The Fabulist

by Juniperus

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about

"The Fabulist" is a collection of 12 of Aesop's fables, retold in song. Aesop was a Greek miniature story-writer from ~600 B.C. whose stories have become very well known, and told across the world. This project began in March of 2013, and has escalated, since, to create this full album and a complete live production including large scale shadow puppetry.

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For more info and media on Juniperus, go to:
www.juniperusmusic.com

credits

released July 10, 2014

Instrumentation:

Stephanie Unverricht - Bassoon(The Horse and the Groom, The Ox and the Frogs, The Moon and Her Mother), Oboe(The Vain Jackdaw), Sprat Voice(The Fisherman and the Sprat)

Adrianna Dyksman - Clarinet(The Fox Without a Tail), Bass Clarinet(The Dolphins the Whales and the Sprat)

Anne-Marie Wheeler - Harmony Vocals(The Goose that Laid the Golden Eggs)

Chelsea Martin - Sprat Voice(The Dolphins the Whales and the Sprat)

Chris Smith - Elder Fox Voice(The Fox Without a Tail), Narrator(The Horse and the Groom)

Fable and Fabulist illustrations by Cynthia Tedy

Jeffrey Popiel - Classical Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Baritone Ukulele, Valve Trombone, Trumpet, Tuba, Clarinet, Flute, Accordion, Vibraphone, Wurlitzer Piano, Omnichord, Percussion, Vocals

Songwriting, Production, Mixing and Mastering by Jeffrey Popiel

Greatest of thanks to ALL THE PERFORMERS ABOVE, as well as: Reilly Forbes, Troy Denet, Timothy Doran, Shayne Cafferata, Joshua Robinson, Vladimir Yatsina, Blair Colwell, Amanda Bestvater, Brian Unverricht, Samuel Enns, William Popiel, Esther Stenberg, and all encouraging friends.

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about

Juniperus Saskatchewan

In 2013, Jeffrey Popiel began a solo project titled 'Juniperus'. His inspired originals have more recently taken on a new life with the pursuit of ÆSOP's Fables. While these new 'fable songs' reside in the realm of folk, they present themselves in a diverse way, by using distinct voicing for each character, and swaying between genres, such as ambient folk, quirky pop, and folky blues. ... more

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Track Name: The Goose that Laid the Golden Eggs
Long ago, in a village far gone,
a party of two had not been married for long.
They decided they needed a goose for their farm,
and surprise had them singin' a most wonderful song:

"Oh you bring us such fortune,
and it's only just begun.
Oh you bring us such fortune,
why not more?"

A man and his wife found their first golden egg.
Straight from a goose it was recently laid.
They sold it for money to buy things they want,
but weren't getting all that they cared to.
So they sang:

"Oh you bring us such fortune,
and it's only just begun.
Oh you bring us such fortune,
why not more?"

They thought that she just might be gilded inside.
The goose fled for life, with no chances to hide.
They tore the bird up with a dull butcher's knife,
but they would spend most of their miserable lives,
without hope of the gold that the bird fabricated.
Right then from their eyes they had precipitated, crying

"Oh you brought us such fortune.
It had only just begun.
Oh you brought us such fortune,
Now no more.
Oh you brought us such fortune.
It had only just begun.
Oh you brought us such fortune,
now no more.
Now no more"
Track Name: The Hares and the Frogs
With many a threat to the long-eared hares,
a trial around every bush.
They'd collectively chosen to end it all,
to render their own lives, kaput.

Oh such a burden, this worrisome world,
our stories are all of escape.
Anxiety always will be in our minds,
expecting such perilous fate.

As they hurtled toward the watery marsh,
their minds had been set in soap stone.
Then as their leader had witnessed a frog move astray,
it stopped all four legs of its own.

See, it then realised, with frog's motion in time,
that their thoughts had so narrow a view.
That their lives were worth living in spite of the fear,
frog lives had more fear than theirs do.

Oh such a burden, this worrisome world,
our stories are all of escape.
Anxiety always will rest in our minds,
expecting such perilous fate,
Yet there's always another who has it much worse,
you just have to open your eyes,
And as they had chosen to wait out their time,
we will follow in suit, and be wise.
Track Name: The Horse and the Groom
You clip, comb, and steal oats every day.
Less than enough left for me, so I say.
Your duty to have me as pretty as possible,
while leaving my sole pile of grub much less bountiful,
has led me to fade in my skin.

So, take my wealth away and feed it to your greed.
As you may have discovered now, my health you impede.
A fine looking horse is not this hungry steed,
so leave me my rations, of you, this you I plead.

Well, you might have figured it out by now,
the groom was stealing that horse's oats, and sellin’ them for cash on the side.
The rancher didn't understand that it was the groom's doin’, and just thought the horse might’a been sick.
Well, that darn poor horse passed away.
But in came a new horse for him to take care of.
That new horse didn’t know what was comin’,
OOOoohhh NOOOOooooooo nooooooo!

You take out the knots in my mane with such ease
but taking my oats for your sale won't appease
my desire to stave my hunger you've seized,
stop selling my food, won't you help me live, please!
Your duty to have me as pretty as possible,
while leaving my sole pile of grub much less bountiful,
has led me to fade in my skin.


So, take my wealth away and feed it to your greed.
As you may have discovered now, my health you impede.
A fine looking horse is not this hungry steed,
so leave me my rations, of you, this, I plead.

Your duty to have me as pretty as possible,
while leaving my sole pile of grub much less bountiful,
has led me to fade. . .
Track Name: The Ox and the Frogs
Two brother frogs had begun at the edge of a pond they had always called home,
while dancing to recreate leisures of life, an ox hoof had flattened Jerome.

Bro of Jerome sat in silence, alone, as he mourned the new death of the frog.
The ox wasn’t sorry, and not of disgrace, an accident, he did not know.
When done drinking the pool by the silent one stunned, right next to the old rotten log,
the towering figure then finally left, and the little one ran through the fog.

Days had gone by, and the mother of both had an inkling of something amiss.
Robert was there, but his brother was not. At that moment, young Rob described this:

"Forever now gone, Jerome, by the pond, was trampled by creature so great.
Its eyes were the size of the two of us each, gigantic, but noticed too late.”

The mother then spoke, and had asked if she matched the large size of the beast of the tale.
She puffed herself up while she doubled in size, but in comparison did not pale.

Bigger and bigger, she began to gro-o-O-OW,
surely much bigger, the creature was so.

When Robert replied,
"No, mother frog, yet much larger than that, as his head was the size of you now."
Right then she began to take deeper a breath, to attempt to match girth of the cow.

Bigger and bigger, she began to gro-o-O-OW,
surely much bigger, the creature was so.

When Robert again said, “much larger that that!” she was nearly the shape of a ball.
There is no way in any swamp land here on earth, she could even be nearly as tall.
But, bigger and bigger, she began to gro-o-O-OW,
surely much bigger, the !
Track Name: The Dolphins the Whales and the Sprat
As many mammals, waterbound, had argued in the ocean,
the dolphins, they decided that they couldn't take much more.
The whales intended to create a selfish situation,
but disagreements had ensued. A battle was implied.
Before they carried on, instead, a sprat thought to deny.

O' little one, you have no place to be the reconciler,
and all the while, it takes a shot to make another smile.
You have a hope, and want to speak your mind to make resolve,
with good intentions wishing for this squabble to dissolve

Swimming into place, the sprat was ready to make action.
She opened up her mouth and bubbles rose to meet the air.
The tiny voice had spoken and was heard among each pod,
"Please refrain from fighting, with your reasons far from fair."

A dolphin taking notice changed his glance to meet the fish.
With grey and red among its face, the anger, hard to miss.
The sprat began to fear the indignation in its eyes,
and not a single thing was spoken, except for this reply,
"How could such a feeble fish think she could change our minds
to have you stop us here, I say, we'd rather end our lives."

O' little one, you had no place to be the reconciler,
and all the while it takes a shot to make another smile.
You had a hope before you spoke, but after, they replied,
it disappeared when dolphin told a mad remark so snide.
Track Name: The Moon and Her Mother
"She asked me to sew her a gown, but there's no point to it.
Oh, some day maybe she'll learn."

There's no fitting her figure, she's sliver, then full,
just waxing a new size, she's stretching the wool.
Daily measurements differ depending on how she sees the sun.

There's no fitting her figure, she's whole before new,
waning a new size, just having been blue,
from the shape of her body, for it's been two months and three times through.

There's no fitting her figure.
There's no fitting her figure.
She's just waxing a new size.
She's just waning a new size,
she won't fit that gown.
Track Name: The Fisherman and the Sprat
Just about every day, a fisherman cast out and prayed
for his net to bring home what was maybe much of a catch to be food or pay.

He pulled up the rope to reveal draining mesh,
with hope many fish would be found.
When only a sprat had remained in the net,
flip flopping flapping made sound.

The poor little fish thought she'd hardly be missed,
so tried to use words as her sword,
she took a step back as she so kindly slashed wary weapons of pleas she implored,

"In my future I'll grow to be large,
though not if the sea is so far.
I'm sure to be here to reward your deed,
to benefit you if I'm freed."

The fisherman thought for a second, and only one second if that,
with only this fish for the afternoon, he'd be troubled to give up the catch.
"So, you're in a pinch, but how about this,
I've fished many hours, and what for?
If I would unshackle your scaly soul,
I'd surely look back to deplore."

Swiftly disarmed, she was then carried off to be dinner on somebody's plate.
With such a short life, she had started and ceased to resent going under the blade.
The fish could have lived to embetter the world, But, not every man has remorse.
The fisherman didn't care much in this case, of course some men close too many doors.
Track Name: The Vain Jackdaw
Stories they move, and this one so swiftly.
The birds, as they fluttered about,
had gathered nearby the most popular stream.
On the banks, they were grooming throughout.

All were so thorough and looking their best after
plumes upon plumes fell to sand from each wing.
For Jupiter called out to every bird,
most comely to be the bird king.

Among many flocks, a jackdaw had thought he would not have a chance for the win.
Though, when all but he’d left, he began to pick brightest of feathers to wear with his grin.

When time came to show, every feathered one stood near the
throne to be seen by god Jupiter's eyes.
With every new covert to lay on his own, the dull
looker remained in disguise.

The god had elected the king of the birds,
about to award the jackdaw.
While others had recognized feathers of theirs,
They descended to unmask then withdraw.
All was taken, the grey one exposed as a fraud.

But you almost took home a prize when you're not what you are.
Though, with all of your effort you came very far
to be looking so stunning all covered in others.
But that's not the point.
That beauty was not your own to show.
Track Name: The Fox Without a Tail
Just the other day, I scampered past the fallen spruce patch. I'd gone before.

Through the wooden maze, I carried on, until a jaw trap had caught my tail.

It held me down, then I broke free without it.

Without a tail, I've too much shame for living, but
if all my friends would follow I would not have a care that I had

left my tail in sorrow, crying in despair. 

Waiting for tomorrow, to see how I should fair convincing

all the other foxes to lose theirs.

Softly stepping on the leaves among the ground nearby my leash

the eyes of all the other foxes 'round the bush, they spoke to me.

As I replied, I gave them reasons to pursue a look like this,
"the tail is heavy, and a useless body part you would not miss"

They stared me down, one had denied about it.

"You stretched the truth, that you'd rather walk without it."

They worked it out, my mind was dull to think,

if all my friends would follow I would not have a care that I had

left my tail in sorrow, crying in despair. 

Waiting for tomorrow, to see how I should fair convincing

my own self to swallow, a life I could not bear.
Track Name: The Bat and the Weasels
I happened to stumble and fell down to earth; I sunk from my lower-than-high-lying perch.
Before I could catch what had quickly occurred, a weasel came and seized my heart.

OOOooh, so I cried!
“Oh let me go, I beg your mercy and please.
If I could I'd be down on my knees.”

“But I am an enemy of all types of birds.
What makes you so different from they?”

“OOOooohooo I’ll tell you!
I am what I want to be and not what you say,
so know this responsibly, and go on your way.
See, I'm not the bird that you think you' just caught,
I'm more like a mouse with a lot of webbed skin.”

“I see that you're not the bird I reckoned you were,
you haven't got feathers only fur.”
OOOooh, so he let me go!

Again I did stumble and fell down to earth; I sunk from my higher-than-low-lying perch.
Before I could catch what quickly occurred, a weasel came and seized my heart.

OOOooh, so I cried!
“Oh let me go, I beg your mercy and please.
If I could, I’d be down on my knees.”

“But I am an enemy of creatures called mice.
What makes you so different from they?”

“I am what I want to be and not what you say,
so know this responsibly, and go on your way.
See, I'm not the mouse you just think you have caught,
I'm more like a bird with a dark hairy bod’.”

“I see that you're not the mouse I reckoned you were,
those wings aren't like mice, I do concur.”
And so he let me go!

I am what I want to be, not what they say.
Track Name: The Crow and the Pitcher
Oh I'm in trouble, almost lost my breath.
That’s a roundabout way to say I'm verging on death.
Now one thing troubles me, I can't reach where this water be,
the bottom of the pitcher, but I've got an idea,
‘this crow’s got an idea, this crow’s got an idea.’

Oooh.
Pebble by pebble and stone by stone,
these rocks, gonna fill it up and let my tongue soak
in the river drink from the kitchen sink.
I nearly quench my thirst as the filler tops dry.
Ooooh.

Still so desiccated rays from the sky sting my eyes.
The sun is so relentless, that I've wanted to cry,
but I can't manage that, as long as I'm still about to die.

Tired and sun-fired my broken beak feels like barbed wire
from the inside of my mouth that's been turning to dust
and as I look again I see a much desired quality,
I found another pitcher with a prize so clear,
‘this crow’s got an idea, this crow’s got an idea.’

Oooh.
Pebble by pebble and stone by stone,
these rocks, gonna fill it up and let my tongue soak
in the river drink from the kitchen sink.
I slake away my thirst as the filler tops dry.
Pebble by pebble and stone by stone
these rocks, gonna fill it up and let my tongue soak
in the river drink from the kitchen sink.
I slake away my thirst as my wings take flight.
Track Name: The Boys and the Frogs
A group of boys had a thought.
Uncaring minds ventured off
to the lagoon where the boys would play,
to the lagoon where their targets lay,
where one frog would say,

"Saw small humans walking near the pond.
Smiling eyes concealing a facade.
Much too late for us to pray to god.
Not even time to forge a foolish fraud.
We'd surely not expected what was coming at our heads.

Oh, please don't throw those pebbles at my friends.
Your heartless stone throws bring our lives to deaths.
To you it's sport, but to us it's simply slaughter in disguise"

Lack of humility, those boys had made their mark.
Upside down in symmetry, each frog would disembark
their body as each soul had to escape from the annihilation bed.

Hard earth flew from skies into the pool.
Crushed green bodies, killers are so cruel.
With just one frog left, a scratch mark on his head.
The aftermath had left so many dead,
The boys had left, while the frog would speak, and this is what he said,

“Oh, please don't throw those pebbles at my friends.
Your heartless stone throws bring our lives to deaths.
To you it's sport, but to us it's simply slaughter in disguise.
Rib’, rib’ rib’, rib’.”