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The Corvid's Last Dance (A song in nineteen verses and nine minutes)

Ian Melvin on June 22, 2013 16:40

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    The Corvid’s Last Dance (A song in nineteen verses)

    This is a performance work in progress, a marathon of sorts, filled with challenges to the guitar player and the singer. I have kept it under wraps for too long. Time for a test drive. here comes 142 Mb of song! (replaced it with MP3...for efficiency)

    Martin 000-15M, Martin SP Custom Light, recorded with an SE R1 Ribbon Mic, vocal Rode NT2-A. iMac and Logic Pro 9

    Words and story by: Nick Nolan
    Set to music and performed by:

    When I was a young man, in a time long ago, 
Being bitter and wicked, I sowed naught but woe. 
My father, being pious, bade me work on his land, 
But I laughed at his piety, and defied his command.
    So I stole my inheritance, and with one final grin 
I cursed all around me, & took to the wind. 
I travelled to far lands, barbaric and wild, 
And fell in with wastrels, the tainted, defiled.
    We drank all around us, and belittled the poor, 
These cut-throats and hooligans, these brigands and whores. 
But their friendship was pretence, & when I was abed, 
They stabbed me and robbed me, & left me for dead.
    I awoke in a clearing, my bones on the freeze, 
All broken and bleeding, encircled by trees. 
And I, being godless, no prayers could I say, 
But my thoughts turned to family, & my home far away.
    And all of my past sins, returned to my mind, 
All the greed & the gluttony, all the sloth & the pride. 
So I whispered one last word, to the sun and the sky, 
And settling my thoughts, I readied to die.
    When high in the branches, a shape I did see, 
As dark as obsidian, as old as the sea. 
And one more, and another, until the blue sky turned grey, 
Their clamour was deafening, as the light left the day.
    These Ravens and Magpies, these Corbies and Crows, 
Jackdaws and Morrigans, these corvidae foes. 
Their black eyes were on me, boring into my soul, 
And the wickedness they found there, was the price of my toll.
    And then all at once, an unearthly quiet fell, 
I heard a sound near, like the peal of a bell. 
An apparition appeared, like none I’ve yet seen, 
And towards me she walked, to where I lay on the green.
    High in the trees, with heads bowed in awe, 
They greeted their empress, with feather and claw. 
She was perfect, unsullied, graceful & proud, 
Her presence ethereal, her carriage unbowed.
    She was fluid as a river, this herald of the lost, 
As soft as sweet grasses, as fragile as frost. 
She knelt down beside me, laid a hand on my brow, 
And whispered sweet sorrow, that I should not go.
    She lifted her head, and started to chant, 
And the crows in the gallery, let their music decant. 
At first a bare whisper, on the edge of all hearing, 
Now louder and louder, the music grew searing.
    She moved to my legs, all shattered and broken, 
Yet sensation returning, nerves now being awoken. 
The same with my arms, she healed them anew, 
And turned to my chest, where the knife ran me through.
    At this she tarried, and let out a great sigh, 
And the carrion screamed in protest, so loud was their cry. 
But she stilled them again, a hand in the air, 
And the clearing fell silent, the birds held their stare.
    Her hands felt my great wound, she cried out with pain, 
And fell back in a swoon, as if she’d been slain. 
I remember no more, a miasma took hold, 
But for dreams of black wings, and a numinous cold.
    When I opened my eyes, there was darkness all around, 
And no trace of my redeemer anywhere on the ground. 
I surveyed my body, now I had been spared, 
My wounds were well healed, my bones well repaired.
    For three days I stayed there, for I could not let go, 
Without seeing one last time, that mistress of woe. 
But she never again, appeared in that wood, 
And my hunger compelled me, to leave ere I should.
    So I made my way home, across many strange lands, 
And reached my father’s house, on the edge of the sands, 
As he ran to greet me, I fell at his feet, 
And begged his forgiveness, of a once foolish cheat.
    And from that day forward, I turned only to good, 
And toiled on the land, as a righteous man should, 
Yet I never forgot her, my corvidae love, 
I am always a-watch for wings far above.
    So now I am old, as old as can be, 
And I have carried my tale, far o’er across the sea, 
Beneath the night sky, unbroken by rain, 
I oft paint her picture, the colour of pain.


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