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Posted by Kim Winter, Monday 17th October, 2011

Song inspired by Brixton Windmill

Richard Kemp

Richard "Ric" Kemp is an acoustic folk guitarist and Friend of Windmill Gardens, who has written a song inspired by Brixton Windmill, called "Circle Round the Sun".

Richard says, "I have lived in Lambeth all my life and so have known about the windmill for a considerable period of time. Near where I grew up it was known there had been a windmill at Crown Point (just off Knights Hill, SE27) and I used to pause and look over to where I imagined the mill once stood. Still do whenever I'm up that way - there is a reservoir there now so no features to guide the eye.

"My maternal great great grandfather was the miller at Stevens or Lower Mill (c1840s) at Great Baddow, now a suburb of Chelmsford in Essex, so there are windmills in the family. It was in my mind to write a 'windmill song' after attending a FoWG event about one month ago, but I had neither lyrics nor music at that stage. Then quite recently I began to experiment with a set of guitar chords and these suggested 'Circle Round The Sun'.

"The song is a poem so has no linear sense to it as such. The archetypal image of the turning mill and the turning millstone suggested to me the seasonal turning of the solar year, especially at this time - this time of the year always seems pivotal to my mind.

"The second verse was suggested by two separate sightings of birds around the mill: in 1986 when I drew the mill there was a nest of birds under the cupola and I watched the birds busily arriving and departing while I worked; then 25 years later I watched swallow-like birds (martins?) flying above the mill when I attended the FoWG event."

Circle round the sun (inspired by a visit to Brixton Windmill in September 2011)

windmill turning tirelessly
windmill turning endlessly
turn through time the livelong day
turn through all eternity

how long till you turn for me
turn till turnings done?

set your sails and spiraling
circle round the sun

windmill, wings soar through the blue
must they leave so soon unto -
lands for which the swallow yearns
another season they'll return

how long till you turn for me
turn till turnings done?

set your sails and spiraling
circle round the sun

circle round the sun