The Ballad of James and Isa Cursitor

from Notes From An Island by Ivan Drever

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Although this song was written primarily for my children, the song concerns my grandparents, their three sons and my mother.


They spent their lives alone, days of pain and hardship,
proper people without any malice in their hearts,
I don't think that I told you how hard it was for them
but then again, they wouldn't have it any other way.

Turn the stone, turn the soil, hold the horses steady now,
heed the wind, heed the land, this song is for my children.

He'd sit with hardened hands, thinking of the water
Mademoiselle from Armentieres a distant memory,
she'd brew a peck o' malt, while he spat at the fire
she gently said she'd kill him; he had heard it all before.

Four children had to work, the land, the farm the ocean
Willie left the nest to farm the unforgiving land,
my mother's loving hand took care of all the children
Hamish sang of cowboys and of Oklahoma hills.

Young Duncan went to sea, the times they were a changing
old Whip sat by the fire cursing news on the TV,
Isa hands out beer, laughing at the memory
of when she was a little girl, running fast and free.


from Notes From An Island, released March 17, 2021


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Ivan Drever Inverness, UK

Ivan Drever hails from Orkney in Scotland, he has recorded a host of albums both solo and with other performers. Having worked with the Knowe O’ Deil and as a solo artist, Ivan joined Wolfstone in 1990, their work saw them perform worldwide. Ivan’s songs and tunes have been recorded by an impressive list of artists. ... more

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