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A song without music

Posted by Erik on August 14, 2008

I can’t write a decent tune to save my life. I can sing, and I can arrange, but I can’t compose – it’s simply not something I have in my toolbox. Which is a shame, since some of my best poetry would (IMO) be enhanced with a musical setting.

I don’t know that I would group this old piece with my best poetry, but it’s definitely a song in search of a melody…  A young lady on the brink of death is visited by one of the Fairy Folk. Pure fantasy, this, just for fun.

[8/20/08 – edited to remove a gratuitous verse that killed the flow of the ending.]

Come Underhill

Come underhill with me, my love
Away with me, away with me
Away the stars, away the sun
Come underhill with me.

Your bed shall be the earth’s own bones
Away with me, away with me
A mother’s pillow made of stones
Come underhill with me.

Our roof and lintel, rowan root
Away with me, away with me
And leaves of crystal underfoot
Come underhill with me.

A lake of silver I will find
Away with me, away with me
Your vanity to satisfy
Come underhill with me.

I’ve tapestries of rock and gold
Away with me, away with me
An elven kingdom’s price untold
Come underhill with me.

No winter’s lash to perfect flesh
Away with me, away with me
Nor burning eye, nor chill of death
Come underhill with me.

Dumb Tom shall play, and we will dance
Away with me, away with me
And play the game of perfect chance
Come underhill with me.

The Gray Man stands without and waits
Away with me, away with me
A black-winged angel rolls your fate
Come underhill with me.

My hand held out, now is the time
Away with me, away with me
Or step across that darkling line
Come underhill with me.

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6 Responses to “A song without music”

  1. mahud said

    I thought this was beautiful Erik. I was actually able to sing it, although, I’m not too sure if I could find the right cords on a guitar — the only instrument I can play. Thanks for posting :D

  2. executivepagan said

    Thanks! If you have the ability to record yourself to an mp3 singing (or picking out the melody on the guitar) I’d love to hear the tune you came up with…

  3. Ooooh.

    This one puts chills up my spine.

    Yes, it must become a song. Perhaps I can dangle it in front of a musician friend I know, who might do it some justice.

    Wow, Erik!

  4. executivepagan said

    When I first wrote this (in 1992 – was that really 16 years ago?) I figured it would go with an Irish dance-type tune, kind of light and jaunty; but now I think it’s probably better in a minor key. Not haunting, necessarily, but something that could modulate into a darker mood in the last verses. I wish I could write it!

    In reading it over again just now, I realize that the antepenultimate verse needs to go – it seriously damages what should be a dramatic build-up to the conclusion…

    Thanks for the offer – I’ll be interested to hear if anything comes of it!

  5. Mama Kelly said

    Absolutely beautiful! And I can definately “hear it” in a minor key.

  6. executivepagan said

    Absolutely beautiful
    Thanks!

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