At midnight, The Birdsong

by Jake and the Leprechauns



Jake and the Leprechauns is a six-piece band with an unlikely trajectory. The band hails from the Eastern Townships of Québec, and has released three records to much international fanfare. These feature guest appearances by the cream of Canada’s musical royalty, members of Blue Rodeo, The Barenaked Ladies, The Tragically Hip and of Patrick Watson.

From the outset, the band has strived to reconcile the immediacy and rawness of their favourite records from the 1970s with the depth and urgency of contemporary songwriting, to make poetry accessible by dressing it up in folk and country clothes, to make modern pop palatable by injecting it with a healthy dose of self-awareness.

Their latest offering, At Midnight the Birdsong, a lush, “swooning saga with larger-than-life crescendos” was recorded by Grammy Award, Brit Award and Juno Award winner Mark Lawson (of Arcade Fire fame). The album charted in the top 20 of university stations across the country and peaked at 1 in BC shortly after its release. It was selected as one of the 10 best records of 2010 by Americana UK, and the single Busy Bee won top honors at the international Independent Music Awards.

The band has received international critical acclaim for their three albums, and opened for some of this country’s best known acts. The band also opened for internationally acclaimed band My Morning Jacket at the Metropolis in Montreal.


released June 22, 2010

All songs by Phillipe Custeau (SOCAN)

Music by C-Antoine Gosselin (SOCAN)

Produced by Jake and the Leprechauns

Recorded at the Mighty HOTEL2TANGO
by Mark Lawson

Overdubs recorded at the Pacific Factory, the Granada Theatre, and various other locations by Jake and the Leprechauns

Mixed by Michael Néron

Mastered by Harris Newman at Greymarket Mastering

Layout and design by Pierre-Antoine Robitaille

Marie-Christine Plourde mcmuse.mcp​ 450.651.1707




all rights reserved


Jake and the Leprechauns Sherbrooke, Québec

Jake and the Leprechauns are now known as Harvest Breed

The Factory Session on Youtube: live versions of "When it breaks, it breaks", "Tangiers" and "Desolation Sound"
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Track Name: When the Flood Came

When the flood came I wasn’t ready
After years of thinking I was free
Traces of former lives (neatly folded, forgotten clothes,
loved-out books, broken at the spine)
Safely tucked away in precarious boxes

When the flood came I wasn’t ready
Just when I’d started going through the motions,
A ritual cleansing of biblical proportions:
Henry Miller paper boats
On a calm, muddy sea,
The ink of old letters bleeding out from shoeboxes
In a hopeless, blue murder scene

Our lives framed in by these small disasters

When the flood came I wasn’t ready
Track Name: The Year in Review

So let this be a document
Of this moment
In time, the testament
Of another placid year

And maybe it’ll only become clear
When we are no longer here
That none of this had to matter—
Everyone has dreams of surrender

For your sake I holed up in this town
Just for your sake

So let this be a document
Of this moment
In time, the sweetest fruit
Always turns the sourest

The tinny scent of rain,
A harbinger so clear
This buzzing in your ear
Numinous as a ghost train

Open the windows and let the world in
None of it is ours to keep
Track Name: Busy Bee

Busy bee, busy bee
We could have lived quietly
Busy bee, busy bee
On wild fennel and clover honey

Busy bee, busy bee
I’ve been waiting patiently
Busy bee, busy bee
Only your sting can set us free
Track Name: Tangiers

If he can wait another five or ten years,
She will meet him in Tangiers

There used to be, between them,
A quiet respect
Based mostly on patterns
of fear and restlessness

And now he can barely remember
The way mountain air
Made her New England cheeks blush

If he can wait another five or ten years,
She will meet him in Tangiers

Life is short
But the days are long
And she has just been running
To catch up with hers

So until then he’ll try
Everything that he can
To find some meaning
In the angle of a building,
The singing of the band

They waited close to ten years
To meet in Tangiers

But time makes no allowances for the meek,
the resigned, or the weary:

When the plane touches the dark waters—
A first kiss between two strangers—
She’ll remember these things:
-The touch of her mother
-The smell of winter

And when she doesn’t materialize on schedule
(something he half-expected),
he will chalk it up to circumstances or,
weather permitting, her notorious fickleness,
and turn away, smiling,
Track Name: Misunderstanding Enthropy

From oak to acorn
And acorn to oak
The dark fields cloaked
In winter’s coat

April truly is the cruelest
Our paths, a yearly palimpsest
The promise of greater clarity
Never just one thing, as it tends to be

Like that night,
we huddled close in an alcove
Escaping the wind,
the rush of it

While next door
a movie played
To a roomful of strangers

And how at home, after,
We already missed
What had barely come
To pass

From ashes, cities will rise
Our hopes and aspirations
Dwarfed by their size

The cat is always either dead, or alive
Track Name: The Modest Triumphs of a Life Examined

Restless July
With back stuck to bedsheet,
The house a fishtank,

They’ve expanded plans for the highway
Through pristine farmland
(the uxorious man always forgets
his own hand)

The ink of impossible wars
And market disasters
Is spread thin
On our brass knockers

And I’m still looking for
Something that will move me,
Some kind of levity,
Like the loon on the docks, in the rain

Vernal longings
Turn to summer warnings

Fire will spare no one.
Track Name: From Here to There

A sudden, slight coolness in the air
awakens us
to the truth of our condition
(I am here and she is there)
And there’s little we can do about it

To start thinking of the house
As a home
To learn to live there alone
(I am here and she is there)
And there’s little we can do about it

The poetry of motion:
she, leaning her weight
into the glass door,
in the middle of the night

Even in our basic form,
we are seldom more than an amalgamation
of small spaces: recesses
piled upon one another,
from here to there
Track Name: A Unified Theory of Everything

The leaves rustle past
Down Church Street
Staring at your feet, I thought:
If time could only stop

Rainy days in Vermont
And the feeling
That nothing this good
Can ever last

I looked at you and said:
“You have to put your trust somewhere,
‘Cause we’re hurling through space
And nobody seems to care.”
Track Name: We May as Well Have Been Kings

The streets are empty
And the evening is dark
So pretend this is a movie
And that you fit the part

Later, I’ll make paper cutouts
of the roads we walked
And, for you, build houses
Out of cardboard boxes

I’ll talk about Charlie Parker
And you’ll touch your crooked finger
To mine and say: “I had a dream about this,
you fell asleep on the roof.”
Or “there must be chaos,
before any semblance of order.”

Sputnik Sweetheart
Can you see in the dark?
Cause from where we are
Every spark looks like a star

I’ll talk about Charlie Parker
And touch my crooked finger
To yours and say: “We’re nowhere closer
To any kind of understanding
But tonight, dear,
We may as well have been kings.”
Track Name: When it breaks, it breaks

It’ll happen anywhere;
you’ll be in the underground station,
waiting for your train,
or under a striped Paris awning,
trying to dodge the rain

It’ll hit you like middle age
with no concern for convenience,
skins peeling wildly, everything
down to the first sign of language

It’ll happen anywhere
because there’s a bit of you in me,
and in both of us, the rest of history

I’m in the underground station,
waiting for your train,
you’re under the striped green awning,
trying to dodge the rain
Track Name: Longanimity

‘Seeing you I want no other life,’
Spelled out in a book
How quietly the thought will disappear,

I need a new dream
This one has grown old and faded,
All frayed ends and tattered corners,

We used to wait
We no longer wait
We used to listen
We no longer listen

Once we were lovers and
Danced in the shadow of the tamarind tree
You sang an Indian love song,
held your shoes in one hand

Then, the squeaking of chairs, grinding of coffee—
sounds and smells of morning ritual—
I could get used to this, I thought

We used to wait
We no longer wait
We used to listen
We no longer listen

I need a new dream
This one will no longer carry me
on its shaky stilts
Track Name: You Looked So Small

Early yesterday coming down the stairs
trying not to wake the baby (creaky floors)
I sat and wrote in my notebook
Voices, pictures, records
A list of things I would miss

A moment later you appeared, too
looking so small against the morning sky,
your ankles frail,
the shimmer of your summer dress

What hubris to think all that was missing
was the part of me I couldn’t find,
as if despair ever revealed more than
the limits of our imagination

Then later still, outside,
overwhelmed by the simple fear of loss
we stood in silence
while smoke rose from the factory’s chimney towers
like thin wisps of cloud-like regret

And at midnight, the birdsong