Boskone 58: Distant Stars Concert

“Jenny’s Song for John,” by C. S. E. Cooney…

LYRICS 
Jenny’s Song for John
By C. S. E. Cooney

 1.
My love, his name is John Fitzgibbon
Strong as oak and tall as yew
Soft as pine and so sweet-smelling
Ne’er was any man so true
Down he went with lamp and hammer
Down into the blackest seam
Where the rock burns bright as diamond
Daylight’s but a dead man’s dream

Oh, they came in flame and thunder
Oh, they came in ice and steel
Came and snatched my John Fitzgibbon
Bound him to a silver wheel
Where’d you go, my John Fitzgibbon?
Johnny, would you leave me so?
John, I’m cryin’, John, I’m dyin’
John, you’re gone and I’m brought low

2.
My love he shouted loud as lightning
Broke his chain and smote his foe
Ran those halls of pearl and sapphire
Where no mortal man may go
“Turn this ship, O turn it back now!”
Shouted John, so bold and brash
“Bring me to my love, my Jenny
Lest I burn this ship to ash!”

Oh, they laughed like flame and thunder
Oh, they laughed like steel and ice
“John,” said they, “she must be dandy
“You’ll not need to ask us twice.”
Down they drove their iron casket
Down through darkness wide and deep
Found me stretched across my bower
Sore with grief and fast asleep

3.
My love, he spake to me so softly
“Jenny, rise, we must away
If we do not go this instant
We’ll not live to see the day.”
“John,” said I, “I love you dearly
Johnny, whither thou wouldst trod
There will I put down my footprints
This I swear by Holy God.”

Oh, I wept like flood and river 
Oh, I wept like sea and rain
Wept and left my bower forsaken 
There to ne’er return again
Down we flew, in night and starlight
Down into abyssal gleam 
Down into the vast forever 
Where no mortal maid has been 

4.
For the love I bore for John Fitzgibbon
I gave up the world I’d known
Sought those distant stars forbidden
That I could not call my own
Far we flew, and rough we landed 
Cracked the sky and cracked the hull
Cracked our ship of ice and silver 
Spilled out from our prison walls

Oh, they wept like flame and thunder
Oh, they wept like molten ore
Even Johnny couldn’t save them
And their proud race is no more 
Down we delve with lamp and hammer
Bearing children on the way
As we dig, we sing forever:
“We’ll fly homeward bound one day.”

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