We’ve updated our Terms of Use to reflect our new entity name and address. You can review the changes here.
We’ve updated our Terms of Use. You can review the changes here.

Bones and Feathers (Emily Portman)

from Greening The Dark by Debra Cowan

supported by


My good friend, the late Louisa Jo Killen introduced me to Emily’s songs almost ten years ago and I was quickly enchanted. I love the way Emily tells a compelling story with vibrant images and music. This is an old folktale that Emily has re-worked into a more modern setting.


There's a woman down the back street
She leaves a trail of feathers
She's carrying a suitcase
Ivory and leather

She's rummaging the dustbins
She's looking but not finding

I see her at the bus stop
She holds a leather suitcase
Her eyes are like two street lights
They flicker in her furrowed face

She mutters and she murmers
There's a rattling, a rasping
She might be singing something
But it's lost in traffic roaring

She's weaving up the high street
Against a tide of faces
They’re looking but not seeing
People going places

She's searching for something
She's looking but not finding

I walk home through the back street
As night turns into morning
There's a little fire
To the eastward, burning

I turn round the corner
There's a rattling, a rasping
She's underneath the street light
Singing while she's working

Her suitcase is wide open
It's spilling out it's treasure
Yellow bones a-glowing
Ivory and leather
She's looking and she's finding
She's knitting them together

And the dawn is breaking
The ragged bones are mending
They're growing flesh and feathers
They're breathing and they're stirring
They're stirring and they're waking
They're rising and they're singing
They fly into the morning
The street lights are buzzing
And the sky is full of ringing

The woman down the back street
Has vanished with her suitcase
And all the birds are singing
All the birds are singing

All the birds are singing


from Greening The Dark, released September 3, 2019
Debra Cowan: Vocals
Joyce Andersen: Fiddle
Bob Nieske: Bowed Bass
Mike Barry: Acoustic Guitar
Dave Mattacks: Drums, Cymbals, Percussion, Keyboards


all rights reserved



Debra Cowan Shrewsbury, Massachusetts

Singer Debra Cowan performs a cappella and with guitar, interpreting a wide range of folk songs. Debra has two acclaimed solo recordings to her credit, and her third, “Fond Desire Farewell” was produced by former Fairport Convention drummer Dave Mattacks. A former California resident, she now resides in Massachusetts and tours all over North America and the United Kingdom. ... more

contact / help

Contact Debra Cowan

Streaming and
Download help

Shipping and returns

Redeem code

Report this track or account