Only Ophelia Knows

from Hemlock Honey and Crows by Leslie Hudson

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about

Inspired by Claire McCarthy's 2018 film (screenplay by Semi Chellas) based on the novel by Lisa Klein, and the painting by Sir John Everett Millais, this song borrows a good deal of imagery from the original Shakespearean play, and a fair few lines.

Madness, hysteria or some other such diagnosis has too often been used to dismiss the lives and struggles of women. This time, Ophelia turns madness on its head to escape to a new life. Nothing is ever truly what it seems to be on the surface.

The names and associations of flowers have long been a passion of mine, and their uses in medicine, nutrition, dyeing, decoration, and ecology. The secret language of trees and flowers to send covert messages fascinates me. A few found their way into this song.

lyrics

One sorrow treads upon another's heels
So fast they follow
One willow grows along a glassy stream
That flows by

There are nettles in the daisies
And thorns upon the rose
Some girls sing in riddles
Only Ophelia knows

Doubt thou the stars are fire
Doubt that the sun doth move
Doubt truth to be a liar

One lover beats upon another's heart
So fast they follow
One mother wakes to find a broken dream
That flows by

There are nettles in the daisies
And thorns upon the rose
Some girls sing in riddles
Only Ophelia knows

Doubt thou the stars are fire
Doubt that the sun doth move
Doubt truth to be a liar, to be a liar
Doubt truth to be a liar, to be a liar

One minnow lost upon another hook
So fast they follow
One widow winds along a silver stream
That flows by

There are nettles in the daisies
And thorns upon the rose
Doubt truth to be a liar
Some girls sing in riddles
Only Ophelia knows

No muddy death for me
Flowers hanging from the tree
Madly I played the part
Wild I am running free
Nothing now will tarry me
Doubt truth to be a liar

There are nettles in the daisies
And thorns upon the rose
Some girls sing in riddles
Only Ophelia knows

There are secrets in the poppies
That women know to save
Some girls sing in riddles
Over Ophelia's grave

There are nettles in the daisies
And thorns upon the rose
Doubt truth to be a liar, to be a liar
Some girls sing in riddles
Only Ophelia knows

Some girls sing in riddles
But never doubt I love
Only Ophelia knows

Some girls sing in riddles
Never doubt I love

credits

from Hemlock Honey and Crows, released October 29, 2021
Leslie Hudson: piano, vocals
W. Scott "Steve" Snyder: mandolin
John Argentiero: guitar

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all rights reserved

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about

Leslie Hudson Stratford, Ontario

Leslie Hudson is a Canadian singer songwriter and pianist. Her albums range from storytelling styles to bluesy bar rock to dialed-up, full-band homages to pop culture. With lyrical piano skills and a voice that cuts through the crowd, her songs dive deep into archetype and folklore, modernizing ancient voices as she shines a spotlight on the shadowy paths we walk through life, myth and media. ... more

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