The Wistman Tales

by Napier's Bones

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Songs of Folklore
Songs of Memory
Songs of Magic
Songs of Self.

This collection takes the listener on an emotional journey, passing through dark and introspective landscapes en-route to deliverance.

"And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you"

Special 2015 Remastered Edition includes previously unreleased 14 minute bonus track "Hand of Glory"


released September 11, 2015

Music, Lyrics & Production © Gordon Midgley 2014
Vocals : Nathan Jon Tillett

Artwork & Logo © Napier's Bones 2014



all rights reserved


Napier's Bones UK

Napier's Bones are a UK band taking the Classic Prog sound and building upon it to create their own challenging, extended form of progressive rock music.

Their focus is firmly on dramatic storytelling with subjects capable of resonating with the listener today. Music that references the past but is very much of the here and now.
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Track Name: A.D. 1069 : The Harrying of the North
AD 1069 : The Harrying of the North

Treason spreads like a disease, letting blood the only cure
Foolish bargains with the Danes? Such hopes will not endure

Lessons must be learned, that the North will not forget.

We have no time, for all that plot futile resistance
No place, for natives in Duke William's Court
No Mercy, fools are they who dare oppose us!
No Doubt, We are the chosen ones

This land is ours now, the Church is ours,
On bended knee the natives shall give praise.

The Law is ours now, the language ours
Punishments, that we alone dictate

Erase the past, to build anew
The future is ours to shape....
In our own Image....our own Image....
It's ours to shape in our own image.......

In Clifton, Held by Escelf, De Lacy has it now....and it is waste

In Hetone, Held by Refanskil, De lacy has it now..and it is waste

In Wyke, Held by Scanulf, De Lacy has it now..and it is waste

In Gomershale, Held by Dunstan, De Lacy has it now..and it is waste

In Mirefelt, Held by Haldane, De Lacy has it now...and it is waste

In Herteshue, Held by Gerneber, De Lacy has it now..and it is waste

In Bradley, Held by Godwin, De Lacy has it now..and it is waste
Track Name: Work Will Set You Free
Work Will Set You Free

When my story started, a very different man was I
So much has changed for me in so little time
Older now and sadly wise
The years have worn me down
I'll take this chance to tell my tale if you'll allow

None could stop the factory rise, without a voice we were swept aside
Men who swore to break the frames were crushed by Redcoats standing by
Left with the clothes I stand in
All I held dear is lost now
Lend me your ears and heed my warning while you can

Huddled at the workhouse gates, a family torn apart just waits
Praying that the stories can't be true

Through the workhouse gates, equality for all inmates
Knowing now the stories are all true

Behold the Master of this House, The Guardians' Rules are your world now

All men that can work say your goodbyes, All women and children dry your eyes!
Now sort out the lame and weak of mind, Life here is full and fair and kind
No place for laments, no mercy pleas, Beginning today Work Will Set You Free....

Now you've heard my story, it happened long ago
Different times and different laws, so far from all you know.
How could this relate to you? Those days could not return!
Consigned to dusty history books, What lessons can you learn?

Don't disregard those history books, there are pages left to turn.....
Track Name: Lost & Found
Day after day, they tell me that I will soon be leaving
People all around, yet I am so alone
It's in their eyes, a kind of fear inside
As if they know me

Every night, whispered voices reassure me
But in the early hours, all the doubts return
I hear people screaming, they melt into troubled dreams
I feel I know them

I....I feel the conflict inside of me
Inner voices rise and contradict myself
It's him....and he's growing stronger now
With each passing day, it's harder to resist
And he knows it

"I'm coming back! Back to power!
All the things I'm gonna do
I won't be stopped, not this time..
I'll destroy those in my way
And you know it"

I...I know my time is running out
And I've only really lived for several days
But he...he has a darker side
And I fear for what he'll do when in control
And he knows it.

"I'm coming back! Back to power!
All the things I'm gonna do
I won't be stopped, not this time..
I'll destroy those in my way
And you know it"

"I'm coming back! Stronger than ever!
No-one will dare stand in my way
Tremble with fear, in my presence
Once they see me rise again
They'll know me...
They'll know me"
Track Name: Hand of Glory (2015 Edition Bonus Track)
The Storyteller :

A mile or more beyond the town where Roman beacons burned
A long established hostelry, it stands all alone
The track that marks the entrance, often missed from the road
The turnpike has fallen quiet, none will call here tonight
As the dizzy whirls of sleet announce the storm

Bella the maid dims the lamps and bolts the door
The landlord George smiles and counts his takings after Bowes Fair
The roof creaks and groans as the wind bears down from Stainmore
Alone, enclosed, they won't see another soul
As they say their prayers to save them from the storm

Waves of rain and snow spiral down
Consumed by fear & darkness, heartbeats quicken now
They're deafened by the howling screaming sound
Then it's broken by a knocking at the door
A feeble cry of "Help me" then no more

The Occupants :

Who stands outside? A wet bedraggled old woman bent double no less
Come quickly inside! Dry clothes, warm milk, our Bella will help you undress

The Traveller :

"Nothing I can say can repay you for your kindness sir
I lost the track as day turned into night
A pauper's widow I, can no longer pay my way
My daughter waits in Brough for me, I'll leave you at first light"

The Occupants :

Sit by the Fire! No payment required when we answer a traveller's distress
Before we retire - we'll see that you're well, now take what you need and God bless

The Traveller :

"Let me say again, I don't want food or drink
Despite my situation, I still retain some pride
Now talking tires me so, I beg you let me rest
Don't touch my cloak or clothing! Just take yourself to bed!"

Let all who rest be drawn into the deepest sleep
Let those who dare to stay awake, unerringly their vigils keep
Hand of glory, keep their heavy eyelids closed
Revealing hidden riches whilst your magic taper glows

Stolen from a gibbet corpse, wrapped in a funeral shroud
Dried out with saltpeter, I command thee now
Hand of Glory, Shining Bright
Guide Your rightful owner to their rightful spoils tonight

The Storyteller:

Though she feigned to sleep, Bella watched the stranger's movements
Disturbed by their growling voice and the hood that hid their face
Surprised to see new riding boots on a pauper's wife
Then the trav'ler rose to six feet tall and slid the bolt from the door
From the folds of a steaming cloak withdrew a dead man's wizened hand
Lit the candle in its grip then the ritual began

The Traveller:

Hand of Glory where Roman signal beacons burned
I call on age-old wisdom, let the dead man's fire return
In the house where your light burns, in vain the sleepers turn
The killer's hand holds them tight, alive will be as dead tonight

From the gallow's pole to High Stainmore
Hand of Glory, do all I desire tonight

The Storyteller:

Bella ran and cried for help - but no one came
Sleepers trapped under the spell of that unholy flame
She recalled Grandmother's tales, about the Hand of Cain
Candles fashioned from a murderer, only witchcraft could sustain
She grabbed the milk jug by the range, she doused the hand
The eerie glow was gone, then with his shotgun George appeared!

The Gang :

Give up the Hand! We don't want to harm you!
Give up the Hand, and we won't return
We have you surrounded, powerful witchcraft
Terrible vengeance, don't make us come in!

Give up the hand, give up the hand!
Give up the hand, give up the hand!
Give up the hand - you force us to enter
Give up the hand - no quarter applies

The Landlord:

I don't fear your witchcraft!
There were others before you
Who broadened my learning
Here's my reply.....

The Storyteller:

Though many years have passed and the story has become folklore
Many still believe the Hand of Glory is on Stainmore
The Spital Inn the legend says, but no-one's really sure
After all, it's only make believe....

But if you're travelling late at night in Winter weather foul and
You lose the road then spy a coaching inn you never knew about and
You see a warm and welcome glow, the sign says "Vacancies"
Don't fall asleep in that hostelry tonight

Shine on, shine on, shine on
From the Gallow's Pole to High Stainmore
Hand of Glory, sleep well tonight
Track Name: Wistman's Wood
Part I : The Return

Two Bridges on my mind, Old and New at once, together side by side,
Fond-remembered place of hazy carefree games
Now I returned, Oh how I yearned for those days
Perhaps to cross to find again the man I used to be?

There before me, hallowed ancient Dartmoor
Druid stones, velvet moss, just how it always was
A thousand feet beyond the bustling, frantic valley
The wizened oaks of Wistman's Wood, at Sunset I would go

This magic place, last surviving trace of an older vanished time
A time before the anxious life, a prisoner of the clock
Taking photographs, the trees, the sky, the rocks
To freeze the view and free the feelings I had lost

As I stand amongst the twisted mossy oaks
A sense that I belong here, swells to fill my heart
In the flooding warmth of golden evening sunshine
I rest awhile, these sentinels will keep me safe from harm

I'm coming home
I am home

Part II : The Haunting

It all feels different now, the Wood transformed as I slept
Where once was beauty, Gnarled twisted trees, they snarl grotesque

All in darkness, no welcome in this sun starved place
A hissing whisper grows, from creviced rocks, from ancient graves!

What is this place?
Something's wrong here
I don't belong here

Golden sunlit welcome gone, Twilight, sterile, in its place
In haste I came to Wistman's Wood, to regain all I lacked

Choking on the air of sadness, contempt for those alive
This stunted copse now mocks my weakness, its magic holds me fast!

I must escape here
I have no place here

But how?

Part III : The Hunt

Across the moonlit slopes of Crocken Tor, a figure moves
I'm not alone, the fear dispelled, moving fast he'll reach me soon

He's drawing closer now, he must have heard my cries
His dogs run free, they've got my scent, they'll soon be at my side

Frenzied barks and howls and clouds of breath
Flashing yellow teeth and eyes of red

This is the Wisht Hounds Hunt!!

I've got to run for my life - I've got to try to get home

Help me!
Leave me alone!
You can't have me, you can't have my soul!

Running for my life now, Terror on the open moor
Relentlessly pursued by The Devil's Spectral Hounds!

Almost at the track, a gate, a stile I recognise
Another quarter mile beyond the Dewerstone

Part IV : The Testament

As I reflect upon my testament
I try and fail at making sense of that night's events
My broken bones have healed but mental scars
Are with me still, in restless nights and feverish midnight hours

All I saw, all I heard
I give my word this story's true, this warning is for you

Rocks inscribed with rites of druid sacrifice
Spirits evil lay in wait to trap lost souls at night

The past should stay the past, good and bad interred
Decide the future here and now, please just heed my words!

Will no one believe me? Condemned to live that night over again eternally....