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about

A wealthy man returns to his homeland of (12th c.) Cordova married to a mysterious and beautiful woman who both attracts and repels all who meet her. His nephew discovers her secret form, and after being pursued and tormented by the lady of the house for many months, takes the necessary steps to end her enchantment on his uncle.

Story’s country of origin – Spain

Based on the tale "The Serpent-Woman," as retold by Jane Yolen, Favorite Folktales from around the World (New York: Random House, Inc., 1986), pp. 315-323. Based in turn on the version by F.H. Lee, Folk Tales of all Nations (New York: Coward McCann, 1930), pp. 895-902.

Yolen writes in her notes (p. 489): "This Spanish version of the loathly-wife tale is the distaff side of the marriage-to-a-monster story. The burning of the snake's skin (motif D721.3, 'Disenchantment by destroying skin') is a death sentence, unlike the same action in the swan-maiden tales. In Spain there used to be a superstition that an evil woman becomes a snake every night for a certain number of years and has the power to inflict painful and often fatal bites."

lyrics

Verse 1
Nine hundred years ago living in Spain
I married a man for his wealth and his name
I worried his relatives, frightened his friends
I angered his servants and made no amends

Verse 2
I gossiped with neighbours, delighting in spite
And never let on what I did every night
They thought me a witch or a wandering waif
But I kept my secret unbidden and safe

Chorus
I am ageless
By the power of my skin
I am seduction
I can draw a lover in
I am beauty
So look deep into my eyes
I’m your destruction
But I will keep you tantalized

Verse 3
My fury was potent and flattened my head
My eyes they grew narrow and terror was spread
Condemned if you crossed me, much worse than my bite
Embrace me, my love, and I’ll wrap you up tight

Chorus
I am ageless
By the power of my skin
I am seduction
I can draw a lover in
I am beauty
So look deep into my eyes
I’m your destruction
But I will keep you tantalized

Bridge
Don’t you want to play?
Side to side I’ll sway
I will haunt you night and day
There is nothing you can do or say
I am here to stay

Verse 4
A woman by daylight, a snake in the dark
As long as my skin doesn’t meet with a spark
For all you would need to break free from my spell
Is fire: a secret I never will tell

Chorus
I am ageless
By the power of my skin
I am seduction
I can draw a lover in
I am beauty
So look deep into my eyes
I’m your destruction
But I will keep you tantalized

Outro
I am ageless
I am beauty
I am seduction
And I’m your destruction
Look in my eyes
I will keep you tantalized

credits

from The Wanderlings Volume One, released April 16, 2015

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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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