In 2013, I wrote a set of seven hymns to the seven visible planets; and in 2018-2022 I wrote eight songs (based on traditional British ballad tunes) for the eight great days of the neopagan year. Those hymns are presented here for ease of locating them, along with access to the recordings of them so you can learn to sing them yourself.
- 1. for the MoonHail, night’s goddess, enrobed in silver gown, Bull-horned and wandering from phase to phase. You borrow light but claim your own renown And lay a firm foundation with your rays! At first you crown your brother in his dusk, Then swell each evening til your splendor shows, To rise alone as heaven’s greatest pearl. Yet, by days, you shrink, ’til broken tusk You reveal at the arrival of dawn; Last, in deep darkness your banners you furl.
- 2. For MercuryHermes, approach, and sweet communion lend, Lord of intellect, most keenly applied: Increase of prudence and memory lend; Make my knowledge and talents deified. For you are like the “flying squads” of old— Joining memory and foresight as one, And harnessing reason enyoked with will. With such tricks, you defeated Argus bold, and wooed sacred cows away from the Sun; and turned foes to friends with musical skill.
- 3. For VenusVenus, illustrious queen of heaven Lady of love and radiant beauty: Crafty, artful, necessity’s mother, Whose jewels with words of love are graven, To whom pleasures’ acts are happy duty, At whose banquets we feed one another: You join all life in harmony divine, And even savage powers bend the knee And pour rich libations of hearty wine In praise of your renowned divinity.
- 4. For the SunGreat golden titan, lord of light and heat, agile and vital, our great king, the Sun— only from your warmth, does our life stay sweet, and when you bless our work, it’s well-begun. When your golden chariot mounts the sky at break of day with four stallions of flame you fill the world with harmony divine! Not even the darkest cloud can deny that it is day, and worthy of your name! Yet lend an ear, and to my prayer incline:
- 5. For MarsHear, valiant Mars, and doff thy red-plumed helm, Sheath your swordfor now, and lay down your spear, For lately do your actions overwhelm So many, and still more are ruled by fear. Yet justice bound with mercy make the law, And chaos must be sheathed upon the hip, As armor must be laid aside at times — For man’s love of war oft becomes a flaw When militant hands claim too strong a grip Upon our spirits: See violence’s crimes
- 6. for JupiterO Jove enthroned in lightning and in cloud, And ruling over heaven, earth and sea; Imperial, magnanimous, and proud, Fountain of abundance, and fatherly: Give ear to your disciple and attend, For every mountain and each court of law, And any place where lightning touches down Becomes a realm that your decree can bend To fulfill your aim, sure and without flaw— Thus in majesty you wear heaven’s crown.
- 7. For SaturnEthereal Titan, Time’s own father, Ancient of Days, through eternities vast: carry our spirits, as light as feather, joining our present with future and past. You govern all perfection and decline— the seed in furrow, and the harvest scythe, life’s final stages, and the gaping grave. With trudging step, you walk the outmost line of seven heavens, where abysses writhe and tremble — fear stalks the steps of the brave
- A. Song: Goshen SamhainWith the publication of Goshen Samhain, here, I’ve completed the set of eight songs that I wrote the lyrics for last year, and then recorded and published this year. The idea was to… Read more: A. Song: Goshen Samhain
- B. Song: Goshen Yule (recorded)A couple of years ago I wrote a song and published it last winter, Goshen Yule. This year, despite my feeling that I didn’t have it memorized and couldn’t sing it well, I… Read more: B. Song: Goshen Yule (recorded)
- B2. Song: Goshen YuleI’ve been trying my hand at writing lyrics to traditional song-tunes, and I’m finally confident enough in one to present it here. Nnnnno. I’m not singing it yet, no. But for the sake… Read more: B2. Song: Goshen Yule
- C. Song: Goshen OimelcFrost by night and thaw by day, sugar in the sap, sugar in the sap rush of life from root to crown, dream of maples tall and grown sugar in the sap, sugar in the sap!
- D. Song: Goshen OstaraDrip-Drip-Drip melts the snow from the branches; Pip-Pip-Pip sing the wrens at play; Earth makes mud as the ground un-freezes; Sun calls green to the world that’s gray! 1) Rustle and pop in the last year’s leaf-fall. Beetle comes out of the oak tree’s gall. Thrush grabs worm for the first chick’s breakfast; Fox lifts ear to the oriole’s call.
- E. Song: Goshen Maying1. Come up to the (farm), help us search for the pole, Tie on the ribbons, and dig out the hole; There’s food to be eaten and dances to run, Laughter and joking and all sorts of fun! A bottle of ale might get passed hand to hand, And couples sneak off for a roll on the land. Never can tell what happens the day, That all of the Berkshires call in the May.
- F. Song: Goshen Litha1. The Sun — he is shining on the brow, the brow of the hill in the east, Now is the summer come in at last, and the gardens bring forth a feast!
- G. Song: Goshen LammasI feast with all my kith and kin, And revel in the bounty Of Sun’s bright rays and summer days That clothe the earth with plenty. I searched my vines both high and low For two big ripe tomatoes; I dug up all my garden beds For three small green potatoes. I feast with all my kith and kin, etc.
- H. Song: Goshen MabonThe shadows grow long, the night comes on fast; the best days of summer are over and past: The goldenrod bends from the weight of her bloom, and the grasshopper sings in the oncoming gloom.