Stone on Stone

© 1991 Dave Goulder, Harbourtown Music


A fast year-in-the-life of a master drystane dyker (dry stone wall builder), writted by himself.  On this song I play a big old Casals Spanish guitar that a shipmate rescued in Mexico City and brought back to me when I was living on a boat in Connecticut.  I've strung it to play six frets low: it is very happy there.


Gordon – Spanish guitar


Now that autumn is returning and the garden fires are burning

And the summer beasts are learning how to cope with shorter days

There I labor all alone piling stone upon the stone

Feeling just a touch of sadness as the summer slips away

As I roll the stone upon the stone


Working in the frosty weather when the stones are stuck together

Lifting divots, soil and heather as I pries them from the ground

And a little work is done till the weak and wintry sun

Loosens up their icy grip and I can lay me hammer down

As I roll the stone upon the stone


The barometer is falling and the forecast is appalling

And the working folk are crawling through the January storm

Gales 8 to 10* all day almost blow the stones away

And my brain has turned to porridge by the time I head for home

As I roll the stone upon the stone


Now the winter storms are ending and the days are soon extending

And an early lark ascending has me looking round for spring

Stones taken from the land are warm under the hand

And my cup is running over with the pleasure of the thing

As I roll the stone upon the stone


Soon the wall is moving over belts of willow, herb, and clover

And the weasel and the plover watch me slowly pass them by

And the air is full of winds as a million stinging things

Set me yearning for October in the middle of July

As I roll the stone upon the stone


*On the Beaufort scale Force 10 is a whole gale



Stone on Stone is recorded on the album Apples in the Basket