Monday, March 31, 2014

Midwinter, "Sanctuary Stone" (1973)

This is the best-known song by the seventies psych-folk outfit Midwinter, which later turned into Stone Angel and continues to release music to this day.  It's a really beautiful song with great singing.  Unfortunately, when you listen to the lyrics, you realize they're a little on the half-baked side.  It's trying to mimic that traditional, Child-ballad-type feel, but, well...okay, I guess I shouldn't be too hard on them; a lot of traditional songs, if we're being honest, have pretty lame lyrics too.

In any case, I noticed that they were available nowhere on the internet, so I transcribed them.  JUST YOU WAIT: now that I'm putting them up here, soon enough they'll be available on all manner of lyrics sites, none of which will credit me.  So it goes.

A young man on a light black horse
Came riding through the wind and rain
Afraid of those who came behind
To try to take him back again

Seven times 'round put your ear to the ground
Can you hear the devil calling?
All on your own by the sanctuary stone
As the winter rain starts falling

For he had slain his own true love
The day before they were to wed
He's mounted on his big black steed
And left his lady lying dead

Seven times 'round put your ear to the ground
Can you hear the devil calling?
All on your own by the sanctuary stone
As the winter rain starts falling

He's rode all through the day and night
And rode again another day
But still they follow close behind
That never he might ride away

Seven times 'round put your ear to the ground
Can you hear the devil calling?
All on your own by the sanctuary stone
As the winter rain starts falling

At last he's reached the sanctuary stone
Time to stop and rest a while
So here's to you my young men all
You'll never take me without trial

Seven times 'round put your ear to the ground
Can you hear the devil calling?
All on your own by the sanctuary stone
As the winter rain starts falling

2 Comments:

Blogger Jeremy Matthew Moses pontificated to the effect that...

I was actually listening to that song and wondering about it the other day. It's okay until the last verse: So he committed a heinous murder, and runs away as you would expect, but only because . . . he was afraid that he wouldn't be given a trial? So he assumes that he'll be acquitted? Considering that armed men started chasing him almost immediately, he has to know the chances aren't good. Why did he even bother running, if he was just planning to submit to a trial anyway? Maybe he just meant trial as in "trials and tribulations," but in that case if he was planning to rest and fight, why didn't he do it before he got so tired? He could have chosen an advantageous place to do it. What's the point of the Sanctuary Stone? I'm confused.

11:55 AM  
Anonymous Ed Moses pontificated to the effect that...

The word "trial" appears because it rhymes with "while," I assume, meaning "without a hell of a lot of trouble.

3:10 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home