One guitar, two voices, spoken word, singing and music woven seamlessly together ... completely original, completely rooted material ... a little band with a stripped-down sound and a huge, eclectic vision. You haven't heard anything quite like this before.


Shonaleigh is a singer and Drytsyla (Jewish storyteller) who performs all over the world. By day Simon is probably the only lecturer in storytelling in any English university; by night he's an "awesome" storyteller and unique, influential songwriter deeply influenced by British folk song. They met in the famous Grapes Inn in Sheffield and in 2006 they embarked on a mission to bring song and spoken word together for a wider audience. They have performed together all over the UK.


Ethlin in the Tower

Written By: Simon Heywood

I am a lighthouse, both death and safe harbour Locked fast in each other’s embrace: I watch alone from the tower on the headland, I see all, feel nothing, the walls are of glass:
There is death in my glance, and I live in death’s shadow,
My life is a flickering flame:
I have rounded and rounded the walls of my prison
Till scarcely a flicker remains.

For my father is death, and these are his empires,
The cliffs and the stones of the tower:
And he tosses and turns: his fears are my fetters,
Which grow with our weakness and each passing hour,
And I am his child, and the life he has chosen
To take, as if living his own,
And I, like a child, have chosen to give it,
Too frightened to live it alone.

But the sea sends a queen each night to my dreaming:
She waits at the foot of the bed:
And three of her children, and two of them drowning,
The third is a boy with the sun at his head:
I have questioned the women my father set over me,
They answer with silence and shame:
But under the tides the morning is moving
And soon I shall give him his name.

For I have walked out in the fields and the forests
And danced upon stone in the air:
And I have met many who would have confined me
But none I’d have lead me or follow me there:
I have listened to many who called themselves heroes,
Neglected a few who were wise:
And now it’s my wish that none should confine me,
Either with love, or with truth, or with lies.

And so I shall watch from the tower on the headland
Whose windows look out to the sea:
And so I shall sit by the fire in the corner,
The fool and the care of this fine company,
And I’ll watch like a hawk for the news from the mainland
And when it comes in I’ll away,
And look for the child with the sun at his shoulder,
And see how the East it is grey.

Of All the Faiths

Written By: Simon Heywood

Of all the faiths I ever held
There is not one I've not betrayed
The wreckage left in each retreat
Makes all the sense I ever made
An overlap of shifting shadows
Promise of constancy constantly remade

Till everything I am and say and do
being a pledge of faith in me
becomes all empty too,
the earth, the sky, me like a wraith
borrowing an empty body in bad faith
walking on empty surfaces to you.

You are the last in that long line
quickly made quickly betrayed
and what's the future but the past
endlessly senselessly replayed
like a scratched record never playing through
I have no mast to nail my colours to

Of all the faiths I ever held
a bit of each I have kept by
the wreckage left in each retreat
may make some beauty by and by
if I can trace the labyrinth right through
I need no mast to nail my colours to

Of all the faiths I ever held
you are the one that has remained
the light that shines upon the road
at last has form and face and name
and as we trace the winding road on through
I hail the light that shines my colours through


2006 Debut LP "AT613."

Set List

Flexible but usually 2 x 45 minute sets based on Simon's original songs and covers of traditional songs, mostly from the British Isles, with spoken word based on traditional storytelling and some instrumental music.