Song Update: “Alina”

I have another genuine filk! I recently finished the Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo (which you should all read, because it is amazing), and was inspired to write a song from a female character’s point of view. Minor spoilers for the second book, Crooked Kingdom, but nothing earthshaking that would ruin the entire series. Go read it!

Inej is an acrobat-turned-spy who plays a major role in the story. One interesting thing about her is her staunch religious beliefs, including faith in a Saint who was the main character in Bardugo’s first trilogy. This is Inej’s song.

Alina
by Gabrielle G.

Sankta Alina, protect me this day,
The moment when all facades will fall away,
I’m scaling the Church and its dome high above,
And I look on this splendor and squalor with love,
And I look on my city with love.

Sankta Alina, you stand by my side,
You adorn me with honor, a banner of pride,
I’m under attack, as I’ve been for so long,
For my very existence to many is wrong,
I will show them that you’re never wrong.

Ketterdam’s symbol has always been gold,
Something to hoard once the bells have all tolled,
Something to treasure that no one else can,
But I find my treasure in my fellow man.

Sankta Alina, you’re gleaming and bright,
Although my opponent was born for this fight,
Fish trapped in a Barrel will die or breathe air,
I’ll always believe what you stand for is fair,
Those who live know that life is not fair.

Sankta Alina, she’s pure deadly grace,
I fear I am not the last foe she will face,
But then I recall who depends on my skill,
I cannot forsake him, he’s waiting there still,
And I feel the world shudder, then still.

Ketterdam’s mantra is “tend to your own”,
Among gangs and loyalties, no one’s alone,
But fend for yourself, or you’ll perish in shame,
They think me a wraith, for I have changed the game.

Sankta Alina, you’ve treated me well,
I’ve witnessed the instant she stumbled and fell,
Shattered on cobblestones, destined to break,
For to be without honor’s an awful mistake,
Her hubris was her last mistake.

Sankta Alina, like heroes of old,
Like the name of the saint on the blade that I hold,
You’re beauty and reverence, but death in the field,
I could not have guessed what this city would yield,
In Ketterdam, I’ll never yield,
For Alina’s my hope and my shield.

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Song Update: “Morning Star”

So a while back, I posted this song about Baltic sun/moon mythology. I am particularly fond of both the song and topic, so I started thinking for FAWM 2017: what would it have been like from another viewpoint? What if the narrative comes from the aforementioned morning star? So I looked up more about this deity specifically, and lo and behold, interesting twists abound. This song is her story, which is slightly different from that of the moon god. I do love my alternate perspectives.

Hope you enjoy. 🙂

Morning Star
by Gabrielle G.

Well before the hour that your journey starts,
I light fires to show the way,
In your palace chamber, you dream of peace,
But I must prepare for day,

I will guard the door to the path you tread,
I’ll protect the gates as you forge ahead,
I stand watch when you are asleep in bed,
But you’ll always turn away.

You are the sun, mother sun,
And I serve you as your child,
I desire your love as you soar above,
How I miss the days you smiled,

I am the star, morning star,
You have spurned me, yet I’ve stayed,
I desire your grace, but I know my place
And the grave mistake I made.

Daughters often yearn for their mothers’ pride,
And they fumble desperately,
I cannot condone my behavior then,
But I beg you pardon me,

He approached and carried me off my course,
He was in control, a seductive force,
Though the moon reflects what’s within the source,
I was wrong to let it be.

You are the sun, mother sun,
He is your love to entice,
For the moon is bright, but he was not right,
To be broken is his price,

I am the star, morning star,
I have salvaged what I can,
Though I’m loyal to every mote of you,
You forgive no child or man.

I am the star, morning star,
And Aušrine is my name,
I have lost it all, but I will stand tall,
I’ve none but myself to blame,

You are the sun, mother sun,
You’re the light of all who live,
I’ll sustain the fires that your path requires,
Maybe one day you’ll forgive.


 

P.S. – Couldn’t get the special Unicode character for the “e” to work right. It’s pronounced Owsh-ree-nay.

Song Update: “Sky-Writer”

I almost overlooked this one! As I sifted through the songs I have not yet shared in some attempt to find ones that fit the theme of this blog, I came across a fairly obvious contender. FAWM 2016 was a bit of a hit-or-miss year for me, but when I did get a hit, I liked what came out. This song is more thoughtful than fantastical, per se, but it’s about leaving a legacy through writing and music. What’s more fitting than that?

Enjoy. 🙂

Sky-Writer
by Gabrielle G.

The airplane flying over leaves a white trail,
A cloud that fades before the others do,
As if a line break drawn on heaven’s paper,
A wordless streak of sentiment on blue,

Ephemeral whenever wind is blowing,
Replaced by nothing when the echo’s gone,
The traces of one flight are much like music played,
The memory will linger come next dawn.

I strive to sing the melody that will be heard again,
The one that people hum, but don’t know why,
So fleeting, yet with notes that last forever when
I must become a writer in the sky.

You cannot touch the sunset or the rainbow,
They hover somewhere we will never know,
We long to grasp the light between our fingers
But settle for the warmth it leaves below,

The image left in spots when we are blinking
Is stamped upon the space behind our eyes,
All beauty crumbles, as all lives must end in time,
But all that has been lived through never dies.

I strive to sing the melody that will be heard again,
The one that people hum, but don’t know why,
So fleeting, yet with notes that last forever when
I must become a writer in the sky.

I strive to leave my mark in what can’t be contained
Or broken by the years that will pass by,
What’s known in seconds is all that will be sustained
When I become that writer in the sky.

Giving it another go + a recording!

Hi, interwebs. I am alive, and I am still writing songs. I guess I felt for a while that this blog was not generating enough interest to be worth it. But I’m giving it another go, as the title indicates. I may be editing the title of the blog in the near future, just to encompass some other aspects of my writing besides songs. We’ll see where the wind takes me. 🙂

For your listening pleasure, I am including my favorite song from this year’s FAWM output. I am rather pleased with how the recording turned out, and I wanted to share it with you. This song was inspired both by the first challenge topic (which was “Dreams”) and by my own frustration and sadness at the state of the worlds, outside and inside, if you will. Take what you wish from it. It’s open to interpretation.

Incidentally, thank you for staying with me. Or just having a first look. I am more than grateful to anyone who stops by this neglected corner of blogdom. I am armed with a broom, a dust mask, and hope.

Stay
by Gabrielle G.

I had a nightmare yesterday, I dreamt I lost my way,
The colors of my blazing candle faded into gray,
I had a moment in the dark when I believed in fear,
The threads that weave my being whole had all but disappeared.

I woke to see the world in flames,
And question what is real,
Some say I’ve too much stock in dreams,
And all that they reveal,

But dreams are stars,
Twinkling, burning, leaving scars,
But dreams are cast by something,
Shadows of these lives of ours,

But dreams are true,
Stark reflections of what’s you,
And if the world’s caught fire today,
What, if not our dreams, will stay?

I had a vision as I slept, I saw the height of men,
The rise and fall of empires that will die and come again,
I had a future all planned out, the path was clear as glass,
My own designs would pave the way and leave light where I pass,

I woke to crushing doubt and shame,
And question what I feel,
Some say I’ve too much stock in dreams,
And all that they conceal,

But dreams are stars,
Twinkling, burning, leaving scars,
But dreams are cast by something,
Shadows of these lives of ours,

But dreams are true,
Stark reflections of what’s you,
And if the world’s caught fire today,
What, if not our dreams, will stay?

We are what dreams are made of,
Dust and wind and motes of sun,
We’re not content enough,
If so, then fear has won,

We are what dreams are made of,
Underneath debris, we shine,
Our edges are still rough,
But we’ll be polished fine.

We are what dreams are made of,
We fulfill what we demand,
We are the stars above,
In dreaming, we withstand.

For dreams are stars,
Twinkling, burning, leaving scars,
For dreams are cast by something,
Shadows of these lives of ours,

For dreams are true,
Stark reflections of what’s you,
And if the world’s caught fire today,
What, if not our dreams, will stay?

Happy New Year, and a Song Update

Greetings, interwebs! It has been far too long, and I wanted to start off fresh today. It’s 2017, and I am halfway through a cup of coffee. 😀

One reason why I have been absent for 3-ish months is something I am slightly embarrassed to admit. I am running out of songs that fit the description of “imagined worlds.” I do have other songs, they just aren’t about fantasy or mythology, so I decided to set them apart from this blog.

The other reason is something I am rather pleased about. As of about 1.5 weeks ago, I have a finished draft of the first novel I ever conceived of. This is Tawny’s story, which some of you might recall from some song posts that are no longer public (I don’t want to give everything away to everyone. 😛 ). I plugged away at it for long enough, and now I have results, praise the compy.

Since I finished the draft, I have been a little stranded in the writing arena. I decided I needed to go back to songs, and this was what came out. A song about the experience of returning to an old friend who I thought might never come fully to life. This song is for all the little fantastical voices in my head that want to be free.

One Path for You
by Gabrielle G.

Once I laid the foundations for a journey,
A tale told only in my waking dreams,
Once I made the beginnings of a yearning
Into song and story that were my sunbeams,

In dark days I could glimpse beyond the window,
I saw light I knew no one else could see,
I heard tunes spun of smoke and glancing shadow,
In the fires of imagined fantasy.

I swore that I would not forget them,
That they’d never fade away,
A promise whispered in my head I know they heard me say,

There is only one path for you,
And I know someday, I will make that path come true,
There is only one life to spend,
And I’ll give that life to you, my loyal friend,
Do not bend,
Do not end,
There is but one path for you.

Once I wove a great forest in the starlight,
A vast world that converged with all the rest,
Once I strove to keep burning through the far light
Of a hero who I would put to the test,

As years passed, I would stand and I would stumble,
Her heart beat alongside mine as I went,
Would I lose her among the rain and rumble
Of the storms outside my mind that won’t relent.

I swore that I would not forget her,
Or the ones she walked beside,
They all had their own tales that would have vanished, so I cried,

There is only one path for you,
And I know someday, I will make that path come true,
There is only one life to spend,
And I’ll give that life to you, my loyal friend,
Do not bend,
Do not end,
There is but one path for you.

Now I turn to the past and to tomorrow,
And I see what has been and what must be,
And I yearn to give back what I still borrow,
As of now, she lives in hidden words and me,

It won’t be very long until my reader
Has seen all of her pages, and replies,
And I’ll save this first tale in prose and meter,
She’s ignited something timeless that can’t die.

I swore that I would grant them better
Than confinement in my heart,
I made good on my promise that I gave her at the start,

There is only one path for you,
And I know someday, I will make that path come true,
There is only one life to spend,
And I’ll give that life to you, my loyal friend,
Do not bend,
Do not end,
There is but one path for you,

Do not fear,
You are here,
There is but one path for you.

Song Update: “The Deadliest Poison”

So I seem to have this bad habit of going far too long between posts. In this case, I blame the onslaught of physical health issues that required some family assistance. I hope things are looking up from here on out.

But I have another FAWM song for you! Yup, it’s about Greek mythology. Who could’ve guessed? 😛 I did this one during my concert back in July. I like writing from alternate points of view, so why not twist up the Hercules story a little bit? The guy was always kind of a jerk, after all.

Anywho. Here’s my take.

The Deadliest Poison
by Gabrielle G.

What a surprise, seeing you here,
After your exploits and feats of great might,
I had thought you would never arrive.

Laboring tirelessly through every year,
Always too ready to take on a fight,
Whether reasoned or plainly contrived.

The deadliest poison hides inside ambition,
A little might spur you to transcend most men,
In high concentrations, it alters your vision
And leads you to suffer ‘till you reach the end.

Here, now, deep in the blackness
You see what you could not before,
Do not mind if I gloat
At the future you wrote,
Were you really expecting much more?

What sweet revenge, seeing your face
After the shame and the pain I once knew
Just for stealing from Lerna for food.

In your small view, I took up space,
I never did anything to harm you,
And your arrows and swords were quite rude.

We joined in the battle, and then one by one
You cut off my heads, set my blood flowing free,
Over my body, you thought it was fun
To use what sustained me to slay those like me.

Here, now, deep in the blackness
You see what you could not before,
Do not mind if I gloat
At the future you wrote,
Were you really expecting much more?

Look in the stars, our signs are clear,
Men will think you lived a triumphant life,
But I know what has truly transpired.

My lethal blood’s why you are here,
Passed to your shirt by your ignorant wife,
There’s no more that I could have desired.

Everyone doubtlessly thinks you divine,
I know you’re down with the rest of the dead,
You were the one who made our fates entwine,
You are the monster—you took your own head.

Here, now, deep in the blackness
You see what you could not before,
Do not mind if I gloat
At the future you wrote,
Were you really expecting much more?

Song Update: “Castalia”

I live! >_> <_<

I have unfortunately been dealing with some health problems, which is part of the reason I needed to assert my not-deadness. Thanks to all those who have been patiently waiting. ❤

This song is one that I conceived for FAWM, but didn’t get written in time. It took me some tweaking before I got it the way I wanted it. We’re back in the realm of Greek mythology! I have already written a song about Lethe, but it occurred to me that there are other mystical bodies of water in the same tradition. Since natural phenomena are typically personified in mythology (whether strictly deities or not), I wondered what a couple of very dissimilar watery entities would say to each other. This is what came out.

P.S. – Castalia is a spring blessed by Apollo. What it does to humans is made pretty clear in the song.

Castalia
By Gabrielle G.

I am the font of inspiration,
Bright and cold as the morn,
I am your sacred invocation
For all that will be born,

I’ve drawn from wells arriving empty,
Those who crave the divine,
Your muse needs but a single entry,
You’ll seek what you will find.

Blinding as the sun, he’ll come in chariot blazing,
Your time has begun, for you’ll see what hid deep,
Drink of me, and I can promise you star-gazing,
You will know the heavens dancing as you sleep,
Secrets that you can no longer keep.

You are the font of inspiration,
A gift some wish not to know,
You are the source of rumination,
That from which nightmares flow,

I am the waterway of quiet,
When years drive men insane,
My river heals those who would try it,
They surface free of pain.

Down below the earth are powers of unmaking,
All who doubt your worth, let go of yesteryear,
Drink of me, and I can calm your hands still shaking,
Fears, regrets, and mourning all will disappear,
There’s but one way out once you come here.

I am their insight to creation,
You mend cracks I create,
But you’re no lasting consolation,
Returning is their fate,

So whose is the higher endeavor,
You wash memories out,
But I can safeguard them forever,
That’s all men dream about.

Lethe’s draught is pure, and silences what’s screaming,
But it’s not a cure when there’s another dawn,
They’ll forget the past, but they will keep on dreaming,
And they will recall the future once it’s gone,
Better to make legends that live on.