"And I may not possess their angelical powers ..."
HistoryI wrote this song about someone (who shall remain nameless) whose life seemed to be going to shit at the time, but whom I felt powerless to help. The good news is that they managed to get it together and are now doing just fine. That happy ending was sadly not granted to the person I chose as the central metaphor for this song. Someone whom Mark Twain described as “by far the most extraordinary person the human race has ever produced.” Although, that said, I suppose it depends on whether you believe in an afterlife, and therefore what constitutes an ‘ending’.
Lyrics1. She sits in the darkness alone and afraid As her strength starts to weaken and hope starts to fade When clear through the wall of her tears The face of St Michael the Warrior appears And he says you know that I also have lived by the sword Defending my land in the name of my lord And your friends fell around you and spears pierced your gown And now guards surround you and chains hold you down But remember as all of these blows hit their mark I will watch over you as you wander your way through the dark 2. And as she sits waiting for trial to commence Denied any council to aid her defence Clear through the cloud of her fears The face of St Catherine the Scholar appears And she says you know that I also have lived by the word And seen my words twisted, inverted and slurred By courtrooms of men who deceive and evade For you fight just like them and you make them afraid So speak boldly to every insidious remark, and I'll watch over you as you wander your way through the dark 3. As light stings her eyes and as tears streak her cheeks As hours become days and as days become weeks And as weeks become months become years The voice of St Margaret the Martyr she hears And she says you know that I too faced a violent end For refusing to break and refusing to bend And you know they will bind you and burn you alive But I'm here to remind you your deeds will survive And on that day you join us, and as you embark We will watch over you as you wander your way through the dark 4. And amongst the inquisitors some would remark If these venerable saints had appeared in the dark Well then why did they not get involved In the light when one word and the matter's resolved? But I think that today I can see why they chose to withhold It's painful to do and it feels cruel and cold But sometimes you just can't interfere with the plot You must watch it unfold whether you like it or not And I may not possess their angelical powers But as everything crumbles I'll hold out a spark As you fumble and stumble your way through the dark I will watch over you like the saints did for Joan of Arc
Credits & Copyright
Written in November 2004 and recorded in 2013 by James Bell. Released in November 2013. Remastered in November 2017. (C) & (P) House of Lyra. All rights reserved.