Friday, November 10, 2006

Podcast: Lady of Shalott (Down to Camelot)

My first serious attempt at a song with vocals (mine). Kevin heard it first and he said he found it funny. Er, not quite the response I'd hope for but at least he didn't cringe, LOL.

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[Playing time: 2min 51secs]
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This song came about quite unplanned. I was just strumming the basic guitar chords and then decided to record into GarageBand, with a percussion (shaker) layer set at 80 beats per second (bps). Once that was done, I hooked up the microphone to test the recording of vocals with the recorded tracks playing. There was no specific plan to record it as a song. I hummed a tune and it seemed to fit. In a flash I decided I needed lyrics (recording a hum wasn't the same).

The fastest way to get lyrics was for me to grab a yellow-paged copy of "Poems of Alfred, Lord Tennyson" that was sitting on my bookshelf. I flipped at random and came upon the "Lady of Shalott" poem. In truth, the book wasn't mine. I've never read much of Tennyson either. But with the tune in my head, I started mouthing the Lady of Shalott poem, singing and narrating the selected lines of the poem. It just fell in place.

It was only after the song was recorded that I went to Google for "Lady of Shalott", and I found this page ( that explained what the poem was about.

I have no training (formal or otherwise) in singing or musical arrangement. One time a friend (who's trained) told me to "sing through your nose". I don't really know what that means. The only practice I have had were during Karaoke sessions many years ago, heh.

Before posting the song on the web, I decided to let my wife listen to the song. About 30-seconds into the song she said, "You can stop playing now" but I forced her to listen in its entirety. Then finally she said "You can title it 'Relaxation Music'". Well, she didn't say "ugh" so I guess it's fit for sharing with the rest of the world. LOL.

I can't imagine myself blogging love notes to my wife like what Lucian does. But I can dedicate this song to her :)

No, I don't mean to imply she's the Lady of Shalott.

[1 - Spoken]
On either side the river lie
Long fields of barley and of rye,
That clothe the wold and meet the sky;
And thro' the field the road runs by
(To many-tower'd Camelot);
And up and down the people go,
Gazing where the lilies blow
Round an island there below,
The island of Shalott/ (To Camelot).

[2 - Sung]
But in her web she still delights
To weave the mirror's magic sights,
For often thro' the silent nights
And music, went to Camelot:

[3 - Spoken]
Four gray walls, and four gray towers,
Overlook a space of flowers,
And the silent isle imbowers
The Lady of Shalott.
By the margin, willow veil'd,
Slide the heavy barges trail'd
By slow horses; and unhail'd
The shallop flitteth silken-sail'd
Skimming down to Camelot:

[Repeat 1 - Sung]

[Repeat 2 - Sung]

[Repeat 1 - Spoken]

[Repeat 2 - Sung]

[4 - Sung/ fade]
When the moon was overhead,
Came two young lovers lately wed:
"I am half sick of shadows," said
The Lady of Shalott.

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  1. Hey love the song, soothing n enjoyable. Man, you really amazed me.

  2. Nice piece which shows that you are an erudite gentleman with a Sensitive New Age slant. Thought the lyrics were pretty poetic though. Good vocals though it sounded a little ethereal on my cheapo Creative speakers...


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