Music Monday

Hello and welcome to the first ever Music Monday here on the ol’ blog. I’m not sure this will be a super recurring sort of thing, but it’s Monday, and I’m posting about music… so… there you have it. I’ve shared here and there little snippets about Kiernan Kane and the inspiration behind his character. Most of my inspiration for Kiernan came from a Gordon Lightfoot song.

It’s a song that I’ve always loved, but one evening when I was first writing King’s Warrior, I was listening to music while typing up pages that I had handwritten earlier that morning, and this song started playing. I’ve always loved “bard” sorts of characters, and since I was in the middle of writing a fantasy tale, I was suddenly struck with the idea of a somewhat bumbling, humorous, at time ridiculous, minstrel character… but what if he was more than that? What if he didn’t just make up stories about history… what if he’d lived through those stories, and that was what made his songs so poignant, so beautiful?

And then Kiernan practically stepped out of my imagination and onto the pages.

I didn’t know at that moment everything about him. I didn’t know exactly who he was or why he was there. But I knew from the first moment that he was more important than he seemed, and that he would have a central role in the story. I didn’t know how central, but I did know he was much more than just a minstrel.

Apparently I’m a little odd as a writer. I don’t often write to music. My books don’t have “playlists” as I write them. I do listen to a lot of music as I write, however, and as I’ve been editing Minstrel’s Call, I’ve been listening to Gordon Lightfoot almost non-stop. His lilting, epic ballads are the feel I’m grasping after with this final book in the series. So, today’s Music Monday song is, of course, The Minstrel of the Dawn.

“Minstrel Of The Dawn”

The minstrel of the dawn is here
To make you laugh and bend your ear
Up the steps you’ll hear him climb
All full of thoughts, all full of rhymes
Listen to the pictures flow
Across the room into your mind they go
Listen to the strings
They jangle and dangle
While the old guitar rings

The minstrel of the dawn is he
Not too wise but oh so free
He’ll talk of life out on the street
He’ll play it sad and say it sweet
Look into his shining face
Of loneliness you’ll always find a trace
Just like me and you
He’s tryin’ to get into things
More happy than blue
A minstrel of the changin’ tide
He’ll ask for nothing but his pride
Just sit him down upon that chair
Go fetch some wine and set it there
Listen to the pictures flow
Across the room into your mind they go
Listen to the strings
They jangle and dangle
While the old guitar rings

A minstrel of the dawn is near
Just like a step ‘n fetchit here
He’s like an old time troubador
Just wanting life and nothing more
Look into his shining eyes
And if you see a ghost don’t be surprised
Like me and you
He’s tryin’ to get into things
More happy than blue

The minstrel boy will understand
He holds a promise in his hand
He talks of better days ahead
And by his words your fortune’s read
Listen to the pictures flow
And follow the fingers where they go
Listen to the strings
They jangle and dangle
While the old guitar rings

The minstrel of the dawn is gone
I hope he’ll call before too long
And if you meet him you must be
The victim of his minstrelsy
He’ll sing for you a song
The minstrel of the dawn

Gordon Lightfoot

~ jenelle

9 Comments

DJ Edwardson

I haven’t listened to this one in so long. Thanks for sharing this! It is very easy to see how it influenced the writing of Kiernan.

“Victim of his minstrelsy…” such a lovely line, and then there’s “jangle and dangle…” Wow, Lightfoot was a real artist, wasn’t he?

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Daddy

I am going to put this post into the mail to Gordon Lightfoot! I’m sure your thoughts would please him immensely!!!! By the way…..in case you didn’t know………..I too………..am a huge Gordon Lightfoot Fan!

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Daddy

One more thing…….one of the reasons that I love Gordon Lightfoot music is not just the melodies and the lyrics…….but so often…..he has these amazing guitar solo sections in his songs and I love those as much as the vocals………listening to this song just now…….reminded me of that. I agree with DJ’s assessment………….a real artist……..isn’t he?

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jenelle

He really, really was a true artist in both his melodies and his lyrics. I love that he was a storyteller as much as he was a musician. He is a truly talented medieval bard caught in a modern day world.

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Nancy Walker

This is one of G.L.’s that it’s easy to discern the words as he sings them :)
but I enjoyed following along with the lyrics, reading them, while I listened.
[Which, btw, I discovered in the 3rd verse a difference between what I was reading and what he sings]:
Text is written: Listen to the pictures flow
Across the room into your mind they go
Listen to the strings
They jangle and dangle
While the old guitar rings

—But he actually sings:
Listen to the pictures flow
->And follow the fingers where they go
Listen to the strings
They jangle and dangle
While the old guitar rings

Just thought you might be interested to catch that. [Oh, and one more nit-picky thing: Could you insert a space and change to the next line here:
More happy than blueA minstrel of the changin’ tide
:)
Yikes! My “line editor” juices are flowing this morning! Ha! You know that my comments are not meant to offend, right?!
I really, really did like listening to this song just now…. twice! :)
So thank you for posting it!

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jenelle

Heheh, nice catch! That’s what I get for copy and pasting the lyrics instead of just typing them out myself! ;)

And you’re most welcome! (Keep those editorial juices flowing, because my goal is to send you a manuscript to nit-pick by the middle of May!!!!)

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jenelle

I think I fixed it! :) I was having some issues when I wrote this post getting the text to stay centered, which kind of caused me to throw my hands up in defeat and go, “Eh, good enough.” :)

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