Song: Mary Dyer

Wikimedia image of Mary DyerSong blogging time again. I introduced this song at the MASSFILC gathering on March 4. I’ve been thinking about an alternate history cycle involving the Quakers, and decided to start with actual history. The lyrics and sheet music are on my website.
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Five songs

Five of my songs as you’ve never heard them before — namely, performed by competent musicians! As a reward for supporting her Celtic Avalon project, Heather Dale and Ben Deschamps have made videos of five of my songs:

Don’t worry about the “private” designation. Heather marked them that way till she could ask me if I wanted them to be public or not, and they should change to public status soon. (Done.)

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The Ballad of Market Basket

Here’s a new filk video on the Market Basket controversy. I don’t have any business connection with the supermarket except that I used to shop there regularly, but it’s important to me for personal reasons. Even if you don’t share those reasons, you might enjoy it as filk. There’s also a cat in it. Sorry about the low resolution; I did what I could with Apple’s free movie tools.

Thanks to Vixy for permission to use “Mal’s Song,” and I hope Joss Whedon’s lawyers don’t mind my use of the tune from the Firefly theme.

View the video on Vimeo.
Or buy Mal’s Song from Vixy and Tony. It’s much better sung than my version.

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Musical improvisation

For something completely different, I’m posting one of my keyboard improvisations. I just do these now and then, mostly for myself, and perhaps it will interest a few people.

There should be a player visible below. I’m having some trouble getting it to work in Firefox but it’s visible and functional in Safari.

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Solstice song blogging

A song for the winter solstice: “Beacons in the Darkness.” Copyright 2010 Gary McGath. All rights reserved.

Firefox reports a “clickjacking attempt” when I click on the player. It’s nonsense.

Beacons in the Darkness

Music and Lyrics: Gary McGath, Copyright 2010

We have learned to live by reason
And our knowledge guards us here,
But the caves still live within us,
We still know the ancient fear.
When the cold and dark are growing
And the light shrinks day by day,
It is time to make our own light
That will drive the dark away.

    Lighting beacons in the darkness
    To await the sun’s return,
    Keeping hope against the winter
    Let the solstice fire burn,
    We fight cold with celebration,
    And we answer gloom with light,
    As we keep the beacons burning
    Through the winter’s longest night.

In our stories and our legends
Comes the tale of death and birth,
Of how light and warmth escape us
Then return again to Earth,
Of the heroes who regain it
Or in trying fail and die,
Of the sun that falls in weakness
Yet still climbs back to the sky.


Every culture in the north world
Has its version of the tale.
Something dies, yet life continues,
It will not forever fail.
So we raise our lights defiant,
Each one in a different name,
And whatever we may call them,
All our hopes remain the same:


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First audio post: I’m an Unbeliever

Song blogging is one way to get an idea across. This is my own song, “I’m an Unbeliever,” with no connection to any better-known songs that might have titles something like that. Recorded at home using a Zoom H2. The lyrics have been polished a bit since the last time I inflicted it on people, and I’ve worked on the accompaniment.

“I’m an Unbeliever” is copyright 2012 by Gary McGath and Creative Commons License is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Download the MP3, if you prefer that to using the player.

Update: I’ve posted the lyrics.