Beorn the Bear

For one, I had just read Lord of the Rings, so Beorn was fresh in my mind, and the right way to spell him.

Björn, of course, is Swedish for Bear, and this song is all about a bear waking mid-winter from his hibernation, not knowing what stirred him from his winter slumber.

I had also just been introduced to open tunings. The strings of a guitar did not have to be tuned EADGBE (much to my astonishment), and here was my first song breaking that mold (it’s in DADGBD).

I think I wrote this around Christmas in 1972, and I was living in England at the time. No snow on the ground (like we almost always had at home in northern Sweden) but plenty of it in this dream turned song.

I’ve tinkered with this song over the years, most recently this June morning 2014. I’m happy with it now.

The Words:

This is not a song
it’s just the word
of a sleepy bear a-wondering
of a night

What was it in my slumber
that I heard
like music to my ears
if they still serve me right

Could have
sworn I heard someone sing
though it's far too frosty for spring
well, at least I can be certain of
this one thing:
no birds

The frozen trees a-shiver
on the hill
and moonlit snow on all I see
silently agleam

Who was it then awoke me
from my slumber still
said Beorn
this is not the time
nor place to dream

Who said
Wake up sleepy bear
get up and greet what's a-coming here
and that sleep right out of those
big brown eyes
and rise

‘Twas the song of a wondrous star
shining her beckoning light
harmonies calling my name from afar

Sleepy soul, it's time to come home

Wonderful wilderness open your eyes
Heed this mysterious call
Kindle the hopes you have harbored
and rise up all

Sleepy souls, it's time to come home

Sleepy souls, it's time to come home

Ulf Wolf
Winter 1972/Summer 2014
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