Girl With a Hay Rake

By Jack Harris, recorded on Skeins

Jack Harris, a native of Wales now living in London, wrote this song about looking at a painting, Girl With Hay Rake, by Winslow Homer. "Girl With a Hay Rake" was on an early EP of his, and included on the Waterbug sampler Born into the Whisper in 2005.  www.jackharrismusic.com 

Maybe it's autumn, and she is stifled by a chill, 
There's a girl with a hay rake, walking up a hill; 
And New England has borne its harvest unto she (we sing “to her knee”) 
And you can't tell, but she is walking wearily. 
Hand on her hip there; her face in shadow from her cowl, 
Ah but you can trace a fair hair, o'er the snowfall of her jowl; 
Girl with a hay rake, 'mid the crooked autumn lee 
Of the wind in the sycamores, tired as can be. 

But when the redwings fly through the evening by and by; 
She will sit beside the cider mill and drink the apples dry. 

There's certainly a hayfield, her fatigue on which to blame, 
Over yonder way there, through the trees from whence she came; 
Maybe there's a father, from when first she had begun, 
Kept his gaze upon her, making sure her work got done. 

But when the redwings fly through the evening by and by; 
She will sit beside the cider mill and drink the apples dry. 

And all around her kitchen, her siblings hurl themselves about, 
There's a yearning inside her, trying to get out; 
But for the while there's gravy, mashed potatoes, boiling stew, 
She will eat there in silence, until eating time is through. 

But when the redwings fly through the evening by and by; 
She will sit beside the cider mill and drink the apples dry. 

And maybe it's autumn, and she is stifled by a chill, 
There's a girl with a hay rake, walking up a hill. 
There's a girl with a hay rake, walking up a hill.