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 ?.
Alrihkh thumbnail
Alrihkh Napier’s Bones are masters of dramatic storytelling. Their tales remind me of the old Edgar Allan Poe tales I used to listen to on the radio, Hallowe’ens past. I can well picture them rolling from ramshackle town to ramshackle town, rambling minstrels in an older time, performing their shows to appreciative country folk. This is a fine hare pulled from their five year hat. Picking a fave? Too close to make a call. Looking forward to the promised new one.
Robert Cameron
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Robert Cameron love this music a lot great vocals. keep It up.
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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 Nooooooo! 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....
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...
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
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
Citizen 05:02
"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


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.

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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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