Riddles Wisely Expounded (Bonnie Broom)

from by Stray Hens

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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    The Confluence is a 12 track album featuring Sally Taylor, Richard Grace, Ryan Tews, Carmen O'Brien and Mandy Connell.

    Each artist leads a song (Vocals) and the CD features

    Tom Paine's Bones (Graham Moore
    Mad Tom of Bedlam (Arr Stray Hens. Tune by Nick Jones and Dave Moran)
    Diamantina Drover (Hugh McDonald)
    Song of the Inland Rain (Roger Montgomery / Jack Sorenson)
    (With Tune "The Confluence" by Ryan Tews
    The Dreadful End of Mariana For Sorcery (Karine Polwart)
    The Cruel Mother (Trad Arr Mandy Connell)
    Pot & Tinker (Mandy Connell)
    The Handweaver & THe factory Maid (Trad/ A L Lloyd)
    Riddles Wisely Expounded (Trad)
    Ballad Of Accounting (Ewan MacColl)
    The Recruited Collier (Trad Arr Mandy Stray Hens)

    Includes unlimited streaming of The Confluence via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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    ships out within 12 days

      $25 AUD or more 



Suggested by Rowena Wise (who left the band in 2014, replaced by Carmen O'Brien) this song was never fully developed until 2015.

The song features lead vocals from all three women, Mandy on narration, Sally on questions and Carmen on Answers


Bonnie Broom Am
Song in 3/4 except guitar riff in 4/4. Drop 1 beat before fiddle riff & between them when there is two, & after V4. All Instruments stop on the very last “Fa” (la la, la la, la la la, la la) for an acapella ending.

Guit riff x 2 4/4

V1 Unison There was a Lady in the West, Lay the bent to the bonny broom
She had three daughters of the best, Fa la la, la la, la la la, la la

V2 Unison A strange young knight he came to the gate...
He knocked loud and he knocked late...

Guit riff x 2 (Fiddles long bows - Sally Low, Carmen Middle)

V3 Mandy The eldest sister she led him in…In the door with a...
V4 Mandy The middle sister she made the bed...
V5 Carmen The youngest sister was bold and bright…
She went to bed with the strange young knight...

Fiddle riff x 1 (Sally High, Carmen Low)

V6 & 7 Sal Now young maiden you’ve lain with me...
I’ll ask you questions 3 by 3...
Answer me these Qs 9...
Or else you surely shall be mine...

V8 Sal louder than the horn (Thunder)
sharper than the thorn (Hunger)
whiter than the milk... (Snow)

V9 Sal softer than the silk (Love)
higher than the tree (Heaven)
deeper than the sea... (Hell)

V10 Sal rounder than the ring (World)
greener than the grass (Poison)
worse than woman e’er was… (Devil)

Fiddle riff x 2 (Sally High, Carmen Low)

V11,12&13 Carmen ^ see above for answers in brackets ^

Guit riff x 2 (Fiddles rhythmic long bows)


V14 Carmen Now I’ve answered your questions nine...
So I never shall be thine...

V15 3vox He clapped his wings and aloud did cry...
In a blaze of fire away did fly...


from The Confluence, released December 2, 2016
Ryan Tews (Drums)
Mandy Connell (Vocal and Guitar)
Carmen O'Brien (Fiddle and Vocals)
Sally Taylor (Lead Vocals)
Richard Grace (Double Bass



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Stray Hens Melbourne, Australia

Three stunning frontwomen, on fiddles, vocal and guitar, backed by drums & double bass. No one in Australia is arranging folk revival songs with such passion. Complex harmonies, jazz & old-timey inspired rythms, & anceint anglo ballads create a theatrical show.
Formed in March 2013, & already booked for some of the country's Premier festivals, their debut EP has us anticipating the full album!
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