Originally written late on the night of 6th October 1980 in my cottage in Llanfair Caereinion under the heady influence of a cocktail mix of Greenall Whitley Wem Brewery beer and marijuana. Actually the idea to write a song came from a friend at that time called Mike Feldman whom I had met at the Philadelphia Folk Festival that summer and who had travelled to Wales with me for something to do. We both sat down to write songs. He wrote four lines and threw them away. I wrote Harvest. Songwriting is like that sometimes. I've certainly destroyed more songs than I've kept. This song has undergone transitions in tune since it's original conception, but the words have remained constant. For those listeners not used to the influence of Bob Hope the deer in this song is planet Earth!



The autumn sun across the hills, belies the winter's storm,

Where rabbits run the poachers gun, the dappled fawn lies still,

Brittle nostril flare the fear that lies within the mind,

The harvest has been taken in, where all is left is time.


The feet tread roughly in the turf, the breath is hard and deep,

The fawn again must ere remain, the hunter smells his kill,

As from the lofty eyrie heights, the eagles mock to call,

The harvest has been taken in, where time is left for all.


Such sweetness on a breeze of hope, such tenderness within,

Such finger cocks the last firelock where shoulder take the strain,

Can it be the outstretched arm can cause such grief and strife,

The harvest has been taken in, where time is left for life.


But winter treads in hope today, the chill of last despair,

As gun rings out the forests shout, the murder fills the air,

A world lies bleeding soon to die, mankind the only crime,

The harvest has been taken in where life is left for time.


© Joe Stead - Sweet Folk All October 1980

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