The Winding Stream – Bluegrass Ballad

Words and Music by Conrad Askland (ASCAP). “The Winding Stream” © 1997 Conrad Askland.

This was really fun working on a Final Cut video for this song, The Winding Stream. I wrote this back in 1997 for an artist who recorded it on the Road Records CD release “New Faces Volume Two”.

What I imagined was that a long time ago, a woman’s heart was broken so she slashed her wrists. What the woman didn’t know is that there was a new love around the corner. She never got to meet that person or experience that love because, well, she ended her life before she could experience it.

Now that woman travels the forests and sings her warning song of regret to other young hearts who venture into the forest.

So my vantage point in this song is from a new young heart walking the forest and hearing this ghost sing her warning song. All of that information probably doesn’t come across with just audio, so it was fun for me to provide video to that story to help fill in the story a bit.

I’ve released later in life that most of my songs have been written with a visual stage element in the mind’s eye. What I’ve found is that in my stage works this works very well with audiences. But when there’s no stage element, then often my music strikes people a bit cumbersome or hard for them to jump into.

Also at the time I wrote this, I was in a relationship that was difficult for me. The lines “Your love was like a shallow crick, filled with twists and turns” was the best way I had at the time of describing that feeling.

Personally this is one of my favorite songs that I’ve written. There’s a mixture of darkness and hope that I find very satisfying.

Location. Location. Location. I had always imagined this story happening in a forest in Ireland or Scotland, because that’s where creepy and mysterious old stories happen. I use the tin-whistle on this song (like in the “Titanic” theme song) to give an Irish feel to it. But I didn’t want an Irish accent on this song. I like the straight-ahead American enunciation for Bluegrass. So, I guess that puts this story in the Appalachian Mountains or some forest where Bluegrass musicians might have walked. Some people say I over-think things too much…

In my journey with Final Cut video editing software, this is the first video where I’ve learned how to do effects on the video clips. I enjoyed giving a creepy vintage look to the bride walking the path with sepia-type filters and slow moving fog. The woman with the bouquet is the first time I’ve added an effect (sepia vintage) starting in the middle of a clip. I love the process. So much fun.

LYRICS

Your love was like a shallow crick
Filled with twists and turns
An inner voice kept telling me
Our love would wash ashore
Now that winding stream
Has finally found its end
I never knew another love was waiting round the bend

Wandering through the woods
Gently kissed by morning mist
A maiden in a long white gown
Came floating through the leaves
Her pallid face gazed down
At cuts upon her wrists
And as she gazed she sang about
The pain that love can weave

Your love was like a shallow crick
Filled with twists and turns
An inner voice kept telling me
Our love would wash ashore
Now that winding stream
Has finally found its end
I never knew another love was waiting round the bend

Her song lives in my broken heart
Her music haunts me still

Your love was like a shallow crick
Filled with twists and turns
An inner voice kept telling me
Our love would wash ashore
Now that winding stream
Has finally found its end
I never knew another love was waiting round the bend

I never knew another love
Was waiting round the bend

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