Thursday, July 7, 2016
More Ballads - The Demon Lover (The House Carpenter)
["The Demon Lover" - Illustration by Vernon Hill from Richard Chope's Ballads Weird and Wonderful (1912)]
"The Demon Lover" - that's a famous notion - the idea of a demon lover - Have you ever heard of that? I mean, that concept of "demon lover", I mean, that's all through (the) yellow decade (to the) modern psychedelic - "demon lover" - That one is…. Oh well, the "demon lover" comes, and seduces this girl away from her husband and children. And she kisses the children goodbye - "She has taken up her two little babes/ Kissed them both (on) cheek and chin/Oh fare ye well my own two babes/ (For) I'll never see you again/ She sets her foot upon the ship…" - (You see, the demon lover promises her -"Well, you come off with me, We'll have a good time, I've got three ships, I've got "sails of beaten gold", It's going to be great, you'll.. We'll be fucking night and day, You're going to have a ball, Your husband's an old bore, Come on!") - So- "She set her foot upon the ship -/No mariners could she behold/ But the sails were of the taffeta/And the masts of the beaten gold / They had not sailed a league, a league,/ A league but barely three,/When dismal grew his countenance,/ And drumlin grew his ee/ They had not sailed a league, a league, /A league but barely three/Until she espied his cloven foot/And she wept right bitterly/ "Oh hold your tongue of your weeping", he says, "Of your weeping now let me be;/I will show you how the lily grow on the banks of Italy/ "Oh, what hills are yon, yon pleasant hills/ That the sun shines sweetly on?"/"Oh, yon are the hills of heaven", he said,/"Where you will never win."/ Oh, what mountain is that yon, she said/All so dreary with frost and snow?"/"Oh yon is the mountain of hell", he cried/ "Where you and I will go./ He struck the top-mast with his hand,/The foremast with his knee/And he broke that gallant ship in twain,/ And sank her in the sea."
So, watch out, if you leave your husband and three children, I guess is the moral of that.
That's the conception of it anyway, the original conception of the "demon lover".
This is a really old, another old, basic poetic image.
[Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning at approximately fifty and a quarter minutes in and concluding at approximately fifty-two-and-three-quarter minutes in]