Iron and Rough

by Stranger Ways

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Iron and Rough is a preview EP of our upcoming concept album, "Iron and Rust." It's rough edits of 7 of the tracks that will eventually be on the full album.


released January 17, 2016

Nat Budin as Desmond
Kara Hurvitz as Echo
Brad Smith as Tom
Alexandria Wilkie as the Faerie Queen

Nat Budin: guitar
Jon Sagotsky: bass
Brad Smith: percussion
Alexandria Wilkie: flute

All songs composed by Stranger Ways.
Recorded, edited and mastered by the band.


all rights reserved



Stranger Ways Boston, Massachusetts

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Track Name: When the World Was Young (Rough)
You don't understand
You stand on the brink of a changing world
But your kind never does

When the world was young, it was covered in a veil of darkness

And the sun didn’t shine and the plants didn’t grow
And the waters were cold and the barren stone cursed the sky

And the stone’s stark cry struck a hole in the sky just a tiny thing at first
But that hole in the sky let the first magic in and the world began to thirst
And the magic formed a bubble, a womb for the first faerie
And the faerie was born and the magic made more to join in its revelry
The selkies moved on the waters and tides and the leprechauns weaved light
The dryads’ trees drank from shellycoat ponds and the wisp-lights filled the night

And the faeries fed on the magic of the world and our numbers grew as the magic was gobbled up
And our reign was long and the air filled with song until that dismal day when the well of magic dried up

And that day saw the birth of something new on the earth, neither animal nor fae
Something born when the world couldn't muster enough magic and creation went astray
A beast called man, born deaf, dumb, and blind, too sad to be humorous
But the world was starved and it couldn’t do better and they soon outnumbered us
And the colors slowly faded, like a sunset after dust
And the faeries fled to hidden courts in a world of iron and rust

But we faeries are full of mischief; we’re unseen, but far from done
We have made a world that they don’t deserve - in exchange they’re ours for fun
Pluck a child from under her bed, or a lover full of sighs
Steal them away to the courts of the fae, we'll trade music for their
Cries, and they'll be playthings, or curiosities
Small price to pay to be guests among the fae; they alone get to see what life can be

When the world was young, it was covered in a veil of darkness
Now the darkness returns but there will come a day when our glory is restored
When our will finds a way to set man’s world ablaze by the ruse or by the sword
Track Name: Tom (Rough)
It started like a lot of days, the sky was gray as my town
With a sound like a train the rain began to fall
I trudged along without a word, and ducked into the mall,
Which I blame, in part, for the drain that keeps this place tame

But freaks are here, and freaks peddle Dust
And Dust is what I want

Dealers and weirdos belong in the shadows, but these aren’t your usual fare.
Find the gaudiest neon glare and there they stare,
In rev’rent revelry; aware of something I can’t see
But will...

The deal is quick, and I score, and I soar, and finally relax
Hallelujah for the fae! Buck up, little guys, your loss has made my day

And now the rain is colorful, and even this town makes sense
I can hear every stone down in my bones and they all scream, ‘Get thee hence!’
‘Quicken your pace! Leave this place before it sucks you dry.’
So I wandered deep into the woods at the edge of the town

If Mama knew, she’d be so afraid
But I was beyond fear

And then I saw the craziest thing
I wasn’t alone, somebody was singing!
Somebody else as hazed up as me
pranced and sang to an old willow tree

Well hell, this day just keeps getting better
I’m not the only one out here unfettered
I laughed and I joined in the crazy dance
Feeling too good to not take a chance

I thought “Maybe I’ll hate my self in the morning
But I’ll do that regardless, so why be boring”?
I walked right up to that willow tree
What fools, what fools we mortals be
Track Name: Echo (Rough)
Oh, a merry fae went wandering to see what lay outside,
and I know this tale is true because that merry fae was I.

They say that magic’s dead beyond the hedge’s hidden walls
But I think that wonder doesn’t die, it hides when shadows fall.

And wondrous are the places small and hidden I will find
For I’m sure I’ve but to listen and the earth will hum in kind

They have tried to tell me do not go, for badly I will fare,
they may be right, I’ve heard about the men that rule out there

They say they're taking those who stray too far and aren't smart
They’re vile, voracious, vicious things with iron in their hearts

Oh, these tales are so exciting! Did they think I’d be afraid?
...well maybe just a little, but I won’t be scared away.

I've always wanderlusted; I will take hold of my fate
for how much worth is safety when you’re stuck behind a gate?

And so I went a-wandering, to see what lay outside,
and I sang with crickets and starlings, even made the old willow sigh.

This world is just as wondrous as I knew that it could be;
So many creatures big and small to greet, befriend, and see…

I’m glad I went a-wandering and meandered down the path
That rambles through these woods without a sign of iron wrath

Perhaps I will find dangers still within the realm of men
But I can’t seem to believe that; all this world's a peaceful glen

But lo, what's this I merry see? A figure further down
Infused with magic just like me; this must be kin I've found!

Oh joy to have found suddenly a fellow fae as free as me!
The stories we’ll share of how we’ve fared will become history!
Track Name: Kicked Out (Rough)
“Hey now get your hands off me!” / “What is this supposed to be?”
“Stop! You’re hurting me”
“Hey now, where you taking me?” and then I begin to see
Oh, please no not this

There’s a Rift not far from here, what they intend is crystal clear
I’m dead to them now. Might as well
Toss me into faerieland, let me suffer at their hands
And laugh all the while

I’ll be kicked out of my home, left here all alone
I’m thrown by my fortune to places unknown
I’m shunned by my race, kicked out on my face
They left me to die in disgrace

Will my mother shed a tear if I don’t get out of here?
Please don’t forget me
How could they have been so cruel; how could I be such a fool
Why did I set them free?

Spent my life believing they were nothing but deceiving fae
We paid them in kind, but when she
Found out what I really was, terrified of me because
Oh! I’ve been so blind

And just what did I think my new friend would infer
When she found I'd consumed other folk just like her?
She ran and was caught, I couldn’t stand by
But now for my troubles am I gonna die?

They started it first, yes they started this fight
So why should they care if I tried to do right?
I’ve heard all the tales, what they’ve done to good men
So why do I feel like I’d do it again?

I’m kicked out of my home, in the fae realm, alone
To follow my conscience to places unknown
She ran away; should I do the same?
If I try to talk then will I get the blame for it all?
Track Name: Burn Down the Faery Ring (Rough)
Once there was a time for laughter
Once there was a time for play
But there must come a time when we must draw the line
Because that time is over today

Once there was a time for faeries
And magic, and wonder, and lore
But we must take a stand to defend human land
Because now it is the time for war

I have come to raise the alarm
We must stand, hold the line, take up arms
We shall not yield to our enemy
We are strong, we are proud, we are free

So god damn all sprites, elves and faeries
And god damn the songs that they sing
We’ll pillage their homes and we’ll smash their queen’s throne
And we’ll burn down the faery ring

The world once was young and all faeries were one
We fae and our magic were free
But you beast-men instead, clumsy and overbred,
Have taken the world from me

Lurking in every dark alley
Waiting, we’ve always been here
Complacent no more, here to settle the score
We are your deepest fear

Come, my friends! Let us stand as one
The dawn of the fae has begun
The world’s ablaze, by our magic, rise
On this night, by the sword mankind dies

Ready for battle, my legions
Take back the world for the fae
Together we’ll fight, we will triumph this night
We’ll right the world gone astray

Join me in glorious battle
Together we will make them pay
We'll take none alive
And our people will thrive
They’ll not live to rue the day

You know our cause is righteous
You know our faith is true
We must now stop their lot
Kill them all; let them rot
They'd do no less to you

Curse the fae! They will steal your kin
In return they will burn for their sin
Curse all men! They’re our world’s decline
Prove your worth and the earth shall be thine

March through the rift on my order
My friends, we are destined to win
Our triumph draws near
We will teach them to fear
Let their destruction begin
Track Name: The War That Cannot Be Won (Rough)
Two ancient enemies arrive here today
Your people praying for salvation
I’ve seen the madness and the vengeance in your eyes
That way leads to annihilation

You’ve ignited the fuse, now you cannot but lose
You lead your own men into slaughter
When the battle is done, you will fall to the gun
The end is nigh, the war that cannot be won

Two ancient enemies have been kept apart
Their worlds completely separated
But over time the wall has been chipped away
The hedge between them desecrated

It was better before we kicked open the door
We’ve proven we can’t live together
Separation a gift now destroyed by this rift
I’ve got to end this war that cannot be won

Tom, if you are thinking that which I suspect you’re thinking
Then maybe there’s a way, but such a cost
Tom, if you are asking that which I suspect you’re asking
The power must arise from something lost

Your queen could throw away a hundred thousand of my people
But for her that would be no sacrifice
The willing death of just one human holds more power
Than the slaughter she would use to pay the price

Two ancient enemies that met in the wood
And found their fates woven together
Until today I only cared for myself
So we can do the queen one better

Never thought that a friend would deliver my end
My virtue the death of my conscience
We must give human life to the will of the knife
To save us from the war that cannot

Be they human or fae, I will curse those I save
Our worlds must be parted forever
So now take up the blade, blood and tears will be paid
We won’t let you fight the war that cannot be won
Track Name: Nothing Good Can Last (Rough)
I took a walk down by the stream today
I sat alone and let time just slip away
There was a path here winding through the wood
I used to play there, but now it’s gone for good

I met a stranger there who looked like me
But then he showed me how cruel the world could be
My friend is gone now, but the Rift is too
I wonder is this really what he had to do?

But now I know that it’s part of our nature
Doesn’t matter how we try
I know that nothing good can last, and we are why

Could we have found a way to coexist?
Why wonder now that it’s over, chances missed?
Are we that different from them after all? Or why did
He need to die to build this wall?

But it was time, there was just no solution
Didn’t matter how we tried
I know that nothing good can last, and we are why

They said the world was ours, and we believed
For all our hubris, what did we achieve?
Now we have a world all to ourselves, and nothing more

And they a world of rust and iron won,
If both had looked to the future, what could we have done? Instead we
Fought over grudges back to ancient times
Drunken on old mem’ries that had aged like wine

And I have learned history can be poison
It enthralls us in its spell
So maybe "nothing good can last" is just as well

We gods of old and we youthful rivals
Pray these words outlive ourselves
Our story’s done, but not alone upon the shelves

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