The only thing certain in each life is death
As sure as each heartbeat and every last breath
The cry of the Banshee each soul must heed
But who in this world calls for me?
Yes, who in this world calls for me?
“Banshee” by Cheshire Moon. I didn’t realize until I listened to this how much I needed Love Songs About Death Omens in my life.
It’s not done until it’s told,
It’s not told until it’s written,
If I’m brave and if I’m bold,
I can challenge what’s forbidden,
For nobody gets to tell me
That I’ll never be the one.
When they ask you what befell me,
Say my story is not done.
“My Story is not Done” by Seanan McGuire, 2015 Pegasus Award winner for Best Filk Song. It’s performed here by Seanan, Amy McNally, Brenda Sutton, Bill Sutton, Teresa Powell, Dr. Mary Crowell and Judi Miller.
I never thought that I could hold you forever
Always knew deep down you’d have to go home
I can be grateful for these bright years together
And I know you miss the salt sea foam
If you hurry, you can still catch the tide, my love
If you hurry you can still catch the tide.
“Still Catch the Tide” by Talis Kimberley, performed here by Seanan McGuire with Michelle “Vixy” Dockrey, Tony Fabris, S.J. Tucker, and Amy McNally. Lyrics are available here.
This is one of my favorite songs to sing along to when I want to be Sad About The Sea (a specific emotion that I experience with alarming regularity.)
She puts on sealskin with a steady hand
Beast at sea, woman on land
She puts on sealskin, the color of foam
She knows what’s next: going home
“Sealskin” by Batya Wittenberg, performed here with the able assistance of Gary Ehrlich (guitar) and Joshua Kronengold (vocals), is the story of “Still Catch the Tide” rearranged to the tune of another Talis Kimberley song about a shapeshifting woman with a human lover: “Velvet” (lyrics and audio here).
… and it owes its existence in no small part to Bob Kanefsky’s “Velvet Tide” (lyrics here), which is a comedic song that takes the story of “Velvet” and rearranges it to the tune of “Still Catch the Tide.”
I am bitter (I am bitter)
I am bitterness as cold as ice
I am jealous (I am jealous)
I am jealousy as old as night
I want better
I want better than your charming life
I am other (I am other)
I am otherwise a carving knife
“Carving Knife” by Leslie Hudson, a song for all the villainesses of fairy tales. In the song description, Leslie explains,
Villains are often simply opportunistic. They seize potential in a moment in time and change their fortunes just as their counterparts do, but we’re not meant to root for them. Their function is primarily foil or challenger or catalyst. We don’t delve into their stories or take their circumstances into account.
But that stepmother is a widow with two young girls to care for who’ve lost their father, their station and their future. That succubus will starve if she doesn’t feed on the energy of another. That woman’s love went unrequited though she gave her whole heart, her womb proved unfruitful but she wanted children, her looks never improved with age, she had no magic doll guiding her choices, no wealthy benefactor, she led no charmed life.
You can keep my hair
I don’t need it to feel pretty
You can keep my tower
I don’t need it to be strong
I’m racing out to find the place where the sun and the moon
Have coffee when you can’t see either one at all
“Disenchanted” by Cheshire Moon, a song for all the unwilling Rapunzels out there. Lyrics and chords available here.
Because this post is getting attention again, I would like to append something wonderful that I recently learned. The musician you hear here is trans and now goes by the name of Alexander James Adams. Because of his obsession with fairies n’ shit, he steadfastly maintains the kayfabe story that his previous self, Heather, was a changeling and he, Alexander, was the child she replaced, but won the right to return from fairyland in a “Devil Went Down to Georgia” style fiddle duel with the faerie queen. This is a song he wrote that tells the whole story.
Above we have Seanan McGuire’s “Wicked Girls” (lyrics), performed in concert by the author along with Michelle “Vixy” Dockrey and Tony Fabris, S.J. “Sooj” Tucker, and Amy McNally.
And below, we have Bob Kanefksy’s truly wicked parody, “Save Yourselves!” (lyrics), performed in circle by Vixy and Tony. Yes, that’s Seanan nearby in the circle, and yes, she’s hearing it for the first time.
Sleep, my girl, and dream of home
Of lamps alight and hearth aflame
A china cup, a silver comb
An old grey wolf for you to tame
A rider come who knows your name
“Likho’s Lullabye,” based on a traditional Russian lullabye and the novel Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente, with additional lyrics & melody by Michelle Dockrey, sung by Michelle Dockrey of Vixy & Tony
When the tithe came callin’, where were you?
When the tithe comes callin’, there is nothing you can do.
Haul away, haul away, haul away
Do I really know what’s going on in this song? No, because I haven’t read Catherynne M. Valente’s Fairyland novels, which are what this album is based on. Do I mind? No, because a creepy sea shanty is still a creepy sea shanty!