Saturday, April 2, 2011

Thinking And Walling In Verse

Yesterday after having worked on a wall all morning building quietly we spent an hour or so in the afternoon working and listening to a recording of various selections of poetry about walling. Yes, it was kind of different. The poetry along with a smattering of walling-related Celtic songs are all part of a new CD recently put out by my friend Dave Goulder. Dave is not only a master craftsman waller with the DSWA but also in the tradition of many other good masons and wallers (including our own Bobby Watt ) he's a very good singer song writer. With his unique very plaintiff lyrical style Dave has developed a strong following as a performer and has put out a couple of very professional solo CDs.

This new CD, A Gathering of Stones is a compilation of musical works and readings by several artists and speakers. The works are all well spaced and very enjoyable to listen to. There is nearly a full hour of readings and walling related music. The whole CD is delightfully comprehensive and comprehensible – comprehensive in scope in that Dave has researched and managed to put together such a large selection of poems, some fairly obscure ones, some obviously his own, as well as some surprisingly familiar contributions including the illustrious Robert Frost poem Mending Wall– comprehensible in that the readings are very clear and wonderfully expressive.

The poems celebrate the labourious but always satisfying work of the dry stane dyker. There are some sad pieces, some cheerier ones and some very poignant selections. The songs that accompany the poetry compliments the feeling Dave has tried to create with this CD

As we listened to the poetry and kept working we were reminded of how rich and expressive the walling tradition is in Britain , one which we are privileged to be part of here in Canada. I realized too how laying stone upon stone encompasses more than the simple act of building walls by hand, it builds connections in the heart by way of songs and verse.

If you want to order a CD and I heartily recommend you do write to Mary Goulder at