Tag Archives: lyrics

Shout Out

Reader’s warning: angst follows, but at least it is neither purposeless nor self-focused angst.

As the title would suggest, this is a shout-out to my fellow Book-Meme contributors, David and the Multifaceted Muses.

There has been some discussion among us, lately, on J.R.R. Tolkien’s Silmarillion, surrounding the role sorrow, grief and tragedy play in the book and its various related stories. Tolkien, we know, was no stranger to grief, pain or even the horrors of World War I. As a writer, he does not shy from tragedy, and yet there is a powerful, indestructible hope that runs through his work, as it seems to have run through his life. He understood a truth that someone like me, who has suffered very little in comparison, has no right to speak of: that from sorrow, strife and pain can come a rich harvest. As Gandalf observes, “not all tears are evil.”

On a seemingly unrelated note, the muses of the Egotist’s Club have produced some very intriguing answers two the second 2012 Book Meme question. Perhaps reading their posts opened a previously unexplored avenue of thought in me, because I usually do not match music with books.

This morning a song came up on my mp3 player and, as I listened, its relation to the Silmarillion hit me. I have never thought, nor am likely to think again, of Tolkien and Emmylou Harris at the same time. However, here are the lyrics for Harris’s song, The Pearl, for Urania, Thalia, Melpomene, Terpsichore, Calliope and David.

The Pearl, by Emmylou Harris

.

Oh the Dragons are gonna to fly tonight.

They’re circling low and in sight tonight.

It’s another round in the losing fight

Out along the great divide tonight.

.

We are aging soldiers in an ancient war

Seeking out some half-remembered shore.

We drink our fill and still we thirst for more,

Asking “if there’s no heaven what is this hunger for?”

.

Our path is worn our feet are poorly shod.

We lift up our prayer against the odds,

And fear the silence is the voice of God.

Of God, of God.

.

And we cry allelujah, allelujah,

We cry allelujah.

.

Sorrow is constant and the joys are brief.

The seasons come and bring no sweet relief.

Time is a brutal but a careless thief:

It takes our lot but leaves behind the grief.

.

It is the heart that kills us in the end,

Just one more old broken bone that cannot mend.

As it was, now, and ever shall be, amen.

Amen, amen.

.

And we cry allelujah, allelujah,

We cry allelujah.

.

So there’ll be no guiding light for you and me

We are not sailors lost out on the sea

We were always headed toward eternity

Hoping for a glimpse of Galilee.

.

Like falling stars from the universe we are hurled

Down through the long loneliness of the world

Until we, behold the pain, become the Pearl.

The Pearl. The Pearl.

.

Cryin´ allelujah allelujah
We cry allelujah!

And we cry allelujah allelujah
We cry allelujah!

We cry allelujah allelujah
We cry allelujah!


Echo in my soul

I never know when my soul will sing, nor always why it does.

The feeling is one of contradiction. It calls for weeping and laughter mingled. Bittersweet is not the right word, as there is no bitterness in it. Perhaps “sharp-sweet” will do.

One thing is clear. When my soul sings, it invariably sings to its Maker. That may be the reason for the sharp and the sweet, as lifting its voice to God requires my soul to look upon what it cannot apprehend. It is the spiritual equivalent of stretching muscles.

My soul is stretching.

Another image comes to mind, repugnant to some, but not to me, as I like the legless silken creatures. A snake, when it grows, seeks release from the bonds of its old skin. For the freedom to grow, it must break out of itself. I am constantly needing to break out of myself. Every time I  break, I grow. Every time I break my freedom increases.

Whether my soul sings desire, strength or Joy, or all co-mingled with many other songs,  it always has the same effect on me. I am full to overflowing, and I must either raise my own voice in song, or find means of praise in other ways.

Thankfully, there are as many ways to praise God as there are hearts that desire to do so. Living, itself, can be an act of praise. Of course, it does me good to literally lift my voice as often as I can.

My life flows on in endless song
Above earth’s lamentation,
I hear the sweet, though far-off hymn
That hails a new creation!
Through all the tumult and the strife
I hear the music ringing;
It finds and echo in my soul.
How can I keep from singing?

What though my joys and comforts die?
The Lord my Savior liveth.
What though the darkness gather round?
Songs in the night He giveth.
No storm can shake my inmost calm
While to that refuge clinging.
Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth,
How can I keep from singing?

I lift my eyes, the cloud grows thin;
I see the blue above it;
And day by day this pathway smooths,
Since first I learned to love it.
This peace of Christ makes fresh my heart,
A fountain ever-springing.
All things are mine, since I am His.
How can I keep from singing?

When tyrants tremble, sick with fear,
And hear their death-knell ringing,
When friends rejoice both far and near,
How can I keep from singing?
In prison cell and dungeon vile,
Our thoughts to them go winging;
When friends by shame are undefiled,
How can I keep from singing?

(lyrics attributed to Pauline T. and Doris Plenn)


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