The Goblin Market is a long-time side project of Green Pajamas members Laura Weller and Jeff Kelly. The music draws inspiration from both art and literature. The duo’s third and latest album, Beneath Far Gondal’s Foreign Sky, takes another foray into 19th century England with a focus on the work of the Bronte sisters. The songs focus primarily on Emily, author of Wuthering Heights as well as numerous poems, many of which the subject is the imaginary land of Gondal, a place conceived by Emily in her youth.It's reallyenlightening to read Jeff Kelly's Brontëiteness confession. We are pretty sure that plenty of our readers will recognise themselves in things like
The songs on their first album, Ghostland, focused on 19th century England, including Pre-Raphaelite art and poetry. In fact, the name Goblin Market comes from the famous Christina Rossetti poem written at the height of the Pre-Raphaelite movement. Their second record, Haunted, featured songs inspired by the writings of American author Joyce Carol Oates, especially her more "gothic" short stories and novels.
Like many before me, I became obsessed with the Brontës, especially Emily, who became, truly, an infatuation. As I read Wuthering Heights, I found myself thinking of what she may have been thinking while she wrote down the lines. What she was wearing while she wrote them down. I imagined her in her small room, writing her musical poems as the night wind “waved her hair.”
I learned that Charlotte later edited her manuscript poems for publication, which I found extremely annoying; how could one hope to go in and “fix” such beautiful language? (In setting her poems, I have only ever used the original manuscript versions.)
I wondered what she looked like in real life, when she smiled or cried. How her skin smelled, her hair felt. I wanted to get in a time machine and go back there. I imagined what it might have been like, walking along a dirt road and suddenly coming upon Emily and Charlotte, two anonymous girls in their little carriage, on a day trip to Leeds.
The strange thing is, I slowly started to realize that there were thousands of others just like me. Obsessed.
Imagine then my shock while in 1999 touring their home, now a museum, and seeing an actual lock of Emily’s hair! (It had been cut off to save, in the tradition of the time, shortly after her death.)
I kept going back to that room, that glass case and looking again and again. She was real, not some mythical thing I had dreamed up. I was hesitant to finally leave.
1. The Night Is Darkening Around Me
3. The Lock
4. The Night Wind
5. Tell Me, Tell Me
6. Song (The Linnet In The Rocky Dells)
7. High Waving Heather
8. If This Be All
9. The Moorland Ghost
10. A Reminiscence
11. Love Song (Beneath Far Gondal’s Foreign Sky)
12. A Lonely Thing
For Tony Dale
Produced by Jeff Kelly
Performed by Laura Weller & Jeff Kelly
Mastered by Tom Dyer at TDS Productions
And here is A Lonely Thing:
With Olivia Spenser as Charlotte Brontë and Jonah Bomgaars as M. Heger.Reviews of the album can be read on Blurt, The Active Listener, This is Book's Music, Rock & Reprise...
Filmed by Carlton Lonergan.
Song and story by Jeff Kelly.
Directed by Tom Dyer.
Sung by Laura Weller.
Location: Susanne Kelly
© St. Brigid Publishing / BMI