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Where Ravens Feed

[Graeme Miles]

Martyn Wyndham-Read sang Where Ravens Feed as the title track of his 2001 Fellside CD of songs of Graeme Miles, Where Ravens Fees. Graeme Miles commented in his liner notes:

I'm ashamed to say that I have only ever walked in the Lake District on two occasions and it was on my second visit whilst walking in Honister Pass near Seatoller when I saw, high over the fell, what I assumed was a raven, it seemed to large to be a carrion crow. When I eventually came to put the song to paper, at some stage I was reminded of the writing of the prophet, Jeremiah, where he describes the life of Elijah in the Valley of Cherith, the passage reads: “And the ravens themselves were bringing him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening and from the torrent valley he kept drinking!” (1 Kings 17:6).

After walking several hundred more miles back and forth across the North York Moors over a period of three or four years and re-working the piece countless time with a variety of titles, I eventually, late in 1972, settled on this version.

Hector Gilchrist sang Where Ravens Feed in 2018 on his WildGoose CD Gleanings. He noted:

Martyn Wyndham-Read did us all a great favour when he approached Graeme asking for permission to collaborate and record a volume of his songs which resulted in the Fellside production Where Ravens Fees. The song has become a favourite classic amongst the Folk Community and a continuing tribute to the talent of the late Graeme and his many wonderful songs.

Lyrics

Martyn Wyndham-Read sings Where Ravens Feed

I roam and ramble in lonely places, all in the coolness of the rain,
Over rolling hill and rugged mountains, over sandy heath and grassy plain;
And should you ask, am I contented? I'd answer, “Yes, oh, yes indeed”,
For my love it is for lonely places where springs leap down, where ravens feed.

I seek and find these lonely places where bounds the hare, and deer run
Over crags of grey and mossy boulders, shaded from the morning sun;
And should you ask, am I at ease there? I'd answer, “Yes, oh, yes indeed”,
For my heart it dwells in lonely places where springs leap down, where ravens feed.

I yearn and long for lonely places where hunts the fox and badgers play,
Where midnight stars are at their brightest, where snow lies deep where mists hang grey;
And should you ask, am I at home there? I'd answer, “Yes, oh, yes indeed”,
For my desires are for lonely places where springs leap down, where ravens feed.

I lose myself in lonely places on heathered moor and bracken fell,
And with the wind hold conversation. It always has so much to tell;
And should you ask, am I at ease there? I'd answer, “Yes, oh, yes indeed”,
For I'll always need these lonely places where springs leap down, where ravens feed.