The Wood Collier's Grave

Album: Standing At The Sky's Edge (2012)

Songfacts®:

  • Hawley sings of a man who chooses to live an isolated existence on this allegorical noir-folk ballad. The song was inspired by a 17th-century Sheffield headstone, which Hawley discovered during a country walk with his dog. He told The Guardian: "It's about George Yardley, a charcoal-burner and solitary man who's buried there. It's tapping into that deep folk tradition, the wood spirits and all that."
  • The song finds Hawley detailing his own funeral. He told Mojo magazine: "It's not like I'm happy about my own death, but it's good to make sense of where we go. So I want trees surrounding my grave, and when they grow I want them chopped down and made into an instrument. To have your molecules go into a violin or a guitar: I thought, if that's all death is, then that's fine. We've all got to deal with this s--t."

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