Brian Gray - St Wendigo's Day

from by Various Artists



Slow cooker? I hardly know her!

Ok, so thematically this stands among the simplest of my songs: what if Shakespeare’s Henry V and his army were cannibals? Bam, done. Not really any other layers to spelunk here, pretty much just references to eating people, if versed in a pseudo-Shakespearean style. I guess I just always need to do _something_ to make writing lyrics a pain in the ass.

The real fun is in the music. It all starts with that iiº chord, which feels subdominant and introduces the flat 6. That opens up to the iv, also subdominant but this time resolving in a Plagal cadence right back to the tonic. Because I do this in the verse, I can change it up and use an augmented 6th in the chorus but expand it out to the dominant. Using the French version instead of German allows me to follow proper voice leading in the strings and avoid parallel 5ths. Take that, Beethoven. Thus there are 3 different forms of that flat 6 throughout the song, all doing different things. Me like.

Incidentally, this is my first time trying to hit that chorus downbeat on the dominant chord. Along with the orchestration I’m hoping it gives the song a push forward, some momentum.


Who asks for more, ye strong and proud? Who seeks to hedge against all odds,
And shrink amidst a growing crowd as we sit dining with the gods?
If in honour to delight be a sin then let me sin.
Seize a life, take a bite, and feel the juices stain your chin.
Let idle men be covetous whiles any speaks that fought with us

On St. Wendigo’s Day, a battle cry so chantable.
On St. Wendigo’s Day, let none of us be known as “cann’tibal”,
Because we can.

Anticipate the flowing nectar of our names in voices awed:
Gollum, Grendel, Bateman, Lechter, Mrs. Lovett, Sweeney Todd.
In seasons hence he will recall who stands with this fraternal band
What feats he did and claims withal to which he hath affixed his brand.
Then will he prove his spoils aheaped and thus proclaim “These cuts I reaped

“On St. Wendigo’s Day, the day our flag stands plantable."
On St. Wendigo’s Day, let none of us be known as “cann’tibal”,
Because we can.

[Instrumental Break]

On St. Wendigo’s Day, hematic wine decantable.
On St. Wendigo’s Day, let none of us be known as “cann’tibal”,
On St. Wendigo’s Day, all heaven’s favors grantable.
On St. Wendigo’s Day, let none of us be known as “cann’tibal”,
Because we can.


from SpinTunes #12: Round 3, released February 28, 2017




Spintown Middletown, Ohio

I run a songwriting contest called SpinTunes. Most of the material hosted on this account is a result of that contest. You can follow the contest on Twitter (@SpinTunes) or my personal account (@Spintown).

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