Five Years In The Wood

by Napier's Bones

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Darren Douglas Danahy
Darren Douglas Danahy thumbnail
Darren Douglas Danahy Five years a band, five years in the wood. Clever, yes - but, like the music on this "compilation" for lack of a better word has a maturity and intelligence that goes FAR beyond "clever".

While the material on this release will be familiar to fans of Napier's Bones, this in no way feels like a best of or sampler. This is an album in it's own right. A combination of track order, changes in mix and mastering and that certain "je ne sai qua" puts this album firmly in the "story music" category. Favorite track: Broadcasting Live.
thePiecan thumbnail
thePiecan With the addition of Live drums and impressively honed mastering skills, Napiers boldly plant this five year milestone! Reflecting back warmly, like old friends returning, '5' draws a 'superbly remastered' watershed track from each year of the back catalogue. A prog connoiseur's 'sip and savour' album in its own right and an iron gauntlet towards marching on! Favorite track: Best of Times ?.
Robert Cameron
Robert Cameron thumbnail
Robert Cameron love this music a lot great vocals. keep It up.
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We're marking the fifth anniversary of Napier's Bones with a selection of our personal favourites. We wanted to maintain the original feel and spirit of the songs rather than heavily reworking in 2019, but a few changes have been made along with remixing and remastering.

We're pegging this set as a 'name your price' download so everyone can take a copy and hopefully recommend us via social-media or word-of-mouth


released March 29, 2019

Gordon Midgley : Music, Lyrics, Backing Vocals

Nathan Jon Tillett : Lead Vocals, Artwork

Many thanks to all the people who have supported and encouraged us over the past five years : social media, radio broadcasts, music bloggers and journos, friends and family.

See you for number six when the nights lengthen and the frost strengthens.

24 bit masters


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: 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....
Track Name: Best of Times ?
The Best of Times, am I ruled by darker passions now?
Is it sinful to be free of denial?
Enjoying life while it lasts?
Sworn in every room
Pleasures the only truth
And Abstinence is hatred of the self

The Best of Times, all the friends I never had before
Now a string of lithe companions take their place
Always keen to call my name
Tell me where's the shame?
After all, everybody, has their price

Doesn't everyone have their price?

So I justify this decadence
With heavy breathing incantation, but is it love?
Sometime I recognise my folly, regret the waste
Then the hunger I can't satisfy draws me back again

The Best of Times, oh I hope they never end

I pray they never end for me...
Track Name: Broadcasting Live
Broadcasting Live, O ruined church what have you seen?
Is there anyone there? Can you speak to me?
Can you speak to us? We mean you no harm
Just give us a sign, the faintest of glows, pass through the bars

Now a gathering breeze, tainted with smoke, there's something not right
Never felt this before, a gnawing unease has seized me tonight

And try as I might
My thoughts can't escape from
The Squire's Return
But the Show must go on

Turning in the Fire, Burning on in Hell
Driven by the coachmen, of Squire Cabell

Focus my mind, trust the machines, the best money can buy
Simply relax. stick to the facts, nothing different this time

I know shadows can't dance, just a trick of the light
recorder's turned on, movement is sensed, no longer alone!

Sulphurous mist shrouds the stones, hangs in the air, I hear voices I swear
This is no parlour game, sensational claim, this is happening now!
And I don't know how
Coach wheel shower sparks see!
A vision that mocks me!
The Squire's Return
Track Name: Hand of Glory
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: Citizen
"Does he realise who he is? Does he know?
Is he.....self-aware?
I see.
He's obviously not ready for his new way of life
We'll have to proceed very carefully indeed"

"Citizen we're pleased to see you
Pulling through the dark traumatic times
Cautiously I'd say we're optimistic
Recovery can be a state of mind

Our medication will help you
We'll never, ever leave you on your own
Unlimited resources to protect you
Until it's safe to be alone"

"You know it's not safe to be alone"

Make me well again,
End this Hell and then
Let me feel again

Without a past, a life in limbo
All I've seen and done and loved to call my own
A desperate cry pleading for perspective
Is absent isolation all I'll know?

In my solitude
Please end this Hell
Take me back, make me well again
Be myself again

Let me live again, let me feel again, let me, let me be myself again

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