Filksong Genealogy: Shapes in Shadow

(Series: Filksong Genealogy)

Above: “Shades of Shadow,” off the album A Wolfrider’s Reflections, based on the ElfQuest comic.  (The official album songbook is here; lyrics to this song are about halfway through.)  Lyrics by Mercedes Lackey, music by Leslie Fish, sung by Julia Ecklar.  The speaker in this song is Winnowill, a powerful magic-worker and master manipulator.

Below: Bob Kanefsky’s “Shapes in Shadow” is one of those filksongs that can’t really be called a parody of the original song, as there’s nothing comedic or satirical about it.  Like the original, it’s about power.

Filksong Genealogy: By the Time I Get To…

 

Yesterday I journeyed for half a million miles.
Now I’m stacked up on an aircraft’s back.
This last part takes a while.

“Phoenix,” by Julia Eckar (lyrics), is a heartwrenching song about a futuristic space ship with a soul.  “By the Time I Get To…”, by Bob Kanefsky (lyrics), is one of those rare parodies that’s almost as poignant as the original song, this time about very realistic spaceflight, and picking up the pieces after re-entry.

(Series: Filksong Genealogy)

 

The Dark Is Rising – Julia Ecklar

When the Dark comes rising, Six shall turn it back.
Three from the Circle, three from the Track.
Wood, bronze, iron, water, fire, stone –
Five will return, and one go alone.

“The Dark Is Rising,” adapted by Julia Ecklar from poetry scattered throughout the Dark is Rising series by Susan Cooper.

Lyrics available from Prometheus Music.

Horsetamer’s Daughter – Julia Ecklar

“Horsetamer’s Daughter” is set in Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Darkover universe, and is really a fanfic in its own right. It was originally written by Leslie Fish, and is infamous for going on… and on… and on… and…

(Probably apocryphal) legend has it that when presented with the song, Marion Zimmer Bradley told Leslie Fish something along the lines of “That’s nice, dear, but isn’t it a bit long?”

Lyrics are available here.

Song for Petiron – Julia Ecklar & Anne McCaffrey

The tears I feel today
I’ll wait to shed tomorrow,
Though I’ll not sleep this night
Nor find surcease from sorrow.

A short but haunting song, music by Julia Ecklar and lyrics by Anne McCaffrey, taken from her Dragonriders of Pern series.

Chords to this version are available here, but there’s a more recent and arguably MORE haunting version by Tania Opland that I also highly recommend.

Pushing the Speed of Light – Julia Ecklar & Anne Prather

And you’ve left behind you the world of men
With no way in space to go home again
When you’re pushing the speed of light
Pushing the speed of light

Sorry I’ve been MIA for a while, I’ve been really busy.  This is one of my all-time favorite space songs; I’m not sure why I haven’t posted it before.

“Pushing the Speed of Light,” by Julia Ecklar and Anne Prather

The Curse – Julia Ecklar

Suffer my soul, for the hunt is not over
The hounds follow me to the end of the earth
Through blood death and pain, I follow my calling
A road I have followed since the day of my birth

It’s really a pity that this recording is so corrupted, because from what I can tell it used to sound pretty neat.  Now I guess it sounds doubly ominous, in a way.

“The Curse,” by Julia Ecklar

Walkabout – Julia Ecklar

“Walkabout,” by Julia Ecklar

Thanks to animatedamerican for helping me parse the lyrics.  The chords are my attempt at transcription, and I’m not at all sure about them.  I think Ecklar has it capoed to something silly like F# minor, which didn’t help.

Am
You’re different than them, Max
C
You give their heroes all back
Am
You find the truth inside the bronze
C
That forge the brand new tool

Am
But our lot in life is to live
C
To forget and never forgive
Em                                                        Bm
And I’ve found I’m no exception to the rule

I’ve long outlived that crap, mate
Seen the difference one man can’t make
Seen the truth behind the smoke that stains
Beneath the blood that pools

And my trust in truth has hit dirt
I’m so tired now I can’t hurt
This hero’s not so different, not so cool
Am
I’ve grown cruel

Dm                                                                                             Am
So show me what’s so different about one sad and frightened man
Dm                                                                    Em
And find me one hero in this wasted, withered land
Am
No exceptions to the rule that says that heroes suffer best
Em                                                                                       Am
Well who suffers for the heroes who have suffered for the rest

I’m the first to say Fate owed us
It’s a shame that no one told us
That once Fate has dealt her hand in spades
You might as well just fold

Now I walk the dismal highways
And deal with the long hours my way
Forgive me if they’ve made me harsh and cold

No one mourns the lonely hero
No one sees me off when I go
No one limps beside the fighting cock
Who’s been both bought and sold
And the world turns up her dead eyes
On the pain the trust and the lies
Are there no more heroes left to help keep hold?
I’m so old

So show me what’s so different about one sad and frightened man
And find me one hero in this wasted, withered land
No exception to the rule that says that heroes suffer best
Well who suffers for the heroes who have suffered for the rest?