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Neptune's Keep's newest CD, City Beneath the Sea, recorded at Wild Sound Studio is available now!

     Songs of mermaids, sailors, dolphins, and whales. Stories of love lost and won. Tales of sea people lost to time. City Beneath the Sea, the second album by Neptune's Keep, is a collection of original songs immersed in the theme of water —  its inhabitants, its culture, its role as life blood of our planet. Songs both lyrical and humorous nestle in waves of hammered dulcimer, piano, and concertina.

     And trickling through it all are hauntingly beautiful strains of orchestral instruments played by the creatures most intimately familiar with aquatic realms — fish! Through an amazing marriage of art and technology, our musical fish comprise an aquatic orchestra, consciously and creatively playing a diverse collection of virtual instruments — tuba, violas, vibraphone, cello, clarinet and more. Our amazing fish have mastered literally hundreds of instruments, painting our music with a lush, lyrical, otherworldly yet accessible sound. This unprecedented collaboration between human and fish redefines musical beauty!

 

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CD cover

Neptune's Keep's debut CD, The Fish Who Changed The World, recorded at Wild Sound Studio was released in 2013. This album, the soundtrack for our live theater production of the same name, tells the story of Jor Jor, The World's Most Musical Fish. Jor Jor was Smart Small Fry's first fish musician. She rocketed to worldwide fame in 2010, when she performed live on BBC Radio. Web and print media around the world picked up the story, and Jor Jor became an overnight celebrity!

Neptune

 

 

 

Original Songs by Diane Rains

 

(Copyright © 2016 by Diane Rains. All Rights Reserved.)

Vocals and piano: Diane Rains. Hammered dulcimer and concertina: Stu Janis. PiscicianSM clarinet, English horn, deep bass, cellos, vibraphone, and fiddle: Mele Wai and Lo'ihi (goldfishes). Music and lyrics: Diane Rains.

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Mother Sea

Neptune's Keep

City Beneath the Sea

 


Traditional Sea Shanties

 

Vocals and melodeon: Diane Rains. Hammered dulcimer, concertina, and vocals: Stu Janis. PiscicianSM tuba: Leonani and Hulali (goldfishes). Box Elder Bug Shanty original lyrics: Diane Rains.

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The Mermaid

Box Elder Bug Shanty
(Smash All The BEBs)

 

Song Covers

 

(The Grey Funnel Line Copyright © 1972 by Cyril Tawney.)

(Sailing Down This Golden River Copyright © 1971 by Pete Seeger. )

(Away But Never Gone Copyright © 2009 by Nicky Mehta.)

Vocals: Diane Rains. Hammered dulcimer and concertina: Stu Janis. PiscicianSM clarinet and English horn: Brigid, Leonani, and Hulali (goldfishes).

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The Grey Funnel Line

Sailing Down This Golden River

Away But Never Gone

City Beneath the Sea - Album Lyrics

  1. Mother Sea
  2. The Mermaid
  3. The Grey Funnel Line
  4. The Light Keeper's Daughter
  5. Box Elder Bug Shanty
  6. Neptune's Keep
  7. The Lonely Mermaid
  8. I'm Blue
  9. City Beneath the Sea
  10. Galene's Song
  11. The Wild Birds
  12. Bali Ha'i
  13. Sailboat of Dreams

MOTHER SEA

by Diane Rains © 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Mother Sea,
restless and free,
hear your daughter
call to thee.

Hold your child
in wet embrace.
I can't forget
your loving face.

Mother Sea,
your waves unfurl
to read out and cradle
all the world.

Ask the dolphins.
Ask the whales.
Ask all the fish
in jeweled scales.

Listen closely;
they all say
"We will love you
always."

Always.
Always.
Always.

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THE MERMAID

Traditional

'Twas Friday morning when we set sail.
And we were not far from the land
When the captain, he spied a mermaid so fair
With a comb and a glass in her hand.

Oh, the ocean waves will roll,
And the stormy winds do blow,
While we poor sailors go skipping at the top.
And the landlubbers lie down below, below, below
And the landlubbers lie down below.

Then up spoke the captain of our gallant ship,
And a well-spoken man was he.
Saying "I have a wife in Salem by the sea,
And tonight she a widow will be."

chorus
 
Then up spoke the cook of our gallant ship,
And a clever cook was he.
Saying "I care much more for my pots and my pans
Than I do for the bottom of the sea."

chorus

Then up spoke the cabin boy of our gallant ship,
And a nasty little lad was he.
Saying "I'm not quite sure I can spell 'mermaid'
But I'm going to the bottom of the sea."

chorus

Then once around went our gallant ship,
And twice around went she.
Three times around went our gallant ship,
And she sank to the bottom of the sea.

chorus

go skipping at the top

THE GREY FUNNEL LINE

by Cyril Tawney © 1972. All Rights Reserved.

Don't mind the rain or the rolling sea.
Stormy nights never bothered me.
But the hardest part of a sailor's day
Is to watch the sun as it slips away.
It's one more day on the Grey Funnel Line.

Oh, Lord, if dreams were only real,
I'd put my hands on that wooden wheel.
And with all my heart I'd turn her round,
And tell the boys that we're homeward bound.
It's one more day on the Grey Funnel Line,

The finest ship that sails the sea
Is still a prison for the likes of me .
If I had wings like Noah's dove,
I'd fly up harbour to the one I love.
It's one more day on the Grey Funnel Line.

I'll serve my time like some machine,
Until blue waters, they turn to green.
Then I'll dance on down that walk ashore
And sail the Grey Funnel Line no more.
It's one more day on the Grey Funnel Line.
   
Don't mind the rain or the rolling sea.

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THE LIGHT KEEPER'S DAUGHTER

by Diane Rains © 2013. All Rights Reserved.

I came to this island when I was quite young.
With my mother and father, for a job he’d begun.
Dad and I climbed the tower stairs, as we heard the gulls cry,
To the top of the lighthouse with the ships dancing by.

Dusk tinged the autumn trees sleeping on the gold shore.
A star winked to life, then one more and one more.
But the beacon behind me put the dim stars to shame
Casting over the sea, writing its name.

I looked out at the water, and I felt I could fly
On wings built of light in the arms of the sky.

Chorus
And the glass turned around and round,
bringing day to the land,
reaching over the water,
like a saving hand.
And the light held us to its heart,
Like the wing of a swan.
The light went on.
The light went on.

We read Wordsworth out loud, or sang shanties ‘til dawn
And we both understood that the light must shine on.
So I slept in the lighthouse, near my Dad’s watchful eye,
Kept safe by the light, like the ships passing by.

He’d stare at the water then he’d look at my face:
An unusual daughter sharing his sacred place.
And as light filled my dreams, the years fairly flew
On wings built by prisms, and on those beams I grew.

And Dad never forgot, as his light held the foam
That it guided the sailors to their daughters at home.

Chorus

I went off to college, and I got my degree,
But part of me longed for those stairs by the sea.
Then my Dad passed away, and my Mom moved to town.
She hired a new keeper to send the light round.

He does his job, and the light sweeps the shore,
But he doesn’t love it like my father before.
And I can do better, because I know that place
Where the light of my Dad still shines on my face.

I don’t want lots of money or a “brilliant” career.
I just want the lighthouse, where my vision is clear.
Now this is my light, and this is the trust
I accepted from my Dad, as I knew that I must.
I smile as I climb the stairs, and I hear the gulls cry
On wings built of light. And tonight I shall fly.

Chorus
And the glass turning round and round,
bringing day to the land,
brought me home to the lighthouse,
like a saving hand.
And the light holds me to Dad’s heart,
Like the wings of a swan.
The light goes on.

The light goes on.
The light goes on.
The light goes on.

****
In memory of my father, who always believed in my light.

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BOX ELDER BUG SHANTY

by Diane Rains © 2012. All Rights Reserved.

There is a vile insect that's ruined my life.  
Weigh hey, smash all the BEBS.
They made my dog vomit and frightened my wife.
Give me some time to smash all the BEBs.

Boxelder bugs breed, and they set out to roam.
Weigh hey, smash all the BEBS.
They gather in autumn on the side of my home.
Give me some time to smash all the BEBs.

They're spindly and crawly; they're creepy, wee thugs.
Weigh hey, smash all the BEBS.
They like to hang out with the Big Ugly Bugs.
Smash all the BEBs, and smash all the BUBs.

They sent out some scouts to find ways to invade.
Weigh hey, smash all the BEBS.
Through doors, cracks, and windows, quick progress they made.
Give me some time to smash all the BEBs.

From the ground to the rooftop, they swarmed without pause.
Weigh hey, smash all the BEBS.
They swarmed down the chimney just like Santy Clause.
Give me some time to smash all the BEBs.

They swarmed 'cross the carpet and covered the cat.
Weigh hey, smash all the BEBS.
'Til I couldn't see her to know where she's at.
Give me some time to smash all the BEBs.

When I was sleepin', they crawled up my nose.
Weigh hey, smash all the BEBS.
I woke up a sneezin' and said "Thar she blows!"
Give me some time to smash all the BEBs.

The swarm got so deep it went over my knee.
Weigh hey, smash all the BEBS.
I got so disgusted I ran off to sea.
Give me some time to smash all the BEBs.

Now I count as we smash 'em so far from the shore
Weigh hey, smash all the BEBS.
For every one smashed we will find 20 more.
Give me some time to smash all the BEBs.

We're still keeping score, so this story's not done.
Weigh hey, smash all the BEBS.
We've smashed 20 billion six hundred and one.
Give me some time to smash all the BEBs.

Weigh hey, smash all the BEBS.
Give me some time to smash all the BEBs.
Weigh hey, smash all the BEBS.
There ain't enough time to smash all the BEBs.

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NEPTUNE'S KEEP

by Diane Rains © 2013. All Rights Reserved.

Oh, the waters flow easy.
The waters flow free.
The waters, they follow their hearts to the sea.
The earth in its orbit is cradled in blue, and what tips the cradle makes us fall, too.

Follow the dolphin.
Follow the tern.
Follow the tides as they tumble and churn.
Follow the sailor who marries The Deep,
until we reach home again in Neptune's keep.
 
Oh, the whale sings of longing.
The whale sings of flight.
The whale sings through ages of darkness and light.
But his song's growing weaker and farther from shore.
And soon his sweet singing will be heard no more.

Follow the dolphin.
Follow the tern.
Follow the tides as they tumble and churn.
Follow the sailor who marries The Deep,
until we reach home again in Neptune's keep.
 
Oh, the seahorse, he gallops; on the current he'll ride.
And he dances for love when he takes a bride.
He carries their children and, steadfast, prepares.
But as seahorses vanish, only sadness he bears.

Follow the dolphin.
Follow the tern.
Follow the tides as they tumble and churn.
Follow the sailor who marries The Deep,
until we reach home again in Neptune's keep.

We made ourselves stewards of the waters that flow
when we rose from their depths so many ages ago.
Through the lens of Earth's rivers, her lakes, and her bays,
will we see our path clearly?
Will we know when we've lost our way?

Follow the dolphin.
Follow the tern.
Follow the tides as they tumble and churn.
Follow the sailor who marries The Deep,
until we reach home again in Neptune's keep.
Until we reach home again in Neptune's keep.

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THE LONELY MERMAID

by Diane Rains © 2013. All Rights Reserved.

In the dark, briny tide
where shy corals hide,
where seahorses prance and mantas fly,
the starfishes shine,
and this water's all mine,
but I long for the mackerel sky.

I've long made my home
beneath the restless foam
without someone to call my own.
In the deepest of blue,
my loneliness grew,
and now it cuts me to the bone.

chorus:
Dance with the sea.
Oh, come dance with me.
Let the trade winds set your heart a'sail.
Don't swim away,
for you'll wish you could stay.
There's a mermaid on your tail.

Salt stung my eyes,
and in the seagull's cries
I sang, "Why must I swim all alone?"
I knew from the start
I must capture a heart
before emptiness turned me to stone.

As whales breached and dipped,
I watched for a ship,
and I sang of my longing for love.
I sang to the waves,
and the jetstream forgave
my need for someone from above.

chorus

One day I spied a mast,
and your sweet spell was cast
when I heard you calling through the gale.
Our voices entwined,
and I knew that you were mine,
so I leaped up and pulled you from the rail.

Now my heart is full and bold,
but my dear, you are so cold,
for I've brought you to Death's pelagic gate.
So two have become one.
My hope once more undone,
there's nothing I can do but watch and wait.

chorus:
Dance with the sea.
Oh, come dance with me.
Let the trade winds set your heart a'sail.
Don't swim away,
for you'll wish you could stay.
to hear a lonely mermaid's tale.

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I'M BLUE

by Diane Rains © 2014. All Rights Reserved.

I’m blue. Oh, I’m blue.
I’m bluer than sapphire, it’s true.
My chromatophores
would be such awful bores
if they weren’t blue as blue suede shoes.

They call me Blue Whale.
I’m blue on a massive scale.
The bluebird wouldn’t dare compare us.
And the sky’s gotta be embarrassed.
I’m blue from my blowhole to the tips of my tail.

Oh, I’m so blue.

Some lobsters, tangs, and slugs
like to bask in their blueness, feeling smug.
Cephalopods
are never at odds
with indigo, aqua, or turquoise on their bods.

The light, as it travels below,
gets bluer the farther down you go.
Way down in the deep,
where shorter wavelengths reach,
most creatures are scarlet, or raspberry, or peach.

They’re not so blue.
[spoken: It’s complicated.]

We frankly see no merit
in looking like a beet or carrot!
It’s what you down there do,
but why, we have no clue.
We prefer just being blue.

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CITY BENEATH THE SEA

by Diane Rains © 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Fathoms down, never found,
Cloaked in waters wild.
Shrouded in mystery
Rests the ocean's child.

Ancient forms in secret trenches
Loom in shadows deep.
Coral castles lie like giants
Lost in liquid sleep.

There's a city beneath the sea,
And it bloomed in its prime.
Someone lived here.
Someone breathed here.
Someone loved,

But now they're all
Lost to time.

Who lived here among the whales
Where salty currents flow?
Who grew the swaying, kelpy forest?
And lit the lanterns' glow?

Sharks know, and dolphins know,
And jellyfish and seals.
Narwhals singing on the waves
Hear what the past reveals.

There's a city beneath the sea,
And it bloomed in its prime.
Someone lived here.
Someone breathed here.
Someone loved,

But now they're all
Lost to time.

Floating though these regal ruins
Are spirits from long ago.
And we think we never knew them,
But we know, we know

That the city beneath the sea,
Still blooms in its prime.
And we live here.
And we breathe here.
And we love.
But we might all be
Lost to time.

Lost to time
Lost to time
We might all be lost to time
Lost to time
Lost to time

Don't let it happen this time.

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GALENE'S SONG

by Diane Rains © 2014. All Rights Reserved.

My feet on the ground make a hollow sound
where the earth lies unyielding below.
I’m running from memories, running from pain,
but my heart doesn’t know where to go.

I’ve no destination, no plan in mind
and the rain washes over my face.
I just want to be far from the thought where you are,
I want to be far from this place.

Yearning for numbness, I go blindly on
‘til my feet reach the edge of the land.
The tidewaters call, and I let myself fall,
pulled beneath by a watery hand.

The blue drifts by like an upside down sky,
and I gather all the blue in.
My heart, opened wide, holds the deep blue inside,
and I swim, and I swim, and I swim.

It’s so unexpected what I have found
in the deep, the forgiving sea.
Far from oblivion, this secret water
summons life, and shows it to me.

Fish flash like rainbows, shrimps tiptoe on sand.
Painted corals lithely unfurl.
Jellies perform a translucent ballet.
I begin to feel this world.

I watch seahorses dance, and with every glance,
I gather all this life in.
In the water’s embrace, I feel a trace
of the will to start again.

Those who don’t fear the Deep can go singing with whales,
and I so want to let whalesong in.
Maybe I’ll, here and now, let the sea show me how,
and I swim, and I swim, and I swim.

It’s barely a start, but I unlock my heart,
let your ghost dance in with a smile.
For though there’s a cost, true love’s never lost,
and I have to go that mile.

And you would be proud of me, seeing that I’m
treading water, here on my own.
I won’t forget that it’s worth getting wet to learn
what the sea’s always known.

I’ll cherish the Deep and go singing with whales,
let my memories hold the love in.
Then I’ll kick up some foam as I turn toward home,
and I’ll swim, and I’ll swim, and I’ll swim.
For I’ll find you once more each time I leave the shore,
and we’ll swim, and we’ll swim, and we’ll swim.

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THE WILD BIRDS

by Diane Rains © 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Sail away. It's what you do.
When the wild birds fly,
they call to you.
Walk away from where we are.
The season turns,
and you must chase your star.

Oh, but I'll remember,
when the willow turns to green,
October’s frost
knows what I've lost
is closer than it seems.

When sweet December
soothes the tired year,
I know you'll be here.

When the ice sets in,
and the white flakes fall,
you'll come home at once,
if not for all.

As all the weary birds
rest their beating wings,
your heartbeat close to mine
whispers of warmer things.

Until the days grow long,
and the sun is tall.
Until the green returns,
And the wild birds call

Sail away. Sail away. Sail away.

Sail away. I had to go.
When the wild birds fly,
I think of you,
far away, and all I know
is I miss your face
laughing in the snow.

Oh, but I remember,
when I hear the robin’s song,
though months of green
are all I’ve seen,
I won’t be lost for long.

Come September,
the chilly autumn air
says I’ll soon be there.

When the ice sets in,
and the white flakes fall,
I'll come home at once,
if not for all.

As all the weary birds
rest their beating wings,
your heartbeat close to mine
whispers of warmer things.

Until the days grow long,
and the sun is tall.
Until the green returns,
And the wild birds call

Sail away. Sail away.
Sail away. Sail away. Sail away.

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BALI HA'I

by Diane Rains © 2012. All Rights Reserved.

Most people live on a lonely island,
Lost in the middle of a foggy sea.
Most people long for another island,
One where they know they will like to be.

Bali Ha'i may call you,
Any night, any day,
In your heart, you'll hear it call you:
"Come away...Come away."

Bali Ha'i will whisper
On the wind of the sea:
"Here am I, your special island!
Come to me, come to me!"

Your own special hopes,
Your own special dreams,
Bloom on the hillside
And shine in the streams.
If you try, you'll find me
Where the sky meets the sea.
"Here am I your special island
Come to me, Come to me."

Bali Ha'i,
Bali Ha'i,
Bali Ha'i!

Someday you'll see me floating in the sunshine,
My head sticking out from a low flying cloud,
You'll hear me call you,
Singing through the sunshine,
Sweet and clear as can be:
"Come to me, here am I, come to me."

If you try, you'll find me
Where the sky meets the sea.
"Here am I your special island
Come to me, Come to me."

Bali Ha'i,
Bali Ha'i,
Bali Ha'i!

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SAILBOAT OF DREAMS

by Diane Rains © 2013. All Rights Reserved.

Night arrives on the tide.
Sight the northern star.
It will guide you to your rest
twinkling from afar.

I am here to help you steer;
you are not alone.
Mama's song will fill your sails
and bring you safely home.

Like a sailboat.
Put my arms around you,
rock you like a sailboat.
You'll glide on moonbeams,
as you sail into your dreams.

Mother whale lifts her calf
to the precious air.
Baby sleeps in perfect calm,
knowing she is there.

Mother otter makes a raft for
Baby on the sea.
Lay your head against my heart,
and you can float with me.

As you go, winds will blow across the milky way.
I'm your anchor.
I will hold you near until the day.

Like a sailboat.
Put my arms around you, rock you like a sailboat.
You'll glide on moonbeams, as you sail into your dreams.
Like a sailboat.
Like a sailboat.
Like a sailboat. 

***
For my mother, who rocked me and helped me sail into my dreams

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