FADE AWAY

FADE AWAY

I’ve been teaching myself to play the guitar. Today at lunch and while screwing around and learning a particularly tough set of chords (for me to master – I’ve had my left wrist broken and it makes me slow) I thought about Tom Petty and the lyrics to the following song came to me. I have the basic chord structure, and the progression, and the flourishing but haven’t yet begun to write down the music.

This is only the second song I have ever composed on the guitar. By that I mean I usually songwrite by creating the lyrics first, then compose the music on piano. Because I’m a slow composer.

But in this case I composed the music first, on guitar, which as I said, I’m teaching myself and I’m new to playing it or working off of it.

Nevertheless I hope you like it.

FADE AWAY

Well where you think you go
Or you find you stay
The time will come
When you
Fade away…

For the wind will blow
In the bitter cold, and
Your heart will slow
When you
Finally go…

Well, the years seem deep
And the days are sweet
But the night still comes
When you
Can’t wake up…

Yes the dreams are clear
In the lonely air
When you lay it down
When you
Wander there…

Yet a man is through
And his heart is too
When he’s breathed his last
When he
Can’t undo…

Then his future’s past

See another world
Where your soul’s unfurled
For just another day
What would you like to say?

Doesn’t matter much
What you cannot touch
For the wind will blow
Then can you ever know?

Well, see my friend
First you start, then end,

And if you want to go
Or you wish to stay
Still the time will come
When you
Fade away…

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I GOT SAD TODAY

I GOT SAD TODAY

Rarely do I actually get sad. Well, not about myself anyway. But today I got sad about myself.

Oh, on occasion I become melancholy, but I enjoy being melancholy. But I do that primarily for aesthetic reasons (it helps me with creativity) and for personal enjoyment. But I do that intentionally. That is, I intentionally, from time to time, put myself into an intentional state of melancholy.

But rarely do I get sad and only on very, very, very rare occasions do I ever get sad about myself.

Today, however, I got sad. After taking Dorett to pick up her car I stopped by 2nd and Charles and Mr. K’s.

At Mr. K’s I picked up Les Fleurs Du Mal by Baudelaire in English translation. (The Flowers of Evil.) Perhaps my favorite foreign book of poetry read in college. I tried to get it in French to practice my French (I’ve been getting old texts in Latin and Greek and other foreign languages to work on my language mastery) but no such luck.

At 2nd and Charles however I got four CDs – the 36th and 38th symphonies of Mozart, the 6th symphony of Mahler, the 2nd symphony of Enescu, and four symphonic poems of Bax including Tintagel and the Happy Forest.

I was riding home listening to Tintagel (a favorite symphonic poem) when I suddenly thought of all of the symphonies and tone poems and concerti and operas and far lesser musical compositions I have either already sketched out or are in various states of composition and it made me very sad.

For lately I have felt a really pervasive, almost all-pervasive, desire to compose music. (Maybe because it is springtime, I don’t know, or maybe it is just one of those phases that hit me occasionally.) But I know I have no time. Certainly not the time I would need to do the kind of quality compositions I wish to do. For I am a self-taught and slow composer I have great ideas but am slow in execution.

And between my attempting to become a published fiction author, an established poet, a song-writer, seeking funding for my inventions and start-ups, and helping my wife establish her career and getting my kids through college (or into college) I simply have no time for anything else, and often not enough time for any of the things I am already doing. And that saddened me.

As a matter of fact I have come to the conclusion that I may never have enough time to do all that I wish. For their will always be other things that will also demand my time (children, family, friends, grandchildren, etc. and I am not complaining about those things, as they bring me satisfaction and joy, but I acknowledge the truth that they are a drag on my work efforts) and if I live to be one-hundred or more I may still not do all I have assigned myself to do. Or simply wish to do.

And unfortunately, given my current situation, music and art must take a back-seat or go completely ignored for the sake of my other efforts (which are likely to prove far more profitable and important anyway).

(I often, still to this very day, wonder if I did indeed choose the right careers to pursue, and should or will I ever be able to pursue all of the things I so very much desire to pursue. I guess only God knows, as I suspect I may never know. Not, perhaps, in this world anyway.)

But still, if I had the time then I could spend many a day in composing music and drawing and painting things.

I simply do not have the time.

So I don’t.

But if I had the time it would make me quite happy to do so.

Yet because I don’t have the time it makes me sad that I cannot…

HARD THE HAMMERSMITH – FIRST VERSE

HARD THE HAMMERSMITH

I conceived of the idea for this poem about a week and a half ago but was unable to work on it due to other business and work demands. On Sunday night (the 26th of June) about an hour before the Game of Thrones finale I began work on it. It shall be a long, narrative poem with what I hope is an unanticipated and unusual conclusion, and a twisting storyline. At this point of course it is in its infancy and is far from complete.

Aside from being a long narrative poem I am also thinking very seriously of turning it into a Graphic Novel which will also serve as a de-facto manual on ancient Mnemonic Techniques. I am already sketching out possible illustrations or old woodcut designs for the Work.

Hope you enjoy it thus far.

 

HARD THE HAMMERSMITH

Hard the Hammersmith worked all day
Hard the Hammersmith would not say
What his toiling would produce
Or why he labored so profuse

Hard the Hammersmith worked all night
Hard the Hammersmith knew delight
For his hammers truly rang
Fire, metal, sturm und drang

Hard the Hammersmith took no rest
Hard the Hammersmith did his best
For he always set his task
Above whatever weakness asks

Hard the Hammersmith took no bread
Hard the Hammersmith shunned his bed
For the Work to which he bent
He would master, or be spent

Hard the Hammersmith took no drink
Hard the Hammersmith did not think
Yet on he drove himself to act
With anguish was his body wracked…

TO PORT OUR HOME, TO STARBOARD STILL UNKNOWN

I began this poem around noon as a response to today’s Daily Post prompt on Voyage. I got two stanzas in and then my daughters needed my help and then someone working with me on one of my start-ups demanded my attention and so therefore I have had to leave it at this point. I apologize but that kinda thing happens in life.

I intend to finish it but cannot do so at the moment. I hope you enjoy it nonetheless, and have a good day folks…

 

TO PORT OUR HOME, TO STARBOARD STILL UNKNOWN

To port was home, to starboard unknown foreign seas, and
Lands bespoken of in dream, where endless roam great beasts
Not seen since man was in the cradle of his mother’s shore
The stars still young and uncertain in their unfixed course
Across the skies of night still bright with constellated myth
Prodigious like the unseen figures which grappled in the dark
Around the moon’s white lantern in desperate search of a world
So new, so full of wonder, that no other home would do,
Not, at least, to the Daring

To port is home but on every other course the waves break
Upon a soil unsown with the tares and tears that common habit
Bestrew along the Earth we know so well by mundane states
Unchallenged in their broad decay and rush to ruin
Across the fields of ancient countries whose ground is salted
With the misery of crawling empires and rotting kingdoms
Made of man beneath the shadow of what is most foul within him
So old, so full of apathy, that no such home can seem true
Not, at least, to the Wise…

I DONE PAID (IN FULL), AND LOOKING FOR A COMPOSER

I wrote an excellent set of lyrics to a Blues song today I’m calling I Done Paid (In Full).

Started a second Blues song (though I may make it a rock or even a pop song) called Stop Dis Missing Me.

Which I’m pleased with thus far but it is far from finished and I got two or three different ways I can go with it, and just haven’t decided yet.

I also have a backlog of about 150 to 200 songs (the lyrics that is) completed now which I have been unable to compose the music for. Unfortunately I have had no time to compose in the past year. Between my wrist surgery and working on my novel, my book of poetry, my start-up, helping my wife with her new career, and my inventions I have had no time to compose music at all. (I’m a slow composer anyway.) All I’ve had time to do is write the lyrics.

So, if you are a composer looking for a lyricist, or even a band looking for a song-writer then I’d like to talk to you. We can enter into a joint songwriting agreement. 

But I’m only looking for serious and ambitious people who want to produce and sell finished, entirely completed songs. I write in a variety of musical styles and genres, everything from Blues to Rock, from Bluegrass to Opera, Pop, and even Religious music. I have a wide range of musical interests, plus I have some unfinished compositions that I’d be willing for others to take a look at right now and finish if they wish. Splitting the Work and the Profits evenly, of course.

I would prefer working with people in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia, so that we can meet and even work some in each other’s company but I’m not necessarily limiting myself to those in SC, NC, or GA. With the right composer or people, and if we can establish a good and productive working relationship, then I could work with anyone in the United States, or even in other parts of the world.

I’m not gonna set artificial limits on this, the important thing is that we are good at what we do and can produce excellent Work together.

If you are interested then leave a message here or contact me by email.

See ya,

Jack.

P.S.: you can see some prior examples of my song lyrics in this archive category: My Writings and Work

You’ll have to look for them though. All of my work is listed in that archive, not just my songs.

Or you can also just go to this archive: Songs

 

BRAVE ANNA – FIRST VERSE

These are the lyrics of a song I began this past weekend. It is unfinished but I’m pleased with the start I made…

(painting: please see here – http://www.artbyfuentes.com/commissions/)

BRAVE ANNA

Brave Anna was fair
And thrice did she dare
To be with a man like I
I’d warn her away
Come night and come day,
I never asked her to die

Yet oh she would sing
Of all of the things
Our kisses, our embrace
Beloved
Of the sorrow she’d bring
Unless she could cling
To my heart, enlacing
Her love

Yes, Brave Anna was fair
And dark was her hair
It blew in the sea’s song-breeze
She’s laugh and she’d play
She’d lead me astray
So little was I at ease

Though how she would dance
Left nothing to chance
I was the captive
Not her
All the sorrow she’d bring
When the church bells would ring
Her passing to always
Recur

Brave Anna was bright
With her eyes did she spite
The doubts of a man like I
I’d wish her away
Though never she strayed
Thus did she end her life

Oh yes I would say
Both night and in day
I am a man of loss…

FIRST WORD COUNT 2373 +

AN ACCOUNTING SO FAR AND A BIT OF ADVICE FOR NATIONAL NOVEL WRITING MONTH

My Word Count output for the first day of NaNoWriMo 2015 and my novel The Old Man was 2373 words plus (I lost count after that because I wrote another scene right before bed). Today, since it is raining so hard and I can’t go help my daughter look for a new car, I plan to have an output of 3000 or more words.

I have also been using the Writing Tools I received in my NNWM writing packet along with my own Tools.

This morning I wrote what I thought was a superb introduction and set of first lines for the science-fiction part of the novel. But I still have a lot of work to do today.

Rather than in order or in linear or chronological progression I seem to be writing the book out in independent scene-sections as they occur to me. Which I’m assuming my mind will knit together in proper order later on.

I am very much enjoying working “sans editing” or by avoiding the editing altogether process as I go. This has made the writing process itself much, much easier. And this may be a better and faster way for me to write in the future, though it takes some mental effort on my part for me to get used to. Old habits die hard.

Also I am not typing anything myself but rather producing the manuscript in long-hand at my kitchen table or in bed. The way I used to write as a kid. Before I got my first typewriter in High School or my first personal computer. I very much recommend this (recently rediscovered) method. It not only produces a superior thought and plot flow, it is much more psychically comfortable than typing or dictating at my computer or office chair, both of which I detest.

Plus as I go back to hand-writing I am once again becoming very quick at it.

Tomorrow I plan to conduct a test to see how quick I am at both methods, composing at my computer, and at hand writing. I suspect I am faster at hand-writing. Certainly I enjoy it more and it is far easier to write in that way.

DARK SONG – FIRST VERSE

These are lyrics from an unfinished song I began last week. It’s my First Verse entry for today.

DARK SONG

There’s a dark song in my soul right now
And I can’t shake it anyway,
Might as well just sing along,
See where it goes

Well, there’s a dark song
I hear it on the wind

There’s a dark song
Where are we going?

Can we ever make amends?

Well, I don’t know this road no more
But I know it’s me

Where are we going anyhow?
What do you want me to see?

There’s a dark song in my soul right now
I can hear it far away
I’ve known, I’ve known it all along
We’re on the same road

But to where?

Just tell me that…

To where?

THE SUN TO COME – FIRST VERSE

THE SUN TO COME

The sun to come by Son absolved
What wynd wove Wyrd have webs resolved
To write the future fate of Man
When woe is passed and wonder spans
The breadth of Earth, renewed, remade
Existence birthed, reformed, refreshed
Without that wound that scars all flesh…

(sectional – unfinished)

PLOT BOARD FOR THE BASILEGATE – HIGHMOOT

I meant to put this up for Tuesday’s Tale, but work and other things interfered so I’m putting it up here today for Highmoot.

What you see below are the creation materials (or some of them anyway) for my four novels of the Other World, specifically the first in the series, The Basilegate.

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Actually I have 1200 to 1500 pages of research materials (mainly historical but also containing other materials) for all four novels already, most of it on CD or DVD and on computer files on my main work system. The rest is in hard files, collected notes (post it notes in the big white container that say BOOK I), in my notebooks and sketchbooks, outlines, timelines, etc.

I laid all of that out on Sunday and had my youngest daughter take pictures of it. This week I am taking all of that material, my chapter outlines for the first book (Basilegate), my notes, etc. and transferring it all to my Chapter and Plot Board. You might think of this as a Case Board by which I’ll run the plot and structure of my novels (in this case, the first in the series) as they progress. I already have about a hundred or so pages of the first novel finished, and various sections of all of the novels completed (as first drafts anyway), not counting the various scenes I have sketched out for each of them. My overall aim now is to collate and compile and arrange all of these scenes and what I already have written into a coherent and consecutive and consequential novel storyline, and thereby push on to finish the first novel while simultaneously arranging all of the other serial plots.

In this collection you will see all of my files, notes, the plot board itself (before being arranged), notebooks, research materials (on CD and DVD), some of the maps I’ve created, and the poems, songs, and music I’ve written and arranged to be included in the books/novels.

(You might ask, “Why does he have the AD&D and 5th Edition Dungeon Master’s Guides as apparent research materials?” Simple, not for the research itself, but because these two books are the best fictional writing guides I’ve ever read. Anywhere and on any fictional subject. If you are a writer and you do not have these writing guides then you really should, they are simply superb and extremely useful for all kinds of story arrangements, including plot arrangements.
You might also ask, “why the harmonica?” Well, because I often like to play the harmonica when I become stuck on some aspect of the story. It helps me think.)

Once I’ve gotten everything fully arranged and up on my Plot Board in proper Order I’ll take a new set of photographs and post those here too. I’ve been working on this novel series for years now, and as a general idea for a decade or more, but I’m finally in a position to push on and finish all four books now. I’m now satisfied that all of my major research and preparation work has been properly conducted and finished and I’m now ready to finish the novels without anymore large-scale or wholesale plot revision. Just minor tinkering at the edges left really, and then the finished writings.

Which is a big relief to me as I intend this novel series to be one of my Magnum Opae (one of my major Life Works – I literally cannot say Magnum Opera as that construction seems wholly silly and inappropriate to me in English).

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I KNOW YOU ALL – FIRST VERSE (WILL SHAKESPEARE AND JOHN GUNTER)

This happens to be my favorite section of monologue from a play by Shakespeare (any play by Shakespeare), and there are many brilliant ones. This is from the Henry Cycle. (Henry discusses his past nature as scoundrel and the companion of scoundrels and his coming nature as king.)

Since I was a kid, a teenager actually, I have taken what I consider to be great sections of poetry, prose, plays, songs, etc. and rewritten them to see if I could improve upon them in some way (linguistically, poetically, phonetically, in meaning or emphasis, etc.). As an exercise in the improvement of my own poetic capabilities. Or towards the improvement of whatever other capabilities I happened to be attempting to exercise.

To me this is the very paragon of verse from Shakespeare’s plays, for any number of reasons, not least the undercurrents of shaded meaning, the psychologically acute self-analysis, and the prophetic pronouncements of the future. I have rewritten this section many times and in many different ways but did it again late last week as an exercise to keep myself from becoming rusty and out of practice at this type of verse and monologue.

The first section is the Work of Shakespeare. The second section is partially Shakespeare’s, the part in italics (in order to set the theme of the monologue), and the last part is my rewriting of the same. It is not only a rewriting, I’ve also altered the emphasis, slightly and subtly, but it also contains allusions to other subject matter and characters I have written about in my own poetry, such as Orpheus and the Tears of Iron.

I hope you enjoy it. I also hope you try such exercises for yourself to improve your own capabilities.

 

I KNOW YOU ALL – WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

I know you all, and will awhile uphold
The unyoked humor of your idleness.
Yet herein will I imitate the sun,
Who doth permit the base contagious clouds
To smother up his beauty from the world,
That, when he please again to be himself,
Being wanted, he may be more wondered at
By breaking through the foul and ugly mist
Of vapors that did seem to strangle him.
If all the year were playing holidays,
To sport would be as tedious as to work,
But when they seldom come, they wished for come,
And nothing pleaseth but rare accidents.
So when this loose behavior I throw off
And pay the debt I never promisèd,
By how much better than my word I am,
By so much shall I falsify men’s hopes;
And, like bright metal on a sullen ground,
My reformation, glitt’ring o’er my fault,
Shall show more goodly and attract more eyes
Than that which hath no foil to set it off.
I’ll so offend to make offense a skill,
Redeeming time when men think least I will.

 

I KNOW YOU ALL – WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE AND JOHN GUNTER

I know you all, and will awhile uphold
The unyoked humor of your idleness.
Yet herein will I imitate the sun,
Who doth permit the base contagious clouds
To smother up his beauty from the world,
That, when he please again to be himself,
Being wanted, he may be more wondered at
By breaking through the foul and ugly mist
Of vapors that did seem to strangle him.

Of temperance there is none found in me
When overwhelming Wyrd o’ermasters
All the conduct of my prior faculties
Yet when I am come, and baring as I come
The former foil that gilds me dull, yet sharp
In indiscretions manifold who
will vouchsafe all my claims and titles
Young with new maturity, if not I?
In reform well sprang like Orpheus
From the chair of Pluto and his iron tears
My coming crown unworn, my sins unshorn
Shall outline the very shadowed limits
That I so like the scorching sun of noon
Shall burn away when the Dawn of Me
Does unexpected rise from deep within
And clotted clay, the seeming sepulchre
That frontiers all I have ever been
Will be seen to walk beneath the heavens
As if a new king bestrode the mortal world
In glory more like ancient gods than man…

 

THE IRON GATE: PART ONE – BOOKENDS

This is part of a draft chapter from my book The Basilegate (from The Other World novels). Rather than explain or detail the background I’ll just let you read the story for yourself.

This chapter begins at the Iron Gate, winds through what today would be modern Russia and ends along the frontiers of the Byzantine Empire.

But this is only the first part of the chapter.

I will be serializing parts of this novel here, on Wyrdwend. For Bookends.

THE IRON GATE: PART ONE

He passed through the Iron Gate and none bothered to oppose him. Why should they? Death would come soon enough.

He had seen men watching him as he stumbled past them, had noticed them as they studied him, pointing, or whispering to themselves. He had seen the guards; skins burned dark by long life lived outdoors among the frontiers, their flesh the color of fine but sanded clay. He had seen them take notice of him, and realizing that he was alone, and doomed, had seen them finally turn away or gaze on at him in curiosity, but not in fear.

He staggered forward, impelled more by main force and force of will than by any desire to make any kind of camp, or achieve any end, other than the one he suspected lay not long before him. He was a mass of Northern muscle, and in a more carefree age, a mass of unconcern. But not this day. Not this hour.

He was a mass no more, except of wasted flesh, blood-clotted black and clinging to limbs still driven hard, but all a’quiver. His clothes were ragged, and perhaps more threadbare than he. His boots were tattered, consumed with holes by hard wear and patches from long poverty. His cloak was gone, it covered him no more. His helm was likewise long ago departed. His armor, what was left upon him, did creak and hung loose and much abused. His single weapon, his langsax, was chipped and knotted, bent at places, it’s sharpest tip now broken blunt. His skeg axe was missing, already lost a’field from many days before. His sword was shattered, having given its last service long before he himself had been likewise cleaved from himself, run to ground by desperation and long flight at night. His spear had been splintered along the banks of a river he had long traveled, but never heard named. And with it went his last hope of war when he found himself numbered among the doomed of his watch.

His shield had long lasted, but round at the edges it had been burst sharp through the center, till like the timbers of a battered prow it had been smashed to pieces, along with the spine of his arm. At that blow he had staggered, a man drunk with too much of the wine of close combat, and toppling like one of the frigid giants of old he had crashed from the cliff into the gelid waters below. And this, this fall from manly grace and the unnatural fire of a ferocious battle he could not have won, into the cold of the waters from the earth underneath, this had stilled his heart with shock and preserved his life with a flood of harsh ice. But only for a moment.

The cold had slowed his wounds, made blood freeze in his veins, made him sluggish, numbed the bright agony of his broken arm and shattered knee, had helped to staunch the long gash torn through his calf, had wearied his mind so that death approached slow and as bedraggled as he. The river had turned him, tossed him, oriented him away from his companions, and his brothers at arms. Yet deep in the recesses of his darkest thoughts he knew they were no more. Colder even than he. Once men, and large, and well made, trophies now to despoil.

He pulled himself from the waters, a mist of stinking furs and wounded flesh, injury the common lot that ran the entire life-course of his body. He was insensible of the pain of his catastrophe, or perhaps it is better to say that he was nothing but hurt. So much harm inflicted that he could no longer mark any particular pain, but rather pain seemed all he was, and all he wished to end. He tried to stand, collapsed, breathed hard and harshly, his mouth steam rising like that of a newborn calf, his stance no straighter or better. But he grimaced, and would not relent. He stood, and staggered, and felt something rend inside his leg each time his knee did make to support his weight. He shed his cloak as a serpent would his elder skin, in long and frustrating effort, it peeled away from him as if in regret and with the anchored weight of besoaked hide. He grunted. He stuttered. He could not speak, groans his only tongue. He rested, sought to scan the horizon with his eyes, the land having been made flat again by the time the river had disgorged him like a misspent meal. But his vision was blurred, dim, closed in and frozen. It extended no farther than his imagination, and his imaginings were all of darkness, and dread.

The sun made to collapse in the West, behind mountains he could sense in the distance, but not see with his eyes. The warmth of the day, what small comfort it had given, was already fading, his own heat wasted and stolen by the drench of his baptism by water and trial by ice. He made to the tall grass, then fell to the dry ground, rolling and coating himself in the dirt as he could, hoping it would absorb the wet and help dry his shaken frame. A frog scampered by and he caught it with his unruined arm, and tore off its head in his mouth. The cold blood was warmer than his and the skull of the frog he did gnash in his teeth as he chewed. The sound comforted him. He could still eat, and he could still kill. Therefore he could still live if the long night would let him. He found he was hungry, and that the gnaw in his guts did wear hard, and began to grow and inflame, and as it did so, so did his limbs. And the ache of his body was far worse than the hunger he felt. But as he ate he regained some lost measure of hope, and there settled into his mind a new will to press forward. He tore off one of the back legs of his catch, and then the other, eating slowly, watching the night fall. Then he pulled out his langsax from his battered belt, and used the blade to slice open the belly of the frog and he did, as he could stand it, smear the blood and the entrails of the thing onto the deep gash in his calf, and along the break in his arm, where the bone did protrude from the mottled blue skin. For he had been told in times past by the Rus that if he smeared the blood of a beast upon an open wound then the clot of gore would help seal his own cut, and help knit it together and scab it clean. He did not know if this were true or not, but he was full for the moment and it seemed foolish to him to waste the entrails by tossing them aside.

He slept uneasily for awhile within sound of the river, crackling sounds sometimes startling him, as if the ice sheets from further upstream were still washing down and clashing against each other to shatter like frosted glass. The dew came down and reminded him again of the damp that still covered him, causing him to shiver while shards of sweat and frozen drops did run along his back from time to time.
He was cold beyond reckoning, but with the rise of the moon he took once more to stand, and after several tries he regained his feet. He moved West, into the darkness, towards the mountains he had felt in the distance. Towards the land that the Rusmen had told him could not be conquered. Towards the land of the Roman, and the place they called, the City of God

IT’S NOT JUST WHAT YOU SAY, IT’S WHAT YOU IMPLY BY OMISSION

This statement is entirely true: “It’s what is left out of the song that keeps us coming back for answers.”

This image, and the accompanying lyrics, are superb examples of this.

Lyric Of The Week: Traditional, “Barbara Allen”

Written by March 9th, 2015 at 8:40 am

Forget_Me_Not_Songster_-_Barbara_Allen_p.1It’s been beguiling audiences for a half-millennium or so, perhaps longer than that. It’s been covered by artists ranging from the sublime (Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, The Everly Brothers) to the slightly ridiculous (John Travolta and, in the 1951 Warner Brothers short “Robin Hood Daffy”, Porky Pig.) So what is it about “Barbara Allen” that makes it so enduring and affecting?

The first known reference to this mysteriously captivating folk ballad dates back to 1666, in an entry by the famed English diarist Samuel Pepys. Pepys called it a “Scotch song”, and it flourished throughout the United Kingdom in that era until it was brought to the U.S. by immigrants. As the population of the America slowly spread westward, the song went with it, as noted by famed musicologist Alan Lomax in his book The Folk Songs Of North America. “This ballad, if no other, travelled west with every wagon,” Lomax wrote. “As someone remarked, they sang ‘Barbara Allen’ in Texas ‘before the pale faces were thick enough to make the Indians consider a massacre worthwhile.”

What transpires in “Barbara Allen” is simple enough on the surface. Yet since the lyrics provide little exposition or back story, the reasons for the behavior of the main participants are enigmatic. The song tells the story of young William who, as he lies on his deathbed, calls out for Barbara. She takes her time getting to his side, only to treat him coldly due to a social foul he committed against her at a tavern. On her journey home, she hears the “death bell knellin” and, knowing it tolls for William’s death, suddenly regrets her hardness and knows she will soon die of grief for him.

Harsh stuff, right? Maybe too harsh, even for audiences who were used to Shakespeare’s plays and their numerous deaths. As such, a variant on the song quickly arose that included a leavening epilogue whereby the lovers are buried side-by-side. From William’s grave grows a rose, from Barbara’s a briar, and the two flowers eventually intertwine, providing the deceased pair eternal unison.

It’s whats left out of the song that keeps us coming back for answers. If all William did was drink a toast to the wrong ladies, surely he didn’t deserve treatment so nasty from a girl he truly loved. Or was this single incident indicative of his wayward behavior as a whole? And what changed in Barbara’s mind and heart from the time she left him to when she heard that bell? In that short journey, she transformed from hard-hearted to sympathetic without any middle ground spent in consideration of all that had transpired.

This sort of unexplainable behavior from characters was also emblematic of Shakespeare (think King Lear or Hamlet), so maybe the original writer had that kind of strangeness in mind. It makes the song more psychologically realistic, since we all tend to do things when guided by passion or spite that defy logic and reason.

The murkiness of the motives and the beauty of the melody is an irresistible combination. As such, many legendary contemporary artists have found the song irresistible. Dylan, for one, not only covered “Barbara Allen” at various times in his career, but he also used Barbara’s home base of “Scarlet Town” as a jumping-off point for an equally mysterious song on 2012’s Tempest.

While there have been many powerful and moving renditions of “Barbara Allen”, Art Garfunkel may have given the definitive modern reading on his 1973 solo album Angel Clare.  Whatever lesson you take from the song, whether it’s that even a moment of taking the one you love for granted can come back to haunt you, or that life is too short for petty grievances, you’ll likely be mesmerized by the mercy Garfunkel’s ethereal vocal grants these two lovers. It’s just too bad they didn’t show each other that same kind of mercy until it was far too late.

THE SORCERER’S TONGUE

THE SORCERER’S TONGUE

The Sorcerer’s tongue an adder crawls
To slither through the hearts of men
A viper coiled in roils of lies
Seduces all with poisoned ends,
The Necromancer of the Age
Raising up deceit and death
From tombs and tomes by ruin lost
Has given form and stirred cold breath,
Enchantments webbed and eldritch spun
Like spiders creep across the mind
So even men who seem themselves
Are slaves to him, enthralled like kine,
Hades vast and oceans deep
Are hidden in his crafty art
The conjured word is as he speaks
A servant dim and set apart,
The warlock’s gloom – bespoken like a spell
Has snared the fool and baited traps
To line the road of Truth along which
Even brave men cannot make their maps,
The Waystaff of the Witch’s word
Has charmed the Wise with venoms dark
Bound in blood men sound in every other way
By sound of him fall all unnerved
Their manhood washed away in flood,
The alchemic base of rank and rot
Has made a potent portion of regret
Yet who still speaks of deeds begot
When dread by sorcery yet abets?
The Witch’s teat, the serpent’s tongue
Eidolons frozen in the soul
Glams and dictums (dicins) doom us all
Who should by wit the Witch atone,
We have fallen all and one
Under shrouds envoked by terms of fraud
Cultic does the lie allure
Guile the noose of little gods,
If we will not soon this wrong dispel
Cut out the tongue that binds us so
Then sorcery shall be our gaol
The price of prison be our soul.

REAL READING AND REAL WRITING from MEMORABLE LITERARY LINES

Real Reading is far more than just mentally decoding terms and words, it is psychologically apprehending and comprehending the very most subtle and sublime ideas and ideals that it is possible for man to ever understand.
Real Writing is far more than just encoding and transcribing phrases, it is transmitting, mind to mind and soul to soul, the very marrow of manhood and the very embodiment of human experience through script, so that it may be read again whenever needed into the design of the future.

My personal take on the true nature of real reading and real writing

GUILD OF THE GOLDEN DOOR

GUILD OF THE GOLDEN DOOR

I searched for the Guild of the Golden Door
Across the Fields of Filidhic Lore
To the House of the Wights who shielded the Scop
Neath the blouse of the night through the tales that crop

When grown under moon, and groaned under woe
Sprout slew from the Earth, as above, so below
Then the Master’s Apprentice to servitude bent
Broke under sentence, in fervor all spent

(Chorus)

Guild of the Golden Door
Gild yourself in guilt
All the wrongs adorned
All the harm you’ve built

Guild of the Golden Door
Gate of the ruined hoard
Facade of the secret morn
That dawns on the desperate horde

Golden Door, Golden Door
Hide and then reveal
Guilded Door, Gilded Door
Open wide, conceal

I sought for the Guild of the Golden Door
In the high merchant hills and the long shipping shores
I went to the banks that circled the world
Found all was lank loss, not a swine for a pearl
All the gain hidden, and all the made-men
Chains long forbidden, the same once again

Golden Door, Golden Door
Open, hide, conceal
Guilty Door, Giltied Door
Despised in your appeal

I watched for the Guild of the Golden Door
In the streets of the cities, in the eyes of the poor
It would not appear, was disguised far too well
The shrewd financiers were as crafty as hell

Guild of the Golden Door
Gate of the wasted hoard
Arch of what comes before
The birth of the desolate horde

I tried for the Guild of the Golden Door
Heard they governed the Halls of the Temple Floor
Found them buying and selling dressed in their rags
Pretending to credit; deceit, theft, and swag
All the pain ridden, your principles thrown
You claim to be bidden, you’ve purchased your thrones
Disguised by your voices, a’swim in your vice
Covet your choices, then play them like dice

Guild of the Golden Door
What is it that you’ve built?
All the wrongs so long adorned
All the blood you’ve spilt

Guild of the Golden Door
Won’t you share your guilt?
Yes drink of the cup of your own reward
For all the blood you’ve spilt

You should drink of the cup of your own reward
By the door of the world you’ve built

 

 

THE CORRUPTION OF THE GUILD OF THE GOLDEN DOOR

This is my next song for FAWM.

I worked on this until about 3:00 one morning. Then went to bed and got up around 9:00 or so and worked it again. Finished it that day.

I’m pleased with the final product, though I may change it around a little more before I eventually post it to my blog and use it on my new album, Locus Eater. It came out to be a lot longer and far more complicated song than I had anticipated. (I had expected it to be a small song and the short tie in to the Myrddin’s Tower poem.)

Originally it was a song about government claims to be assisting the poor and they are really just disguised profiteers seeking to use government as their “Golden Door” for personal advancement. Using government tyranny to line their own pockets by deceiving the ignorant and the naive.

But eventually the song became about financial and monetary corruption in general (such as crony or socialistic-capitalism), and in all fields, but especially by those who openly pretend to be working on behalf of the poor but are actually using them (and everyone else around them, including their partners) for their own grasping, covetousness, and greed. Hence the corrupting aspect of the Golden Door , and the corruption of the song itself from my original intent.

I didn’t plan on the song going that way, it just did. It became much bigger than I had expected.

I still, at this point, plan to use it as the sister-song for Myrddin’s Tower but it may have grown far too big for that. It may have to stand entirely alone.

THE CAVE OF THE UNKNOWN PROPHET

This is my second song (the lyrics) for my FAWM project and my new album, Locus Eater. I finished this three days or so ago but didn’t have time to write it up on finalize it.

I’ve been behind because I started late (only recently heard of FAWM – though I was already gonna write a new album), because of power outages, and because of repair issues, and family health problems. But I’m still working it. So here ya go, The Cave of the Unknown Prophet.

THE CAVE OF THE UNKNOWN PROPHET

The Cave of the Unknown Prophet
Glittering and bold
The dust of ancient ages
Relics all foretold

The throne of sceptered tyrants
Cast down with a curse
A man to grind down mountains
Cut valleys in the Earth

I saw the prophet wander
Across the broken skies
The future all in labor
While ruined kingdoms died;
His cave the great circumference
Round which the world did turn
His name is now forgotten
Yet still his omens burn

Cave of the Unknown Prophet
Well of the Wasted Past
Womb of the Coming Ages
Born in the world at last

He spoke of Countless Wonders
If only we would heed
The things he heard in thunder
When the dawn was but a dream

I saw the prophet’s anger
When we ignored his voice
The present much endangered
By our reckless, selfish choice;
The wind it moaned at midnight
The seas they rolled in fear
Time shook like an earthquake
Ruptures soon appeared

He asked of man a miracle
That love might guide his hand
Not hatred, blood, and murder
To soil and taint the land, but

The cave of the unknown prophet
Was buried with the man
Whatever he had foreseen
Written in the sand

I’ve looked a thousand ages
To find it all within
There are no maps or pages
To lead me back again

I saw the prophet Wizened
With the burden of his Sight
He sought to warn of darkness
We never saw the light

The Cave of the Unknown Prophet
Does he sit there waiting still
For us to finally answer, and
His words to be fulfilled?

A MAN FIT FOR LIVING

A MAN FIT FOR LIVING

A man fit for living and bound to no thing
Of Grasslands and Dark Earth and Bright Skies he sings
The High Hawks in Heaven his oracles are
The Moon is his Mistress, his Companions the Stars
His axe on his shoulder, hammer in hand
He cuts down the dead things and builds up the land
Plowed earth and clear fields, rivers that teem
Hills built by his hands to climb as he sings
A man fit for living, unbound and set free
Grown from the Good Earth, as tall as the trees,
The beasts of the wild fields all flock to his call
He waters and feeds them, none bound to his thrall
The sun fixed at High Noon, the air full and fresh
He wanders the forests, warm in his flesh
He eats when he hungers, he drinks when he thirsts
Nothing he covets, in nothing finds dearth
Would that all Men in just manner could bring
Forth such a Man Fit for Living, in himself everything

 

Today, when Sam (my Great Dane) and I (and Erika, one of my cats followed us) went for our morning walk in the woods the above lines came to me. I ran it through my head as a song, singing it to myself in order to memorize it until I could get back to the house. I’ll finished it later today, after munch

I may let it stand alone, put in in my new book of poetry, or use this in one of my novels, like The Caerkara. Right now I’m leaning towards putting it in the Caerkara.

BABA YAGA STANZAS

Some of the experimental stanzas for my song Baba Yaga on my new album Locus Eater.

…Bind me in a chain of gold
With silver teeth to chew your babes
Fires, wolves, and howling ghosts
I bred (or bled) the Witches Crone and Queen
Baba Yaga, yarn and thatch
A trap of thorns, a bowl of blood
Baba Yaga, dark and dread
I’ll stitch (or break) your bones inside my hutch…

LOTUS EATER

LOCUS EATER

Edit: I have changed the name of the album from Lotus Eater to Locus Eater.

Baba Yaga (The Dead Witch)

Barden and the Serpent (The Viking Ship)

Cave of the Unknown Prophet

Cumhaill’s Causeway (Clochán an Aifir)

Fall of Sisyphus

Gram’s Glass

Hephaestus and Prometheus (The Tyrant’s Overthrow)

Isle of the Invisible Darkness

Myrddin’s Castle – longest song

Myrddin’s Tower – spoken poem with musical background

The Four Rivers of Paradise

The Rape of Medusa

The Spider and the Bones – short instrumental

The Storm of Tiamat – long multi-instrument instrumental

Vadd’s Desperation

Wendel’s Curse

White Stag – medium length guitar instrumental

I’ve bene thinking about doing this for awhile and last week, while out and driving around I began sketching out the titles and notes for a new album of songs I’m going to write.

Last year I finished writing my first album of songs, a country album I call “Going South.”

This year I’ve decided to do something I’ve been meaning to do for a long time but never got around to. Writing an album of rock, art rock, and hard rocks songs in the style of music from the 1970’s (if you ask me the most productive and artistic era of American music in history).

This will be my homage and tribute album to the best rock music of the 70s (and 60’s – Tales of the Brave Ulysses, etc.) although there will also be ballads and instrumental pieces and some experimental and even some Prog Rock pieces (Emerson, Lake, and Palmer).

It will be called “Locus Eater.”

I have listed the songs in alphabetical order as I haven’t yet decided on any kind of arrangement. These are the songs I have decided to include at the moment. It may change as I develop the album. It will be a double album of course, and loosely, even a concept album.

Many of the songs will be in written in these general types of styles, though the lyrics will be considerably different:

WATCH AND SEE

These are the lyrics to a new Blues song I wrote this past weekend. Actually I wrote this song, and two new poems (When Night is No More, and First the Enemy, Then The Fool) on the same day, but I only finished the song that day. The poems I didn’t finish until Sunday night.

Then last night I rewrote and edited the song and put it into its final form. I’m really pleased with the way it turned out.

WATCH AND SEE

Well you ain’t got nothin in you
And you ain’t left nothin out
I’m telling you now baby
Even if you scream and shout
That I won’t just come a runnin
Cause you make a fuss
You don’t do nothin baby
But a’ mess around with us

So throw your temper tantrums
Or curse us both by name
Don’t make no difference to me
It all comes out the same

But if you want me round ya
Then you better tighten up
I’m telling you now baby
Your time with me is up

Well you play the fool in public
You act the witch at home
You feed me all your poison
Then you won’t leave me alone
You ask me where I’m going
When I try to get away
I’ll tell ya, “not your business
Just sit right there and stay!”

You tell me that you’re coming
But I tell you not with me
I’mma headed somewhere diff’rent
Ain’t you smart enough to see?

Cause if you stay around me
Then you better loosen up
I’m telling you now baby
That your time is almost up

Yeah, you tell me that you’re coming
But I tell ya not with me
I’mma heading somewhere diff’rent
That’s the way it’s gonna be!
Yeah I’m heading somewhere diff’rent woman
Just you watch and see…

THE VESSEL BETOKENED – from ANASTASIS

“While you have grown and groaned with sweetest whispers,
and I have shaken like a ship upon storm tossed seas…”

As breasts have swelled with womanhood
As ankle encircled with gold and silver charm,
As lips have parted with liquid kiss
And past has passed all things remiss,
As curves have gentled, as flesh has warmed
As eyes of coal have fires borne,
As legs have wrapped me in embrace
As passion illuminates your face,
As hands do squeeze, as smiles report
To signal of your sure transport,
I feel as if we first did love
Woman of earth, spirit above,
A rain upon me in the heat
No lonely wind, but storm complete,
With hair all by this tempest blown
As we do grasp with equal moan
While we in lover’s passion gasp,
Our ship at sea is anchored fast.

More woman now in sweeter age
More full, more want, more love to rage,
And yet the fires wherewith you burn
Do complement me in my turn,
With uplifted face you signal me
And in your nakedness I see
Wife and lover, mother, friend,
Beyond that does your vision send
A currency I cannot spend,
For the commerce of our desperate hold
Cannot be reckoned, not retold,
Except for this, for this to say,
Tonight my woman as if the day
With coming morn could e’er announce
Your value now beyond recount,
Our ship at sea is anchored fast
Our treasured hold is deep and vast,
And yet of gold I could not count
The measure of your true amount,
More woman now than when first spent
My body borrowed, my heart is lent,
Wife and lover, mother, friend,
We sail this world until she ends.

(a love poem for my wife)

LIVING THE BLUES – a song

LIVING THE BLUES

Ain’t got no future
Ain’t got no past
You’re through with me
I’m through with you
Ain’t got no reason
But I got proof
I’m livin the blues
Cause baby, come high or low
I’m livin, oh must be dying
Living with you
But,
Still, ain’t got no future
Ain’t got no past
Done thought about it
Can’t make it last
Now, ain’t that a shame
Don’t know what to make
Of this…
This mess o’ ours
Now, this ain’t good
This sho ain’t right
But I ain’t gonna fight
No mo about it
Cause baby, I’m living the blues
You know it’s true
Now woman
You bringin the blues
Ain’t got no reason
But I got proof
Don’t matter the season
Cause you tha proof
I’m living the blues
Woman, don’t you know
I’m livin, ought not be trying
To live with you…

Living Proof (by Buddy Guy) inspired me to write a new Blues Song of my own, Living the Blues (even though they’re on completely different subjects), which I did while I waited on the girls. Or I wrote 90% of it anyway. I’m going to edit, rewrite, and finish it today. Everyone who has read it so far really seems to like it.

Over the weekend after listening to the whole Guy CD I also began to write four inter-related songs which I call the “Bad Road” songs. I was going to call the first song, Hot Sun on a Bad Road. But then as I started writing lyrics I got the idea for a set of four related “bad road” songs, each dealing with a different point on the compass. All will deal with a similar theme, a bad woman who leads a man in the wrong direction.

So now I intend to call the songs: Bad Road Down South, Cold Road North, East Road to Nowhere, and Hard Road West.

The South song will be about a Black woman, the North song about a blue-eyed blonde, the East road about a green-eyed brunette (jet black hair, a Witchy woman) or possibly a red-head, and the West road about (possibly) an Hispanic woman, though I’m still thinking on that one.

I’ve got about two thirds of Bad Road Down South written, and sketch notes for the other songs already developed.

HARD LOVE (a song)

Woman you got hard love
The kind that cuts and bleeds
Woman you got hard love
The kind I’m gonna need
Woman you got hard love
Make it sting and burn
Woman you got hard love
Make me twist and turn

Woman want your love
Woman want it now
Woman you ain’t near as tough
As you pretend no how,
Yes you’re mean and angry
But you’re lonely too
I’m the man with love so strong
I’ll fix what’s wrong with you

Woman I got hard love
Love so hard it breaks
Whatever’s down inside of you
Let’s see what you can take
Woman I got hard love
You ain’t seen nothing yet
I’ll get so deep inside of you
Be begging me to quit…

WILD UPON THE FIELD!

When I was young I let all things settle as they would
If anybody wanted to I said then that they should
Then as I aged I noticed that a lot of things were wrong
I could not stomach anymore just to get along

Evil men, and wasted lives, practices corrupt
They were no longer over there, they overflowed my cup
I did not want, I did not care, I did not wish to take
All the wrong I saw around, nor all the ills it makes

So now I Rant, and sometimes Rave, and often I Revolt
I care no longer it offends, often that’s my hope
For people nod, and people smile, and meekly they agree
If everything is mildly spoke – all passion absentee

But if with fire, fume and smoke, and fury you explode
In righteous anger ‘gainst what’s wrong it will then expose
Their passive manner, pliant wills, and subservience
That Free Men should all best eschew in their establishment

So if by heat, so if by blood, so if by reason sharp
I offend, or I contend, I’ll surely hit my mark
Mild is well, and meek is good, when little is at stake
When all that’s right is up for grabs that is when I break

And run wild upon the field!

READING SIGNS

A sky like freshly melted lead and I am re-membered of that age so long ago when men stood atop the crops of living stone that grew like towers from the Earth, and carrion fowl

circled the sky searching for the dead.

The green of cyprus tall and dark, the hidden grasses bent beneath the menhired burden of a vanished race that raced the sun of every season to see who could catch the summer first.

Winters come, and yet is past, and still the grey and shadowed corners linger along the Elder Trails were men no longer read the signs

and the signs no longer signify.

A scarecrow raised like Rome’s own crucified to draw the ravens to his eye, so plucked away it cannot see any sight again but prophecy.

Still not enough is known to unknow anything. Worth unknowing.

Another bird, a hunting hawk, wending north of winter’s range will read no time until he marks the movement of a preying heart, and then picking from the scampering fields the blood and bones that once were knit, unmakes them for another day.

The bear scats, the fox turns, wolves howl, mountains rise, seas dry, roots rot, bones break, stones crack, echoes abound, vines creep, roads Wyrd, trails fade, streams cut, wounds bleed, words falter, men forget…

The signs are there, for all to read.

Most will not.

                  Surely,

Most will not.

A FAR BETTER LAND… a New Song

A song I wrote this morning. The blower motor in our main air unit has failed and we’ve been without heat for two days waiting on the replacement motor to be delivered and installed. During the day, and to keep warm, I’ve been going outside to lie in the grass in the sunshine. (It is actually much warmer outside than inside the house at this point, especially around daybreak).

I did that again after lunch just now and these song lyrics came to me as I was soaking up the sunshine. Actually I’ve been thinking lately on events in America and in the world and have sort of reached my bellyful of all the recent bullshit. So yeah, the cold and the sun sparked the lyrics, but they’ve been weighing on my mind for a while now anyhow.

After I went inside and wrote them down, I put them aside for a bit and had a cup of coffee. Then I went back to the lyrics and did some editing and a bit of finagling to develop a final draft.

It’s sort of a hippie song, I’m the first to admit it, but nevertheless I like it.

A lot. I mean it too. Both for myself and this nation, and even for the world.

 

A FAR BETTER LAND

Gonna hop me a train to somewhere
Somewhere I’ve never yet been
A place that’s full of better ways
A place I can start again

Gonna fly me a plane to Shangri-La
A land that will never end
With star-bright nights and golden days
Where the dawn of my heart begins

Gonna sail me a ship to Paradise
Find me the coast of the moon
Where the mountains are high, and
The water is wide, and the grass
Is as deep as the sky

Come with me People
Let’s go somewhere else
Leave all your troubles and cares

Just think of the World
We could make for ourselves
If only we ever would dare

Gonna build me a starship
Gonna build her real soon
Rig her with sails made of light
Gonna crew her at sunrise, launch her at noon
God! What a beautiful sight!

Come with me People
There are new worlds to roam
Gonna leave all our hatreds and wares

There’s a place that is waiting
We could build a New Home
If only we ever would dare

Gonna fill up my heart-chest
Gonna pack up my soul
Gonna leave just as soon as I can

Come with me People
Come young and old
Gonna look for a far better land

Yeah…

Gonna go to a far better land

Yeah,

A new, and a far better land…

BROKE AGAINST EACH OTHER

Speaking of songs, here is one I wrote about a year back or so.

 

BROKE AGAINST EACH OTHER

The part without the whole
One day we both will know
How that works, and why it never does

The night without the day
Sometimes we both will say
That such a thing can never be, yet is

The man who lost his heart
How do I even start
To tell you when it went, and never did

The woman lost her soul
One long night and all is told
To everyone who saw her eyes, and yet

the solitary part without the hole
is the only one of us still looking
for all the pieces we left behind
that day we fell between ourselves
and broke against each other.

FIRST DRAFT

An interesting take on the process. And deep down I can’t help but think he’s right in some way.

SHORE OF THE SEASON

To relax tonight, and to listen to some Halloween music (this time of year I like to listen to darker, more moody, spookier music), I’ve been listening to the soundtrack of Howard Shore’s soundtrack for The Hobbit.

To be honest, although a few tracks are weak, overall it’s nearly as good as Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack for the Man of Steel. I don’t think Shore is yet as good a composer as Zimmer, but in his own way he’s quite fine.

And some of this music is very atmospheric indeed and perfect for Halloween and this season of the year.

SIDE SALAD GIRL

SIDE SALAD GIRL

Side salad girl you’re a nice looking sight
Side salad girl whatcha doing tonight?
Side salad girl won’t you order me up
Side salad girl come serve me close up

Chorus:

Side salad girl won’t you sprinkle your cheese
Side salad girl you can do as you please
Side salad girl you’re the best in the world
The salt and the pepper, your dressing’s awhirl

Side salad girl I come here for you
Side salad girl you must know it’s true
Your tomatoes are plump, your mushrooms are fine
I love all your fixins, wanna make em all mine!

Side salad girl let’s blow off this joint
Side salad girl I won’t disappoint
Just grab up your apron this order’s to go
You can cook in my kitchen and put on your show

Chorus:

Side salad girl let’s toss in the breeze
Side salad girl you can do as you please
Side salad girl you’re the best in the world
Your salad’s the freshest, your dressing’s awhirl

Side salad girl come live with me now
We’ll marry, I’ll keep ya, whatever’s allowed
My side salad girl you can do it up right
Let’s get this thing started, come serve me tonight!

AILEEN AROON

I rewrote the old song Aileen Aroon (something I will do on occasion) to create my own particular lyrical version. I followed the traditional arrangement (in meter, cadence, and rhythm) up to a point and then modified that arrangement to create this version. The lyrics vary rather widely from the older and more traditional versions.

Experiments like this make me a better poet and songwriter.

AILEEN AROON

When your fair heart
Arose – a Rose
Beauty by youth
Enclosed – reposed
Where our first love did stem
No loss could ever dim
Hopeless would not condemn,
Aileen Aroon

What of your face – your eyes – to I?
Lost in this place – your sighs – to I?
Is it your voice I hear,
Whispers I held so dear
Where is our ancient cheer?
Aileen Aroon

This day is passed
Aileen Aroon
Our secrets at last
Aileen Aroon
Love had her better way
Our hearts so long astray
What now can either say?
Aileen Aroon

I know a valley fair
Aileen Aroon
She once led me there
Aileen Aroon

Deep in that valley’s shade
Long slept my restless maid,
Her heart by love unmade
Aileen Aroon!

Where is the moon?
Aileen Aroon
Does it come soon?
Aileen Aroon

Lost in this fading light
Grows a forever night,
One that is never bright
Aileen Aroon

Oh, what a waiting maid
Heavy the sorrow made
When you to I abade
Aileen Aroon!

Who in their song – so weeps – so sweet?
Whoever’s strong – does seek – is meek
Dear are your charms to me
Deep as the churning sea
Longing in constancy
Aileen Aroon!

Were you never due
Aileen Aroon
The fault lies not with you
Aileen Aroon
I left my only heart unmade
Lost then to my gentle maid
Who now gives any aid –
Aileen Aroon?

Youth must to time – decay – away
Time must to you – this way – give way
Yet still my heart is true
Suffers no loss of you,
When will this night be through?
Aileen Aroon…

PENNY DREADFUL

Penny Dreadful, mood most leadful
Like a cup of arsenic
Spoon my cube of sugared rubiks
My Sophists are all Cynicals

Penny Dreadful, lungs and headful
Smoke a peacepipe barrow-top
A drop of silver, moon and livers
Make a canny bumper-crop

Penny Dreadful, all regretful
That this night is deep and black
Kill the Hanged-Man, in the bright sand
Bury them then bring him back

Penny Dreadful, what a mouthful
If the spirits won’t attend
I don’t know, I just work here
Tell me how this thing will end

Penny Dreadful, mourn the bledful
Filled at every fresh dead-drop
I never saw the bag man moving
But I heard his shadow-hop…

 

THE SONG

Unlike other forms of poetry a truly great song must be, in the end, completely and entirely personal. An impersonal song will never be a truly great song, indeed, it will never be a real song at all, it will only be an abysmal mistake.