Song of Svalbard

from by Kevin Closs

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lyrics

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

credits

from In Deep, released June 9, 2019
Produced and arranged by John Newlands
Guitar and vocals by Kevin Closs
All other instruments by John Newlands

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Kevin Closs Greater Sudbury, Ontario

Kevin Closs is a singer/songwriter from Manitoulin Island.

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