We Will Form the Circle

One of my favorite British singers and songwriters is the lovely Marianne Faithfull and she recently survived a long battle with COVID-19.  After spending nearly a month in the hospital she may never sing again due to the damage COVID did to her lungs but she has just wrapped up a new spoken word album that will be released in April. The new album is titled She Walks in Beauty after the Byron poem of the same name and features musical contributions by Nick Cave, Brian Eno, and Warren Ellis. Marianne recites Romantic British poetry by some of her (and my own!) favorite poets including Lord Byron, Percy Shelley, John Keats, and William Wordsworth. You can sample a track from She Walks in Beauty on her YouTube channel.

To celebrate Marianne’s recovery which is still ongoing, I thought I’d share one of my favorite Faithfull songs from her 1979 album, Broken English.

The track is titled Witches’ Song and according to Marianne’s 2000 autobiography it is “an ode to the wild Pagan women I know and have always had around me.” In 1996 the song was recorded by Juliana Hatfield for The Craft (1996) film soundtrack but I prefer the original.

Witches’ Song is my version of sisterhood. It’s my ode to the wild Pagan women I know and have always had around me. It even has a bit of my mother in it. Because if I ever knew a witch it was my mother. She came from a bewitched time and place where you could really believe that witches still lived and cast their spells in the Black Forest or Mountains of Carpathia.

Marianne Faithful, Faithfull: An Autobiography

WITCHES’ SONG

Shall I see you tonight, sister, bathed in magic greet?

Shall we meet on the hilltop where the two roads meet?

We will form the circle, hold our hands and chant

Let the great one know what it is we want

Danger is great joy, dark is bright as fire

Happy is our family, lonely is our ward

Sister, we are waiting on the rock and chain

Fly fast through the airwaves, meet with pride and truth

Danger is great joy, dark is bright as fire

Happy is our family, lonely is our ward

Father, we are waiting for you to appear

Do you feel the panic, can you see the fear?

Mother, we are waiting for you to give consent

If there’s to be a marriage, we need contempt

Danger is great joy, dark is bright as fire

Happy is our family, lonely is our ward

Da-da-da-da-da-da, da-da-da-da-da
Da-da-da-da-da-da, da-da-da-da-da
Da-da-da-da-da-da, da-da-da-da-da
Da-da-da-da-da-da, da-da-da-da-da
Da-da-da-da-da-da, da-da-da-da-da
Remember, death is far away and life is sweet
Da-da-da-da-da-da, da-da-da-da-da

Marianne Faithfull, from Broken English (1979)

Short film by the experimental Pagan filmmaker Derek Jarman made to accompany three songs on Faithfull’s Broken English album. The first song featured is Witches’ Song.

Note: Photos taken by Torbjörn Calvero in 1975

Author: Kimberly Lindbergs

Writer, Researcher, Artist, & Eclectic Pagan ♑ Sun ♏ Rising ♏ Moon