Volcano

Volcano

carleybaer's picture
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Demo: 

Liner Notes: 

I had an opportunity to summit Mount St. Helens this past Sunday, and I'm still recovering from the effort, but it was an incredible experience and the very first time I've ever climbed to the top of a mountain. The views were breathtaking (or maybe that was the thin mountain air). Standing on the edge of the gaping crater, looking at the little mountain inside being rebuild, and then taking in the vast scenery beyond, is hard to describe.

I wanted to attempt to capture the feeling, without being too literal about it. The raven was real; there were a few hundred feet of the mountain where he hung around and I assumed he was waiting for us to die so he could pick at our bones. When I posted a picture of it, my friend said, "That's my dad!" Her father recently passed and since then she's been visited by ravens. He was an avid backpacker and mountaineer so I liked the idea of him watching over us more than a random bird waiting for us to become carrion.

The maiden is a reference to the various indigenous legends of St. Helens as a beautiful woman, often the source of conflict between warriors to explain the seismic activity of the region. Depending on the tribe, her name and principle role change, but even in the tales where she starts as an old hag, she transforms into a stunning beauty. The most common of her names is Loowit. I almost went for the obvious (and accurate) rhyme of "crater" with "later," but given the mountain's feminine persona, I liked the notion of the horseshoe crater cradling a baby mountain better.

In a perfect world, I'd go full Joni and do this on a mountain dulcimer, but I had to settle for a baritone ukulele tuned to D-A-A-D.

I do also have a palpable fear that this song, or at least the refrain, has been written already, but the muse wants what it wants.

Lyrics: 

We rose with the dawn
Bound for where the wild wind blows
Drove on for miles
To a place of rock and snow
The volcano

We fell in love under a cobalt sky
We saw a raven
The father of a friend of mine
On the volcano
Volcano

Miles of boulders grace her shoulders
She calls to us all to follow

I wasn't alive the day the maiden blew
But when it was time, there wasn't much for anyone to do
The volcano
Volcano

Decades later in her cradle
A mountain being born for all to see

Higher than I ever thought I'd be
I don't think I've ever felt more wild or free
Volcano
Volcano



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Comments

phylo's picture

This is so very lovely. I'm a sucker for 'girl with guitar' songs anyway, and this is so well put together. The Bari Uke sounds just amazing, but when the bass and violin were added, I was a goner. The words paint a picture that was so vivid for me, like I was there. Such a nice song.

The Release Candidate's picture

That second verse is so evocative and interesting even without the backstory, but I did enjoy reading that too! Some of the couplets are so beautiful, simple lines like 'miles of boulders grave her shoulders' are so compelling and together they really paint a picture.

The backing music is perfectly restrained and yet wonderfully atmospheric. Loved this.

katpiercemusic's picture

Gorgeous! The lyrics are so solid. You've got a beautiful chord/melody structure here. I like the transition between sections. Then you start adding voices... strings and voices, and it was just joy. Really nicely arranged. There's a wonderful build and release to it all. You've done an excellent job with this. Definitely something to be proud of!

coolparadiso's picture

You capture it well. Lovely vocal and very nice impact use of strings. Fine song

AndyGetch's picture

The melody and uke are just so refreshing. Quite an image packed story there too!

Robyn Mackenzie's picture

This is absolutely gorgeous. Amazing vocals backed by subtle, evocative instrumentation. The lyrics are poetic and bursting with vivid imagery. Stunning.

Candle's picture

Wow.

That's all I can say.

See You In The Shadows…

billwhite51's picture

a lovely air beautifully written and sung. makes me remember the day the mountaun blew. i was busking at the universuty distruct street fair in seattle.

cleanshoes's picture

You can do so many different styles so well! Beautiful, classic folk-pop tune. Love the feminine take on the volcano in your lyrics--the cradle metaphor is especially nice!

corinne54's picture

Another beautiful song. Joni-ish indeed. Nice, simple arrangement lets the song shine

JūS's picture

This really stirs up a lot of feeling from the start and you keep it up throughout. The ominousness is so fitting for climbing a volcano. Magnificent, how many details come together here. It's huge, it's beautiful.