Heel to toe to hair and hoof and it's head over heels and it's all but an ark-lark...

“Heel to toe to hair and hoof / And it’s head over heels / And it’s all but an ark-lark / Kicked all from my curtsies / This mockingbird / My lullabies”“It’s All But An Ark Lark”


  • October 1982
  • 4AD
  • BAD 213
  • 16 min, 16 sec

Track listing

  1. Feathers-Oar-Blades
  2. Alas Dies Laughing
  3. It’s All But An Ark Lark


  • Vinyl
  • CD
  • Digital


Release notes

  • Written by Cocteau Twins.
  • Produced by Ivo Watts-Russell.
  • Recorded at Palladium Studios, Edinburgh, engineered by Jon Turner.
  • Mixed at Blackwing Studios, London, engineered by John Fryer.
  • Sleeve design by 23 Envelope.

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  • All three tracks were featured on John Peel’s “Festive Fifty” annual radio listeners’ poll. The Peel Session recordings are available on BBC Sessions.
  • Re-released in 1991 as part of EPs and Singles Box Set.
  • Digitally remastered and re-released in 2005 as part of Lullabies to Violaine.
  • All three songs have been performed live.
  • The photograph on the cover is “Woman doing a one-handed cartwheel” (1937/38) by Dr. Bohumil Kröhn. It subsequently became the band’s unofficial insignia.
  • According to the 2013 book Facing the Other Way: The Story of 4AD, the band drove to London from Grangemouth to complete the recording at Blackwing. They played gigs in Bradford and Leeds along the way to pay for the petrol (gasoline).

Listen and buy online


Live performance of “Alas Dies Laughing,” Brixton Ace, London, November 1982. (Includes performance of “Wax and Wane.”)


External links