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Hanging by a Hair

by Playing Rapunzel

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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Playing Rapunzel's long awaited second album. In elegant and eco-friendly packaging featuring beautiful artwork by Beckett Gladney.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Hanging by a Hair via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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Nine hundred and ninety nine nights Forty two turns of the moon I knew then that one night the well would run dry I know now that night will come soon Nine hundred and ninety nine nights Tonight, and tomorrow, and then I'll see the moon rise for the third and last time As my spool of tales comes to its end. (Chorus:) Only three left, and there's power in threes: In the stories I tell, there's never a doubt That the third one is different, the third one has magic But what will I do, where will I be What will become of me when the stories run out? Nine hundred and ninety nine nights Three summers, three springs and two falls The long endless nights of three frozen winters And those were the hardest of all Nine hundred and ninety nine nights Too spellbound to touch me at first I told him the tale of the faithful young daughter Who knew that her marriage was cursed. (Chorus) Three hundred and five when my firstborn arrived That night was the tale of the morning star rising at dawn Six hundred and twenty – my second son came I told of the tale of the moon ever chasing the sun Nine hundred and seven – the smallest of three That night came the noble adventures of three brothers brave He sleeps at my breast, but there's power in threes And who knows what this third one might save? Nine hundred and ninety nine nights The fear with each story's last breath Was this tale as good as the ones gone before it – Enough still to keep me from death? Nine hundred and ninety nine nights Three silver coins left still to spend The last one's the tale of the girl who told stories And who knows how this one will end?
Lizukha 04:20
Lizhukhshka, krasnaya, umnaya malenkaya lyssa (Chorus:) Run on little fox, cunning fox, red fox run on through the trees through the woods all night leave my love sweet love one love true love to come home sweet home by the day's first light Winter night falls on the forest snow and silence, nothing stirs moonlight catches two bright eyes a flash of white-tipped tail between the firs Young man riding through the forest galloping on through the night man and horse approach the clearing suddenly the horse rears up in fright (Chorus) Forest maiden stands before him loose long hair of flaming red swirling skirts the hue of cherries silken cloak of finest crimson thread Young man rears the horse to standstill mesmerised by eyes so bright smells the honey on her lips she smiles - and her teeth are oh so white... (Chorus) She beckons him with bone-white fingers he reaches out, lost in desire moonlight catches on his ring he drops his hand as if it is on fire Young man knows now who he's seeing knows this is no maiden fair knows the red fox from the stories Lizhukha, drawing young men to her lair (Chorus) Lizhukhshka, krasnaya, umnaya malenkaya lyssa
Phantom Doll 04:04
Freefall 03:41
She’s put away all her mirrors now she’s down to just one pair of shoes she pins up her hair to hide the grey and maybe she’d choose differently if she could still choose It’s all so normal now, each day and night - she once thought it was so exciting her feet hurt now when she tries to dance the sea calls to her at night and its voice is so inviting She hasn’t been unlucky, and life hasn’t been unkind. She’s enjoyed forty years of the world she came to find. And it knows it was her choice that this should come to be – but some nights she longs for the sea. And when the moon is full and the tides are pulling stronger she knows that she can bear these chains of earth no longer she longs to run down to the shore kick off her shoes strip down to her skin and dive in And let the sea surround her, take her in its arms lose herself completely in its waves and in its charms be one with the salt water, let it set her free give herself back to the sea She’s put away all her mirrors now she’s down to just one pair of shoes she pins up her hair to hide the grey and maybe she’d choose differently if she could still choose
Rows and flows of angel hair And ice cream castles in the air And feather canyons everywhere I've looked at clouds that way But now they only block the sun They rain and snow on everyone So many things I would have done But clouds got in my way I've looked at clouds from both sides now From up and down and still somehow It's clouds’ illusions I recall I really don't know clouds at all Moons and Junes and Ferris wheels The dizzy dancing way you feel As every fairy tale comes real I've looked at love that way But now it's just another show You leave 'em laughing when you go And if you care, don't let them know Don't give yourself away I've looked at love from both sides now From give and take and still somehow It's love's illusions I recall I really don't know love at all Tears and fears and feeling proud, To say "I love you" right out loud Dreams and schemes and circus crowds I've looked at life that way But now old friends they're acting strange They shake their heads, they say I've changed Well something's lost, but something's gained In living every day. I've looked at life from both sides now From win and lose and still somehow It's life's illusions I recall I really don't know life at all
Galehaut 05:13
Your eyes are alight with the bonfire tonight you’re thinking of love her name in your sighs as you finish your wine and your pain is a knife, oh, your pain is a knife you wonder what bends two strong men to the wills of a war what makes us come out here and put life and heart on the line king and country king and queen and country my country for my queen Galehaut (You say) isn’t it great to never have known what it is to despair to be dying for one whom you never can tell, one who never can know, no, they never can know I bet back at home all the girls come and fall at your feet so handsome, so brave, so everything anyone ever could need all the women all the beautiful women calling out your name Galehaut You pull yourself up and you hurl down your cup in the embers that burn say lucky the man who has never known love that cannot be returned my lips remain sealed as I’m left to stare into the flames you say what would I do without you who just listens and shares in my pain friend and brother so much more than brother goodnight my friend Galehaut Your eyes are alight with the bonfire tonight you’re thinking of love
I am the flaw in the tea-bowl I will not dance death I will not lie down here in peace And release my last breath All of our hopes have been cast on the reefs and are gone Still my salt blood reaches out for the sky Still my warm song touches notes clear and high Outward I go and I know I will fly a new dawn Starship and Haiku Dying hate and living love Reach beyond our sin Starship and Haiku One last flawed reminder of All we might have been I am a discord in deathsong I cannot be still I am an infinite paean a permanent trill I am a leap to the stars I am song to the sky Always I shun the bleak burial grounds Always I listen for life's vibrant sounds Always my hollow-reed heartbeat resounds with its cry
Ophelia 03:19
I stand before the water and I think of my beloved how it scares me how it scares me to be leaving him behind now and I think he’d be surprised to find me sounding so coherent find me sound of mind and body when he thought me long-surrendered to the cruel grip of madness like a stone that sinks in water and the water and the water calls me in I stand before the water and I look at my reflection see the empty-eyed young woman see the wilting bunch of flowers there is rosemary for remembering there are pansies for the thinking will he think, will he remember or dismiss it all as fancy and I drop them one by one and send them floating in the water and the water and the water calls me in And I thought it would be kinder if they thought it wasn’t me thought a force beyond my power was the one that drove my hand And I tried so hard to find a way some other way to go but my footsteps always take me to the water… I stand before the water and and I find myself a woman standing naked for the first time with her lover, and I step in and I find myself a small girl jumping joyful in a puddle and I sink in and I find myself an infant in the darkness of the womb that holds her gently and I’m safe now in the water and the water and the water calls me in
Middle Ages 05:48
Robin walks down to the place by the river when once he first kissed his maid fair. He stoops down and frowns at his face in the water, (and) thinks “Lovely, another grey hair. Is it time that I hung up my bow and my quiver? Have I uttered my very last ‘Stand and deliver!’?” but the breeze breaks the glass with a rippling shiver and he looks, but he’s no longer there. Marian slowly walks down through the forest her long silver hair in a braid. “Am I still the girl that the legends have sung of?” she wonders, and feels herself fade. “Is it time to step down from a younger girl’s throne? I was too busy living to see how time’s flown - the silent glissando from maiden to crone.” Is she ready? Or is she afraid? And down at the inn all the merry men gather in their musty and quaint Sunday best. They’re raising their tankards to old Friar Tuck whose bones they have just laid to rest. And Little John leans down to Alan-a-Dale whose shaking hands never stopped strumming, says “somehow each one of us knew this must come, and somehow not one saw it coming…” The village’s children run in with a whoop In their minds, time is endless and vast Robin and Marian look at themselves in a mirror that points to the past: at the young girls and boys with their chirruping cries with their bows in their hands and with stars in their eyes and, oh, how those smiles take their hearts by surprise! And they know that the legends will last. Robin Hood sinks into Marian’s eyes where the crows’ feet touch kindness and light. she tells him “The rich are still rich, but the poor, oh, they’re richer by far for your fight.” And the pipe and the tabor ring out through the woods, the fire’s kept burning, and everything’s good and Marian’s hand closes round Robin Hood’s as they slowly walk into the night.
The Lady 06:03


released October 1, 2017

All Playing Rapunzel tracks recorded, edited and mixed by Sean Woodlock at Hackney Road Studios. Produced by Playing Rapunzel and Sean Woodlock. Guest performer tracks recorded by Martin Gordon-Kerr and Guy Schalom. Artwork and layout by Beckett Gladney.

Playing Rapunzel are Mich Sampson and Marilisa Valtazanou.


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Playing Rapunzel Ilford, UK

Playing Rapunzel (Mich Sampson and Marilisa Valtazanou) are an energetic folk duo who share, in powerful harmony, songs of story and myth.

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