Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween Countdown #2

Terribly late here for getting you my penultimate post for this year's All Hallows soundtrack … look for the last one in just a few hours! I’m tardy because of an exciting meeting this morning, the contents of which are so top secret that I can’t even share them here until November of 2011. Really! Two years off. But I share that much right now just to engender wonderment, annoyance and general pique.

For this post I bring you the amazing Lyke-Wake Dirge, which I first mentioned last All Hallow’s Eve on Mighty Toy Cannon’s fabulous music blog. This is a dirge, all right, but so haunting and with such a gradual build as to become spellbinding – which is, in fact, probably its original function.

In terms of its written history, this song dates back to England’s medieval period, but some believe its origins are much older. The pre-Christian version is reputed to be a culling song – a spell, of sorts, whose addictive power Chuck Palahniuk explores deftly in his novel Lullaby. It’s not hard to see how you could adapt the dirge to your own fell purposes …


col ceathair said...

Responding to Tabitha, and to your dirge--

The wind is whistling, as the trees
To each other they are bowin'.
A new year's kindness God does please,
And I wish you happy Samhain.

Mead said...

Lovely, CC! Thank you.

jessica wallenfels said...

Holding my breath until Nov, 2011 could be dangerous.