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The Mountain King, Song # 5: Lullaby

This is blog no. 5 about our album The Mountain King. Recorded at Wall of Sound Studio in Albuquerque. Mountain Door is performed by Scott Darsee, guitar (Fender Telecaster/1966 Princeton Reverb Amp) and Johanna Hongell-Darsee, vocals and flute.

You can hear the full song on our Recordings page.

Here we return to the Child ballad no. 41, and a Scottish melody. At this point in the story several years have passed - at least in the "Otherworld", as time passes at differently in this other world and the human world. The Mountain King and the young woman now have several children.

The verses begin with a cosy domestic scene where the mother picks up a harp to sing the children a lullaby. However, as she begins to play, tears starts falling down her cheeks.

Though her life is good and she is happy with her husband and her children, she is every now and then overcome by melancholy and nostalgia for the world she left behind.

Her children have observed her tears and in these verses the eldest son asks his father why it is that their mother so often cries.

His father, The Mountain King, tells him that his mother is of noble background and could have lived a different life had she not followed him into the Underworld.

She took the harp into her hand to sing her children to sleep. She sat down at their bedside and bitterly did weep. She took the harp into her hand to sing her children to sleep.

Then her eldest son to his father so softly did speak:

"I would ask you something father, and you must not angry be." "Ask on, ask on, my eldest son, ask anything of me." "I see my mother's cheeks are always wet, I never see them dry. And I wonder what might aile her, why she mourns continually."

"Your mother was an earl's daughter, sprung from a high degree. And she might have wed some worthy lord had she not been stolen by me. My love for her was most sincere, her love was great for me. But when she hardships does endure, her folly she does see."

Like so many other themes in these ballads, things are not black or white. As in real life people struggle with their life choices and no definite answers are given, but rather a reflection of the inner and exterior conflicts of the characters.

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