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The Dark Elf Journal

Mad Mutterings from a Meandering Mind

Changing Gears -- Musical Misdirections
The period between late 1986 to 1988 marked the point where I began to rely less on hard rock and electric guitars and turned more and more often to folk/acoustic music (thanks in part to revelatory albums released by The Pogues and The Waterboys, as well as tinnitus in my right ear). I sounded more introspective and pastoral, but I retained my fangs.

-- 'Coming Home' is a requisite return song for my rock repertoire. I really didn't go anywhere far or disappear for any long periods of time. Oh sure, there were several lost weekends that I can't really recall. But I didn't get arrested, so I am assuming I didn't do anything egregious. Much.

Coming Home ©1986 by GJM

When you’re gone ten years too many
Ten-thousand reasons late
You soon find you don’t have any
For the way you tempted fate

The miles melt into hours
As you’re traveling down the road
Past relationships gone sour
And nights that were so cold

Colder than the darkness
Of time spent all alone
But the dawn’s on the horizon
Coming home
I will feel the sun a’ shining
I’m coming home

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-- 'Ship of Souls' is a very formal tune. Cathedral-like organs and such. Very Bach.

Ship of Souls (Hymn #87) © 1987 by GJM

Fair winds blow foul, confusion reigns
My ship, a lonely island
Upon the sea of mankind tossed
Searching for the lands I’ve lost

And echoing the gulls on high
I lift my song unto the sky
But naught can pierce the angry clouds
My voice is lost amidst the crowds

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-- 'Mythical Discussion' is a paraphrase of an actual dialogue. It's odd how we sometimes communicate, yes?

Mythical Discussion Between Two People Whose Relationship Might Be Getting Serious
© 1988 by GJM

She said there’s something about me,
She could feel it all the while
She said there’s something hidden
Underneath my smile

I said I’m just like a moth
With wings too close to the fire
A man who has no secrets
Must certainly be a liar

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-- 'Eventide' is a very Pink Floydish (Floydy? Floydian?) tune, with much mooginess and mellotronish mystery, along with phase-shifted acoustic guitars.

Eventide © 1988 by GJM

So sweet the taste
The warm embrace
Of you, my love
A thousand dreams
Can’t match the things
I am thinking of
To hold you close
Your lips are ghosts
In search of me, my love
And the rain it falls
As the night winds call

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-- 'Heresy' is a long piece with 4 separate movements (with the 4th reprising the 1st). I was uniquely cynical during the that period.

Heresy © 1997 by GJM

I: In the Youth Camp

Say your ‘Hail Mary’s’, son, now keep the faith
Heaven’s holy treasure’s certainly worth the wait
Go to church on Sundays, be an altar boy
Keep your dick in your pants, son, it’s not a toy
And when you’re feeling empty
Cos’ religion wouldn’t do
The guilt will slowly crush you
With the mind games they put you through –

We’ll push you off to school, son, now don’t be slow
Put Wonder Bread in your lunchbox to induce your growth
You’ll drift your way through passing-grade expedience
Learn civic pride through force-fed obedience
And when they’ve fully tested your regurgitated mind
Call you ‘rebellious underachiever’ if you don’t follow them blind –

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-- 'Old Wives Tale' is simply slices of life interspersed with old adages.

Old Wive’s Tale © 1988 by GJM

There’s nothing like the sound of a boy who’s playing the blues
He’s got a yearning deep inside he can’t refuse
He’s go a warped fascination as a way of paying his dues
But when he gets to that place he’ll know
There’s no where he can go
And the walls crowd in
Like every time they did before

But tomorrow’s so much better
With the night sky burning red
And stars are made for wishing
But it’s better left unsaid
Like the old wive’s tales
That sent you off to bed

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-- Many of my bandmates chided me on 'A Wedding Song', remarking that this was my 'Hallmark Card moment'. But I wrote the damn thing for the wedding of two dear friends. What was I supposed to do, write some heavy metal thrash?

A Wedding Song © 1988 by GJM

Love is a calling
Love is the answer that we hear
Love is a soft voice
That whispers in our ears

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In, Out and Around: Three Love Songs
Here are three songs that concern varying degrees of love: the first, "You and Me" questions the whole relationship; the second, "This Aint the Way" deals with adultery and the half-life of illicit love; and the third, "Stumbling in the Dark" is a blues tune, but an upbeat one. No, I don't see any contradiction there.

You and Me
©1996 GJM

One word said wrong
One minute too long
One hope gone by
One word, goodbye,
To me and you

Two hearts as one
But two minds too strong
To see it through
To find the truth
In me and you

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This Aint The Way (Love’s Supposed To Be) ©1999 By GJM

You weren’t supposed to say you love me
You weren’t supposed to say you cared
Now I’m stuck here in the middle
And the middle really aint no where

This was supposed to be just recreation
We really weren’t going anywhere
I was a stop...not a destination
But temptation’s got me running everywhere

Another day, another place, another time
I’d find a reason to believe
But lonely days turn to lonely nights
And I think it’s only right to say
This aint the way, this aint the way
This aint the way love’s supposed to be

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Stumbling In The Dark ©2000 By GJM

Finally found someone who’ll put up with me
And will see both sides if we disagree
Someone who won’t change me, just let me be
The joker to her queen of hearts
Cos up until this point I was stumbling in the dark

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Fun With Filks: The Dark Elf's Greatest Wits, Volume I
Here is a batch of filks from my Monty Python's The Hobbit parody. Some are purely of my own invention, while others are parodies in and of themselves, mocking popular tunes. I will continue this as an ongoing feature until, of course, I run out of material.

-- 'The March of the Naugrim of Ered Luin' is sung by the Dwarves led by Thorin as they enter the Shire in search of their new burglar, one Bilbo Baggins. It is based on marches by John P. Souza, so it should me sung with a martial air.



We are the dwarves - of Thorin's band,
Our greedy thoughts now often linger
On the gleam of our gold - in a far-away land,
That slipped right through our stubby fingers.
But it weren't our fault - no, not the least,
With Smaug in our vaults - such a fiery beast.
We swallowed our pride and started to run,
As he burnt all our kin to kingdom come (repeated by Balin the dwarf in baritone: 'burnt all our kin to kingdom come').

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-- 'Smaug the Deathless' was lifted from Cab Calloway's 'Minnie the Moocher'. It is sung by the Dwarves, fully sated after ransacking Bag End and eating the entire contents of Bilbo's pantry.

This here's the story 'bout Smaug the deathless,
His breath so fiery it'd leave you breathless.
He was the meanest old dragon spawn,
And he burnt up the dwarves until we was gone!

Hi-ho hi-ho hi-ho (Hi-ho hi-ho hi-ho),
Us dwarves are sho' 'nuf' po' (Hi-ho hi-ho hi-ho),
Oh-Hi-ho hi-ho hi-ho
It's off to work we go (Hi-ho hi-ho hi-ho).

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-- Yes, 'Elrond's Soliloquoy is a Shakespeare filk. We cater to all kinds here.


An Elf or not an Elf...that is the question.
Whether 'tis nobler to be mortal and suffer
The twinges and hair-loss of mankind's fortune,
Or to take up Elfdom and unlimited potential,
and by inference become immortal. An Elf - to sleep no more -
Because Elves rarely sleep given their high metabolism.
But there is heartburn - a thousand years of eating lembas -
Does not aid in my digestion. 'Tis not a bowel movement
One would wish on an enemy. And sheep - the sheep that yearn to dream -
Ah, I've lost count. For in that count of sheep no dreams may come,
While snuggly mortals coil soundly 'neath comforters and nap without pause,
There's only insomnia that makes a calamity of so long a life...

-- Sung by Orcs, 'O Crispy Tree' is a take-off of 'O Christmas Tree'.


O Crispy tree, O Crispy tree,
Burnt Dwarves atop thy branches!
O Crispy tree, O Crispy tree,
Burnt Dwarves atop thy branches!
It reeks of scorching wizard's beard,
But in the warmth we still find cheer.
O Crispy tree, O Crispy tree,
Burnt Dwarves atop thy branches!

No use to chop to get our crop -
They're sure to drop before they pop!
O Crispy tree, O Crispy tree,
Burnt Dwarves atop thy branches!

-- 'Hobbit Toes' takes us on a sentimental journey through the dark side of Nat King Cole's 'A Christmas Song'.


Gandalf roasting on an open fire,
Dwarf beards singed below their nose.
Hobbit feet burnt up in the pyre,
And Orcs await the afterglow -
Everybody knows -
That turkey tastes like Hobbit toes,
Or chicken fingers fried just right.
'Tater-tots and mushrooms I'm told
Are the perfect sides for Baggins tonight…

An Epic Ballad
Here's a narrative poem written in doggerel verse based on 16th and 17th century English 'broadside ballads', which were meant to be sung. Damn long, but I hope you enjoy the perverse twist.


Here's a tale of the hangman’s daughter,
Seventeen years and never been kissed;
Beautiful as a lily in water,
But icier than an autumn's mist.
Her father was Master of the Gallows,
Twenty-five years and a perfect score.
Woe to the unfortunate fellows
Who found their feet perched on his killing floor.

And no one courted the hangman's daughter,
For he would ne’er let her loose.
He was more doting than he ought'er,
His jealousy tied her up like a noose.
I spied her in church one Sunday morning,
Then followed her down the road from town,
The sun weaved a dance through the forest awning
And shimmered 'round her head like a crown.

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Slices of Life

Here are five songs that look at different aspects of society, encompassing the sometimes strained interpersonal relationships and personal tragedies and regrets that play out every day in this, the American Drama . 

The Legend of Sexton Kilfoil ©1987 GJM

There was an old trestle near the house where I once lived
A little bit of country in the heart of a suburban kid
Played chicken on the tracks or catching a ride on the train
We didn't get too far, but we never came back just the same

This is where I smoked my first cigarette
A little taste of freedom and a headache was all that you'd get
Just some bored teenagers with some joints by the creek
Guitars in the meadow, skipping school for a week
And love was there in the shade of the overpass
Yes, love was there in my arms on the moonlit grass
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Welcome to my parlor
Said the spider to the fly
We can feed the hungry masses
With the meat that you’ll supply
Let me bear you heavy burden
While I slowly suck your talent dry
And I shall bang the funeral drum
When it comes time for you to die
All you dream and all you own
Suck the marrow from flesh and bone
They eat their own 

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 The Tale of the Accounting Sheep © 1997 by GJM
Time clock punching, business lunching,
Number crunching budgetary lies.
You've had your fill of rumor mills
Like poison quills around the office fly.
What has become of this brilliant career?
What were the strange paths that led me here?
Four-year degrees and divorce decrees,
Over and over again... 
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The Emperor's New Clothes ©1995 GJM

The emperor has got new clothes
And the court will comply
With a most gracious reply
It's the rage for those in the know

The fawning elite now repair
To purchase the weave
And to tug at the sleeve
Of their sovereign's trendy wear

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Visitation Days

Daddy doesn't live with mommy anymore,
Did it take too much to give, you couldn't give it anymore?
And mommy doesn't speak with daddy face-to-face,
She needs to keep her distance 'cos she wants to have her space--

And the space is like a vacuum that sucks my feelings dry,
Takes every ounce of energy to hide the tears I cry--
When they've gone their separate ways,
I get a piece of them on visitation days,
A bit of each of them on visitation days.

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Four For Ireland
Here is a series of four songs written from 1983 to 1999 that are all Irish themed.

-- The Ballad of Bobby Sands was written in memory of the last days of the IRA militant and British MP for Fermagh and South Tyrone (elected at the age of twenty-seven while in jail). Sands died in prison while on a hunger strike of 66 days. Margaret Thatcher, with typical British Cromwellian callousness, said of his death: "Mr. Sands was a convicted criminal. He chose to take his own life. It was a choice that his organisation did not allow to many of its victims". Of course, the same was said of the Patriots who died in the Easter Rebellion of 1916, as well as the rebel American colonials of 1776.

The Ballad of Bobby Sands ©1982 GJM

I heard it on the news this evening
And was past the point of disbelieving
I knew it had to come
Sixty-six days of life depleting
Trying to dig for a meaning
When the deed was done

All the Long-Kesh Prison memories
Shook me loose from my revelry
As I slowly clenched my hands
And bowed my head in silence there
Whispering a church-brought prayer
For the life of Bobby Sands

Rise on up proud Ireland
Blood red and emerald green
Bobby Sands has fallen
And justice keeps recalling
A vision for us to see
He's just dying to be free
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-- Come Away From the Window tells the tale of the aftermath of a fire-bombing by Protestant paramilitaries of a house where three boys, ages 7, 9 and 10, were burned to death. The firebombing took place ten days after Protestant arsonists burned down 10 Catholic churches.

Come Away From The Window ©1998 GJM

Come away from the window, come away from the door
Keep you eyes on your back, keep your face to the floor
A bomb in the night reeks of partisan pride
And 'tis long past counting the innocents died

Their mother was Catholic and minority bound
Yet her sons she raised on Protestant ground
Like Jews once became Christians, their children to save
But caught in the fires, they still found their graves

May the angels protect you and guide you in sleep
May the mother of Jesus at her bosom keep
The innocent martyrs who can't understand
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-- The Shepherdess' Lullaby is a pastoral air I wrote in fond memory of the rolling fields along Lough Leane in Killarney.

The Shepherdess' Lullaby ©1998 GJM

Sing me a song of silent slumber
Hum me your lullaby
Quiet the restless clouds that thunder
Across the evening sky

Play me a song of wide-eyed wonder
Lay with me by the fire
Strum me a tune for the spell I'm under
Has kindled my heart's desire

We danced in meadows drenched in sun
And rode through frozen streams
It seems the world has just begun
And life's a waking dream
For I can't imagine life without the love of you
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-- Black Molly is a ballad of love interrupted during the Easter Rebellion of 1916.

Black Molly ©1999 by GJM
There was a young lass named Molly Malone
Though the boys called her Penny when they knocked on her door
For the luck would be with them with her at their side -- and a kiss at the end of the night
And the boys would all be waiting -- you can hear them say
Oh Molly, I’ll love you forever -- Come with me away 

Come with me away my black-haired Molly 
Come with me away fair Penny Malone 
With her eyes as blue as the burning horizon 
Hair as black as a sorcerer’s stone 
Willful she is with a mind of her own 
Like a ghost she slips away and I’m alone

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My New Blog!

Check out The Dark Elf File because LiveJournal won't allow me to change this ghastly font. I suppose I'd have to pay for the privilege. Bah!