Yehudi Mind Tricks – Benjamin Newman

I was raised in a desert country
Where the sun burns double and it seldom rains,
So we drew our water from the meager trickle
In the narrow places that became our chains.

Then a cry for rescue was heard in the wasteland,
In the plain disguise of a restless stray,
And this revelation at the edge of freedom:
You have to lose your bearings to find your way.

“Yehudi Mind Tricks” by Benjamin Newman, a gorgeous Jewish interpretation of Luke’s narrative in Star Wars.

Chords, lyrics, and mp3 are all available on Ben Newman’s website.

Banshee – Cheshire Moon

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.

Lyrics and chords available here.

Sisters & Sinners – Leslie Hudson

Salomé’s waiting tables, platter in hand
While Deborah smokes the courthouse from her mind
Naomi keeps her daughter close ‘little longer than planned
And Leah’s still a lover to the blind
We are all sisters and sinners, trying to unwind
We are all sisters and sinners, girls, by our own design 

“Sisters & Sinners” by Leslie Hudson, a song for the oft-overlooked and misunderstood ladies of Christian and Jewish lore. Leslie says in the song description that the idea came to her one day when she “mused what it might be like to stumble across a pub in limbo frequented by ladies of Biblical traditions.”

Lyrics available on Bandcamp.

All that is Gold – Brooks Williams

All that is gold does not glitter
All who wander are not lost
The old that is strong does not wither
Deep roots are not touched by frost

So we [dog mod and brain mod] just discovered that Brooks Williams combined Tolkien’s verse with paraphrasing from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, and the result is pretty catchy.

Lyrics available here.

(Full disclosure: when we first listened to this, the Christian aspect flew right over our heads and we went “huh, this sounds weirdly like religious music, wonder why?” We didn’t get it until we found lyrics with explanatory notes.)

Filksong Genealogy: Song from the Pig’s Side

(Series: Filksong Genealogy)

Above: another poem by Rudyard Kipling set to music by Leslie Fish: “Song of the Men’s Side,” a mythic story about how humankind rose above its status as prey for wolves by attaining a crucial piece of technology.

Below: Bob Kanefsky’s take on a … loosely related story, which is also about wolves and prey and technological advancements:  “Song From the Pig’s Side,” performed by Leslie Fish.  (Look at the end of the third verse for a sneaky shoutout to a different Kipling poem entirely – which, yes, has also been set to music by Fish.)

Filksong Genealogy: December of Cambreadth

 

Use your hooves and use your head
Don’t let down the Man in Red 

“March of Cambreadth” (lyrics), by Heather Alexander, is a classic battle song about killing as many people as possible.  “December of Cambreadth” (lyrics), a parody by Bob Kanefsky, is…also about maximization of output, but the similarities end there.  Except that the language is, somehow, equally vicious.

(Series: Filksong Genealogy)

Battle Raven – Catt Kingsgrave

theactualcluegirl:

(Murder Ballads)

Now seems like a good time to make this anthem available to all who need it.  Free to download, free to learn.  free to sing in any street or battlefield where it seems to be needed.

Battle Raven
By Catt Kingsgrave – 1993

I am one sword out of many, I am one face out of three
The Maiden, Crone, and Mother live united within me
For I am woman’s fury, and her honour and her pain
And before this day is over, oh, the blood shall fall like rain!

Bring me thunder, bring me steel, bring me coat of iron mail
Bring me diamond hardened will and let my courage never fail.
Bring the Lightning to my sword; lashing, living in my hand
And bring warning to the horde that here, the Battle Raven stands.

I am wind and rain and fire, I am venom, blood, and tears.
I can raise a fury higher than the worst of mortal fears
I am woman for the women and the children and the home
I will raise my cry in battle with an army – or alone!

When the Raven stands to battle, I will heed no pleading word
I will grant no foeman quarter; fallen men raise not the sword.
For I know no rules of warring; this is not some bloody game
This is kill, or die in trying, ‘cause your foe will do the same!

I will sing to bring the thunder crashing down from out the sky
And I’ll sing to light the souls of all the warriors soon to die
And I will sing in battle, bloody songs of power and pain
And I will sing tonight for War to never come again.

In This Cup – Benjamin Newman

Every autumn, every spring
Her touch changes everything
She knows the way down, and the way back up
Come taste Her secret in this cup

“In This Cup,” a neopagan song by Ben Newman, downloaded from his website, with lyrics and chords available here

This song is just…charming.  I don’t have another word for it.  I love Ben’s style, always unassuming but poignant.

Refusal of the Call – Beth Kinderman

I picked up some stones & then
I made myself a labyrinth
built the walls so high til I
could not see the stars
so tell your metamorphosis
that it is not invited here
those sounds you’re hearing now
are anything but minotaurs

“Refusal of the Call,” by Beth Kinderman, from her upcoming concept album The Hero’s Journey.  The Bandcamp description includes this quote from Joseph Campbell, The Hero With A Thousand Faces:

“Refusal of the summons converts the adventure into its negative. Walled in boredom, hard work, or ‘culture,’ the subject loses the power of significant affirmative action and becomes a victim to be saved. His flowering world becomes a wasteland of dry stones and his life feels meaningless—even though, like King Minos, he may through titanic effort succeed in building an empire of renown. Whatever house he builds, it will be a house of death: a labyrinth of cyclopean walls to hide from him his minotaur. All he can do is create new problems for himself and await the gradual approach of his disintegration.

Mordred’s Lullaby – Heather Dale

Guileless son, I’ll shape your belief
And you’ll always know that your father’s a thief
And you won’t understand the cause of your grief
But you’ll always follow the voices beneath

“Mordred’s Lullaby” by Heather Dale, a wonderfully creepy song from the point of view of Morgana le Fay.

Lyrics (and annotations!) available on Genius.