Hey there, fellow digressors. So, you're probably wondering (1) what on earth I'm announcing this time, and (2) what exactly 'Musical Mondays' are. Well, since starting the whole series of character interviews, I've been reminded of something I actually discovered a long time ago: I need deadlines. I can try to work without them, but I'll be much more productive if I have some idea of exactly what I'm supposed to do and when it needs to be finished. This has proven true with the character interviews, in that I consistently post those, even when I don't get anything else done.
So, I am instigating a new tradition: Musical Mondays. Henceforth, Mondays -- while previously dedicated to a celebration of doom, dread, and, um... um... of failed alliterations -- shall bring with them a post containing or related to a piece of music. This could be a hymn, a classical piece, movie score, or one of my own compositions. Anything goes. This flexibility is halfway there to provide variety, and halfway contrived to give my scattered brain freedom to choose whatever its evil little heart desires. (Do brains have hearts? That would be disturbing. Or if a brain literally had a mind of its own, and so you actually had two brains inside your head... That would almost be cool. ANYWAYS.)
For the first Musical Monday, I am going to share with you a ballad that I wrote just yesterday. A friend from Go Teen Writers shared a song she'd written about one of her characters, and it inspired me to write a ballad of my own. It's called 'Heart of the Innocent', and gives a general outline of one character's developmental arc throughout the books so far. (I could tell you which one, if you like, but I'll withhold that information for the moment, in case anyone out there hates spoilers. And anyways, I think at least four or five characters are mentioned at least vaguely throughout the song.)
I only have one halfway decent recording, and it's a cappella, because playing the piano might have involved inadvertently waking a couple of adorable kids who were napping nearby. It is by no means a perfect recording, but it should at least give you an idea of how the song is supposed to go. I'll also include the lyrics below, in case you either can't understand them in the video or don't feel inclined to play it at all (shame on you, sir or madam; shame, indeed). Oh -- and this is the first time I've written a ballad, as far as I can remember, so please be gentle. I've only written hymns/spiritual songs previously. Well, I mean, I wrote a lot of poetry when I was younger, and I've read and listened to 'The Highwayman' probably way too many times, but... Anyways, here it is:
Heart of the Innocent
"Come and hear now the tale
Of the child of a beggar-man,
How his world changed overnight.
All he held dear
Was ripped from his fingertips,
And he tried to make it all right
For the one in his care,
All that remained for him; his life he’d gladly spend
For one little boy
With the heart of an innocent.
The price of his soul
Seemed a small one to pay,
But the deal, it was only the start,
And the child of a beggar-man
Found that his means of escape
Had fallen apart.
But a desperate man, he holds tight to his plans;
He does things that he never meant.
And with one blow,
He shattered the heart of the innocent.
Well, the beggar-man’s child,
His song came to an end
But the shattered heart he left behind
Went searching for love,
Searching for light,
But darkness was all he could find.
Long he lived in the night;
It was all that he knew,
But something inside was still bent
On finding someone
To rebuild the heart of the innocent.
Though the darkness said
There was no light to be found,
He thought one he met
Would the damage repair,
But they shattered him over again.
Oh hear how he cries,
How his hope, now it dies,
How in fear, to the flames he went.
Now so black,
Black is the heart of the innocent.
Now the light burns his eyes,
And when love comes, he flies.
When he falls, no-one sees his descent
But one girl,
One with the heart of an innocent.
Now the darkness abates
And the innocent waits,
Longs so, but fears to relent.
Is there still hope,
Hope for the heart of the innocent?"
Copyright (c) 2014 by C. F. Barrows
Yes, yes, rest assured the "innocent" hates me with every fiber of his being. But I'm not all that afraid of him, so meh. Even if he did work up the nerve to attack me, he'd probably be horrified at himself afterwards. Here's hoping he never finds any sort of portal into the real world. Do you think the Doctor would help him? Man, that's a scary thought... What if they see me as this big, cruel monster who's bent on gobbling up all the poor little people under my jurisdiction?
Iiiii'm not sure I really want to think about that.
OH. Also, a reminder: I'll be taking questions for Sheth Terrem over here until Wednesday. Make sure to get yours in by then! I promise he doesn't bite. He's one of the nice charries. Usually.
So, heard any good ballads lately? Loreena McKennitt did a gorgeous cover of 'The Highwayman' once. It's somewhat abridged, but it's still ten minutes long, and utterly haunting. I can't speak for or against the rest of her work, but I love that song. It's so much fun to sing, too. The beauty... The flow... The creepiness...
.........Buuuuut, as always... I digress.