David Ferrard

David Ferrard

 Edinburgh, Scotland, GBR
BandFolkSinger/Songwriter

Scottish-American David Ferrard has been described as 'a one-man transatlantic session'. An award-winning singer of original and traditional folk material, his sound is reminiscent of 60s folk, as he fuses meaningful words with accessible tunes.

Biography

Born to a Scottish father and an American mother, David Ferrard is a veritable 'one-man transatlantic session'. He broke onto the British folk scene in 2006 with his rootsy folk songs which, whilst contemporary, evoke the 60s folk revival when singer-songwriters original output blended with traditional material. His strong, catchy melodies and commitment to social issues make his music both accessible and meaningful.

David's songwriting has been compared to Woody Guthrie & Tom Paxton, and his sweet, crystal vocals to John Denver & James Taylor, winning him several awards (Celtic Connections 2006, Burnsong 2007).

David performs with his guitar both solo and with other instrumentalists. Wherever David plays he attracts new fans and often sells out venues. His show Scottish Folk Roots & Offshoots sold out 24 consecutive nights at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2007.

David's songs are covered by other artists including Roy Bailey, Sheena Wellington, and Michelle Burke (Cherish The Ladies).

David has recently supported Richie Havens, Richard Thompson, Roy Bailey, Julie Felix and The Handsome Family.

David runs a songwriting project and label, Songs For Change, www.songsforchange.com. In 2007 he produced and released Not In Our Name, featuring Eliza Gilkyson, Dick Gaughan, Mark Erelli, Rory McLeod, and eleven other artists.

Lyrics

Hills Of Virginia

Written By: David Ferrard

They came out of nowhere to the hills of Virginia;
I just turned sixteen.
They talked of our nation needing protection
And adventure I’d never seen.
So I signed the papers,
I got my training,
Then they called me to fight,
But all I could think of were the hills of Virginia
When we landed that night.

We came and we conquered like a tornado
Our mission was quick and bold.
I wasn’t gonna be sad to say bye to Baghdad,
But then we were told:
‘Some of you here will be here for some years;
Better treat it like home.’
But my heart was back in the hills of Virginia,
They were calling me home.

Every night I’d go back to my days as a boy.
When I’d wake with the sun my weapons were no longer toys.

Over the months they came out of nowhere,
Those invisible men,
Bombing our tanks, shelling our camps,
Each night we counted our dead.
A buddy of mine stepped on a mine;
His body just disappeared.
He never returned to those hills of Virginia;
All they buried were tears.

Now back on the porch in the hills of Virginia
I often stare at the sky.
Each star’s a buddy lost to the desert,
As I count them I cry.
And every year
When those men reappear,
They call me out me to address
A new generation to protect our nation,
America’s best.

Visions Of Our Youth

Written By: David Ferrard

When we were young
We had a dream
We marched through the streets
Flags unfurled
And for a moment
Or so it seemed
We were able
To change the world

We had visions
Bold and bright
We had voices
That rang through the night
Dreams of peace
And brotherhood
Visions of our youth

When my children
Ask me questions
What was the music like
Did you go to jail?
As I remember
The songs and the struggle
The dreams become real again
The spirit prevails:

We had visions
Bold and bright
We had voices
That rang through the night
Dreams of peace
And brotherhood
Visions of our youth

And now the drums
Of war are beating
And fear is spread
Across our TV screens
I turn to my children
I hear them speaking
‘Wake up dad
This isn’t a dream’

We have visions
Bold and bright
We have voices
That ring through the night
Dreams of peace
And sisterhood
Visions of our youth

We have visions
Bold and bright
We have voices
That ring through the night
Dreams of peace
And sisterhood
Visions of our youth

Take Me Out Waltzing Tonight

Written By: David Ferrard

Take me out waltzing tonight
The moon is full with a beckoning light
It’s been years since my fancy took flight
So come on romance me
Say that you'll dance with me
Take me out waltzing tonight

The kids are upstairs tucked up tight
Pirates and ponies fill their young minds
When the clock strikes seven
They’ll eagerly rise
So come on thrill me
Say that you will be
Taking me waltzing tonight

Your arm chair is comfy, your bottle is full
You and I darling got years to grow old
How could you leave me alone in the cold?
So take me out waltzing tonight

Our best days are over
According to who?
Say it enough
I might think that it's true
Still of all the partners I’ve danced with it’s you
I want to waltz me tonight

Take me out waltzing tonight

The Slave's Lament

Written By: Robert Burns (1792)

It was in sweet Senegal
Where my foes did me enthral
For the lands of Virginia, -ginia, O
Torn from that lovely shore
I must never see it more
And alas, I am weary, O

All on that charming coast
There's no bitter snow or frost
Like these lands of Virginia, -ginia O
There streams forever flow
And the flowers forever blow
And alas, I am weary, O

This burden I must bear
And this cruel scourge I fear
In these lands of Virginia, -ginia, O
When I think of friends most dear
With a bitter, bitter tear
And alas, I am weary, O

My Dearest Dear

Written By: Traditional

My dearest dear the time draws near
When you and I must part,
And no one knows the inner grief
Of my poor aching heart,
Or what I suffered for your sake.
The one I love most dear.
I wish that I could go with you
Or you might tarry here.

I wish your breast was made of glass
And in it I'd behold
My name in secret I would write
In letters of bright gold.
My name in secret I would write,
Believe me when I say
You are the one I love the best
Unto my dying day.

The blackest crow that ever flew
Would change its colour white
If ever I prove false to you
Bright day would turn to night.
Bright day would turn to night my love
The elements would mourn
If ever I prove false to you
The seas would rage and burn.

O my old mother's hard to leave,
My father's on my mind,
But for your sake I'll go with you
And leave them all behind.
Yes for your sake I'll go with you,
O mother, fare you well,
For fear I'll see you never more,
While we on earth do dwell.

And when you're on some distant shore
Think on your absent friend,
And when the winds blow high and clear
A line to me pray send.
Yes when the winds blow high and clear
Pray send it love to me,
So I might know by your handwrite
How time it goes with thee.

The Hour Of Plenty

Written By: David Ferrard

Whose little hands sew these silver hems
Whose house and home are cut down for this wood
How many mountains are toppled for these gems
And sold as luxury goods?

So few could live the hour of plenty
Reside in palaces of gold
And turn their backs on so many
Whose lives are bought and sold?

There rise factories where dreams enter and fade
There thrive plantations whose slaves were never freed
There connive boardrooms where millions can be made
Off blood, sweat and tears
They feed

So few could live the hour of plenty
Reside in palaces of gold
And turn their backs on so many
Whose lives are bought and sold

Here collapse mines which kept the young at home
Here crumble mills, silent, empty shells
Here languish farms, unworked and overgrown
Throughout this land rings the knell

So few could live the hour of plenty
Reside in palaces of gold
And turn their backs on so many
Whose lives are bought and sold

Discography

Broken Sky (Flamingo West) - 2008

David's debut album, Broken Sky, released in March 2008, was named Album Of The Week by BBC Radio Scotland, Celtic Music Radio, and The Sunday Herald.

Broken Sky was recorded at Glasgow's prestigious Ca Va Sounds, produced by Brian Young (John Martyn, Runrig), featuring Karine Polwart, Alan Thomson (Pentangle), Josh Goforth, James Ross and other special guests.

Songs from David's album have been played on various BBC programmes including: Travelling Folk, Iain Anderson, Radio Borders; Celtic Music Radio, PM, and others.

David will be releasing his second album, Across The Troubled Wave, a collection of Scottish and American folk songs, in July 2009.

Set List

David both headlines gigs and frequently supports other artists (Richard Thompson, Richie Havens, Roy Bailey). He can play one song or a couple hours' material. David's sets are made up predominantly of his own material, though depending on the gig he can and likes to incorporate traditional material (Scottish & Appalachian ballads) and classic folk songs (Burns, Guthrie, Leadbelly) into his sets.

A typical 90 minute gig would be:

Here we stand

Take Me Out Waltzing Tonight

Dimitri's Pocket Radio

Follow The Drinking Gourd (traditional)

The Slave's Lament (Robert Burns)

The Hour Of Plenty

One Hell of a Ride

Broken Sky

Peace Call (Woody Guthrie)

Radio Blues

Without a Daddy

Rain

Rescue Me

Henry Martin (traditional)

My Dearest Dear (traditional)

The Promise

Never Let Go

Hills of Virginia

Visions of Our Youth