Hannah Batley


Hannah Batley

Orono, Maine

Hannah Batley on iTunes:


Sunflower

Hannah Batley re-lives moments of affection and inspiration from a family friend.
 
He would try to teach me how to point my toe.
I would point to my toe with my hand.
No one sat in his chair, ‘cause it was his chair,
But if you sat in his lap, he’d understand.
 
In his pocket he kept seeds from a sunflower,
‘Cause to him they showed the wonder of God.
He was amazed at how brown seeds turned to sunflowers.
Oh, that was my Papa Pod.
 
Chorus:
So hold me and sing to me songs
Of the sunflower with God in its seed.
Remind me life is beautiful.
Remind me of the sunflower,
That’s all I need.
 
Christmas eve, we would drive over to his house.
He would wait for us outside if there was snow.
He would aim at the car and throw a snowball.
It was a tradition all of his own.
 
Chorus
 
He was the best at breaking bread.
How he loved, he loved, he loved to bake bread.
 
There was a place that he called “The Tree Cathedral.”
It was a spot of woods in front of his house.
It was there that we all stood and spread his ashes.
It was there, it was there, it was there that never came out.
 
Chorus
 
Writers:
Hannah Batley – story source
Malcolm Brooks – musical sherpa
 
Recording:
Lady on the Radio
Session artists:
Hannah Batley – vocal
Nora Willauer – cello
Sophie Davis and Josie Davis – violins
Nathan Hillman – viola
Malcolm Brooks – guitar, bass
Rush DeNooyer – piano
 

Source: interview with Don Mitchell by his son Roger Mitchell
Heartfelt thanks to Dr. Pauleena MacDougall at the Maine Folklife Center at the University of Maine, Orono
Consulting and guidance: Dr. Gerald Pocius, Memorial University of Newfoundland
Film Design and Artwork: Clio Berta
 
A documentary song collaboration with Hannah Batley and Rush DeNooyer
Vocal: Hannah Batley
Harmony: Meredith Batley
Guitar: Malcolm Brooks
Cello: Nora Willauer
Violin: Sophie Davis
Viola: Nathan Hillman
 
As a young boy in the early 1900s, Don Mitchell witnessed a fire sweeping through his Maine village and then found delicious raspberries growing in the aftermath.
 
The fire came, the fire came, the fire came down.
 
Well, she started at Hasting Brook,
Hasting Brook by the big falls.
Between Jackson Sluice and Adam’s Rib,
She took out a strip of land,
And the trees, she, took them all.
 
Then she came up, near the town line
So they moved all the kids to Warren McGuire’s.
Where Warren lived and Merle lived
They moved us all out there
To save us from the fire.
 
She swung right toward to the river.
That’s where she quit.
She didn’t jump the water at all.
And I don’t know if you’ve been down there lately,
The trees are still so small, so small.
 
And for years we’d pick raspberries
Anywhere the fire came down.
Anywhere the fire came down they grew there.
And oh, they were beautiful on the burnt ground,
Raspberries everywhere.
 
The fire came, the fire came, the fire came down.
 


Star or an Angel

Hannah Batley thought she was lost, slipping off into the margins, and then events suggested otherwise.
 
The school was small and suffocating.
I lost my voice and couldn’t get it back,
And everyone knew everyone, and knew what everyone was up to.
I had sort of separated from the pack.
 
Spent the summer home with my parents,
Painting houses as a summer job.
I wasn’t sure I’d be able to go back to that school,
Or even if I wanted to at all.
 
I didn’t know where I was going,
But looking back it feels so clear.
But looking back there was someone showing me the way,
Yes, a star or an angel was here.
 
But how could there possibly be
A star or an angel for me, for me?
 
So here I am, all grown up,
Not concerned with being the best,
Doing what I love, what I love, what I love to do,
And let the universe handle the rest.
 
But how could there possibly be
A star or an angel for me, for me?
For me, for me,
A star or an angel for me.

Dancing at Home

Hannah Batley of Orono, Maine, longs for an evening of quiet romance rather than a night on the town. Dancing at Home was Hannah’s birthday song for Jason Bolton. He was her fiancé and is now her husband.
 
You’re flying around the country
Sitting in airports
Thinking of me
Hopefully
And I’m at home alone counting the days
 
Till we’re dancing, dancing
Dancing at home
Till we’re dancing, dancing
Dancing at home
 
You’re living out of a suitcase
Getting some rest
Feeling your best
Hopefully
And I’m at home alone counting the days
 
Till we’re dancing, dancing…
 
You’ll sing me some Sinatra
Hold me near
Call me dear
Hopefully
How do I love thee?
 
I want to talk about unimportant things
And leave the world behind
Let’s just stay young at heart
 
Just dancing, dancing
Dancing at home
We’re just dancing, dancing
Dancing at home