Saturday, March 01, 2008

Saturday Afternoon Guilty Pleasures

This is a repeat of my post from last July:

Here is a longer version of the song and Highlander video footage.

This post was inspired by a reminder of my love for the Alfred Lord Tennyson poem, The Lady of Shalott, of which there is a famous painting by Waterhouse.
The story summed up by me, is that The Lady of Shalott is under a curse so that she cannot look directly upon the face of any man. So she is locked away safely in a tower, sitting at a loom, weaving the scenes going by her window, by gazing upon their reflection in a looking glass. A nonparticipant in the real world, she merely observes life, through its shadows. One day, Sir Launcelot rides by. The mere reflection of his beauty is so overwhelming to her, that it causes her to fly from her chair and look outside her window. This brings upon her the curse.
Out flew the web and floated wide-
The mirror crack'd from side to side;
"The curse is come upon me," cried
The Lady of Shalott.
So she sets herself in a boat, dying, and the river carries her barge to pass before Arthur's Court. Their merriment is temporarily interrupted by this strange marvel, and they gaze upon her with wonderment and fear. Launcelot bemuses what a lovely face she has, and asks God to keep her in His Grace, not realizing the part he played in bringing about her destruction.
"Who is this? And what is here?"
And in the lighted palace near
Died the sound of royal cheer;
And they crossed themselves for fear,
All the Knights at Camelot;
But Lancelot mused a little space
He said, "She has a lovely face;
God in his mercy lend her grace,
The Lady of Shalott."

Here is a short version of the song:

The full version appears on Loreena McKennitt's The Visit, and is an English major's dream. She takes poems and turns them into songs. What better lyrics than the use of "real" and actual poets, of the caliber of Tennyson, Yeats, Keats, and Shakespeare? McKennitt takes their poetry and spins them into beautiful, haunting songs.

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Blogger J_G said...

Very nice Wordsmith, very nice. I really love hearing someone that can play the harp. It is a musical genre that doesn't get much attention anymore. This is not a guilty pleasure, it is an uplifting change from the current morose political situation.

Saturday, March 01, 2008 7:48:00 PM  

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