by Meg Davis 1967-1978 / (P) Leelanau Heritage Arts/BMI/Harry Fox Agency. Assistant Producer and Engineer : Jim Krause. Recorded July 1978, Fifth Floor Studios, Cincinnati, Ohio. First released by Meg Davis on Philo/ Rounder Records

The Musicians

Meg Davis - lead and harmony vocals,6 and 12 string guitars
Malcolm Dalglish - hammer dulcimer, background vocals
Grey Larsen - concertina, flute, background vocals
Ron Sachs - electric guitar
Michael Perry and David Cramball - string, electric bass
Dave Pinson and Alan Eisemann - mandolins
Arlienne Ott - highland bagpipes
Jenny Armstrong - background vocal
Alan Curry - lead male vocal
Michael O'Murchu - pennywhistle, bodhran, background vocal
Fred Price and Guss Ross - percussion

The Songs

  1. Wind in the Pipes
  2. The Elf Glade
  3. Yevgenia and the Snow Dragon
  4. Saemus and Ivy
  5. I'm Late, I'm Late
  6. The Nightmare
  7. Because you have Wings
  8. Captain Jack and the Mermaid

    SPECIAL 2000 EDITION BONUS TRACKS :

  9. A Monster's Lullabye
  10. Swing the Cat
  11. Behold the Green Gryphon
  12. Polly Oliver's Problem
  13. If I Had My Life to Live Over
  14. My Winter Rose
  15. Other People's Children
  16. The Claddagh Walk
  17. You Will Remember Me

    About The Songs (Tells you the date they were written)(You can Click on highlighted song titles to get lyrics)

    Wind in the Pipes (1978)

    My summer haunt is a beautiful, old (circ.1940's) house on a lovely, cool lake (well away from the humidity of a Cincinnati summer). The folks who tend the house, and get it ready each year, have no idea how they have inspired me over the years. They get into their hip-waders each frosty May to put the dock in and, depending upon the placement of the metal poles, I end up with a very haunting sound all season that comes from the wind blowing across the holes in the posts. Some summers it's a brighter tune, sometimes a rather spooky chord, but whenever it happens I tell myself, it's only the wind in the pipes.

    The Elf Glade (1974)

    The Elf Glade exists behind the summer house ( it's a 'summer' house because it has no insulation or foundation and the pipes freeze in winter). Some of our oldest trees are in the Elf Glade and, when we felled one of the trees this last April ( due to rot ), I read its rings and guessed it to be around 150 years old. The trees send gnarled roots above ground and moss has grown a soft, lush green carpet in and around the root systems. In summer, deep, yellow wildflowers sprout up ( as well as an odd assortment of amazing and weirdly shaped mushrooms ). Under the wooded tangle there appear to be doorways and deep holes which are the entrances for elves and other creatures living in the underground labyrinth behind the house.

    A few years ago the Elf Glade was torn up a bit by a fellow who owns the house with us. He has no idea of the importance of this little plot of ground and, consequently, keeps cutting trees off at the knees and tearing up the general environment. A lot of the wee people moved because of this and shifted themselves across the driveway into a deeper part of the surrounding woods. Quite a few of the elders have remained because they have such extensive underground mansions, wine cellars and gold hoards, that it would be quite impossible to move them now. I have made friends with one of the oldest inhabitants of the Elf Glade and he, along with his nephew, are helping me to write an in-depth book of their lives and adventures which I hope to publish in the 'not too distant' future.

    Yevgenia and the Snow Dragon (1972)

    This is one of my earliest songs and I created it after attending a concert presented by the Osipov Balalaika Orchestra. It was a very invigorating experience and I rushed home, as soon as the show had ended, to write this story of the conquering power of love. Oh, and it did happen to be a howling winter outside at the time, as you may have guessed.

    Saemus and Ivy (1973)

    This is simply about the saddness and loss of lives in Northern Ireland as seen through the eyes of a child. Even today I don't think I'd rewrite it although I might exchange the word 'pavement' for 'sidewalk' but, otherwise, it does express what it must be like to loose your friends and playmates to violence. I make no political statement here...my only intention is to express sorrow.

    I'm Late, I'm Late (1967)

    The very first song I'd written,done at the age of 14, and composed during a long summer while gazing out across a green and blue lake. I was always late for everything ( it seemed ) and so I felt a great deal like Alice in Wonderland (in trouble before I'd even begun).

    The Nightmare (1977)

    This may have happened to a few of you along the way....a good friend comes to you the night before their wedding and flings themselves into your arms (telling you how desparately they love you) and begging you to help them make the earth shattering decision of whether to go through with the wedding or not. These nights were always filled with tons of talk and lots of tears and one, large, looming Nightmare.

    Because You have Wings (1974)

    A song about being different , about doing what you feel is right even though you may get punished for it and how people can love you for who you are ( not just for what you look like ). I think everyone feels themselves to be 'outsiders' at one time or another.....some people feel themselves to be on the 'outside' their whole lives.

    Captain Jack and the Mermaid (1975)

    The true story behind this particular song is that it was written in order for me to deal with the death of my older brother. I received the news while at school in England and I was pretty much in shock for several years after that (as I was unable to come home for the funeral). And so, I imagined that this must be what it was like for the ladies whose men went off to sea, never to return.....you'd never see your loved one again and, the odd thing is that, never having seen them buried, actually keeps them very much alive in your memory. Which is a good thing, I think. Captain Jack's sweetheart faces the sorrow that many of us face in our lives.....having to love and then let go. By the way, this song is loads of fun to sing along with so, just because the reasons behind the writing are a bit sad, I certainely expect you all to continue to raise your glasses ( bifocal or wine ) and bellow on regardless. My brother would have wanted it that way !

    THE BONUS TRACKS :

    A Monster's Lullabye (1975)

    When I was a teenager I always imagined, that if I continued to leave half eaten bits of pizza and dirty socks under my bed, eventually something nasty would create itself and sneek out into the world. Well, that's exactly what happened one day and the resulting monster has been living in my gardens and travelling with me ever since. He still has no name but he'll eat all the raw cookie dough he can get his claws on!

    Swing the Cat(1985)

    Ah, Pirates ! Tough, swarthy and livin' the wild life on the High Seas.Well, I've sailed on some of those tall ships and I've never found one that didn't have a cat onboard. Now then...what would all those swarthy Pirates be wanting with a cat...or two ?

    Behold the Green Gryphon (1983)

    I have another friend and he's rather large. Although I was often blamed when things went missing around the house I knew who really had them but who would believe that a huge, and bright green, gryphon had run off with the fingernail clippers and was hiding his great feathery self in a shoe box ?

    Polly Oliver's Problem (1985)

    A lust for gold and a lust for life....that, combined with some interesting cooking skills, takes my seafaring girl Polly on a big adventure. Oh, she meant well I assure you. But, when it came to choosing between love or gold...well, the sparkly stuff won out every time. Eels are a favorite dish in many lands but, from what Polly told me, if you undercook them they can be deadly. Sounds like a slithery situation to me !

    If I Had My Life to Live Over (1972)

    This life cannot be relived. It is given to us to appreciate just this one time through but still, I wondered what I would have chosen if I had MY life to live over. What would YOU choose ?

    My Winter Rose (1981)

    I wrote this love song for someone who was very different from myself. he was rather grey and colorless around the edges and I wonder, to this day, if he knows the bright colors that are hidden within him. It is also a song of longing, of loving someone who is not capable of loving you in return.

    Other People's Children (1987)

    One Autumn I had been staying with friends in Cheltenham Spa (Gloucestershire, England)and had the occasion to spend a quiet night watching over their child while they were away in the country. As I sat in that cozy home, curled by a crackling fire, I considered the feeling of not having had children of my own. Like myself, Lewis Carroll spent most of his life writing to entertain all children...mostly the children of his closest friends. He spent his last days living in a beautiful town in Guildford, Surrey (where I had gone to school)and the picture of him walking the High Street on Christmas Eve as he searched for a special gift represented to me the feeling of going through in a swirl of other people's children.

    The Claddagh Walk (1985)

    I was able to spend some time in Galway one year because of the hospitality of friends I had met while onboard the Irish tall ship "Asgard II". The smallest daughter of the bossun's family was named Rachele and she took me for a walk one night down along the quay that becomes the Claddagh Walk. It leads down to the sea where sailors would say goodbye to their sweethearts and exchange the the Claddagh ring which Galway became famous for. Rachelle was so sweet and lovely that evening...I envisioned a sailor of the late 1800's having such a sweetheart as Rachele and the pain of them having to say goodbye to one another there...by the sea.

    You Will Remember Me (1987)

    This song has many different meanings. On the one hand, it is about Lewis Carroll and his little Alice as they used to walk along the beaches during summers spent in Llandudno, North Wales. On the other hand, it is about Wales itself, being forgotten by the people of today in their hurry to move on....forgetting how to read the language of the stones or sing the ancient songs. And, then again, perhaps this song is about me and how I returned to Wales in order to find my way home.

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