In Deep

by Kevin Closs

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1.
We headed north out of Isfjord, bearing "as the crow" A thousand tons of Danish steel, two hundred souls below A circumnavigation of Svalbard's rocky fells But what we've all come searching for, no tongue aboard can tell And I miss you like I miss the stars, I miss the midnight blue But I’ve heard the song of Svalbard, don’t you hear her calling you? In Smeerenburg, by king's command, the whaling fleet made berth To claim the Bowhead and the Right, dominion o'er the earth For forty years the ovens blazed, the beaches slick with gore Now Virgo harbours only ghosts, the whalefish are no more High above Nordaustland lie the Seven Islands grey And many a ship has ploughed the foam to see the walrus sport and play As we sailed into Phippsøya with silver skies above We saw the children in the morning, they're still leaning out for love Beyond the blind horizon where the easterlies do blow Amundsen and Nobile still beckon from the floe Their faded flags are streaked and torn, their beards are balled with hoar Their cries are borne upon the gale then lost forever more On the island of Kvitøya there's a solemn granite stone To mark the spot where Andrée came to lay his burden down With fog so thick and bears so wild it'll chill you through and through And when I set foot on those shores, Lord, I felt like dying too From Skansbukta to Ny-London, Camp Millar, Longyearbyen The rusted heaps of iron recall the gilded dreams of men They came in top hat, tails and cane, they dined on quince and ling And if you turn your head just right, you can hear the hammers ring Oh, the cliffs of Alkefjellet and Bellsund's gentle breeze Woodfjord and Kongsbreen they can bring you to your knees The peaks of Struvefjella sing their silent praise to God While every fleeting summer don't they bloom like Aaron's rod And down below the waterline the able seaman pines For that brown-eyed Pasay girl he left in tears behind Then suddenly the truth shines through as the ship sails into port That the heart is like a compass and love is our true north We headed north out of Isfjord, bearing "as the crow" A thousand tons of Danish steel, two hundred souls below
2.
In Deep 04:53
3.
There’s a little red ship on the wild Arctic seas Where the winds blow so cold you can feel your blood freeze But up on deck five you hear the sound of guitars Up in the Polar Bear, bonjour and hola there Up in the Polar Bear Bar, Bear Bar Way up in the Polar Bear Bar Here comes Susan Adie, she runs a tight show She gets into the malbec and anything goes And Guy Esperon with his head in a jar He drinks in the Polar Bear, bonjour and hola there Up in the Polar Bear Bar, Bear Bar Way up in the Polar Bear Bar Now old Scobie Pye, he never gets out He’s working on engines day in and day out But under the bell every night he’s a star He holds court in the Polar Bear, bonjour and hola there Up in the Polar Bear Bar, Bear Bar Way up in the Polar Bear Bar Now big Phillip Hunter, he’s as chill as they come He’s smooth in a kayak and cool with a gun But out on the dance floor he’s fit to be tarred He gets down in the Polar Bear, bonjour and hola there Up in the Polar Bear Bar, Bear Bar Way up in the Polar Bear Bar And here’s Mr. Morgan, we don’t know what he’s on But he can dance the merengue from dusk until dawn His interest in knickers is somewhat bizarre And he peeps in the Polar Bear, bonjour and hola there Up in the Polar Bear Bar, Bear Bar Way up in the Polar Bear Bar There’s no greater hunter than Mario Spring When he gets on a scent he can track anything Brunettes and redheads, they don’t get very far When he hunts in the Polar Bear, bonjour and hola there Up in the Polar Bear Bar, Bear Bar Way up in the Polar Bear Bar These three pretty fraulines, so sweet and so dear But they can tear up the town when they get on the beer From Oslo to Svalbard, hear them shout Wunderbar Sie trinken in der Polar Bear, bonjour und hola there Up in the Polar Bear Bar, Bear Bar Way up in the Polar Bear Bar There’s many fine comp’nies that sail the salt seas Noble Caledonia and Old Silver Seas Big Hurtigruten and don’t forget Quark But they don’t have a Polar Bear, bonjour and hola there Don’t have a Polar Bear Bar, Bear Bar No they don’t have a Polar Bear Bar Tomorrow it’s over, it’s the end of the cruise The disembarkation and luggage pull blues So come all you big drinkers, let’s say au revoir We’ll meet in the Polar Bear, bonjour and hola there Up in the Polar Bear Bar, Bear Bar We’ll get lit in the Polar Bear Bar
4.
Winterway 02:59
Better the water way Better the wild and feckless path Better to be, better to be free To be open to the last Don’t listen to me, I didn’t get a degree I’m just one more blue light saviour at a vanity fair Don’t take it from me, I didn’t get it for free Show you the winter way Show you the willed and wasted love Teach you to be, teach you to see To be over and above Don’t give it to me, I never wanted to be I’m just a plebe, another baby in an auto-da-fé No reverie, no reprieve We are a different breed The new seed Sing us a summer song Sing us a song of open mind Wish you to be, want you to see Want you to rise and shine Don’t come to me, I gave it all away I’m off the hook, Moulin Rouge set a table for me Don’t look at me, please don’t leave
5.
Jenny Lind 01:17
Jenny Lind, there are those who say your charms are not all that Just because you’re flat, Jenny Lind Jenny Lind, though you’ve never wooed a sailor with your curves You’re a lovely home for murres, Jenny Lind Jenny Lind, many men have spied your shores then passed you by But Jenny Lind, as sure as fish heads draw the flies You’re easy on the eyes, Jenny Lind Jenny Lind, I have sailed from Baffin Bay to Molly’s Reach You’re my favourite dirty beach, Jenny Lind Jenny Lind, though the fellas tell me you can be demanding You gave my Zodiac a gentle landing, Jenny Lind
6.
Today I heard you singing As you floated o’er my hall “Sally Brown” and “Blow Ye Winds” And “on the bowline haul” So many years have come and gone Since you shouted them so bold To hear them ringing once again It made my blood run cold And I had barely come of age When your fathers came to kill All fire and iron and bloody foam Taking what they will Harpooned by the thousands Flensed and rendered down ‘til all my kin were nothing more Than numbers in a count I remember mast and sail Yes, I remember true And when your kind has passed away I will remember you They took my mate in ‘43 And she was with a calf She’d carried it for ten long months When they put her to the gaff I think about her now and then To me she was a queen To you she was just fifty barrels Of oil for margarine I remember coal and steel Yes, I remember true And when your kind has passed away I will remember you Now summer fades to winter grey Alone, I wander north My dives they tend to shallow now My breath a little short From Marguerite to Whaler’s Bay My voice echoes in the blue With no one left to hear the call I guess I sing for you I remember diesel oil Yes, I remember true And when your kind had passed away I will remember you Oh, I remember mast and sail Yes, I remember true And when your kind had passed away I will remember you
7.
The Beagle 03:59
8.
Leroy was a Leopard seal, he lived at Damoy Point A predator without a peer, you could say he owned the joint Penguins, krill and table scraps is what most “Leps” ingest But what made old Leroy special was his taste for human flesh, Leroy Leroy, Leroy, Leroy The terror of Lemaire! Leroy He came by his unnatural lust, his penchant for man-based snacks When come upon this B.C. boy a-catchin’ Zodiacs Now Matthew was a strappin’ lad, all full of beef and taters ‘til Leroy swum up stealthy-like and took him by his waders, Leroy I’ll spare you all the grim and bloody details of Matt’s fate The viscera, the high-pitched screams, I needn’t here relate Gentoos, Leroy now eschews since he sampled Matthew’s meats He roams the dark and rocky coves in search of sweeter treats, Leroy The shores around Damoy were once a jewel in Lilibet’s realm But since Leroy whet his appetite it’s a livin’ Leopard hell So when you’re rounding Damoy Point and headed for the moat Just keep one eye upon the stern and your hands inside the boat, Leroy
9.
Pressed my wheels into your scar Tried to make some time And fell one more mile behind While secretly above and below You stitched and wove me Into your eternal groove Spoke your name aloud today Tried to make it rhyme And fell one more line behind When suddenly from out of the blue The old was new You sang out your eternal groove
10.
Pourquoi Pas 02:39
11.
The fauna of the Arctic is a wonder to behold Adapted to the crushing dark and unrelenting cold Each animal a miracle of evolution’s hand Resigned to bare existence in an unforgiving land But there’s a little fellow who we often see around He’s chipper and he’s cheerful, no, nothing gets him down Immune it seems to the ennui that comes with life’s cruel shocks Precocious, perspicacious, I give you Arctic Fox Oh, the skies are clear and blue, or not The wind blows cold, I say, so what No how, no why, no when, no where I’m an Arctic fox I just don’t care The reindeer’s a phlegmatic chap who never wears a smile Scratching out his meagre living mournful mile by mournful mile He’s timorous and fearful, a total Arctic wus No vim, no verve, no vigour, no Vulpes Lagopus Now, Ursus Maritimus is a fearsome Arctic foe He’s sullen and he’s friendless, he’s a fur ball full of woe At any social gathering he’s like a dose of pox But he’d be a bon vivant with just a dash of Arctic Fox Yon pinniped upon the beach, thy lethargy’s innate With so little raw ambition it’s no surprise you’re overweight Sucking clams and farting in a thigmotactic pile The Arctic fox could teach you how to live life with more style And finally Homo Sapiens, our genius knows no bounds A more endowed species, on this earth cannot be found And yet we roam the world as though our shoes were full of rocks Oh, we could learn a lesson from our friend brer Arctic Fox

about

Music inspired by my travels in the Arctic, Antarctica and beyond.

credits

released June 9, 2019

Produced by Kevin Closs and John Newlands

Peter Cliche: mandolin, dobro (Leroy the Leopard)
Kevin Closs: guitars, voice, percussion, keyboard, banjo
Joey Fiorino: drums (Eternal Groove)
Ken Kanwisher: bass (In Deep, Eternal Groove)
Andrea McColeman: keyboard (The Arctic Fox Song)
John Newlands: guitars, voice, percussion, keyboard (Song of Svalbard, The Polar Bear Bar Song, A Blue Whale's Lament, Eternal Groove)

Thanks to everyone at Adventure Canada and G Adventures
for giving me the chance to see this wild and beautiful planet.
The support of the Ontario Arts Council is gratefully acknowledged.

To Sarah from all of us

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Kevin Closs Greater Sudbury, Ontario

Kevin Closs is a singer/songwriter from Manitoulin Island.

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