The Mountain King, Song # 8: Far in the Hills

 This is blog no. 8 about our 2016 album The Mountain King. Recorded and mixed at Wall of Sound Studio by John Wall in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Far in the Hills is performed by Scott Darsee, electric guitar, and Johanna Hongell-Darsee, vocals and jouhikko. You can hear the full song on our Recordings page.

 

For this part of the ballad we have chosen the Norwegian tune of Lilit Kjersti

 

At this point in the narrative the young woman has been visiting her mother after living with the Mountain King for many years (or maybe just a few days, since time moves at different speeds in the Otherworld than in human reality).

 

Before leaving for her visit to her family the Mountain King asks her not to talk to anyone about where she has been or about him. But as we saw in the last song, this young woman is not able to hold this secret in, and she tells her mother the whole story.

 

In Swedish there is a saying "if you talk about the trolls, they are standing in the doorway", meaning you should not mention dangerous things by name as this will in fact attract them.

 

Well, this is exactly what happens. All of a sudden as the mother and daughter have their little talk, the Mountain King stands there in the doorway. And he is not happy.

 

At these words they hear a roar,
-The brown horse runs so fast
and the Mountain King he stood in the door.
- Oh the wind and rain
-For far in the hills deep under the ground they dance and play.


He rushed into the room and roared so angrily;
-The brown horse runs so fast
“Why do you stand here talking of me?”
- Oh the wind and rain
-For far in the hills deep under the ground they dance and play.


“I do not speak badly of you”, said she,
-The brown horse runs so fast
“but of all the good things you did for me.”
- Oh the wind and rain
-For far in the hills deep under the ground they dance and play.


He picked her up and dragged her to the door.
-The brown horse runs so fast
“You will come with me; you'll come back here no more!”
- Oh the wind and rain
-For far in the hills deep under the ground they dance and play.


“My daughter is so young, hardly more than a child!”
-The brown horse runs so fast
“She cannot be away from her mother so mild!”
- Oh the wind and rain
-For far in the hills deep under the ground they dance and play.


“She will come with me, I am her man!”
-The brown horse runs so fast
“Or will set fire run to your house and land!”
- Oh the wind and rain
-For far in the hills deep under the ground they dance and play.

 

He violently rips her away from her mother's home and forces her to come back with him.

 

The refrain also gives us a sense of ominous urgency, with the running horse, the violent weather, and something dancing and playing deep inside the mountain.

 

In this song Johanna plays a Jouhikko. This is a Finnish instrument that fell out of fashion towards the end of the 19th century, but has found somewhat of a revival. It is a bowed lyre with horse hair strings.

 

This Jouhikko was built by Richard Gilpin in California.

 

Scott plays a stock 2008 Mexican Fender Telecaster electric guitar direct into a 1966 Fender Princeton Reverb modified with a 12 inch speaker.

 

 

 

 

 

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