the song
title : Bell, book and candle
written by : Boo Hewerdine
song copyright : © 1998 Chrysalis Music Ltd

the performance
musicians
Eddi Reader vocal, acoustic guitar
Boo Hewerdine acoustic guitar, bells
Calum MacColl electric guitar
Roy Dodds drums, percussion, hand claps
music
key : A major
time-signature : 4/4
tempo : MM 74
form : V R V R R′ V R v′ R′ V R P
lyrics

provided for research and private study only (see above for copyright details):

Bell, book and candle

blue around the morning moon
the colour of your eyes
I remember holding you
a fall through summer skies
you’re everything that I’ve become
every word I say

I need a bell, a book and candle
to keep your ghost away

white horses on a {aah} troubled sea
your smile will flash through time
up ahead a blackbird’s wing
your hair will come to mind
every night I see your face
when I have to pray

I need a bell, a book and candle
to keep your ghost away

{aah}
keep your ghost away
keep your ghost away

I need a bell, a book and candle
to keep your ghost away

just before the thunder roars
I sense you next to me
and as I move through nature
I know where you will be
so I must keep myself apart
here is where I’ll stay

with a bell, a book and candle
to keep your ghost away


keep your ghost away
keep your ghost away

I need a bell, a book and candle
to keep your ghost away, ah

blue around the morning moon
the colour of your eyes
I remember holding you
a fall through summer skies
you’re everything that I’ve become
every word I say

I need a bell, a book and candle
to keep your ghost away


{vocalise}

explanations
According to my trusty 1981 edition of Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and fable, ‘Bell, book and candle’ is the popular phrase signifying excommunication by the Roman Catholic Church. After pronouncing sentence, the bell was tolled as for one dead, then the bible, the book of life, was closed and the candle, signifying the soul, was extinguished.

There seems to be some confusion in the song-writer’s mind between this and exorcism, the casting out of evil spirits, but we mustn’t let that spoil a haunting song (sorry, couldn’t resist the pun there!).
Adrian Dover

the recording
personnel
produced by : Eddi Reader and Boo Hewerdine
co-produced by : Rafe McKenna
recorded by : Jon Inskip and James Loughrey at Britannia Row in 1997-07
mixed by : Rafe McKenna at Britannia Row Studios and/or The Roundhouse Studios, London
mastered by : ? at ?
technical
track timing : 4:13
song timing : m:ss
released on
album : Angels & electricity track 8

commentary
Eleanor Shanley has also recorded this song, available on her Desert heart album (Grapevine, 1998).