Wings of Night

from Snips and Snails by Leslie Hudson

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about

written October 13 2008

Reflections from 2020:

The beginnings of what I would develop into the Wanderlings are here, songs about folktales and mythology. This story has elements of both but was written for a friend and ally as we both took flight from a community that no longer served us. I always wanted to be an apple tree, and I love the idea of being saved by a crow.

lyrics

Once there was an apple tree
Who grew up in a valley
With men who cut and pruned her branches
Kept a running tally
Of every blossom, every fruit
That she might choose to ripen
And as she marked the years with rings
Their strangle-hold they tightened

The darkness set her free
When the wind blew through the night
In blindness she could see
When the crows took flight
On wings of night

One morning as the sun did rise
She dreamed awake a thought
In whisper-song she thanked the bees
For all that they had brought
The summer sun beamed down
Upon her leaves as she did feed
And she in turn poured sun-sap
Into apple, into seed

At harvest time the men could not believe
Their blessed eyes
For each and every flower
Had become a reddened prize
They picked and plucked the rosy fruit
Until the sun had set
Retiring to their hearths and beds
Good fortune they had met

The darkness set her free
When the wind blew through the night
In blindness she could see
When the crows took flight
On wings of night

The stars lit up the blackened deep
Before the moon rose high
The time for transformation near
She looked into the sky
When down towards her empty branches
Flew a welcome sight
Who tightly gripped an apple’s stem
And silently took flight

Within this apple’s juicy flesh
A tiny seed was held
That spark of life that was the tree
With joy and terror welled
They flew beyond the boundary
Of orchard and town square
They flew into the wilderness
Into the cold night air

The darkness set her free
When the wind blew through the night
In blindness she could see
When the crows took flight
On wings of night

A secret place they landed
Where the crows dug out a pit
And it’s there the seed was planted
And the dark earth covered it
As the seasons brought the turning
Of the wheel, the sun and rain
In that wooded place she sprouted
Nourished by the wild refrain

And she never lacked for comp’ny
For she had a feathered friend
Who had saved her from the village
Who had brought her there to mend
And although his voice was weathered
He knew how to weave a spell
For his living brought him wisdom
And he wore his feathers well

The darkness set her free
When the wind blew through the night
In blindness she could see
When the crows took flight
On wings of night

The old tree where she’d lived
That had oft in beauty swelled
Waned and weakened, ceased producing
And by saddened men was felled
While beyond the valley’s borders
In the woods a sapling grew
With the crows that guarded secrets
As all crows are wont to do

credits

from Snips and Snails, released March 15, 2010

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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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