Alex Raichev

Loud Kisses

Loud Kisses is a Sangdringham Unpop™ band i started in July 2022 to produce and perform some music i write outside of Paper Dragon. The band name comes from kisses i get near the ear. Sounds good.

You can listen to and download all the band's music for non-commercial use here on this page for free. "But wait," you say, "I want to pay you for this touching art, Alex." Well, thank you kindly, and in that case you can tip the band via bank credit to Kiwibank account 38-9009-0530201-06 (Kiwibank Limited, Level 9, 20 Customhouse Quay, Wellington, 6011, New Zealand; SWIFT code KIWINZ22).

To receive occasional news from Loud Kisses, such as album releases, you can subscribe to the band's newsletter by entering your email address here:

The Shropshire Songs 1

Auckland's COVID-19 Lockdown of August–September 2021 afforded much time for arts and crafts. During that period i dusted off my neglected ukulele and set to music five poems from A. E. Housman's lilting, lamentful, and generally black-humored collection of 1896 A Shropshire Lad. I wrote one song per week, and surprisingly, they all turned out well. The weeks, that is. Here is the music for your listening enjoyment, released 2022-03-21.

As to the beautiful album art above, i thank the artificial intelligence system DALL·E 2, who produced it in under a minute from my text prompt "A beautiful painting by David Hockney of the Severn River in Shropshire, England on a rainy day; trending on Art Station". As for the fonts, well, only a trained designer could have picked those. Thank you, Helena Teichrib.

You can listen to the songs with the audio player below, which, once started, will continue to the next track on the list. You can also download the songs as FLAC or MP3. All music is copyrighted CC BY-NC 4.0 by me, Alex Raichev, and all lyrics lie in the public domain.

  1. Loveliest of Trees, the Cherry Now · lyrics
  2. When I Was One-and-twenty · lyrics
  3. When Smoke Stood up from Ludlow · lyrics
  4. Farewell to Barn and Stack and Tree · lyrics
  5. I Hoed and Trenched and Weeded · lyrics

The Shropshire Songs 2

Still inspired by A Shropshire Lad, i switched to guitar and wrote seven more Shropshire songs. Actually ten, but only seven good ones. Housman, the acerbic critic, is probably grumbling in his grave. In critiquing the proposed drawings of an illustrated edition of A Shropshire Lad in 1920, he wrote to his publisher, "The trouble with book-illustrators, as with composers who set poems to music, is not merely that they are completely wrapped up in their own art and their precious selves, and regard the author merely as a peg to hang things on, but that they seem to have less than the ordinary human allowance of sense and feeling." But Housman is dead, so let's enjoy this second EP, released 2022-09-23!

Thanks again to DALL·E 2 for producing the landscape above from my text prompt "A beautiful painting by David Hockney of the Wrekin hilltop in Shropshire, England on a rainy day; trending on Art Station". The creations of our industrialists are unemploying us, but think of all the free time we'll enjoy! Fonts reused from the first EP. Reduce, reuse, recycle!

You can listen to the songs with the audio player below, which, once started, will continue to the next track on the list. You can also download the songs as FLAC or MP3. All music is copyrighted CC BY-NC 4.0 by me, Alex Raichev, and all lyrics lie in the public domain.

  1. The Immortal Part · lyrics
  2. Is My Team Ploughing · lyrics
  3. Oh, When I Was in Love with You · lyrics
  4. On Wenlock Edge the Wood's in Trouble · lyrics
  5. When the Lad for Longing Sighs · lyrics
  6. The Street Sounds to the Soldiers' Tread · lyrics
  7. If It Chance Your Eye Offend You · lyrics

Lyrics

Farewell to Barn and Stack and Tree

From "Farwell to barn and stack and tree" by A. E. Housman
  "Farewell to barn and stack and tree,
  Farewell to Severn shore.
  Terence, look your last at me,
  For I come home no more.

  "The sun burns on the half-mown hill,
  By now the blood is dried;
  And Maurice amongst the hay lies still
  And my knife is in his side."

  "My mother thinks us long away;
  'Tis time the field were mown.
  She had two sons at rising day,
  To-night she'll be alone."

  "And here's a bloody hand to shake,
  And oh, man, here's good-bye;
  We'll sweat no more on scythe and rake,
  My bloody hands and I."

  "I wish you strength to bring you pride,
  And a love to keep you clean,
  And I wish you luck, come Lammastide,
  At racing on the green."

  "Long for me the rick will wait,
  And long will wait the fold,
  And long will stand the empty plate,
  And dinner will be cold."
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I Hoed and Trenched and Weeded

From "I hoed and trenched and weeded" by A. E. Housman
  I hoed and trenched and weeded,
  And took the flowers to fair:
  I brought them home unheeded;
  The hue was not the wear.

  So up and down I sow them
  For lads like me to find,
  When I shall lie below them,
  A dead man out of mind.

  Some seed the birds devour,
  And some the season mars,
  But here and there will flower
  The solitary stars,

  And fields will yearly bear them
  As light-leaved spring comes on,
  And luckless lads will wear them
  When I am dead and gone.
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Loveliest of Trees, the Cherry Now

From "Loveliest of trees, the cherry now" by A. E. Housman
  Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
  Is hung with bloom along the bough,
  And stands about the woodland ride
  Wearing white for Eastertide.

  Now, of my threescore years and ten,
  Twenty will not come again,
  And take from seventy springs a score,
  It only leaves me fifty more.

  And since to look at things in bloom
  Fifty springs are little room,
  About the woodlands I will go
  To see the cherry hung with snow.
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When I was One-and-twenty

From "When I was one-and-twenty" by A. E. Housman
  When I was one-and-twenty
  I heard a wise man say,
  "Give crowns and pounds and guineas
  But not your heart away;
  Give pearls away and rubies
  But keep your fancy free."
  But I was one-and-twenty,
  No use to talk to me.

  When I was one-and-twenty
  I heard him say again,
  "The heart out of the bosom
  Was never given in vain;
  'Tis paid with sighs a plenty
  And sold for endless rue."
  And I am two-and-twenty,
  And oh, 'tis true, 'tis true.
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When Smoke Stood up from Ludlow

From "When smoke stood up from Ludlow" by A. E. Housman
  When smoke stood up from Ludlow,
  And mist blew off from Teme,
  And blithe afield to ploughing
  Against the morning beam
  I strode beside my team,

  The blackbird in the coppice
  Looked out to see me stride,
  And hearkened as I whistled
  The tramping team beside,
  And fluted and replied:

  "Lie down, lie down, young yeoman;
  What use to rise and rise?
  Rise man a thousand mornings
  Yet down at last he lies,
  And then the man is wise."

  I heard the tune he sang me,
  And spied his yellow bill;
  I picked a stone and aimed it
  And threw it with a will:
  Then the bird was still.

  Then my soul within me
  Took up the blackbird's strain,
  And still beside the horses
  Along the dewy lane
  It Sang the song again:

  "Lie down, lie down, young yeoman;
  The sun moves always west;
  The road one treads to labour
  Will lead one home to rest,
  And that will be the best."
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If It Chance Your Eye Offend You

From "If it chance your eye offend you" by A. E. Housman
  If it chance your eye offend you,
  Pluck it out, lad, and be sound:
  'Twill hurt, but here are salves to friend you,
  And many a balsam grows on ground.

  And if your hand or foot offend you,
  Cut it off, lad, and be whole;
  But play the man, stand up and end you,
  When your sickness is your soul.
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Is My Team Ploughing

From "Is my team ploughing" by A. E. Housman
  "Is my team ploughing,
  That I was used to drive
  And hear the harness jingle
  When I was man alive?"

  Ay, the horses trample,
  The harness jingles now;
  No change though you lie under
  The land you used to plough.

  "Is football playing
  Along the river shore,
  With lads to chase the leather,
  Now I stand up no more?"

  Ay, the ball is flying,
  The lads play heart and soul;
  The goal stands up, the keeper
  Stands up to keep the goal.

  "Is my girl happy,
  That I thought hard to leave,
  And has she tired of weeping
  As she lies down at eve?"

  Ay, she lies down lightly,
  She lies not down to weep:
  Your girl is well contented.
  Be still, my lad, and sleep.

  "Is my friend hearty,
  Now I am thin and pine,
  And has he found to sleep in
  A better bed than mine?"

  Yes, lad, I lie easy,
  I lie as lads would choose;
  I cheer a dead man's sweetheart,
  Never ask me whose.
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Oh, When I was in Love with You

From "Oh, when I was in love with you" and "Oh see how thick the goldcup flowers" by A. E. Housman
  Oh, when I was in love with you,
  Then I was clean and brave,
  And miles around the wonder grew
  How well did I behave.

  And now the fancy passes by,
  And nothing will remain,
  And miles around they'll say that I
  Am quite myself again.

  Ah, 'tis true, 'tis true.
  You see, spring was sent for lass and lad,
  Now the blood runs gold,
  And man and maid had best be glad
  Before the world is old.
  What flowers to-day, i say, may flower to-morrow,
  But never as good as new.
  Suppose I wound my arm right round
  You?
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On Wenlock Edge the Wood's in Trouble

From "On Wenlock Edge the wood's in trouble" by A. E. Housman
  On Wenlock Edge the wood's in trouble;
  His forest fleece the Wrekin heaves;
  The gale, it plies the saplings double,
  And thick on Severn snow the leaves.

  'Twas before my time, the Roman
  At yonder heaving hill would stare.
  Blood that warms an English yeoman,
  The thoughts that hurt him, they were there.

  Holt and... old wind... Roman... he would stare.
  Old wind... Roman... the thoughts that hurt him
  They were there.

  Now 'tis I
  Now 'tis I

  The gale, it plies the saplings double,
  It blows so hard, 'twill soon be gone:
  To-day the Roman and his trouble
  Are ashes under Uricon.

  Holt and... old wind... Roman... he would stare.
  Old wind... Roman... the thoughts that hurt him
  They were there.
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The Immortal Part

From "The Immortal Part" by A. E. Housman
  When I meet the morning beam,
  Or lay me down at night to dream,
  I hear my bones within me say,
  "Another night, another day."

  "When shall this slough of sense be cast,
  This dust of thoughts be laid at last,
  The man of flesh and soul be slain
  And the man of bone remain?"

  "This tongue that talks, these lungs that shout,
  These thews that hustle us about,
  This brain that fills the skull with schemes,
  And its humming hive of dreams,-"

  "These to-day are proud in power
  And lord it in their little hour:
  The immortal bones obey control
  Of dying flesh and dying soul."

  "'Tis long till eve and morn are gone:
  Slow the endless night comes on,
  And late to fulness grows the birth
  That shall last as long as earth."

  "Wanderers eastward, wanderers west,
  Know you why you cannot rest?
  'Tis that every mother's son
  Travails with a skeleton."

  "Lie down in the bed of dust;
  Bear the fruit that bear you must;
  Bring the eternal seed to light,
  And morn is all the same as night."

  "Empty vessel, garment cast,
  We that wore you long shall last.
  -Another night, another day."
  So my bones within me say.
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The Street Sounds to the Soldiers' Tread

From "The street sounds to the soldiers' tread" by A. E. Housman
  The street sounds to the soldiers' tread,
  And out we troop to see:
  A single redcoat turns his head,
  He turns and looks at me.
  My man, from sky to sky's so far,
  We never crossed before;

  Such leagues apart the world's ends are,
  We're like to meet no more;
  My man, from sky to sky's so far,
  We're like to meet no more;

  What thoughts at heart have you and I
  We cannot stop to tell;
  But dead or living, drunk or dry,
  Soldier, I wish you well.
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When the Lad for Longing Sighs

From "When the lad for longing sighs" by A. E. Housman
  When the lad for longing sighs,
  Mute and dull of cheer and pale,
  If at death's own door he lies,
  Maiden, you can heal his ail.

  Lovers' ills are all to buy:
  The wan look, the hollow tone,
  The hung head, the sunken eye,
  You can have them for your own.
  You can buy them from me.

  Eve and morn.
  Lie down forlorn.

  Lovers' ills are all to sell,
  But the lover will be well.

  Buy them, buy them: eve and morn
  Then you can lie down forlorn;
  Lovers' ills are all to sell.
  But the lover will be well.

  Lover's ills!
  Lover's ills for sale!
  Buy them, buy them!
  Eve and morn, eve and morn!
  Then you can lie down forlorn.
  But the lover, the lover, will be well.
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