It’s my wedding anniversary today, here is this year’s poem/song. This one was a bit of a rush job to produce after coming back from DragonCon, so is a little less polished than I would like.
There’s no Force upon the Earth
There’s no force upon the earth That will make me doubt your worth; There’s no place on earth that I would rather be Than beside you every day, united on our way To claim the prize that shines eternally.
‘Cause your love is true, and it’s seen me through So many times of darkness and despair; You give me strength to stand with your loving hand And all the signs that you so deeply care.
More than silver, more than gold, I hope that I grow old Surrounded by the fruits of our great love; When bound to you I’m free, you are the one for me, The girl in the whole world I’m most proud of.
After a highly enjoyable discussion of the Classic The Once and Future King by T.H. White at DragonCon over the weekend, I was able to makes some new friends and give the premier showing of the promotional video for the Upcoming Superversive Press anthology Tales of the Once and Future King. It was very well received, and I can now share it with you all via the magic of youtube:
A download of the song can be purchased for 99 cents here.
There is also a more orchestral version of the song, in which Sean McCleery again showcases his considerable musical talent:
This version can also be downloaded for the same price here.
In time both versions will also become available from a wide range of music sites. As this is my first foray into the world of professional music, it is an exciting and also daunting prospect.
The Lyrics of the song are below:
A Tale of the Once and Future King
I’ll tell you a tale so your hearts won’t quail Of the Once and Future King. Surrounded by heroes, how mighty the cheer rose At the hope his presence would bring. With the sword from the stone For his sins he atoned; Though he did go away, He’ll be back here one day To reclaim his rightful throne.
A shadowy hand stretched over the land And the people were distressed. Foul fiends of the night, Filled with unholy might, Gave the poor and helpless no rest. By the power of the cross, And at great human cost, They were sent down to hell, And the land was made well, So at last they could mourn the lost.
Though we’re pressed on each side And so many have died, Now is not the time to despair. We’re still strong enough To repel and rebuff The troops of the Queen of the Air. We will not concede, For in our hour of need, It has long been foretold That our great king of old Will be back, and the people freed.
You may mock, you may sneer, You may laugh out of fear, At the hope I claim to bring: Mere stories for children, Or gullible pilgrims, Of a good and righteous king? Yet he stands in your midst And will not be dismissed; His heroes beside him, His people uniting, In his army we enlist!
If there is a movie I saw in my childhood, not already part of a major franchise, that I love whole-heartedly and would not hesitate to anyone looking for something Superversive in a feature film, that movie is Krull.
This was one of the last Hollywood films to mix fantasy and science fiction before the genre split cemented in film and television out of the West for over a generation, and as such you can see the influence of E.R. Burroughs and other classic writers of the Pulps in every frame, every line, every prop, every character, and every costume. It also featured a soundtrack by the late James Horner, with “Ride of the Firemares” becoming an iconic theme that still calls up the blood to this day.
It was one of those early ’80s classics, along with Excaliber and Conan the Barbarian, thought it was only a cult classic for many years before being recognized as the great work that it is. Those other films, along with the original Star Wars trilogy and Raiders of the Lost Ark stole its thunder at the time.
I can go on about it, but I think I’ll let the original trailer do the talking.
Like Legend, Krull has its roots in fairy tales and mythology. You have a tale of true love between the prince of one kingdom and the princess of another, whose marriage is interrupted at the final step and incites the adventure. This matters! The desperate men who become the prince’s companions find a way to regenerate their character or succumb to the degeneracy already afflicting them, with the later usually being why they die. The tale-within-the-tale told by the elderly mentor and his female counterpart shows what fate lies for the prince and princess if they don’t hold fast to their love, letting external forces overwhelm them instead. But what makes this story truly Superversive is at the climax.
Remember that marriage ceremony? The ritual is all about the fire of love, and how that fire–when shared between a man and his spouse whose love is true–can incinerate all challenges before it with its white-hot passion. Being a fairy tale at heart, this symbol is made literal and only together, remaining true all this time, is our hero able to destroy the Beast. The magic weapon is the fake-out; the real magic weapon is the firey passion of a lawfully-wed couple bound in marriage, facing down Evil together as one united front. Heart and sword in accord.
I have not seen a more pro-marriage movie in my lifetime than this, and that’s just the most obvious of the eucivic virtues prominently displayed in this film. This film ends with beauty, truth, and love trimuphant- though at great cost. Recommended. (You can get yourself a copy here.)
And I recommend adding the soundtrack to your collection. Have a listen for yourself to see why.
It’s that time of the year again, the anniversary of the first time I contacted the girl who would become my wife. By tradition, I write her a poem and send it to her an email with a poem last thing at night on May the 1st, and she is not allowed to read it until May the 2nd, (since I sent the original fateful email on the first, and she read it on the second). This time, I’ve recorded it as a song, which you can find below:
There Was a Girl
There was a girl whose name brought joy To a once so lonely boy; Now that joy is multiplied That she is at his side.
Now many more does she delight With her presence, at the sight Of all she does to bless the lives Of those close to her heart.
So now upon this special day With fondness look my way I pray, Take pride in what we’ve both become, We two now joined as one.
Listening to music can be therapeutic, soothing, invigorating, inspiring, heartbreaking, or depressing, much like reading or listening to a story. In fact Hans Zimmer once said that in all the music he composes his primary purpose is to tell a story, despite using no words. Listening to one of his most famous pieces (that accompanies one of the great movie endings of all time) inspired this little effort of mine below. In Zimmer’s piece, and the film, the hero is faced with a situation where all seems lost. He did everything he could, but all he has worked for has crumbled to dust before his eyes. He sees the situation for what it is, absorbs this devastating news, and yet he still finds the strength to keep going, even to sacrifice himself and his reputation to save people he will never meet, who will almost certainly never even know, let alone appreciate, what he did for them. He is able to do it quickly this time, because he’s done it before. In these respects, these few minutes are a microcosm of his entire heroic journey.
As the piece played I was struck by the ways in which it mirrored some of my own experiences (except it took me far longer to gather up the strength to keep going, and my behaviour has been far less heroic). It encourages me to keep going, to do better, to come closer to the good example set.
This is the power of story, of archetypes, of strong heroic characters, of good examples. Let us make more of them.
My piece set to Zimmer’s music can be found here, with the lyrics below that
I have known…
I have known despair, and I will not promote it. I have known pain, and I will not glorify it. I have known false hope, and I will not encourage it. I have known cowardice, and I will understand, but not praise it. I have known self-loathing, and I will not romanticize it. I have known brokenness, defeat, lostness, and yet emerged on the other side, not unscathed, but grown. I have known failure, and I will learn from it. I will defend the truth. I will not abandon my allies. I will keep learning, and admit when I am wrong. I will advocate for genuine hope. I will praise and strive to create beauty. I will call for courage in matters great and small. I will seek to repair the damage I have caused. I will seek to restore friendships. I will console those who suffer. I will encourage those who feel they can’t go on, for I have walked that path.