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Book of Rain

by Golconda

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The sun is risen, the day is streaming in. The noon's heat stirs, but still we lay within. For no light can rend us now in this night the fates allow, But I sight the dawning's bow and still we tarry. So flee, my lady, flee from me, Flee to where you ought to be, Run 'til you're over the lea, Unencumbered. Trusted sentry, why did you fall asleep? You opened a bottle and dove into the deep. So we awake on the opposite shore where the breezes make me want more, And we break from what we were before for the places we're going. But flee, my lady, from my arms, Before the day sounds its alarms And we're discovered. Soft, O lover. My promised will come soon, And it's you who must run into the afternoon. But I'll be yearning all day, as I'm learning the role that I play, For your returning, when we can stay again under the moonlight. So flee, my darling, from this place, Until our steps we can retrace, For what we have they can't erase. Here in the morning's cool embrace I will be with you.
Pastorela 05:35
'Twas early one morning, the sun it did shine. 'Twas back in the days of honey and wine. The dawning was crisp, the fields glinted with frost. Though some still recall, one by one the night's language was lost. Just as the village had started to stir And chosen once more to the day to defer, The steps of a stallion rang in the square Drove by a lord who was tall and his clothing was fair. Yes, a knight of the kingdom that morning did ride. He was a man of great gallantry known the land wide. But the village was sleeping, and with no delay He crossed through the square and continued to pass down the way. Then when the village was fully behind And the lush meadows begun to unwind, The knight raised his voice, told his stallion to yield, Turned his eyes softly to something he'd seen in the field. 'Twas only a shepherd girl tending her sheep, Humming a tune that she'd heard in her sleep, Who, busy with work, did not feel the knight's stare As waves of the morning sun glowed in her yellowy hair. The knight tied his horse and he walked through the grass, With delicate footfalls approached the lass. But when he had reached her, she to him did rise; She eyed him impassively, she betrayed no great surprise. The lord cleared his voice and he said to the maid, "Here at your feet my poor heart has been laid. So beautiful lady, if you'll take my ring And ride with me, you can be wed to a knight of the king." "Good sir, I am humbled," the maiden replied, "But here for my flock I must always provide. Though you're a brave man of the world, it is true, My place is the meadow and so I cannot go with you." The knight cried in anguish and fell to his knee And said, "Divine lady, do not reject me! I'll see that your sheep will be taken care of. If you'll give me a chance, I know I'll win the way to your love." The shepherd girl pondered and to him she said, "I'll offer this riddle to you instead. If you can solve it then with you I'll stay, But if not, you promise to turn and ride on down the way." The nobleman nodded and the lady spoke plain: "It's warm in the winter and dry in the rain. It can't speak its mind and it knows not its name. It walks not, it travels not, yet all the world feels its flame." The knight could not answer, and so he gave in, Leaving the maid with the dawn in her skin, And she turned back, her chores to perform. The noon breeze was rising, the day was beginning to warm.
Canso 11:17
Standing in the road anew with a rolled up 20 in my shoe, I lift my eyes to meet the setting sun. Well growing up in the mountains tall will make a boy likely to fall, and I will again before the war is won. But all the ways I used to walk betray the doors I now I unlock-- You always saw what I was heading toward. But I fear the space may be askew in the place that I am running to. Sometimes it seems the halls are all explored. There was a time when the mist was light. It's hard to recall it right, just how the rock felt beneath my bones And how the starlight seemed to cast a mystery on all that passed, On each one of the nighttime's aging stones. But there was so much left to do, it was easy not to listen to the whispers the evening did intone. We had simple things to say and simple songs to sing all day. We claimed each falling light to be our own. You awake my soul from being so afraid, You awake my soul from feeling things will never be the same. You awake my soul, you awake. The water laps upon the shore and all the insects whistle for the walking pair who snicker as they pass, And as they go the still descends, the black-gray softness makes amends, and starts again its still-proceeding mass. But none could hear it if they tried. The languages of lakes abide. The trouble is, they always speak so slow that though our time is on the wing, we're often drawn from listening to all the fire tells us here below. You awake my soul like branches in the glen, You awake my soul and it will never go to sleep again. You awake my soul, you awake. Your tiger's mouth, your opal rings, and all of your volcanic things that didn't turn to sand at someone's touch; Your glassy prayer that almost cries to climb your dusty staircase eyes and tell me what you're hiding in the hutch. I want to lean against your door and read the books you're saving for a tree that will protect you from the rain, but your castle voice won't let me rest until my songs I have confessed and all your hidden matchsticks I obtain. I'm thinking of a story old that some grandfather one time told about a prince and the trails on which he wends. He meets a man who fixes clocks, befriends some kind of speaking fox... but I can't seem to remember how it ends. Maybe the old man forgot it too as zephyrs outside softly blew. His words that night maintained their subtle glow. Though all the details may not fit, Still in the end you must admit We all make up our stories as we go. You awake my soul like the abbey on the isle, You awake my soul with bluster like a lion tamer's smile. You awake my soul, you awake. You awake my soul with fever and with snow, You awake my soul by knowing things that no one else could know. You awake, You awake my soul, my tiny boat is thrown, You awake my soul and now I know I'll never be alone. You awake my soul. You awake.
Comiat 02:43
Well the stories we wrote and the books that we read, I guess that's how you got all these things in your head. See, we all of us just see what the lamplighter shows. I guess I had a match for the path that you chose. Now the East is the East and the West is the West. The watchman is asleep and the rest of us are keeping busy. All the plans that we made and the old days we shed, I guess that's how you got all those things in your head. See, we all of us can smell when the tide's coming in. I guess for you the autumn roses were a way to begin. But as your eyes survey the warm salt air And your tongue learns the language they speak over there, In a photo your feet still kick the frost, In a letter you speak of the things that you lost, And a circle in the snow will still refuse to show. Now the East is the East and the West is the West. The watchman is asleep and the rest of us are keeping busy.
Viadera 03:28
< text by Robert Louis Stevenson (public domain) > Give to me the life I love, Let the lave go by me, Give the jolly heaven above And the byway nigh me. Bed in the bush with stars to see, Bread I dip in the river - There's the life for a man like me, There's the life for ever. Let the blow fall soon or late, Let what will be o'er me; Give the face of earth around And the road before me. Wealth I seek not, hope nor love, Nor a friend to know me; All I seek, the heaven above And the road below me. Or let autumn fall on me Where afield I linger, Silencing the bird on tree, Biting the blue finger. White as meal the frosty field - Warm the fireside haven - Not to autumn will I yield, Not to winter even! Let the blow fall soon or late, Let what will be o'er me; Give the face of earth around, And the road before me. Wealth I ask not, hope nor love, Nor a friend to know me; All I ask, the heaven above And the road below me.
I'm staring at my timepiece and I wish it weren't so true, For the further I am from tonight, the further I'm from you. I'm calling on the crickets to descend, But it seems this day will never come to end. Once a wise man told me good things come to those to wait. If only proverbs were a thing blood could appreciate And noontime's whispers I could apprehend. But it seems this day will never come to end. Water flows around me, but I can't seem to get wet, And all my books they tell me things, but still my mind is set. It's only twilight I can comprehend, But it seems this day will never come to end. I wish I could imagine you across the humid pall, Gazing out over the meadows from your tower tall To see what evening's melodies would send If this day will simply come to an end. Instead I wonder if things for you are as they are for me, Watching anxious seconds pass, imagining that we Are hiding in the garden that we tend, Happy that our day did finally come to an end. So drop the map and cut your class, my sultry honeybee. Forget the flowers and the grass and save your love for me. I'm dying for the sunset to pretend, But it seems this day will never come to end.


the musicians:

Luke Gullickson - guitar, piano, drums, sing
Vanessa Russell - cello on 3, 6
Merewyn Bramble - violas on 1, 3

music & lyrics by Luke Gullickson
Dec 2010 - Jan 2011
except "Viadera" -- text by Robert Louis Stevenson (public domain)
© 2011 by Two Labyrinths Music (ASCAP), all rights reserved

recorded Jan - Feb 2011 at the Banff Centre

The songs are based on medieval Occitan troubadour genres.

The alba tells the story of a pair of lovers who oversleep after a night together and must separate quickly to avoid being caught.

The pastorela describes an interaction between a knight and a shepherdess.

The canso is a love song, traditionally in 5-6 stanzas with a closing envoi that stands apart from the poem and directly addresses a person, a patron, or an abstract entity such as Hope, or Love itself.

The comiat renounces a lover.

The viadera is sung by a traveler to pass the time during a long journey.

In the serena, the narrator anxiously awaits the coming of night, when he will see his love again.


released April 5, 2011

cover art by Travis Jeffords


all rights reserved



Golconda Albuquerque, New Mexico

Peripatetic avant-troubadour songs for the discerning vagabond

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