Writers-in-Residence Excerpts of Work

Anne Lister - Singer, songwriter, storyteller


The Hag of Beara
Looking out across the ocean
Says the Hag of Beara
All I see is constant motion
Says the Hag of Beara
People come and people go
What they’re seeking I don’t know
All I know is the wind still blows
Across the folds of Beara

The ships that came here from the West
Sings the Hag of Beara
From the island of the blest
Sings the Hag of Beara
Brought the heroes, brought the tales
Brought their music in their wind-filled sails
Brought their battles in the winter gales
To the folds of Beara

They built their circles of standing stones
Sighs the Hag of Beara
They built their careful turf-roofed homes
Sighs the Hag of Beara
All you see now are empty shells
Which once were places they loved well
The wind blows where they used to dwell
Among the folds of Beara

And you stand there looking out to sea
Cries the Hag of Beara
You see the land but do you see me
Cries the Hag of Beara
You place a coin upon my stone
Then leave me here to watch alone
The sea birds and the white tipped foam
That laps the shores of Beara.

And do you think you know it all
Sings the Hag of Beara
Do you imagine your walls won’t fall
Sings the Hag of Beara
I am the one who shapes the land
Who holds all time within her hand
Your life is just a grain of sand
Upon the strands of Beara.

Anne Lister
Cardiff, Wales

Copyright © Anne Lister 1998; a song featured on her CD Singing on the Wind

Go to top