Sing a Last Song of Valdese
Originally Published: Chacal #1, Winter, 1976, edited by Byron L. Roark and Arnie Fenner
‘Sing a Last Song of Valdese’ is Karl Edward Wagner’s fantasy take on the tradition of the murder ballad. We covered his earlier ode to the murder ballad in episode 2 and 3 where we covered, one of my favorite stories, ‘In the Pines’.
‘Last Song’, though short, covered a lot of lore and added a great deal to the history of the world Kane inhabits. Once again the demon lords have poked their heads into the story in passing. I am of course speaking of Thro’ellet and Tloluvin. They have popped up in several stories so far: ‘Two Suns Setting’, ‘The Dark Muse’, and ‘Sing a Last Song of Valdese’. I’m looking forward to how they’ll weigh in moving forward in the Kane stories and why they seem entwined with Kane’s destiny. Only time and future seasons will tell.
On a side note, where did the name Valdese come from? My best guess is from the town Valdese in North Carolina not too far from Wagner’s stomping ground. Valdese was founded in 1893 by a group of Italian Waldensians or Valdese. The Waldensians are a sect of Christianity founded around 1173 by Peter Waldo. Waldo was a merchant who took the radical move of giving up his wealth and preaching poverty as the way to enlightenment. This radical deviation from the Catholic Church caused them to be considered heretics and they were persecuted for years. Today, Valdese and its Waldensian church have folded in with the Presbyterians. Does this history have anything to do with Wagner’s story? Probably not, no. But, it’s a neat bit of history from the town the name came from.
Lastly, I have to give a special thank you to Jason Tarpey and Eternal Champion for letting us use their song ‘Sing a Last Song of Valdese’ off the album The Armor of Ire. Jason had this to add about the song.
“As for the lyrics to that one, they are actually based on two short stories from Night Winds, “Sing a Last Song of Valdese”, and “Raven’s Eyrie”. The song was actually called Night Winds in the beginning but I thought that “Sing…” was a much more epic title for it.”
You can check out their full album here. Lyrics to the song are below. And with that, we’ll be back in two weeks with ‘Misericorde’.
SING A LAST SONG OF VALDESE
Into the vale beneath the autumn ridges flows the Cotras. It cuts it’s way to Raven’s Eyrie’s door. Under the strange moon the night winds mock the Sun. The hound is baying for his master Demonlord.
Ever the rider, ever the foe. The name of Kane forever known. By spell or by steel the brazen fall. Bear the curse and bear the time. The Seven Nameless hear thy cry. The Grey Lord and not Thoem will have your soul.
Valdese by revenge your soul can be as one. No longer must you stalk among the nighted boles. Seven times seven, the Grey Lord will return, and carry back with him the soul which he has won.
Wherever Kane has walked, a trail of crimson would follow now. Cursed by Theom! He will tread through the ages until the treasures of kings turn to dust, and the flesh of all men falls from their time-eaten bones. Lord Tloluvin, Sathonys, wait an age for the one that will not die!
In a tower of stone there burns a fire. The pain of steel for any who’d cross. The fatal eyes, weaken the brave. Horror met by the rushing of his blade. Lord Tloluvin, Sathonys, wait an age for the one that would not die. The hunting hound, the Demonlord, mark him by the strange hilt of his sword.
Ever the rider, ever the foe, the name of Kane forever known. By spell, or by steel, the brazen fall.
Valdese by revenge your soul can be at one. No longer must you stalk among the nighted boles. Seven times seven, the Grey Lord will return…..
Hosts: Jordan Douglas Smith & Jonathan Gelatt
Music: ‘Sing a Last Song of Valdese’ The Armor of Ire by Eternal Champion
Background Music: ‘Pippin the Hunchback’ Thatched Villagers by Kevin MacLeod
Pippin the Hunchback Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0