Moonlight: Endymion and Selene (reposted from Facebook)
This song is the first of the bonus tracks for "The Trick" EP that I wrote, sometime late last summer. I wanted to craft a narrative that could in no way be mistaken as autobiographical, because so many people kept asking me whether MEMOIRS OF A MANWHORE: THE REELING WALTZ OF A DRUNKEN LOTHARIO was actual autobiography (in short, no, it's not: first person does not equal confessional; just ask Edgar Allen Poe!). Also, I had been listening to Elizaveta's adaptations of classical pieces and thought, "What a novel idea to bring classical music to a modern public!"
I knew, of course, that the story had to be driven by the moon or moonlight, because one of the classical pieces I learnt to play as a child was Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata." So I began looking for obscure tales pertaining to the moon, and I found the Greek mythology of Endymion and Selene.
Endymion, a mortal, woos the minor moon deity, Selene. Initially she is hesitant, knowing that love affairs between humans and mortals rarely end well. Ultimately, however, he sways her, and she petitions Zeus to grant Endymion immortality. Zeus capitulates, but not without throwing a catch into the mix, which he didn't bother to explain to Endymion or Selene prior to granting their request: Endymion shall live forever as a beautiful youth, but he shall forever be cursed to sleep. This motif, of course, is one that permeates the bonus tracks (think of Madame White Snake, longing for knowledge of human emotion and mortality, only to die of a broken heart; and of course the entire "Gavotte with the Gods: Be Wary of Your Wishes" track). When one makes a wish, one must make sure every detail has been accounted for and set in ironclad terms, because the gods will ALWAYS find a way to screw you!
Originally, I wrote this number as a duet for the amazing Barbara Gurskey, whose interpretive skills are superlative. Unfortunately, she was on strict vocal rest due to strain injuries. She suggested that I return to my other frequent duet partner, Jilly Sentino, whom you may already be familiar with through our duet on "Mexican Standoff." (I've also got two other duets written for Jilly, "Legitimate Business," about a rural Nevada madame with a wooden leg; and a baroque madrigal entitled "Churning Butter," which is every bit as naughty as it sounds.) And of course, Jilly killed with this number. She came in and nailed the vocals in about one hour.
MOONLIGHT: ENDYMION AND SELENE
Under the light of a pale fire, the glow of cold silver and sapphireI walked in the light of the moon, I followed your path with my footsteps, tracing the tread where you would step were you here, or so I presumed. And I observed from afar and I marveled -- Beauty as though cut from marble.
Divined from celestial graces but defied me to divine or explain your nature or phases; your face is an evolving mystery: No, stasis is not in your repertoire and you are wending away from me, shrouded in mystery.
Shall my tale end carried into the wind? Shall my tale end blown away on the wind?
Selene, if you would deign this amorous tryst remain untouched by time's cruel stain then we may lay side by side forever... and ever...
What would you have me give?
For you are but a man
And I will live forever as a god.
And though... I... come... and... go...I always return:
This you know.
A man is but a moment made solid
Until he melts with love and then refreezes over
Or else evaporates
And then is no more.
ENDYMION: I shall not go from you. I shall not — I shall not go from you. Wither the flesh shall rot, I shall stay, Selene,Lay with me,
SELENE: Lay with me
ENDYMION: Stay with me
SELENE: Stay with me
ENDYMION: Under the cold silver lightThis star-bejeweled Aeolean night
[SELENE: You do not know what you ask of me... And if I remain, then what of thee?]
ENDYMION: You with your pedigree; I, my youthful credulity.
[SELENE: You know not the price that you pay Should I too wish that you might stay, That your tale shall not end... And be whispered upon the wind....]
ENDYMION: And she lay with me there on the mountainIn blankets of shadows and a bed of tall grasses. Now eternity passes on the mountain. I'm forgotten to all but her
SELENE: I remember ENDYMION: And I slumber. SELENE: I remember, under the pale silver fire... Under the pale silver fire....
Under the pale silver fire
Preserved for her, my beauty never fading
And I am but a monument, a marble keepsake in her garden.
And she comes and goes, she comes and goes.
BOTH:Will you lay with me? Will you stay with me? Fade away with me?Carried away by the wind?