Tristan and Iseult:
A Celtic Love Story

Music and lyrics by Lane Lambert

Here, you will find explanations for each song as
well as complete lyrics, mp3 samples and performer bios...

Click on underlined song titles to hear mp3 samples. Most are 30 - 60
second snippets. Click on underlined performers' names to read their bios.

Dramatis Personae

Tristan, prince of Cornwall: Keith Klehm
Iseult, princess of Ireland:
Kristin Dempsey
Queen Iseult, Princess Iseult's mother:
Lane Lambert
Iseult of Brittany, Tristan's wife: Carol Matthews
Palomides, a knight:
Patrick Chambers
Brangwyn, Iseult's maidservant: Lane Lambert
Governayle, Tristan's manservant: Lynn Wilson
Sailors: Patrick Chambers, Rex Deaver, Louis Lambert
Maids: Lyn Wolz,
Kathy Hall, Karyl Wilson, Lane Lambert
Monks: Patrick Chambers, Lane Lambert

Tristan of Lyonesse, champion warrior and nephew to King Mark of Cornwall, fights the Irish champion the Morholt ("The Hill" in Irish Gaelic) and kills him, freeing Cornwall from Ireland's control. But Morholt has wounded Tristan with a poisoned blade, and Tristan is dying.

The Morholt (Hear the complete number!)
Lane Lambert: harp, keyboard, penny whistle
Patrick Chambers: guitar, synthesizer, dhoumbek
Kathy Hall: hammered dulcimer
Ann Penland: hammered dulcimer
Rex Deaver: bodhran

Tristan and his man Governayle travel by boat to Ireland to the court of King Angwyshaunce. His daughter, Iseult, a healer, is Tristan's only hope of a cure.

Journey
Lane Lambert: harp, keyboard, vocal
Sonya Baughman: recorder

Tristan and Governayle present themselves at court, concealing their identities because the Morholt was Princess Iseult's uncle. They interrupt a celebration honoring the Morholt's memory.

Join Me in the Dance
Lane Lambert: keyboard
Patrick Chambers: guitar, percussion
Sonya Baughman: recorder

As Iseult treats Tristan's wound, the handsome young man first persuades her to sing with him and then to kiss him.

Night is Falling (Hear the complete number!)
Night is falling,Dreams are calling.
Sunlight's fading,Bringing the time for sleeping.
Oh, won't you sleep in my arms? I will protect you from harm.
Here by my side I'll expect you to stay, Until we awake to the dawn of the day.

Night is falling everywhere; Dreams are calling, gentle and fair.
Darkness takes the place of the sun, And sleep will come to everyone.
Sleeping close within your arms, I am safe from all harm.
Here beside you I will stay, Together we will greet the day.

Lane Lambert: harp, keyboard
Patrick Chambers: guitar
Keith Klehm: vocal
Kristin Dempsey: vocal

Jealous Palomides has loved Iseult for many years, but to her he seems like a second father. He witnesses the kiss between Tristan and Iseult, but cannot tell her how he feels. Alone, he sings a warning Iseult will never hear.

I Wish I Didn't Care
Can't you see he doesn't love you? Can't you see you're just another toy?
Can't you see he doesn't want you? You're a woman and he's a boy.

I wish I didn't know How swiftly love can end
When love is just a game Of make-believe pretend.
I wish I couldn't see You're walking on thin air
I wish I didn't know I wish I didn't care.

Can't you see he doesn't need you? Can't you see he barely knows your name?
Can't you see he won't remember? He thinks women are all the same.

I wish I didn't know How lonely life can be
When only one's in love. The other doesn't see.
I wish I couldn't see You're walking on thin air I wish I didn't know I wish I didn't care.

Can't you see that he'll desert you? Can't you see he'll leave you all alone?
Can't you see he's going to hurt you? Break, then turn your heart to stone.

I wish I didn't know When he walks in the door
That love is just a word; I've seen his kind before.
I wish I couldn't see You're walking on thin air
I wish I didn't know I wish I didn't care.

Lane Lambert: harp, vocal, keyboard
Patrick Chambers: electric guitar, bass, synth. percussion, vocal

Tristan's true identity is eventually discovered and he and Governayle flee for their lives to Cornwall. Ambitious King Mark seeks to gain control of Ireland by marrying Iseult. He sends Tristan back to Ireland to bring Iseult to Cornwall. Iseult agrees to the marriage, but wonders if she can fall in love with King Mark.

Will He Be the One
Will he be what I am seeking? Will he be the one?
Will he set my heart to beating? Will he be the one?
So many lonely hours Make up my life so far.
Maybe the higher powers Will send me a friendly star.
Will he be what I am seeking? I don't have a clue.
But maybe this dream that I've dreamed all my life
Will finally start to come true.

Will he be my private heaven? Will he be the sun?
Will he be my guardian angel? Will he be the one?
I have been scared to dream it, Knowing how most dreams end.
Somehow it doesn't seem It could ever go wrong again.
Will he be my priceless treasure? Will he be the day?
If happiness comes to each one in her turn, It's finally coming my way.

Lane Lambert: harp, keyboard
Patrick Chambers: guitar
Kristin Dempsey: vocal

Iseult's mother, Queen Iseult, a powerful sorceress, believes she can regain control of Cornwall by controlling her daughter. She prepares a love potion to be shared by King Mark and Iseult.

Spellsong
Chorus: I call on the East, the power of air,
And I call on the South, the power of fire,
And I call on the West for the waters of life,
And to Earth in the North in the pale moonlight.
Earth, air, water, fire. Earth, air, water, fire.
Chant the spell and build the flame up higher.

Walking nine times 'round the circle of light
And we build up the flame to make day out of night
And then we look to the Lady who answers the call
And we search for the power within us all.

Chorus

Lighting the candles and ringing the bell
As we're stirring the cauldron and chanting the spell
And we are lifted in flight and our wings are unfurled
And we're building the power to change the world.

Chorus

Raise up the sword as the chalice is passed
And we share in the joy of the spell we have cast
And we're together in spirit, we're part of the plan
And we're bound by the sign of the pentagram.

I call on the East, the power of air,
And I call on the South, the power of fire,
And I call on the West for the waters of life,
And to Earth in the North in the pale moonlight.

Lane Lambert: vocals, keyboard
Patrick Chambers: Electric guitar, bass, synth. percussion

Tristan is happy to be returning to Cornwall, enjoying the voyage as he compares the sea to a powerful woman. The captain and sailors join him in his song.

Call of the Sea/Sailor's Dance
Riding the waves as the sails meet the wind
And the spray in my face is the water of life
And I wonder how I ever lived by the ocean
Without ever hearing the call of the sea.

See how she moves to me, rolls to me now
See how she is reaching and touching the bow
Come to me sailor she beckons to me
She's making me answer the call of the sea.

Lane Lambert: keyboard
Patrick Chambers: guitar, vocal
Ann Penland: accordion
Keith Klehm: vocal
Rex Deaver: vocal, bodhran
Louis Lambert: vocal

As the ship nears Cornwall, Tristan and Iseult discover the love potion Iseult's maid Brangwyn has hidden in a basket. Thinking it is wine, they drink the potion and fall in love.

Love Has Brought Me Here
Love has brought me here To be here by your side.
Love has made it clear That I have no place to hide.
We can tell the tale Of a love that cannot die,
And I will still be loving you When all the seas run dry.

When all the seas run dry, my love When all the seas run dry
And I will still be loving you When all the seas run dry.

Love is ever new Whenever you are near,
Bringing us a song That only we can hear.
Giving you my heart Is a part of love's design,
And I will still be loving you When stars no longer shine.

When stars no longer shine, my love When stars no longer shine
And I will still be loving you When stars no longer shine.

Love was like a dream I never thought was real,
Promising a joy That I never thought I'd feel.
Now you're here with me And I know that you are mine,
And I will still be loving you Until the end of time.

Until the end of time, my love Until the end of time
And I will still be loving you Until the end of time.

When all the seas run dry, my love When stars no longer shine
And I will still be loving you Until the end of time.

Lane Lambert: harp, keyboard
Patrick Chambers: guitar
Keith Klehm: vocal
Kristin Dempsey: vocal

Iseult follows her duty rather than her heart, and marries King Mark.

Iseult's Wedding
Lane Lambert: keyboard
Patrick Chambers: electric guitar

Because the pain of staying is too great, Tristan decides to leave Cornwall and marry another Iseult: the young Iseult of Brittany. Iseult begs him not to go.

Because I Can't Have You
Because I can't have you I'll be content with someone else.
I'll try to look beyond myself Because I can't have you.

We drank the drink of love-- Our hearts entwined for all of time--
But I can never look behind Because I can't have you.

She can never take your place. I will always see your face.

And if there comes a day When we are free to be as one,
I'll hide the pain I've undergone Because I can't have you.

You are my only love. Though now I go to someone new
My heart remains forever true Although I can't have you.

She can never take your place. I will always see your face.

Our saving grace may be We never meant to fall in love,
But something happened to me And I can't give you up.

I will risk anything To hold you in my arms again
For I don't want it to end And I can't give you up.

You beside me, never leaving me. Stay with me, stay with me

How can you be untrue? I only want to be with you.
You would be braver to stay, And I can't give you up.

How can you leave me now Knowing that I love you so?
No, I don't want you to go, And I can't give you up.

You beside me, never leaving me. Stay with me, stay with me

Lane Lambert: keyboard
Keith Klehm: vocal
Kristin Dempsey: vocal

Governayle discovers the affair between Tristan and Iseult. He prides himself on his honesty, and persuades Brangwyn to go with him to tell King Mark. Mark sends his men to search for Tristan, but Tristan is already on his way to Brittany.

Honest Man
Now you can see by my face that I'm an honest man
And I tell you she's with somebody else right now
And the lines on my face I hope you'll understand
They are the curse of the honest man.
She seems so innocent. You believe her every word.
Maybe she's beautiful, But don't deny the things you've heard.
She knows what she wants. I tell you trouble is on the way.
She wants what you have. I say she'll take what she wants and she'll make you pay.
You know what you need. You need for somebody else to be true.
She can't be trusted, And you should hide if she tries to get close to you.
I say the two of them Will make a fool of you and If you don't listen now
What will they do to you? No reason to deny They are alone together.
Why would I have to lie? Go take a look for yourself.

Now if you look in my eyes You'll see I'm on your side.
You know I don't want to bring you bad news today,
But the man that she loves is someone close to you
And you would hear of it anyway.
He might not mean to lie. Maybe he can't help himself.
He could be asking why She's not in love with someone else.
She is your problem. You have to distance yourself if you can.
Try not to blame him. You know what love for a woman does to a man.
It stands to reason That there are things which you know nothing of.
Don't call it treason-- Just a mistake that was made in the name of love.
Don't turn away from this. You know you have to face it.
That first forbidden kiss And all that follows it.
You have to feel the pain And nothing can erase it.
Your life is not the same. Why won't you listen to me?
Why won't you listen to me? Why won't you listen to me?

Lane Lambert: vocal, keyboard
Patrick Chambers: electric guitar, bass, percussion
Lynn Wilson: vocal

Tristan marries young Iseult of Brittany, but can't bring himself to consummate the marriage. Her maids sing mockingly of this.

Love Isn't Hard
I have been warned by a lady or two That love isn't sweetness and light.
I've been tormented by frightening dreams And dreading the end of this night.

Chorus: But love isn't hard, it's as easy as flying. I simply fall back and I soar.
Love isn't hard, it's as soft as a breeze, And leaving me wanting much more.

The bigger they are then the harder they fall Is what I've been told by a few.
The ones I have seen haven't been tall at all, And falling is what lovers do.

Chorus

Handsome is handsome is what handsome does Is how the old legend is told.
I could get on with a little less handsome If I had a little more bold.

Chorus

Women have wiles and the purest of smiles To win in the war of romance,
But the measure of man in the battle of love Is all in the strength of his lance.

Chorus

Lane Lambert: vocal, keyboard
Patrick Chambers: guitar
Lyn Wolz: vocal
Karyl Wilson: vocal
Kathy Hall: vocal

Tristan's young bride overhears Tristan speaking of the other Iseult, his one true love. Sadly, she yearns for his faithfulness.

Wanting You
Wanting you while you're lying there asleep
Makes me feel that my passions run too deep.
If I dared to take you in my arms, To show you that I cared,
Would that do any harm to our love?
When you sleep, there's no place you can go.
You're with me, the only time I know
You won't leave; so sleep a little more. I'll lie here by your side
And I'll be very sure of your love.

When you dream, are you dreaming just of me?
Someone else might be the one you see.
She and I, our differences are few,
But she has someone else And I have only you and our love.
Don't you know I love you more than life? She is gone, but I am still your wife.
Look at me. I'll gladly pay the price To keep you by my side.
I'll put away my pride for your love.

Lane Lambert: keyboard, penny whistle
Carol Matthews: vocal

King Mark travels to Brittany and stabs Tristan as he sleeps. Tristan sends for his lover Iseult, who cured him once before.

A Knife in the Dark
Lane Lambert: penny whistle, keyboard
Jim Clemons: mandolin

When Iseult's ship arrives, Tristan's jealous wife tells him the ship is flying a black sail rather than a white one, meaning Iseult did not come to him. Tristan loses all hope. Though Iseult hurries to his side, when she reaches him he is already dead.

Stay With Me
Stay with me a little while. Stay with me a while.
Won't you even say goodbye, Smile a farewell smile?
You and I were happy once. Seems like long ago.
I'd remind you of our love, But I think you know.
Please hold my hand once again. Please touch my face
And let me feel once again The warmth of your embrace.
Some things can change quite a lot-- We know it's true--
But one thing never will change, And that's my love for you.
Stay with me a little while. Stay with me a while.
Won't you even say goodbye? Smile a farewell smile?

Lane Lambert: harp, keyboard
Patrick Chambers: guitar
Kristin Dempsey: vocal

Though Tristan's wife begs Iseult to leave his body with her, Iseult refuses, and has the monks from a nearby monastery carry his body aboard her ship.

Farewell/Iseult's Wedding Reprise
Lane Lambert: harp, keyboard, vocal
Patrick Chambers: vocal

 

Music and lyrics Copyright 1999, Lane Lambert, 9021 West 65th Drive, Merriam, KS, 66202

Produced by Patrick Chambers and Lane Lambert
Arranged by Lane Lambert and Patrick Chambers
Recorded, engineered and mastered by Patrick Chambers, Rune Recordings
Executive Producer:
Louis Lambert

Lane's harp by Heartland Strings; Patrick's acoustic guitar by Martin

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