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Writing the Lyrics

by Glenn Turner and Hope Athearn

After a glorious sabbat in the summer of '69, our group of thirty or so was picnicking on the lawn at my parents' home in Mill Valley. At the foot of the lawn is a redwood grove with a circular daughter-ring at its heart. There, in the shaded center, we had raised a strong cone-of-power as we danced to the music of "Nonesuch" played on a flute.

Everyone felt that "Nonesuch", though it lacked words, held the right rhythm and tone. "How very good it would be to sing as we dance," I said, as we rested there on the grass, and the others agreed. After that, the thought stayed with me.

My mother, Hope Athearn, is a published poet, so the next time I went to Mill Valley I asked her if she would write lyrics for "Nonesuch". She was delighted. She agreed at once. But there was a problem. My mother is not a musician; in fact she can't carry a tune at all.

The upshot of that was an odd afternoon with me singing the tune to a series of da-da-das and beating the rhythm out with my hands. Meanwhile my mother made poetic notations of long and short beats on a paper pad to discover the scansion required for the words. I think she already knew it would be a paean to nature. The next week she gave me the words. And here they are, just as she wrote them.

Flute Playing Woman

The Lady's Bransle

Oh, She will bring the buds in the spring
and dance among the flowers.
In summer's heat Her kisses are sweet,
She sings in leafy bowers.
She cuts the cane, She gathers the grain,
when fruits of fall surround Her.
Her bones grow old in wintery cold,
She wraps Her cloak around Her.

But She will bring the buds in the spring
etc. etc. (repeat)

(The Lady's Bransle (pronounced 'brawl') is the song that most frequently accompanies the cone of power dance at NROOGD rituals.—ed.)

(Here are some additional lyrics.)

The Lord's Bransle

by Artemisia

For He will call the leaves in the Fall
To fly their colors brightly
When warmth is lost He paints with frost
His silver touches lightly
He greets the Day of the Dance of the May
With ribbons ‘round about Him
We eat the corn and drink from His horn
We would not be without Him

The Lady's Brawl

by Magenta

For She will bring the bugs in the spring
And laugh when She's deflowered.
In summer's heat She'll give you a treat
But you'll be disembowel'd.
She rots the grain and causes ptomaine
When fruits of fall displease Her.
The Moon and Sun both turn their buns
In vain attempts to freeze Her.

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This work is copyright The Witches Trine and the authors, 1996. All rights reserved.

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