Corpus Christi Carol aka Down In Yon Forest…

Corpus Christi Carol, a song that tends to wake you up and make you go “WTF?”

Whence listening passively to Christmas music and suddenly hearing lyrics about sentient falcons, mysterious lovers, purple gowns, strange abandoned hallways and wounded knights abandoned on tabletops…what kind of Christmas Carol is THIS?

It is technically only a “Carol” in the sense that it is a sacred hymn. The text itself has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas and everything to do with the Fisher King legend. Beautiful, Apocryphal and a gorgeous relic of mythical mystery.

An ancient medieval hymn/carol. Passed down through the ages as “Down In Yon Forest,” an English (and Appalachian?) folk ballad which grew heavier on the “Jesus love” and lighter on the weird death and rebirth and mystical wound elements across the centuries but pretty much held on to its essential weirdness.

Popularized in the pre and post World War II era, as a young, ambitious 19 year old composer named Benjamin Britten penned a work called “A Boy Is Born” and included a version of the Carol.

Popularized AGAIN when Jeff Buckley  recorded a haunting and archaic sounding version on his album, Grace.

Here is some more in depth examination, for your perusual:

It is, and shall always be, a beautifully odd and anachronistic relic of Arthurian genesis. Also, it’s lovely and I want to sing it soon.


The Lazari


Down here where we are hollow
Heroes fall up to the stars again
Dusty halo of a heart
Illuminates your bruised and breathing skeleton

Endeavor to begin again
Negotiate the end again
Rewind our steps and then begin
Invent ourselves again, my friend

Out here beyond the walls
Rehearsing retrograde act ones and then
Rewinding clocks, reliving hours
Time to navigate the maze again

Endeavor to begin again
Negotiate the end again
Rewind our steps and then begin
Invent ourselves again, my friend

Down here where we are ghosts
Grace unmakes the hurt but not the curse, she said
So, full of dirt and grit and bile
Someday we’ll learn to hold our tongues,

Till then

Endeavor to begin again
Negotiate the end again
Begin to make amends and then
Invent ourselves again, my friend


After all of this circling
All of this surfacing
All the rewinding and all the backsliding
And now
It leads back to now

In the ashes of offerings
Eyes of the endings
The twisted unbendings
The remnants of everything
I’ll leave it with you

And the wolves that we once were
And the wolves that we once were
Can’t find me now
Can’t find me now

And the wolves that we once were
And the wolves that we once were
Can’t find me now
Can’t follow me now

You drift with the tide of it
Crawl up inside of it
Change the direction
And smash the reflection
But you’ll be here again and again and again and again

It’s not the forever you thought that you’d hold it for
The price that you sold it for
The story you told
But I still
I remember it still

And the wolves that we once were
And the wolves that we once were
Can’t find me now
Can’t find me now

And the wolves that we once were
And the wolves that we once were
Can’t find me now
Can’t follow me now

Santa Muerte Waltz

Please don’t come back to me, darling
I haven’t enough breath to give
If the moon rises over my body
I might summon enough strength to live

Please don’t come back for me, darling
There isn’t much left but the bones
When the sun rises over this desert
I will follow the road to my home

Please don’t come back for me darling
I don’t have enough breath to give
If the sun rises over my body
I might not have enough strength to live

The wind at my back, it is howling
The blood in my veins runs so cold
If I don’t make it through till the morning
You can bury my secrets like gold

Please don’t come back for me, darling
There isn’t much left but the bones
If the moon lights my way and god’s willing
I will follow the road to my home

A shadow falls over the mountains
A fire in the distance still burns
If I find my way out of this wasteland
I’ll remember the lessons I’ve learned

Sunday after the omelettes and before the music…

New friends and old ones newly met are mirrors as much as input mechanisms. They serve to remind us who we are and where wish we were headed. 

A sort of course correction in the journey. And of course we do the same for them. And somewhere in the exchange, we each add a little bit more to our collective portfolio of experience  from each side of the equation. Gender rules and social norms be damned, by the way. I need no one’s permission to associate.

For those who might express concern or dismay at my Magdalen ways.

I am raising my children to be worthwhile human beings, but also worthwhile companions. Or so I hope to achieve. Rich input.

Interesting people and places and things. Sights and sounds. Shared jokes and observations. I think I am likely raising the ultimate well rounded hipster nerd queens in waiting.

Such a fucking hipster am I, myself, with my burgundy plaid and velvet slippers, leather jacket and Dr. Who scarf and shredded skinny jeans.

I am writing this on a typewriter app on my iPad right now is how hipster I am.

…And listening to vintage punk and New Wave tracks on Spotify. Mission of Burma and Johnny Thunders and The Nerves, The Waterboys, The Buzzcokcs, etc.

Rich input on a lazy Sunday, good food and old bookstores, family, friends, and songs to be sung until we are breathless and dizzy and full of hope.

Gratefulness: 7 things on a Sunday Morning

epona1)Listening to our local “pirate” radio station run by baby

2)Breakfast is hostess cupcakes and mexican dark coffee with cream on the porch with candles and incense and the Sunday paper. Dishes can wait…

3)We won, we won, we fucking won…I volunteered my time and $5 I couldn’t afford to a candidate that actually won! I kind of feel like a Timequake has occurred (apologies to K. Vonnegut) and the spiritual resurgence of Clinton era ideals actually makes me 19 again somehow. I feel like it’s finally safe to start my life over again and do things right this time.

4)Time is tight and money’s even tighter, but I am getting more resourceful by the minute. This morning, for instance, I have thrown a pot of beef stew in the oven for lunch,simultaneously lowering our heating bill and preventing wasteful takeout food spending. If it ever came down to it, I know how to make vinegar out of raw apple cider, for fuck’s sake, I got pioneer survival skills, I can certainly live without ordering pizza on a Friday night or two…

5)Spent this Friday night watching Jimmy Stewart movies with my 6 year old and eating white cheddar popcorn and leftover Halloween candy while my 11 year old wrote “littlest pet shop” screenplays in MS Notepad to be acted out with her sister later.

6)Got enough sleep for a change. I could have slept for years. I love it when the seasons change because in summer the daylight and the heat start seeping in early in the morning on weekends and you can never get back to sleep. The downside of our Arizona existence.

7)The depression I didn’t know I was in is slowly lifting. My mind is not blocked and I can write again. I feel like I can stand the company of other people again. My thoughts have time to drift again and it feels like the world will not suffer and drown for their drifting.

Days Of Thanks And Chaos…

About time I wrote something, I guess…
Friday limbo, was playing Nick Cave and Leadbelly and songs from an old lover. Day After Blues, wandering, newspaper brooding in the Dinosaur MacDonalds, bookstore lingering over hot chocoolate and idiot shoppers with my sweet little girls whov’e learned a Tom Waits song. Sarah sings it “remember the girl with the sun in her eyes and I’ll kiss you” then she blows a little kiss “and then I’ll be gone…” My punk rock little Maggie sings “and I’ll kiss you and then I’ll be sick!” and laughs riotously. Watched the movie “Seven” which I’d never managed to sit all the way through before and TOTALLY called the ending. Good movie, though. And then…

…Twas the Day After Thanksgiving and the liqour was flowing, the bonfires raging, the music pouring out of the living room and it was to be expected and it was good. The stragglers left long after the first morning’s light and Jesse referred to the sunrise as “God’s morning boner.”Sang “In the Pines” and “Willing” and “Oldest Story In The World” and “I Don’t Want To Me A Soldier” and “Designs On You” and several Forkan originals of old and new and much Stones and Zeppelin and who and the strangest guitar blues rock Iggy Pop style multiphasic eighties pop song medly. Made some promises to learn and sing and practice songs for future reference and so I will. And the the lord hath spake and apparently was happy to see us that morning. Happy birthday Mike, another year you’re still alive which is more than some of us can say…

“Good manners and bad breath will bet you nowhere…”
-Elvis Costello