Children and Heroes

The melody (and guitar arrangement) to this song grew out of its predecessor At Rest. A certain sequence in that song branched off in a different direction and lent itself to a whole new story and poem.

And the lyrics to this song arrived as a memory image: as a snow laden branch of a small fir that bent into the thicker snow beneath. This was in northern Sweden and I was probably around eleven or twelve years old.

The silence is everywhere, as well as the cold and the thick—but somehow comforting—coat of snow all around.

Faint traces of some animal not much heavier than the snow (it seemed) lead who knows where.

And that is what set the words in motion.

The melody and image then communed into song.

The Words:

Traces in the snow
faint yet fading still
what trace they will
and where they go
is all I need to know

Traces in the dark
faintly through the chill
unseen until
that final spark
when I, at last, embark

Then, as traces flee
for harbor in the night
in that flight
I set my jailor free

and with my heart I see
these eyes bereft of sight
ah, that they might
concede and heed
those who harbor me

Stillness bent by snow
silently she weaves
her icy leaves
and branches low
to shelter we will know

Where troll and gnome
may find and share
their hearts with wolf
and owl and bear

and elven fair
may share alike
their starry islands

Where spectral faces
know the trace
and know it leads
beyond the chase

and creatures all
will heed the call
and cast their eyes
beyond the silence

hear these voices of night
whisper that her
child is born

greeting into their light
my heart
and finding at last
what children
and heroes believe

Ulf Wolf
Winter 1992/Spring 2015
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