Song Portrait #1: God of the Underworld

For about three years I have been working on a series of songs based on Greek and Roman mythology.  Three of them have entered my regular repertoire and there are many more that are works in progress.

I have been fascinated with mythology, Greek mythology in particular, since I was a child.  At my elementary school we had a “myth lady” who came in regularly the year I was in fifth grade.  The tales she shared with us were filled with magic and gore.  The characters were villains, heros, and monsters with great depth.  They were loving and deceitful, beautiful and vengeful, and wise and foolish all at the same time.  I went to Catholic school, so my early education was filled with relics of saints and their stories.  It was common place to hear adults say that we should call on a particular saint for whatever we needed at any given moment.  That said, the polytheism found in Greek mythology was not a far stretch from the religious beliefs we were already familiar with.  It can easily be argued that the incorporation of saints in to early Christianity was a way of Pagan Europe keeping their multitude of deities, most importantly the Virgin Mary as a representation of the their goddesses.  My favorite story was the tale of Persephone, Demeter, and Hades, which explains the changing of the seasons.  It is still my favorite.

I started writing this song shortly after my son was born in the spring of 2011.  Being a new mother, I thought the story would be told from the perspective of Demeter, but the song led me in a different direction.  I found that I had equal empathy toward Persephone and Hades.  I can relate to both the protective mother and the rebellious daughter.  I can also relate to the misunderstood creature of the underworld who has acquired a certain type of night vision that allows him to see beauty in what others view as ugliness and filth.  I house all of these people within me: the earth mother, a naive girl, the god of the underworld, the bride of Hades, and the avenger.  This is a song about balancing all of these personas.

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One thought on “Song Portrait #1: God of the Underworld

  1. Curious and lovely……..stellar and prancing piano part………..Reminds me of Hypatia—-the lady math goddess……….. cool Erin…..!

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