These Songs Were Begun One Winter

from by Robin Grey



After following some intriguing big white arrows from Broadway Market in London Fields; I randomly came across a wonderful exhibition of illustrations titled ‘These Songs Were Begun One Winter’ which featured the work of a very talented lady called Caitlin Hinshelwood and some of her equally talented friends.

The exhibition was inspired by a poem of the same name by Brian Patten and in turn inspired this song also of the same name.

The song quotes and misquotes parts of the original poem which can be found in Brian Patten’s Collected Love Poems (published by Harper Perennial).

Here is a link to buy it from Amazon –


This song was begun underneath the thumb
Of one who’s thickened by the cold..

Listless, longer, bolder than perhaps he ought to be.
Forgive quiet and then lie down here lengthways on the floor,
Hoping that the blood with flow again,
Hoping that the blood with flow again.

Easily forgot, what was lifted and first felt, an anchor to the blood,
Howling at the moon as the stars are falling fast.
Leaves, Wind, Earth and Rain, we look forward to look back

These songs were begun one winter on a window thick with
Frost her finger drew a map of all possibilities


from The Nearest Door, released October 1, 2011
Recorded live by Dean Firth with Tori Handsley on harp -

A few violin parts overdubbed by Basia Bartz at Dalston Culture House