This song, written in May 2012, was first performed at Pennsic 41. (It is also, to the best of my knowledge, the first work of mine to be translated into another language or recorded by another artist.)
Call Me Will
© 2012 words & music by Eric Schrager
Come to the window, my love, listen well, can you hear it?
Beckoning you is the voice that has haunted your dream.
Leave here the cross made of rowan; you’re guided by spirit!
Surely you’ll find what you’re seeking outside by the stream…
Feel the wind cut sharp through your dress,
Nothing you can hide that I can’t caress.
Come away, love… Have I a name? Call me Will.
Come, cross the bridge, follow Will, he can see that you’re aching.
Most wouldn’t notice, they’d say you’re a wisp of a girl.
Will loves a wisp and he knows when she’s ready for taking.
See how his song makes you dance as you smile and you twirl…
Like the river, pulled ever on,
You’ll have walked so far when they know you’re gone
That they may, love, never track you down the hill.
See not the rags that I wear nor the leaves in my hair, love.
Will leads you on through the night by the sparks in his eyes.
Deep through the woods, just a bit further on and we’re there, love.
Will has prepared a delight, and for you, a surprise…
You are fire, burning within,
All the heat you hold in that tender skin
Might allay, love, some of my heart’s icy chill.
Take a few steps in the mire, and you feel yourself sinking.
Will stops the fear in your eyes with a languorous kiss.
Child, did you not hear my warnings? Oh, what were you thinking?
No, you’re not thinking at all, Will has trapped you in bliss…
Into earth I’ll take you at last,
And I’ll own you all and I’ll hold you fast
For I’m Fae, love, just close your eyes and be still.
Yes, I’m Fae, love, Will-of-the-Wisp…
Call me Will.
The original concept for the song, and the rhythm and some of the tune, came to me driving home from the Feast of the Seven Deadly Sins in February of 2011. The event had been fun, but a little lacking in actual sin. I found myself wanting to write a seductive song, of a Fae seducing a mortal. Initially, it was a female fairy seducing a sleeping knight, but while the seed of the song was there, it didn’t germinate. I came back to it a little over a year later when I realized I really wanted a third original song in my pocket for Pennsic. I got some inspiration (acknowledged below), reversed the genders of the characters, and the song took shape. Imagining my Fae seducer as a nature spirit led me to invoke the elements air, water, fire, and earth at the start of each chorus, which gave the song structure. Some of the influences that inspired the song in its final form:
- This song owes a particular debt Ellen Kushner, as does my overall bardic persona. Her novelization of Thomas the Rhymer inspired me on many levels, including my understanding of the minstrel and bardic professions in the medieval period, and the medieval concept of the Fae as dark magical beings who are drawn to mortals, but rarely safe for mortals to interact with. (Later, through my wife’s efforts, she and I became friends with Ellen, who has been a source of inspiration and encouragement ever since–including welcome feedback when I sang her “The Bastard’s Tale” the year that I wrote it).
- An early episode of Lost Girl featured their own spin on the creature of the title, which opened me up to the idea to use him for this song, re-interpreting him in a completely different way.
- I had browsed through Brom’s The Child Thief, a very dark reworking of Peter Pan, in a book store, and their illustrations of Peter (particularly on the cover) sparked a mental image of my Fae as a lithe, seductive, (apparently) young boy. The book’s references to Fae rather than the original story’s “fairies”, and some of the other art work, doubtless influenced my concept as well.
- (One source that was NOT an influence: While Brave came out in theaters between the writing and the debut of this song, and I greatly enjoyed the film, I had finished my piece before I saw any trailers or images from the movie, so it definitely wasn’t an influence on this work.)
Intro: Em Bm Em D C D E Verse: Em D Em D Em D Em E7 Am D Em Am D B7 Chorus: Em A Em D Em C D Em Em A Em D Em C D Em Ending Line: (rit.) Em Bm Em