– photographs and messages from inside the Sausurrean Bar –

The Shadow of the Past


Tuesday, January 1st, 2008

The Shadow of the Past

Words & Music: Sib Machat, 2010.

Notes:

  • – I watched the first season of the BBC show Merlin, which tells stories from the life and times of Arthur, Merlin, &c before Arthur becomes king, and when Uther still rules over Camelot. Things are a bit different in this rendition of the Arthurian legend than they are in the versions most commonly known today, and by the time I stopped watching (sorry show, but you really could not hold my interest – such nice costumes, such terrible writing) there was still this big mystery of what precisely had happened at Arthur’s birth, and what caused Uther to hate magic so rabidly. My idea is probably more twisted than what they came up with, but I couldn’t help think it all a deadly menage à trois.
  • – To make this song work, you need three people to sing, really. Soprano for Igraine (Arthur’s mother), alto for Nimueh (a sorceress at Uther’s court), and a tenor or basso for Uther (Arthur’s father). I know Igraine gets short shrift, but she’s, you know, kind of dead … .

 

Chorus:
the shadow of the past lies heavy on the land
the shadow of the past cannot be banned
the shadow of the past hangs over them all
by the shadow of past, Camelot will fall

 

All:
King’s and Queen’s and Sorceress’ pact
brought death and destruction to the land
King’s and Queen’s and Sorceress’ love
Created what cannot be unmade.

 

Uther:
Igraine was my wife and I loved her,
but no life in her womb would grow.
Nimueh was the sorceress I trusted,
A solution she proclaimed to know.

 

Igraine:
Uther was my husband, I loved him,
and Camelot needed an heir,
Nimueh, more than friend, was my lover,
And ventured where none else would dare.

 

Nimueh:
Igraine was my heart, I loved her,
her despair I could not take,
Uther was my king and I obeyed him,
And so wrought magic for their sake.

 

Chorus:
the shadow of the past lies heavy on the land
the shadow of the past cannot be banned
the shadow of the past hangs over them all
by the shadow of past, Camelot will fall

 

Nimueh:
But a life for a life, that is always the price
when with the fates you are playing
a life for a life is a price far too high
and the future we’d end up betraying.

 

Uther:
For magic was wrought, but it was ill-begot
And a deal was made that we had better not
My wife lay dead, so my son might life
but hers not the life that I planned to give.

 

Nimueh:
Uther’s life for Uther’s heir,
that was the death I was spinning
But Igraine’s the life that fate did take
and Uther caught me at my sinning.

 

Uther:
The Sorceress’ life for my heir’s life
Her’s the death she promised me
Selfless I thought her, loyal, and wise,
And instead she planned to murder me.

 

Nimueh:
It was Igraine I loved, and Igraine must live,
You were my king, but nothing more
The magic I wrought was for her sake
Your son she could have ruled for!

 

Chorus:
the shadow of the past lies heavy on the land
the shadow of the past cannot be banned
the shadow of the past hangs over them all
by the shadow of past, Camelot will fall

 

Uther:
My wife lies dead, by magic betrayed
My sorceress thought to murder me
Magic I’ll ban, and its users I’ll kill
So my son from its false promise can be free.

 

Nimueh:
My love lies dead, my people, they die
They die at your hand, at your word
But magic is vengeful and you, too, will pay
For the people that die at your sword.

 

Uther:
Magic is twisted, it bring naught but pain
It corrupts, me and mine it sought to slay
But Arthur will learn, as I have learned
That magic can do naught but betray.

 

All:
King’s and Queen’s and Sorceress’ pact
brought death and destruction to the land
King’s and Queen’s and Sorceress’ love
Created what cannot be unmade.

 

Chorus:
And the shadow of Uther lies heavy on the land
the shadow of Nimueh cannot be banned
the shadow of Igraine hangs over them all
and by the shadow of their past, Camelot will fall.

 

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