Song 11: Come the Night, On

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© 2016 by Maxina Ventura

Gm

Come, come the night, on

Gm

It is a time of growing

Gm

It is a time of changing

Gm

Come, come the night, on

Chants-BlackLivesMatterSinging-1857

History & Lore

Max:

A year after my youngest child Blake’s birth on the Winter Solstice in 2001 (our midwives told me later he crowned at the apex of the change to Winter, and was fully born three minutes later), I was awash in the magic of each of my children’s births: first Ingrid, next Andy, and finally Blake (our pet baby, as we called him – who’s now six feet tall).

Each was different, and reflected some of my children’s ways in the world, and perhaps their interactions between the worlds.

This song is invoking the beauty of Night, when we commune with the quiet times of birth, and our place in the processes of the cycle of conception to growth and change in us all, leading to birth, to life, to death, and to rebirth, once again.

Singing as a Round – to singstephengpocock@gmail.com as a round, you can add a new part after “Come, come the” or after “Come, come, the night, on.”

When I was singing it with a trio, one of the guys said “what the heck timing is this thing?” We figured out it was in 13/8. He noted it instead for us Westerners in 1/2 (think of swaying palms). Let go and enjoy!

George:

This was a difficult song to arrange, as the lines are different lengths.

Our idea was to have David play a steady droning rhythm on the jaw harp as the voices wove together.

This is possibly the first neo-pagan song ever to begin with jaw harp. We wondered whether we were the first pagan band to feature this instrument, period. But a bit of internet research turns up the European band Faun who include it in their lengthy list of instruments.

Faun’s list of instruments also includes a hurdy-gurdy – we’re seriously jealous!

Photo: Reclaiming singers carol in downtown San Francisco for Black Lives Matter – Winter Solstice 2014. Photo by George Franklin / courtesy Reclaiming Quarterly archives.

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