Emily, the Diver

from by Nat Johnson

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Hand-numbered limited edition CD with three covers to choose from. Only 300 copies were produced; 100 of each cover. Each one comes with a tiny lyric book (inspired by the tiny books the Brontës wrote as children) along with a little magnifying glass to help you read it.

    Artwork by Oliver Allchin, tiny books by Nat.
    NB all CDs contain all three songs


    The Liberty System is a Brontë sisters triptych full of classical elements and meteorology. The songs 'Anne, the Gardener', 'Emily, the Diver' and 'Charlotte, the Levitator' study the literary sisters' creative approaches and their influence on one another's writing and ambitions.

    Each song sees a sister returning to the Parsonage dining room to write - bringing the room alive - before her work is released into the world. Each sister has been ascribed an element and each seeks a different kind of liberty.

    Commissioned by Off the Shelf Festival as part of the Brontë bicentenary celebrations.

    Includes unlimited streaming of The Liberty System via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ... more
    ships out within 2 days
    edition of 228 

      £3 GBP or more 


  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      £0.79 GBP  or more



A song for Emily Brontë.
Emily's element is Water. She seeks Liberty of Soul.


From depths returned, floated back to land
Face of fog and body of clay
Diamond dust, evaporee

A river cut deep, a path drawn straight 

Seen from above, the line of fate
Face of fog and body of clay

The earth moves out of your way

Myth sees you ride a dark wave neath the moon
Dredging all worlds from the ancient salty blue
A bride-less train of eternity
Dragged in your wake across the cold country

But on a damp and still morning - ah!
Your shadow there cast crepuscular
And in the garden your rain falls far from the plain

Each mark met with arrow’s aim
Your currents strong, your clouds right wrung

A bay where floats your galleon

Quencher, oh drencher, lifegiver, life taker 

Feed these roots, fill these boots, blot and cross the wallpaper

With port-wrenching power and starboard compassion
Love finds a lover but a storm soon comes thrashing
Then with mingled affection your steam-devil of a sister
Drives you to advection, that oft-brewin’ half-twister

And comes a creeping fog from her petting conquistar
Downward and townward to menace the vista

A low-lying, eye-widening solitary cloud
A galaxy unfocused unsettles the crowd
But you’re far from there; you are diving again
For no soul can be loosed in this world of men

Closer to home is closer to you
Closer still is the infinitely starry salty blue

Diving and grasping for hands outstretched

Take your place in the chain reaching down to the depths


from The Liberty System, released October 21, 2016
Written and performed by Nat Johnson


all rights reserved



Nat Johnson Sheffield, UK

“A treat for fans of PJ Harvey and Alela Diane” – Subba Cultcha

Singer-songwriter., ex-Monkey Swallows the Universe / Nat Johnson & the Figureheads.

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