Pendle Hill from the top of Nogarth. (Picture 'nicked' from Pendle Net site with thanks)


This story was told to Tom as having really happened to a close friend of the teller, when he stayed a night close under the hill en route to the Lake District with three school chums and a teacher, aged about 11. He's never forgotten it!

Recorded on Tom Bliss's solo album Mixed Moss with help from Maggie Boyle (Witch Notes, Grace Notes), Patsy Matheson (Waking the Witch) and Bryony Griffith (Witch Notes, Witches of Elswick, Demon Barbers)

Guitar tuned DADGBC - Capo on 1st fret to give G#


G . . . G . . . C . . . G . . . C . . . C . . . D . . . D . . .
G . . . G . . . C . . . G . . . C B Am . . . . . . . . . . .

On the last day of October, I woke before the dawn
Am D
The hills were calling me, my best boots to put on
G C Am
And though a dream still rumbled in the belfry of my head
I tumbled out of bed

A slow train to Gargrave, studying the map
A pint in Salterforth, then on up the track
My cares fell to my footprints with every passing mile
And my soul began to smile*

On Pendle Hill,
Am D
Pendle Hill
G C Am D
The echoes haunt me still
Pendle Hill

How did I loose my bearings as the sun began to set?
I was heading down for Downham, following a beck
But all I found was marshy ground and still more hill to climb
I was running out of time
Em D
Then fear came on so quickly as I panted o'or the moor
C Bm
For whichever way I turned it seemed the hill rose up before
Em D
And all that I could think of were the deeds this place had seen
And this was Halloween

The wind got up, the rain came down the moon leered through the cloud
My heart was in my throat, I began to pray aloud
Then suddenly beneath me there's a farmhouse in the fold
A refuge from the cold

And when the door flew open I didn't understand
Why she smiled at me so knowingly and took me by the hand
And with candlelight and scented oil she soothed away my fright
And smoothed away the night

When I woke the bed was empty, she was nowhere to be seen
I thought maybe some flowers - to thank her for the dream
So I headed for the village making certain of my track
I would soon be coming back

But though I traced my footsteps there was no gate in the wall
No pathway, no buildings, there was nothing there at all
And though I've wandered Pendle and I've rambled every inch
I've never found it since

*It was on Pendle that George Fox had the vision which inspired him to found the Quaker movement