A Winters Flame

A Winters Flame

billwhite51's picture



Liner Notes: 

when not singing the blues, i am writing stuff like this


How long shall leafless shades persist
In carrying a winter’s flame
Above the trees where spirits kissed?
Here none walks whole among the lame.
The trees shall stand, though they resist
The rowan birthright to your name.
Unsteady in this purple mist
Our frosted souls remain.
But if memory be memry’s token,
The last words of love should not be spoken.

Please keep your comments respectful, honest, and constructive. Please focus on the song and not the demo.


katpiercemusic's picture

I don't know why, but this gives me a cross between Yeats and T.S. Elliot feeling. Like if Yeats tried to write Hollow Men and then tenor Leonard Cohen song it. I'll be thinking about it for a bit longer.

Tim Fatchen's picture

That's a touching lyric with a strong and rather sad (melancholic? I can't get the right word) last couplet. Frosted souls, it's midwinter there too... I think the previous comment got it right with the Cohen reference too. It's a bit bleak, but so's my memory at the moment. Are we getting old? "fraid so.

fresh spotless youth's picture

This is lovely, and surprisingly upbeat and sprightly for a song about winter's flame. That last couplet really speaks to me, though I'm not entirely sure what it's saying, which is how I like it. I guess I'll have to keep listenting

Klaus's picture

So it's either blues or sonnet! Smile My knowledge of Shakespearian-age English is not so good. I don't even know if this is from that era, I'm just assuming that from the sonnet tag. But there are trees, mystical trees and love in the winter that seems to be hard but the last line offers a glimpse of hope. And then music has a slightly 30s happy feel. Certainly not an English renaissance bard feel. Smile I like it. There is even a fancy word for this style when different time periods are mixed on purpose, not "post-modern" but the other fancy word I don't remember.

Interesting sung poem approach, -- it's different. For "me", and it's all about "me" Smile ... this is sometimes what some new beginnings look like (song ideas), but always turn out very different when developed.

kahlo2013's picture

Gorgeous poetry in the lyric - leafless shade and frosted souls - solid gold sonnet writing! One of the best minutes I’ve had today was listening to this! As always your delivery evokes such rich emotion as you bring the lyric to life!

coolparadiso's picture

Very poetic, this one starts very Dylanish and then certainly goes back more traditional. The last few words are pretty deep. Certainly works!

jcollins's picture

Looking at the lyrics...the bottom line is the key here. However, the painting of winter is quite different and I had to look up rowan (some kind of tree). The lyrics are a bit over my head I think I nailed the bottom line. I'm ready for the audio now...hold. Guitar intro...hello...vocals sound good...can clearly understand the lyrics...the rowan birthright to your name....in this purple mist...should remain unspoken. Ok, very nice Bill. You definitely have a lot of knowledge and things to say. This is quite unique with poetic genius showing. I like it.

Acousticmaddie's picture

Thats true poetry. I am always in the state of cuddling up in my sofa with some hoit chocho.

kc5's picture

I read this and I don't quite know that I interpret correctly. Leafless shades, seems dark to me. In the summer, it would give the sense that the trees were not performing a function of providing protection from heat. However, this seems to be winter, with winter's flame, another oxymoron, so I need to look at it differently. A flame might suggest speed or intensity or consistency, so I'm going to go with the consistency of winter, so perhaps it's been a long winter....winter...winter....deadness or end of seasons or perhaps seasons of a life. Above the trees where spirit's kissed seems to change the "feel" for a moment to make me consider that it is a memory of better times, wonderful moments above the trees, perhaps a time before the leafless shades and yet "none walks whole among the lame" brings it back to the present moment, where all in this place suffer the impact of the season. The trees stand tall, though they resist the rowan birthright to your name. Those trees to me represent stubborn strength and "though they resist the rowan birthright to your name". I had to look up rowan -- A mountain Ash that bears scarlet berries brings in more of a spiritual aspect to this which makes me reconsider my whole approach. I've known purple to represent royalty, so...kingship. Frosted souls to me suggests cold/un-warmed, hence unregenerate. "But if memory, mem'ry's token, the last words of love should not be spoken" to me is actually a hint of hope that love has not yet made manifest it's final word. In other words, there is more to be seen. I have no clue if I'm anywhere near on the right track as to how you intended this, but if I am, man you slammed it in so very few lines! Such creative wording!