It Was Red

“Well I’ve seen fires that split the summer 
Seen forests burning to rise again 
Sent from the sky to land asunder 
Your songs are turning tears to cooling rain 

I heard their rhythm, it was in the thunder 
It was heard at midnight and through the day 
Your catechism, my eyes of wonder 
That once had seen you could never look away 

You are the tune no one expected 
Unsung and unpredicted 
Like a dream in the night ahead 
I thought the moon 
It just reflected our silver light 
But when it rose up it was red 

No priest or templar ever told the future 
And if they could perhaps we’d never fall in love 
Well I’ll repent if you’re the preacher 
For your songs of gold and the moon above 

You are the tune no one expected 
Unsung and unpredicted 
Like a dream in the night ahead 
I thought the moon 
It just reflected our silver light 
But when it rose up it was red

As red as blood, as black as carrion 
Our muse is scattered on battered wings 
Bruised and bolder, the muse is older now 
And still she sings 

I’ve heard them say blood-moon’s arising 
And this could be the end of all joys 
Well I can face that far horizon 
If the final chorus is in your voice ” 

‘It Was Red’ by Nancy Kerr

Watch a live version of it recorded in 2014 here, including the felted roses and Sweet Visitor Bunting I made for the tour.

 

The air as I’d walked home from the tram after work last night was fresh and crisp, the moon amazingly full.  I’d called Granddad and my brother for a catch up and then spoken to some friends.  The heating in my house is temperamental at best, but had been refusing to engage at all, so I’d spent my evening under some of the many blankets I’ve made over the last 5 years, working on two new ones.  I thought I’d chance the thermostat before retreating to my duvet with a hot chocolate and, wonder of wonder, miracle of miracles, it worked.  Upon a recommendation from a friend, I put on the Bros documentary and watched it in a state of disbelief – it’s still on iPlayer if you have the opportunity, I just don’t have the suitable words to describe it just yet – slowly becoming enveloped in the warmth of both my bed and the drifting heat from the under-worked radiator.

I woke up at about 5, feeling surprisingly rested and not like I needed to get back to sleep.  I checked Facebook and up popped a live stream from IFL Science with a video of the moon being filmed from an observatory somewhere in the US.  I didn’t know that last night was the occurrence of a lunar eclipse, the Moon was also at its closest point to the Earth, making it a Super Blood Wolf Moon.  Clearly the best name for a moon ever, and probably a song title from Nancy’s eldest son.  Saturn has got three moons named for wolves: Fenrir, after the monstrous wolf child of the trickster god Loki and the giantess Angurboda, Sköll and Hati, the twin wolf-sons of Fenrirbut are they Super Blood Wolf Moons? No. And let’s not start on the moons of Uranus, it all gets a little Shakespearean…

 

So I sat, cosy in bed, watching a live stream of a red moon accompanied by some light piano music on their video and a man telling us that it was caused by the moon passing through the Earth’s Umbra, at 5am.  I learned the words Umbra and Penumbra, which I hadn’t known before.  I saw a faint brightness to the side of the moon, a star that I don’t know the name of, being eclipsed itself as the moon continued on its path of orbit.   I sang Nancy’s song in my head, which she wrote whilst working on The Elizabethan Sessions and walking outside to see another red moon above her.  A song of ‘inspiration and love, why we do things and things that take us by surprise.’  Not a bad start to the day.

 

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