Folk Songs and Future Loves

by Plumes Ensemble

supported by
Arminda Klier
Arminda Klier thumbnail
Arminda Klier I love that Plumes has expanded into an ensemble, bringing a more classical approach to beautiful pop songs while also sprinkling in traditional folk songs (hint: I <3 Bartok). Favorite track: Early Bird.
  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Pretty folding sleeve case, with artwork by Ernestine Donnerberg.

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The debut album of Plumes Ensemble, the chamber-music incarnation of Plumes. A mix of original songs and 20th century repertoire by Bartok and Berio. Includes the single Swimming with Astronauts.


released December 1, 2014

Veronica Charnley: vocals
Éveline Grégoire-Rousseau: harp
Louise Campbell: clarinet and bass clarinet
Pemi Paull: viola
Phil Hornsey: mallets and percussion
Jean-Christophe Lizotte: cello
Geof Holbrook: electric guitar, piano, conducting

Preston Beebe: percussion on 2, 3, 13, 15
Genevieve Déraspe: flute and piccolo on 11, 12, 15
Saam Hashemi: electric guitar on 2, 3, 7

recorded at Mechanicland Studios in Montréal
produced, engineered and mixed by Saam Hashemi
mastered by Greymarket Mastering

original songs (1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 16) by Veronica Charnley
selections from Twenty Hungarian Folk Songs (1929) composed by Béla Bartók

selections from Folk Songs (1964) composed by Luciano Berio,
under license from Universal Edition

Charnley and Bartók arrangements by Geof Holbrook

artwork by Ernestine Donnerberg

This recording was made possible with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.


all rights reserved


Track Name: Early Bird
I caught the sight of a melting pond
You, the swallow, were skimming on
Nothing could tell otherwise, January left for summer!

I pawned off my winter clothes
My bare arms exposed
Now the sun warms the roof, warms your wings and cut you loose!

Gone are the months of suffering.
My heavy boots abandoning! Ohhh…

Could the swallow have volunteered to live out the winter here?
Suddenly an icy squall forms the writing on the wall.

Now from a lovely dream I must awake.
One swallow seen does not a summer make.
With your appearance all my hopes arose.
Your exit, swallow, wasn’t grandiose.

Ooh, you deceived me!
Ooh, please don’t leave me!
Track Name: Swimming with Astronauts
The front crawl, you used to hate so much.
Put your head down a little longer now, stay inside the lane.
Now hold it, hold your breath in, crawl out of your skin.
When you’re weightless, well then you can begin.

Put your head down…

The past few weeks in a haze, you’re trying to get away
from someone already remote, you reach for a different note.
Oh, you reach for a different note.

Strings from your suit unravel from moving fast across.
There’s nothing between you and the water, and letting go of the loss.
Oh, you’re letting go of the loss.

Tuck your legs in, put your arms out, and your head down!
Push your legs out, tuck your arms in...

The astronauts train beside you now.
They’ll show you, they’re gonna show you how.
When you’re falling, try not to catch yourself.
To turn around just takes a little tilt.

Put your head down...
Track Name: Blossoms Fall
I bow my head, waiting for higher blossoms to fall.
When you are against a wall, higher blossoms will fall.

It takes time to figure out what this city’s about.
Oh, your voice rings out, causing wonder to sprout!

A pastry leaf falls from your lip, below a pigeon swallows it.
There’s nothing that’s wasted here, I’ve been drinking up all your tears…

The ground and sky conspire to open me wide.
I’m low but I still seem to grow, building layers inside.

A pastry leaf falls from your lip, below a pigeon swallows it.
There’s nothing that’s wasted here, I’ve been drinking up all your tears…
Track Name: Twenty Hungarian Folksongs - A tömlöcben
Prison Song (a rough translation)

Everyone has good fortune but I cry bitterly,
I put my head down and cry.
Even the moon does not shine on me,
neither does the bright rays of sunshine.
The prison walls hurt my sides, my red face withering.

I will be free – do not cry, my husband, weep not my child.
God will look after you.
I will be free from here.
Track Name: Twenty Hungarian Folksongs - Szekely Friss
Fast Dance (rough translation)

Don't be sorry, my sister-in-law
It's important that God gave us corn bread.
We will drink the nector from the grain.
We are praising God thanks.

The Devil would take me away
if there had not been 1/2 a litre of wine.
We found 1/2 a litre, the Devil went around me.

Be careful, old woman, that the Devil does not catch you,
otherwise the Devil will dress you up and take you to Hell.
Be careful not to let the Devil take you to Hell -
the 1/2 litre is a safeguard.
Track Name: Twenty Hungarian Folksongs - Hatforintos Nóta
Dollars Song (rough translation)

I went back and forth in the hills
Nowhere did I find my soulmate

This is the song of the 6 dollars
Those who like it – we are dancing.

Those who do not have 6 dollars cannot go this way.
He who is a miser cannot go this way.
Track Name: Frappé
Frappe, I miss you in the summer when you’re found behind closed doors,
I run errands in the heat, wish you were melting on my tongue.

Come cool me down, please!

Frappe, Only five months ago you covered all the streets,
stopped waterfalls mid-fall, grapes growing on the vine.

I learned to run barely touching the ground,
what I would give for this lightness that once abounded.
My sleep is troubled all night, scarcely a breeze blows,
when I want nothing on me, I need you most!

Come cool me down please!
Track Name: The Golden Gourmand
The Golden Gourmand

Oh, you serve it up - the greatest gift.
Ah, crème brulée! surface scorched, perfect.

Oh, feelings return - soft centre beneath the burn.
I need a moment to behold it, hold it…

Oh, these busy starts, turn round and round
blue sparks, what a lark!

I’m taken with you,
I’m taken to heaven with you.

I thought I lost you,
after all we had been through.

Oh, I see the arch
your love becomes clear and sharp.
What a lark!
Track Name: Away from Home
Fitting yourself into a new home can take ages if you don't loosen up, don't I know.
One box at a time gets emptied out...
Oh, where to now – you ask me, where to now?

Oh, home away from home, away from home, away from home, it's our...

Tonight is an island we can rest on.
Out of sight, we can strip down on the south shore.
Give it up the day is long gone, won't you lay it down.
Tonight is an island we can rest on.
Track Name: Folk Songs - Black is the Colour
Black is the colour of my true love’s hair,
His lips are something rosy fair,
The sweetest smile and the kindest hands;
I love the grass whereon he stands.

I love my love and well he knows,
I love the grass where on he goes;
If he no more on earth will be,
'twill surely be the end of me.
Track Name: Folk Songs - I Wonder as I Wander
I wonder as I wander out under the sky,
How Jesus our Savior did come for to die
for poor orn’ry people like you and like I,
I wonder as I wander out under the sky.

When Mary birthed Jesus ’twas in a cow stall
with wise men and farmers and shepherds and all,
but high from the Heavens a star’s light did fall,
the promise of ages it then did recall.

If Jesus had wanted of any wee thing.
a star in the sky or a bird on the wing
or all of God’s angels in Heav’n for to sing
He surely could have had it ’cause he was the king.
Track Name: Folk Songs - Loosin Yelav
The Moon Has Risen (translation)

The moon has risen over the hill, over the top of the hill.
Its red rosy face casting radiant light on the ground.
O dear moon, with your dear light and your dear, round, rosy face!

Before, the darkness lay spread upon the earth;
moonlight has now chased it into the dark clouds.
O dear moon, with your dear light and your dear, round, rosy face!
Track Name: Folk Songs - Rossignolet du Bois
Little Nightingale (translation)

Little nightingale of the woods, little wild nightingale,
teach me your secret language, teach me how to speak like you.
Show me the way to love aright.

The way to love aright, I can tell you straight away;
you must sing serenades two hours after midnight.
You must sing to her: ‘My pretty one, this is for your delight.’

They told me, my pretty one, that you have some apples,
some rennet apples growing in your garden.
Allow me, my pretty one, to touch them.

No, I shall not allow you to touch my apples.
First, hold the moon and the sun in your hands,
then you may have the apples that grow in my garden.
Track Name: Folk Songs - Lo Fiolaire
The spinner (translation)

When I was a little girl I tended the sheep.
Lirou lirou lirou …

I had a little staff and I called a shepherd to me.
Lirou lirou lirou …

For looking after my sheep, he asked me for a kiss.
Lirou lirou lirou …

And I, not one to be mean, Gave him two instead of one.
Lirou lirou lirou …
Track Name: Folk Songs - Azerbaijan Love Song
no translation available
Track Name: Oh, Orwell
You talk so much of going to the dogs, and here they are!
And it’s surprising that you can stand it, and all the lies.
The work has dried up and your friends won’t help, they send their love.
It’s not enough...

The locks open, the wash is beautiful.

A brilliant orange shines in the star above.
A million times you didn’t look at night.
It took a stranger to point it out,
now you know, yeah now you know it.
Oh, the freedom you find when you’re left behind.

You talk so much of going to the dogs, well here they are!
And it’s surprising that you can stand it - you close your eyes.
It’s not enough...

The locks open, the wash is beautiful.
The clock’s broken, to stop is wonderful.

Oh Orwell...

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