Song Update: “Planting the Seed”

Well it’s definitely been long enough. Yikes. I’ve been very busy preparing for my concert, which is creeping up on me like some sort of happy rainbow tiger. That is to say, I am excited and terrified and more squee. 😀  o_o

But I didn’t want it to literally be a month in between posts, so here you go. This is one I’ve been saving up, because I am significantly proud of it. Try to imagine this with a vague hint of sassy blues, because that’s the closest thing I can thing of regarding the tune. I had a lot of fun writing from the point of view of a very overlooked fairy tale archetype, that being the brief instigator. This person shares many characteristics with the speaker in this song, so I guess I just like writing through the mischief-maker’s eyes. Call this fairy tale only slightly cracked, not quite fractured.

Without further literary babbling, I give you…

Planting the Seed
by Gabrielle G.

There are many bags within my barrow,
Ones I’m wont to share,
But for those who walk the straight and narrow,
Few will get you anywhere,

There are many wonders in my keeping,
Though some seem mundane,
But you bright-eyed planters will go reaping
Once the harvest comes again.

You who hold imagination
In your willful hearts,
Never needed me or my temptations
To assign your parts.

I’m an enabler, yes it’s true,
But I’m only helping you find you
That was plain for every common fool to see,
That harp already played itself
Before it was touched by me.

There are many seeds inside the cunning
Needing little sun
‘Till their roots and shoots go off and running,
Tangling them before they’re done,

And a bag of beans with sleeping power’s
Wasted on the meek,
But you made the trade, and now’s the hour
When you’ll take the risks you seek.

You who grasp what you desire
Might escape your fate,
But a rising stalk that plays with fire
Might find it’s too late.

I’m an enabler to the sly,
Who may perish or may reach the sky
On a heady gamble meant to win the day,
That goose was cooked before you came
And led future young lads astray.

They don’t tell the story of that Jack of all trades,
They don’t let the children know he traded his life,
Magic is a last-chance wild card that should never be played
Unless you know both sides of that double-edged knife,

Happy ever after is a dangerous game,
‘Cause that moment can never stay the same,
And when a giant tumbled out of the blue,
Jack was a only a hero ‘till they knew
Of the dead men crushed beneath that foe so carelessly slain,

I’m an enabler, through and through,
But it’s you who brought that down on you,
I bring nothing but potential in a sack,
You’re the ones who sow the seed,
And there is no going back.

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Song Update: “Savior”

Well, it’s been long enough. This one is a bit odd for me, in that it has no overt magical properties, if you will. But I feel that it straddles the realm between fiction and reality, with one foot in a story we wish were true more often. It seems that there are few who really learn from their mistakes, and I won’t always claim to always be in that category. Nevertheless, here is my philosophical take on the knight on shining armor.

Savior
by Gabrielle G.

Listen to my tale, young women,
I was just a girl back then,
Flighty and bound to a kingdom
That turned out to be pretend,
True love turns a maiden’s world on end.

Inside of every maid are wishes
To be loved and to be known,
Once a knight came courting for me,
Besting knaves and walls of stone,
And I bid him fight these wars alone.

Noble knight, he was my savior
When I strayed far from the road,
Breaking rules and skirting boundaries
While he shouldered every load,
Simply taking all that he bestowed.

Never let yourself be taken,
Never let yourself be made,
You’re the one who’ll be forsaken
Living by another’s blade,

Someone else can never save you,
Someone else can only try,
When you learn the hardest lessons,
Don’t let someone else be why.

One gray evening, quite in danger,
Caught by thieves who meant me harm,
He did not come by to save me
Even when I called alarm,
That night’s when I nearly lost my arm.

Somehow I escaped their clutches,
Battered beyond full repair,
When I finally reached the valley,
They said he’d come in despair,
Knowing saviors can’t always be there.

I grew bitter in this knowledge,
Hating him as weeks went on,
Nearly slain all for the chance
That I would change my ways come dawn,
I wish I could tell him I was wrong.

Never let yourself be ridden
Off into the sunset’s blaze,
Always doing what’s forbidden
‘Till you learn to change your ways,

Years have fled, and I’m your master,
I’ll teach you to fight and ride,
Learn my lesson that much faster,
Someday you’ll save your own hide,
I laid flowers at his grave when I found out he died,

Never let yourself be taken,
Never let yourself be made,
You’re the one who’ll be forsaken
Living by another’s blade,

Someone else can never save you,
Someone else can only try,
When you learn the hardest lessons,
Don’t let someone else be why.

Double Update: Squeee!

Life Update

There has been much squeeing on my part for most of May due to the filk organizer at a sci-fi/fantasy convention in Pittsburgh deciding, for some odd reason, to have me on the concert programming. O_o Let us say it has been many years since I performed outside of a singing circle or one-shot contest environment. To say I am excited is like saying “oh by the way, it gets warm in southern Florida.” Ahem.

In honor of this….

Song Update

I have decided to post another full vocal recording. Lyrics can be found here. This is the only jazzy song I have ever written, and I am proud of it. Because why not, weird supernatural settings in the key of F#. Enjoy.

 

Song Update: “Nekomata”

And we’re still on FAWM results. Because I got a few really good ones out this year, and I want to share them with you. 😀

This one is based on Japanese folklore. I did a little bit of combining of two traditional types of nekomata, a kind of yokai (badly translated as “demon” or “spirit”). If wild ones live in the mountains and there are domestic ones as well, how did the wild ones get there? It made logical sense to me, anyway.

Without further ado….

Nekomata
by Gabrielle G.

The mountains are crawling with creatures of feathers and fur,
The rough, rugged trails through the tunnels of stone
Just might house the vagabonds stalking alone,
Who can never go home or return to the souls they once were.

In search of the answers, around scattered pines,
Out of the valley I stumbled and climbed,
Scuffing my paws on the rocks, leaving lines
In my quest for the cats who had run out of time.

Deep into the steepest of mountains I searched for my kind,
Suddenly caught in a ring by surprise
Of cats scraggly and lean with a glint in their eyes,
And I asked them if they were abandoned, or left men behind.

“Listen,” said one who was missing an ear,
“We all have reasons for why we escaped,
We are what you will become through the years,
Age brings on terror and changing of shape,
Let us give you what you wish to hear.”

One was beloved of couples and children,
One scavenged daily, and reaped many treats,
One had grown fat as she lounged on her cushion,
And one let them train him to show off great feats,

None of them wished to give up what’s sublime,
But they all became cats who had run out of time.

Seven years after they came to this world, soft and new,
Sinister spirits crept under their skin,
Leaving them starving and terribly thin
For they tried to resist something dark that developed and grew,

They knew of fathers and sisters gone mad,
Lost to the grip of their unquiet minds,
Slain by the folk who had once made them glad
For they sated what hungered for flesh of mankind,

The ringleader said that they swore not to do as they yearned,
So all of them fled before they could succumb,
And they still survive, but their hearts have grown numb,
Now I know why all wandering villagers never returned.

Underneath layers of sorrow and grime,
I can see through to the souls that still shine,
They pay, though they’re innocent of any crime,
I’ll follow their footsteps when what’s theirs is mine,
When I must join the cats who have run out of time.

Song Update: “Sailor”

And now, for the fruits of FAWM 2016.

I appear to enjoy stories and songs about selkies. Given this, it seemed appropriate to write one of my own. I considered turning this into a short story or novella, but it came out more naturally as a song.

And while we’re on mythical sea creatures, hey, let’s throw in a second for good measure. This became much more interesting. So, I give you my little twist on a selkie tale.

Sailor
by Gabrielle G.

Take me down to the seashore,
Where my soul yearns to be,
Take me where I’ll be free for an eternity,

Take me down by the tall ships,
Where their sails spread like wings,
Take their wine laced with rosehips,
I’ve no use for these things
Anymore.

Once I sailed at the mercy of the waves,
As one born of the ocean’s fit to live for all his days,
Though I knew that no sea would be my grave,
I concealed my true face from every other sailor’s gaze,

So content to be cradled in blue arms,
Nevermind all the storms that sweep men down in frothing gales,
No thoughts spared for the songs that save or harm,
Or the blood that men have left to swirl and drown in scarlet trails.

Then you sought to bespell me,
With your sweet, furtive voice,
Was the fate that befell me
Made by fortune or choice?

Take me down to the seashore,
Where my soul yearns to be,
Take me where I’ll be free for an eternity,

Take me down to the water,
Where my story began,
I don’t rue what I brought here
But I can’t live on land
Anymore.

You were shocked as you whispered, “What are you?”
When you saw I’d not perished, but transformed within the foam,
Now you’d seen what I was, what no man knew,
I love life as a sailor, but the sea’s a selkie’s home.

You confessed to your fear of men’s desires,
Sirens slain or held captive for their iridescent scales,
I knew some brighter future would require
That I bridge sea and land, and change the course of those men’s sails.

They still thought me a sailor
When I surfaced once more,
I said she was my savior,
There’s no need for this war.

“Take me back to the island,”
There’s where I’d stand my ground,
I’d no longer be silent about all I’d found,

“Take me as proof of wisdom,
With this scale, I’ll unveil
There is hope in this kingdom
For a beautiful tale
Still in store.”

Ambassador or prisoner, I still cannot decide,
When every leader welcomed me, liaison with the siren song,
I was the reason that the sirens lived and multiplied,
Men thought I was a miracle survivor, and they weren’t wrong,
I’d never bested oceans, but I struggled to withstand
One more year bereft of motion on the hard, oppressive land,

So I ask for your aid now,
Set me free from this bind,
You must not be afraid now,
Days look bright for your kind,
And I’ll take my robes and golden rings and leave them all behind,

Take me down to the seashore,
Where my soul yearns to be,
Take me where I’ll be free for an eternity,

Take me down by the tall ships,
Where their sails spread like wings,
Take their wine laced with rosehips,
I’ve no use for these things,
I need naught but your friendship,
And the magic you bring
To the shore.

Song Update (finally!): “Cold Fire”

I live! Thanks to all of those who stuck with me. I’ve been a little uninspired to write posts over March and some of April, and this blog fell a bit by the wayside. I have been writing my Tawnyblaze novel, though, and I am making significant progress. Yay! Regardless, there are still many songs left to share, so I’d better get down to it, no?

Last time I posted, it was one of my few true filk songs. In honor of the upcoming MarCon 51,  which you should come to if you enjoy good filk, I will share another. This one is based on the first book of a trilogy I read in middle school and finished in college, enjoying it all the way through. S.L. Farrell (also known as Stephen Leigh) created a beautiful, mystical Celtic fantasy world, and I felt that if I was going to write filk, dangit, it would be about this series. So I give you my take on Jenna’s journey.

Cold Fire (Based on Holder of Lightning by S.L. Farrell)

The light flows through the heavens like a river,
Like ribbons in a cosmic mother’s hair,
Like silver salmon gliding through the ocean,
For its descent I couldn’t be prepared,

But the sky fell on that hilltop,
It came to me like so much precious stone,
I held in my hand,
The light at my command,
But looking back, I would have left it, had I known.

I’ve seen those who have held the stone before me,
And most have lost their souls or went insane,
For when the other fragments of the sky fell,
Mine was the one the rest wished to obtain,

And a girl without a father
Became a jewel desirable to mold,
Proprieties be damned,
And everything I am,
They wanted to destroy me and have what I hold.

For I am the holder of lightning,
The fury of the thunderstorm that brings torrential rain,
And anger within me is brightening,
No matter where I go, they’ll follow me again,

And I am a child of the ancients,
The keeper of the clouds unleashing magic light of old,
They’ve played on me, and preyed on me, and I am losing patience,
I’ll show them all that fire can be cold.

The lord who swore to shield me was a traitor,
He loved my mother, but I was a pawn,
I couldn’t count on honor or conviction,
My mind unraveled more with each new dawn,

But he who treads the dark forest,
The aged one whose kindness made me strong,
Advised me who to trust,
And then I felt I must,
Though I could only pray he’d not be proven wrong.

The keep my great-da fled is now my shelter,
The man who bid me trust him is my friend,
And now I know the stone had just been waiting,
To come back to the line who stole it then,

But my great-da didn’t lust for power,
My coveted possession does not shine,
He stole it for his bride,
And not for love of pride,
And in his name I claim this wedding gift as mine.

But I am the holder of lighting,
The fury of the thunderstorm that brings torrential rain,
And anger within me is brightening,
No matter where I go, they’ll follow me again,

And I am a child of the ancients,
The keeper of the clouds unleashing magic light of old,
They’ve played on me, and preyed on me, and I am losing patience,
I’ll show them all that fire can be cold.

They call me mad, a fiend, a fool, and many other names,
Though they all tried to kill me, they still think they’re in the right,
I just want to be left in peace where I will not be shamed,
But all the world has beckoned me to fight,

For I am the holder of lighting,
The fury of the thunderstorm that brings torrential rain,
And anger within me is brightening,
No matter where I go, they’ll follow me again,

And I am a child of the ancients,
The keeper of the clouds unleashing magic light of old,
They’ve played on me, and preyed on me, and I am losing patience,
So challenge me, and fear what you’ll behold,
I’ll show them all that fire can be cold.