In the Earth's Fading Light

by Kristina Stykos

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This album combines Kristina’s eclectic talents as a celtic guitar stylist, songwriter and roots musician. She has gathered friends to make her first home-studio recording, one that is full of grit, passion, and honesty. The song topics cover torn apart relations, spiritual alienation, and inspired reconnection with the core of living.


released January 1, 2005

IIn the Earth’s Fading Light © 2005 Kristina Stykos, Thunder Ridge Records, BMI. Produced by Kristina Stykos.

All songs/tunes written and arranged by Kristina Stykos © 2005, except for "Broken Wings" Composed and written by Dougie MacLean; published by Limetree Arts and Music (MCPS & PRS UK). Bela Fleck appears courtesy of Columbia Records.

Recorded by Kristina Stykos at Pepperbox Studio, Chelsea VT except for Karen Almquist’s track recorded at Red Rooster Studio, Berkeley CA, and Bela Flecks tracks recorded on the road. Edited, mixed and mastered by Corin Nelsen at Imaginary Road Studios, Windham County VT.

Kristina plays a ’56 Martin D-28, Froggy Bottom ’04 Koa/German spruce model K and ’03 Cuban Mahogany/Adirondack Spruce Model H-12 guitars, a Gibson junior mandolin and a Yamaha Keyboard.

Cover photo by Ethan Hubbard; Booklet design by Kevin Lyons.



all rights reserved


Kristina Stykos Chelsea, Vermont

Kristina is a music producer, recording engineer, songwriter, performer and landscape gardener based in Vermont. Her recording studio, Pepperbox Studio, is solar, wind and generator powered. She has engineered & produced over 20 albums for herself and clients. Her songwriting and composing have been supported by the Ucross Foundation and Brush Creek Artist Residency in Wyoming. ... more

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Track Name: This I Know

Gonna be careful this time
Gonna be careful with my
Gonna be careful this time
This I know

Gonna be nobody’s fool
Gonna make freedom my rule
Gonna be careful this time
This I know

Oh sister, let’s go down
Down, and touch this sacred ground

Gonna be sober this time
Gonna be clear in my mind
Gonna be sober this time
This I know

Gonna raise up my eyes
Gonna reach out to the sky
Gonna be ready to fly
This I know

Oh brother, let’s go down
Down, and touch this sacred ground

Gonna be honest with you
Gonna make words that are true
Gonna let my love get through
This I know

Gonna dive into the stream
Gonna make love ‘til I’m clean
Gonna take hold of this dream
This I know

Oh sister, let’s go down
Down, and touch this sacred ground
Track Name: Swallow Come Down

I am the swallow, I am in flight
I have been flying all of the night
The sea is raging, my wing is torn
I am the swallow of the storm

Swallow come down
Swallow come down, down, down
Swallow come down

Off in the distance, is that a light?
Could there be a flame on such a night?
My heart is weary, but my will is strong
Could there be a place for me to belong?


Hurricane lantern coming in sight
Her dancing and swinging is my delight
Glistening oak tree, weathered and true
She is the beacon that brought me to you


Lend me your branches, let me come down
Help me find solace on solid ground
Let your arms open, let your eyes see
Keep the love flowing , between you and me

Track Name: Like a Thief

I do remember you
You were a handsome sight
A weathered fiddle tucked beneath your chin
Working the streets at night

You made them laugh, you liked your whiskey
You saw many, many dawns like this
Sunlight stretching the Atlantic
To touch you with its kiss

And the rain comes down, like a thief
And runs into the ground
Orion was high in the winter sky
Now he’s buried with his crown

A shabby daytime soldier you were
A constellation in the dark
Your tunes flew out over the empty stage
Like shiny pennies from a jar

Like a child expecting love
You could always make one shed a tear
You’d catch the hardest heart like a thistle down
Spread your wings and disappear


I cannot say I ever knew you well
Or that you saw me when you looked my way
Once you said: “Sing us a song!”
And I turned away

Your old coat still hung by the fire
Your empty glass, so bright and clear
I cannot say I ever knew your love
But you were welcome here


The night is over, the light is rising
The stars are lazy in the sky
The wild music and the dancings done
Its time to stoke the dying fire

September’s wood was green
Now in the cold March wind it burns
My voice has come back to me
But I know you won’t return
Track Name: Heart of the Dark Sea

When the days are shining, I will know you
Touch my eyes to your horizon, walk your shore

You are my light, gentle light, holy light
You pierce my soul; with your strength, I am whole

Turning this night in my hands, I do seek thee
Torn like a page from the heart of the dark sea

Where your hearth is swept clean, I will know you
When your words all have been spoken, I’ll reply

You are in flight, ragged bird, o’er the dark sea
Look for the light, lonely man, you are now free

Cradle the flame of this parting, your passage
Take now the gift of my love from this message
Track Name: You Follow My Soul

You follow my soul - wherever it goes
Wherever I go
You are my shadow of gold - steady as stone
I am no longer alone

One bright doorway into this life
Many long roads to find you
Sunlight reaching out like a hand
You are the spirit of the land

You are the water I drink - the passion I seek
In the river so deep
You are the tumbling flash - swimming so fast
You hold the secrets I keep

Nights of thunder - nights of shame
Nights of steady soaking rain
Only you know who I am
You are my sacred land

You are the heather in bloom - under the sky
In a meadow so high
You are the summoning call - of a raven blue
From a broken stone wall

Your old well is hidden by hills
My tin cup is dipping there
I’ll be with you ‘til I die
Release my spirit as she flies
Track Name: The Delaware Side

It’s not hard to explain
It’s just hard to feel this pain
I was young; I was unafraid
Drawn just like a moth into the flame

He was standing by the fire, shaking off the snow
Now I’m thinking that I done wrong – I guess I’ll never know
His old coat was tattered and blue, his eyes shone like gold
He knew the land like the back of his hand; he asked me to go

I’m already gone, I’ll love you while the night is long
I’m already free, free to take your love with me
Oh, freedom

My father forbid me to go

Anywhere near the troops in town

He said a girl’s proper place is at home 

And that we owed it all to the crown

But my blue soldier was my country, my blue soldier was king
We lay down on the blade of his knife, he gave me his ring
I looked up at his face so fair, our fates closer than twine
I still feel the caress of his hair, falling

I’m already gone, I’ll love you while the night is long
I’m already free, free to take your love with me
Oh, freedom

I left under the cover of night
To that empty place up the hollow
I held close to my dark pony’s mane
And proceeded to my sorrow

His bare back in the pale moonlight, her form slipping away
Curse the night and the bitter hand that I was forced to play
Nevermore like an old plum tree, withered on the vine
Nevermore, just the memory, of our sweetest times

I’m already gone, I’ll love you while the night is long
I’m already free, free to take your love with me
Oh, freedom

I was just seventeen on that day
When they took my blue soldier away
On my heart there a secret I wore
Standing like a stone in the door

Now I’m thinking that I done wrong, I can feel the shame
Burning hot like a wasted fire, pouring down like rain
Rain in the gutter or rain in the sea, ain’t no difference how
Just one big old river of life, too wide to cross now

I’m already gone, I’ll love you while the night is long
I’m already free, free to take your love with me
Track Name: Never Lay it Down

I’ll tell you my story
I’ll tell you what I can
I’ll tell you for the record
About an angry man

He lied and he was a cheater
Always sneaking around
He lied and he was a cheater
But I would not lay down

His mind was like the devil
He cursed me from the start
His mind was like the devil
And cunning was his heart

He fooled me with deception
He pressed me to the ground
He tried to break my spirit
But I would not lay down

I would not lay down
I would not lay down
I would not lay down

So all you tender ladies
Who’re thinking that you can
Believe me when I tell you
You’ll never fix a man

If his love is a weapon
It’s not love that you’ve found
You’d best pick up your pride now
And never lay it down
Track Name: In the Earth's Fading Light

It’s a matter of life
In the beak of a dove
It’s a fountain of stars
Releasing their love
In the cascading light, I see you

Through the sleet and the ice
My way is revealed
Like a terrible vast
And mine-laden field
I will fight for my soul and I will be healed

Many nights there’s a glow
But I cannot read
If only my heart
Could bring what I need
From this window so high, carry me

It’s a moment of choice
There will be no command
Just silver and gold
Or dirt in our hands
Like a fledgling must fly, so must I

You have given me clues
Precluding my fall
I am given to fear
But you are my all
In the earth’s fading light, hear you my call

Fly, fly fair Pleiades
Place your kiss upon my brow, take me now
Track Name: Song to My Children

You are my son
Your eyes are true
When you were young I held you
You held me too

You’ve been my friend
Who knew you’d grow
And offer up a man
For me to know

Children be wise, be strong, be driven
Open your eyes to what is hidden
Offer your tears like rain from heaven
Open your heart to what is given

And you, my girl
The feisty one
Who in my pain I prayed for
That you should come

I walked alone
the winter long
You brought me warmth and wonder
Somewhere to go


And then came one
My smallest joy
Your brightness came unbidden
Just like the sun

Your spirit called
And so you flew
To earth and through our window
In dancing shoes

Track Name: Valleys all of Blue

It’s a coarse and a hungry country
With valleys all of blue
You can ride in the vale for hours
And never rise to a view

Each is weary traveler
Each knows trouble and strife
Each is a soul gone so low
Lost to the meaning of life

Here’s a toast to the men behind me
Here’s a glass to the setting sun
To all who have cared for me roughly
‘Til my feelings they were numb

You who’ve said that you loved me
While you took aim with your gun
I regret to announce my departure
Our parting now has come

I look to the road less traveled
Where the air has a shimmer and shine
Where the clouds are never cast over
And tears run sweet like wine

Here I carry my burden
Quickened by the sound
Of a bird crying out to the north wind
While the mountain streams come down