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Lyr Req: So Clear (Pentangle)

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Nick 05 Nov 04 - 11:52 AM
Nick 08 Nov 04 - 11:33 AM
GUEST,The Vulgar Boatman 08 Nov 04 - 05:26 PM
Joe Offer 09 Nov 04 - 03:03 AM
GUEST,The Vulgar Boatman 09 Nov 04 - 05:31 AM
Nick 09 Nov 04 - 05:58 AM
GUEST,The Vulgar Boatman 09 Nov 04 - 05:33 PM
Nick 09 Nov 04 - 07:28 PM
Pete Jennings 10 Nov 04 - 12:50 PM
Nick 11 Nov 04 - 11:15 AM
Pete Jennings 27 May 05 - 10:26 AM
GUEST 05 Jun 05 - 04:27 PM
GUEST,Jane 30 Jan 07 - 10:46 AM
GUEST,Jane 30 Jan 07 - 04:33 PM
GUEST,Guest, Ben 25 Apr 08 - 04:34 PM
GUEST 26 Apr 08 - 03:21 AM
van lingle 26 Apr 08 - 07:42 AM
GUEST,John 09 Feb 09 - 08:32 AM
Nick 09 Feb 09 - 03:39 PM
Nick 09 Feb 09 - 03:40 PM
GUEST,John 11 Feb 09 - 11:39 AM
GUEST,Iz 01 Mar 09 - 12:49 PM
Nick 01 Mar 09 - 05:06 PM
GUEST,Konrad 11 Jul 09 - 09:39 AM
Peace 11 Jul 09 - 11:00 AM
GUEST,JohnG 05 Jun 10 - 06:10 PM
GUEST,Ben 29 Jul 10 - 11:28 AM
Nick 29 Jul 10 - 01:18 PM
GUEST,uncleroc 24 Aug 10 - 07:44 PM
GUEST,moi 23 May 11 - 10:23 AM
GUEST,Gerry 23 May 11 - 07:08 PM
GUEST,MRF 28 Jul 13 - 07:47 PM
GUEST,keith 04 Nov 15 - 05:00 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: So Clear - missing some words
From: Nick
Date: 05 Nov 04 - 11:52 AM

Does anyone know the words to this?

Listening to it this is what I get but there is a line that eludes me and some bits (with ????) that I am unsure about -

SO CLEAR

It was in the rainy season
Waiting for the train
Leaving in the afternoon
All on your own again
Do you really understand it
Can you tell me why it is this way
Sad lady (???) at her portmanteau (???)
With no words left to say
(???) Saving (???) that it's only something
That could happen anyway

(???) Too loose, circus rider (???)
(???) Turn on your childish grace (???)
Shine on through the long black night
Go ride the dawn again
Your eyes are stars that sweetly twinkle
(???) Aureola round your head of flame (???)
Sad story that you cannot tell
Where no-one is to blame
And anyhow it's only something
Sure to come down with the rain

Would I could hear your song so clear
The words could touch the air
And catch the moons relection
In the colour of her hair
To ease this ache of loneliness
And ?????????????????

Even now I do remember
One thing more that is not told
Just a slightly twisted crystal (???) heart (???)
To keep you from the cold
All up the coast along the highway
Nobody there will know your name
So strange how things should work out now
Yet still remain the same
And even though you know there's nothing
That can ever really change



I also didn't realise this is a traditional song arranged by Pentangle - I had always thought it was written by John Renbourn


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: So Clear - missing some words
From: Nick
Date: 08 Nov 04 - 11:33 AM

Still stumped by the one line underneath. Surely someone, somewhere knows it? (Please :) )

Would I could hear your song so clear
The words could touch the air
And catch the moons relection
In the colour of her hair
To ease this ache of loneliness
And ?????????????????


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: So Clear - missing some words
From: GUEST,The Vulgar Boatman
Date: 08 Nov 04 - 05:26 PM

Nick
Try this - it's as near as I ever got. I still find the last line of the middle section nagging - trouble is I half remember other related topics from the sixties and it makes just enough sense to think it's right! As to traditional, I've always had my doubts; just what part of the tradition (given obviously twentieth century references) could it come from? Any further info welcome as it ranks among my favourite songs.

KYBTTS
It was in the rainy season,waiting for the train
Leaving in the afternoon,all on your own again
Do you really understand it
Can you tell me why it is this way
Sad lady and her portmanteau with no words left to say
Saving that it's only something that could happen anyway

Toulouse, circus rider, turn on your childish grin
Shine all through the long black night,go ride the dawn again
Your eyes are stars that sweetly twinkle
Aureoled around your head of flame
Sad story that you cannot tell where no-one is to blame
And anyhow it's only something sure to come down with the rain

Would I could hear your song so clear
The words could touch the air
And catch the moon's reflection in the colour of her hair
To ease this ache of loneliness
And blind the fishes stare…

Even now I do remember one thing more that is not told
Just a slightly twisted crystal heart to keep you from the cold
All at the coast along the highway
Nobody there will know your name
So strange how things should work out now yet still remain the same
And even so you know there's nothing that can ever really change


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Subject: So Clear - missing some words (Pentangle)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 09 Nov 04 - 03:03 AM

I agree -mostly- with the transcription from Vulgar boatman, with two exceptions:

Second verse:
Sad lady and her portmanteau with no words left to say
Saving that it's only something that can happen any day

fourth (?)
Would I could hear your song so clear
The words could touch the air
And catch the moon's reflection in the colour of her hair
To ease this ache of loneliness
[And blind the fishes stare… - I have no idea, but it doesn't sound like blind fishes to me]


The CD booklet from the Pentangle Light Flight anthology says the song is "traditional, arranged by Jansch, Renbourn, Thompson, Cox, & McShee." I really can't believe it's traditional. Nice song, though.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: So Clear - missing some words
From: GUEST,The Vulgar Boatman
Date: 09 Nov 04 - 05:31 AM

Nope - I'm not happy with it either. I'll put the cans on today and try to decipher the last remaining mystery...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: So Clear - missing some words
From: Nick
Date: 09 Nov 04 - 05:58 AM

Thanks both. I have posted the same on John Renbourn's site in the forum there so who knows I might get a definitive answer.

The 'blind fishes' line is so hard to pick out but "blind fishes" is as plausible as anything - 'vicious stare' has been suggested or ' ---- despair' but goodness knows - I must admit to hearing a 'bl..' sound in that line.

I have always liked the song, arrangement, guitar part etc but is it strange to like a song when you have no real clue what it's about? Anyway I'll try to perform it tomorrow and no doubt crack up when I get to the fishes line :) or perhaps mumble it...

If I get anything definitive from the other site I will let you know.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: So Clear - missing some words
From: GUEST,The Vulgar Boatman
Date: 09 Nov 04 - 05:33 PM

Had another listen...

"Blind the fisher's stare" perhaps. Definitely blind, ditto stare...what's in the middle or WHY? And if so, who or what was the Fisher? Anybody know how to contact John Renbourn for heaven's sake?

KYBTTS


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: So Clear - missing some words
From: Nick
Date: 09 Nov 04 - 07:28 PM

>>Anybody know how to contact John Renbourn for heaven's sake?

Currently touring with Jacqui McShee


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: So Clear - missing some words
From: Pete Jennings
Date: 10 Nov 04 - 12:50 PM

There's some dates missing from that tour list. They are playing at the Hitchin FC on Dec 5th.

I'll email the organisers - friends of mine - and see if we can get a response or a communication path via them.

I'm pretty sure it was written by him. On "Reflection", the original vinyl (I got 'em all!), it is credited to "Pentangle", which usually means Bert wrote it and they all helped to arrange it. But this isn't a Bert song and I'm sure I remember at a concert him intoducing it as one of John's.

Pete


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Subject: Lyr Add: SO CLEAR (John Renbourn)
From: Nick
Date: 11 Nov 04 - 11:15 AM

Definitive version! Had a response from a guy called Robert from the forum on John Renbourn's site as follows -

"According to "JR Songs For Guitar Book 2" this song has words and music by the members of Pentangle.
The line at the end of the chorus is "... and blind the fishes stare."
In verse 1 "portmanteau" not portmantle and the last words are "... any day".

What's it about? No idea."

So the actual is:

SO CLEAR

It was in the rainy season
Waiting for the train
Leaving in the afternoon
All on your own again
Do you really understand it
Can you tell me why it is this way
Sad lady and her portmanteau
With no words left to say
Saving that it's only something
That could happen any day

Toulouse, circus rider
Turn on your childish grin
Shine on through the long black night
Go ride the dawn again
Your eyes are stars that sweetly twinkle
Aureola round your head of flame
Sad story that you cannot tell
Where no-one is to blame
And anyhow it's only something
Sure to come down with the rain

Would I could hear your song so clear
The words could touch the air
And catch the moons relection
In the colour of her hair
To ease this ache of loneliness
And blind the fishes stare

Even now I do remember
One thing more that is not told
Just a slightly twisted crystal heart
To keep you from the cold
All up the coast along the highway
Nobody there will know your name
So strange how things should work out now
Yet still remain the same
And even though you know there's nothing
That can ever really change

************

So now I know what the actual line is I may be able to sing it without falling about in uncontrollable laughter like I did last night when I got to that line.


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Subject: Lyr/Chords Add: SO CLEAR (John Renbourn)
From: Pete Jennings
Date: 27 May 05 - 10:26 AM

Got a belated response from John via Hitchin Folk Club. The words above are correct, and here the chords are below.

Pete


D                A/C#
It was in the rain - y season
Bm             F#
Waiting for the train
Bm             E
Leaving in the afternoon
    C#(sus4)       F#(sus4) F#
All on your own a - gain
E                     Bm7
Do you really under - stand it?
       E                      Bm7
Can you tell me why it is this way?
    A    D   A   G         D
Sad lady and her portman - teau
    Bm               Em
With no words left to say
Gmaj7                D
Saving that it's only something
A/C#    Bm         E
That can happen any day


Chorus

D    A             G
Would I could hear a song so clear
    Dmaj7             A/C#
The words could touch the air
    F#m                   Bm7
And catch the moon's re - flection
       E               G
In the colour of her hair
   A                G
To ease this ache of loneliness
    Dmaj7            A/C# Bm    E
And blind the fish - es'   stare


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: So Clear (Pentangle)
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Jun 05 - 04:27 PM

A lovely if slightly melancholy song, though some of the words are hard to make out I can't believe the words, at least, are traditional; I don't think it says this on my copy of the album.

I always associate with a time (about August 1972 I think) when my grandmother was very ill and was not expected to live, but she actually recovered well and lived until the end of August 1979, dying peacefully in her sleep at the age of, I think, 98!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: So Clear (Pentangle)
From: GUEST,Jane
Date: 30 Jan 07 - 10:46 AM

The words cited by Nick, 4th Nov. are correct.
I have the original vinyl album purchased on release and spent many hours decyphering the lyrics.
I used to play the album over and over in 1973 whilst I was hand sewing my wedding dress. So track one was very pertinent.
So Clear is a beautiful song. Definately not traditional, I'm sure I've seen it credited to John R with input from Bert.

Jane


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: So Clear (Pentangle)
From: GUEST,Jane
Date: 30 Jan 07 - 04:33 PM

Oh no, I've just realised, there are a couple of incorrect words.

In the first verse the last line should be:
"That CAN happen any day"

In the last verse the penultimate line should be:
"And even SO you know there's nothing"

Cheers

Jen


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: So Clear (Pentangle)
From: GUEST,Guest, Ben
Date: 25 Apr 08 - 04:34 PM

Chords have been hard to figure out, thanks...
I always assumed it was a Renbourne-only song since I believe that Bert does not play on the recording.
It would be interesting to hear the traditional song it's based upon, if indeed there is one...
Cheers,
Ben


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: So Clear (Pentangle)
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Apr 08 - 03:21 AM

thanks for the chords. Great song. Ive wondered over the past few days listening to it if it was indeed traditional or not.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: So Clear (Pentangle)
From: van lingle
Date: 26 Apr 08 - 07:42 AM

Wow, thanks to all the contributors here. I've taken numerous stabs at decipering the chords and lyrics to this beautiful song over the decades and now here they are.


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Subject: Chords Add: SO CLEAR (Pentangle)
From: GUEST,John
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 08:32 AM

JR Songs for Guitar Book 2 ISBN 086001-215-8 Oak Publications/Pentangle Music Ltd. Strangely no date.

"So Clear is life through the eyes of Too-Loose, circus rider who never went further than a canvas propped against the wall of a New York hotel room. I used to play this on an old Martin that was lent to me for a while, which really made the most of the bass notes". JR

Definitely credited to all members of Pentangle.

Lyrics by Nick are correct, if you add Jane's corrections - "can" and "so". However, JR says "Tooloose" rather than "Toulouse" and
"Would I could hear A song so clear", rather than "YOUR song". Finally there are a couple of text differences between what is written in the songbook and what John actually sings:
1 "A slightly twisted crystal heart" - there's definitely a "just" at the beginning of that line.
2 "On up along the coast". Like Nick, I heard "All up".

Chords by Pete are correct, except the C#(sus4) is a C#7(sus4), the final chord of the verse is a E7 rather than an E and in the chorus after "touch the air" there is a Bm before the F#m.

Intro:
|D / A/C#|Bm7 / E9|Gmaj7 / /|D / /|
"left to say" followed by |A7sus4 / A7|
Break:
|G / /|D / A/C#|Bm7 / E9|Gmaj7 / /|D / /| (first 2 times)
4th time
|G / /|D / A/C#|Bm7 / E9|Gmaj7 / /|/ / /|Em / / |A7sus4 / /|Gmaj7 / /|/ / /

The songbook has musical notation and detailed tablature.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: So Clear (Pentangle)
From: Nick
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 03:39 PM

I have only sung it about twice since so I must have another go sometime soon. Interesting as to what it's about.

I found singing it in D was hard so play it in C instead. Most of the guitar part and twiddly bits work equally well.

I was reminded of this the other day on another thread which maintained that JR always played an acoustic and fingerpicked. I seem to remember him playing an electric (or semi acoustic) on this live. Sure it was on something like the Old Grey Whistle Test or similar eons ago.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: So Clear (Pentangle)
From: Nick
Date: 09 Feb 09 - 03:40 PM

Horrible thought - 4 and a bit years ago that I started this thread. Who knows where the time goes?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: So Clear (Pentangle)
From: GUEST,John
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 11:39 AM

I can't seem to lay my hands on it at the moment to confirm but I'm pretty sure that the first Renbourn songbook has a photo of him playing a hollow-bodied electric. He's also credited as playing sitar on a few songs.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: So Clear (Pentangle)
From: GUEST,Iz
Date: 01 Mar 09 - 12:49 PM

Wow! Thank you so much for starting this thread. I just happened to be looking for this and found it right away through you guys. You just saved me four years!;p Thanks a million to all of you. Thank you also for the isbn!

Cheers!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: So Clear (Pentangle)
From: Nick
Date: 01 Mar 09 - 05:06 PM

There is a Guitar Tab - if you have Guitar Pro 3 or later - here which is good.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: So Clear (Pentangle)
From: GUEST,Konrad
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 09:39 AM

I must have put it on my top 1000 songs on my Ipod, way back when.
Because of the shuffle-function it only comes around every ONCE in a long while.
I could understand WHY I put it in the list... but couldn't remember who was the artist, let alone the song's name!
Because I was driving my car I made a mental note to look it up when I got home... now months later iTunes happened to select "randomly" the song... So Clear - Pentangle - Light Flight

First hit on google brought me to your string to get the lyrics and the chords. Many Thanks! I now HAVE to get out my guitar and play it.

Many Thanks Again!

Konrad


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: So Clear (Pentangle)
From: Peace
Date: 11 Jul 09 - 11:00 AM

Found the following on the www. Google

pequeños discos rojos en una caja negra: Pentangle - "Reflection ...

It was in the rainy season
waiting for the train,
leaving in the afternoon
all on your own again
Do you really understand it?
Can you tell me why it is this way?
Sad lady and her portmanteau
with no words left to say,
saving that it's only something
that can happen any day

Toulouse, circus rider,
turn on your childish grin,
shine on through the long black night,
go ride the dawn again
Your eyes are stars that sweetly twinkle,
aureola round your head of flame,
sad story that you cannot tell
where no-one is to blame
And anyhow it's only something
sure to come down with the rain

Would I could hear your song so clear
the words could touch the air
and catch the moon's reflection
in the colour of her hair
to ease this ache of loneliness
and blind the fishes stare

Even now I do remember
one thing more that is not told,
just a slightly twisted crystal heart
to keep you from the cold
All up the coast along the highway,
nobody there will know your name,
so strange how things should work out now
yet still remain the same,
and even so you know there's nothing
that can ever really change


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: So Clear (Pentangle)
From: GUEST,JohnG
Date: 05 Jun 10 - 06:10 PM

I do believe Bert Jansch plays piano on the track!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: So Clear (Pentangle)
From: GUEST,Ben
Date: 29 Jul 10 - 11:28 AM

Surreal how I wrote a message 2 years ago saying "I don't think Bert is on the recording." Don't think I've visited the site since! Can't wait to try out the latest chords (ie the ones from '09)...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: So Clear (Pentangle)
From: Nick
Date: 29 Jul 10 - 01:18 PM

I sang this a few weeks back - it's a long time ago I strated this thread


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: So Clear (Pentangle)
From: GUEST,uncleroc
Date: 24 Aug 10 - 07:44 PM

after many listens it seems to me "Sad lady and her portmanteau"
is "sad lady at her 'partment door" which would make a whole lot
more sense in the song. just my observation. great song, perfect album.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: So Clear (Pentangle)
From: GUEST,moi
Date: 23 May 11 - 10:23 AM

Definitely it's a "porte-manteau" - a coat hanger in French. I had the song book with this song (which has now disappeared) and I clearly remember this word. Sorry!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: So Clear (Pentangle)
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 23 May 11 - 07:08 PM

Does anyone else think it's odd that a song with the name "So Clear" is anything but?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: So Clear (Pentangle)
From: GUEST,MRF
Date: 28 Jul 13 - 07:47 PM

I have always loved this song since the day it came out. All my Pentangle vinyl went to the girl friend. Listening to some Pentangle these decades later (on CD), I longed to hear this again and went googling to find the title & and the line about the Toulouse circus rider (now TooLoose?)- and here is this post. Just wanted to say thanks, and note as another has that even if the thread does not get updated very often, it is still valuable to us all.

Thanks again - mrf


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: So Clear (Pentangle)
From: GUEST,keith
Date: 04 Nov 15 - 05:00 PM

I always thought it was

"Blind, officious stare"


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