The Elegiac Repose

by Valentine Wolfe

Released 2017
Released 2017
Nine songs of grief, mourning, and loss. Valentine Wolfe's newest effort fuses soaring female vocals and brutally distorted double bass, combining metal, classical, and dark ambient music.
  • 04:14 Lyrics
    Sin Eater

    Sin Eater 

    I am your sin eater 
    Peccata mundi est 
    Such little sins, Such lovely lies 
    And every horror’s mine 

    I am your sin eater 
    I feast upon your lies 
    You cannot hide what lies inside 
    I taste your every crime 

    Memento mori 

    I am your sin eater 
    You’ve never hurt so good 
    To shed the mess, leave pain behind 
    Inching towards the sublime 

    I am your sin eater 
    For each dark thought you have 
    For every rage you hurl at me 
    It hurts me every time 

    Memento mori 

    I shall eat your filth 
    I shall make you whole 
    I can give you peace 
    Through the pawning of mine own 

    Memento mori

  • 05:05 Lyrics
    Taphophilia

    Taphophilia 

    Beyond the veil
    Mystic shadows
    What’s waiting for me
    Poets speculate
    Religions claim to know
    Is there a formula
    Some arcane secret
    Pertaining to this fear
    Unknown places
    How they scare us
    The secret places
    Covers up the cracks 
    Inside
    Who will forget me
    When I’m gone

    Don’t grieve for me 
    Don’t weep for me 
    Find some Beauty in this Death 

    Inside this gloom
    Tainted shadows
    Are waiting for me
    Saints pontificate
    Religion cannot know
    Forgotten formulas
    Ritual sacrifice
    Binding up our fear
    Encasing madness
    And it will scare us
    It will bleed us
    Will you cover up
    Will you protect me
    Who will forget me
    When I’m gone

    Covered by the dark 
    Need a candle 
    To light the way for me 
    Will I need to pray 
    To understand this pain 
    Or have these stories 
    Been subversion 
    A beautiful lie 
    How to get out 
    Will I need to pray 
    Will you take away 
    A single story 
    From this tragedy 
    Who will forget me 
    When I’m gone 

    Don’t grieve for me 
    Don’t weep for me 
    Find some Beauty in this Death 

    Don’t pray for me 
    Don’t pray for me 
    Find some Beauty in this Death

  • 03:59 Lyrics
    Sorrow for Eternity

    Sorrow for Eternity 

    The sun is setting in the sky 
    The curtain closing on the stage 
    The door is swinging shut at last 
    Sorrow for eternity 

    The void is growing larger 
    This void inside of me 
    No palliative will fill it 
    No love can dull the pain 

    Like a black hole it’s eating 
    All the best parts of me 
    Stumbling towards eternity 
    An empty sea envelopes me 

    Rage and sorrow swirl around 
    Fighting for control 
    My mind and heart grow numb 
    As I know no help will come 

    Beyond this realm I see and hear 
    Where fairy tales abound 
    Entreaties vomit from my lips 
    Each one goes unanswered 

    The sun is setting in the sky 
    The curtain closing on the stage 
    The door is swinging shut at last 
    Sorrow for eternity

  • 04:28 Lyrics
    Porcelain Creature

    Porcelain Creature 

    Treacherous little cracks 
    Villainous twisting cracks 
    Tracing the lie inside 

    Before the healing can begin 
    Something has to break 
    When you think that you are whole 
    But then you find a crack 

    As one crack leads to another 
    You trace that lying path 
    Until the whole facade collapses 
    Then where will we be? 

    But I could have sworn that I was whole 
    Better off than most 
    At least that is what I thought 
    Not I’m not so sure 

    Porcelain creature 
    So beautiful 
    Will you shatter? 
    Will you hold? 

    Before your story can be told 
    I will need some little gift 
    Something you won’t even miss 
    What it is, I think you’ll guess

  • 05:09 Lyrics
    Melancholy Is the Devil's Bath

    Melancholy is the Devil’s Bath 
    Best taken in the full light of the moon 
    Once submerged you’ll never be the same 
    Each new day a living misery 

    Melancholy is the Devil’s Bath 
    Try to walk in the left hand path 
    Only then will you be set free 
    From this life of wanton misery 

    I don’t know where these thoughts come from 
    A tiny crack has let so many through 
    I can never push them all back 
    Now I have to live with my mistake 

    You were gone but I can’t blame you 
    All this pain lies at my own door 
    Even if I heard the knocking 
    I was far too lost in the fog 

    Nothing really could have prepared me 
    Some pains cannot lead to relief 
    Some things once they are broken 
    Never can be made whole

  • 12:41 Lyrics
    Death and the Maiden

    Death and the Maiden 

    This story begins with your funeral 
    Wreaths and mourning ribbons 
    Bedeck the coal black horses 
    The cortege rides in silence 

    Until the gray fog descended 
    Not a sound was heard 
    Nor did a whisper shatter 
    The stillness of your shroud 

    And then the strains were felt loud 
    A mournful plaintive chant 
    Choirs like ravens fighting 
    Scratching upon mine ear 

    A maiden wept at your funeral 
    A maiden beheld by Death 
    Her tears of grief sweet perfection 
    Death marked her for his own 

    Years burned away as pages thrown to flame 
    Each bitter season bringing fresh defeat 
    The maiden diminished every hour 
    Death marked her for his own 

    Alone and scribbling at his desk 
    Asylum walls have locked him in 
    In his dreamworld he is free 
    He bends his mind back to the page 

    The sacred page 

    Wilt thou go with me, sweet maid, 
    Say, maiden, wilt thou go with me 
    Through the valley-depths of shade, 
    Of night and dark obscurity; 
    Where the path has lost its way, 
    Where the sun forgets the day, 
    Where there's nor life nor light to see, 
    Sweet maiden, wilt thou go with me! 

    Maiden wilt thou go…? 

    Where stones will turn to flooding streams, 
    Where plains will rise like ocean waves, 
    Where life will fade like visioned dreams 
    And mountains darken into caves, 
    Say, maiden, wilt thou go with me 
    Through this sad non-identity, 
    Where parents live and are forgot, 
    And sisters live and know us not! 

    Maiden wilt thou go…? 

    Say, maiden; wilt thou go with me 
    In this strange death of life to be, 
    To live in death and be the same, 
    Without this life or home or name, 
    At once to be and not to be - 
    That was and is not -yet to see 
    Things pass like shadows, and the sky 
    Above, below, around us lie? 

    Entreaties have stopped up his tongue 
    A tremor at the sight of her 
    One last glimpse, his final wish 
    Alone at last now he can die 

    White becomes her 
    Pale laces flutter 
    Vestments chosen to endure 
    Craven kisses 
    Torn from her red lips 
    Hotter than a thousand stars 

    Death will come for you, maiden 
    Faster than a raven’s wing 
    Sadder than a lover’s lie 
    And when it comes, it will last forever 

    Gather your rosebuds 
    Hide from the light 
    There is not safety within these shadows 
    Ave Maria 

    So she prayed the maiden’s prayer 
    But no answer did she receive 
    No surcease for her sufferings 
    As the nights grew colder 

    The stars shone ever dimmer 
    Her prayers grew choked on her lips 
    They turned to roses in her mouth 
    She learned to savor the taste 

    So bitter yet beautiful 
    Black night opening to her 
    She reveled in the mystery 
    She could taste the velvet promise 

    The maiden grew more lovely 
    Eyes wide open to the dark 
    Now trusting in the knowledge 
    The shadows draped around her 

    Say, maiden; wilt thou go with me 
    In this strange death of life to be, 
    To live in death and be the same, 
    Without this life or home or name, 
    At once to be and not to be - 
    That was and is not -yet to see 
    Things pass like shadows, and the sky 
    Above, below, around us lie? 

    Maiden wilt thou go….? 

    The maiden and Death intertwined at last 
    Forever to lie as one 
    Breathing in the other life 
    Within your silken coffin 

    Years burn away as pages turn to flame 
    Stories changing before they can be told 
    Will you who have ears listen to my tale? 
    Will you unlock these mysteries? 

    This story ends with your funeral 
    Wreaths and mourning ribbons 
    Bedeck the coal black horses 
    The cortege departs in silence

  • 04:08
    Softly Shall You Sleep
  • 04:32 Lyrics
    Prosperos Farewell

    Now my charms are all o'erthrown, 
    And what strength I have’s mine own, 
    Which is most faint. Now, ’tis true, 
    I must be here confined by you, 
    Or sent to Naples. Let me not, 
    Since I have my dukedom got 
    And pardoned the deceiver, dwell 
    In this bare island by your spell, 
    But release me from my bands 
    With the help of your good hands. 
    Gentle breath of yours my sails 
    Must fill, or else my project fails, 
    Which was to please. Now I want 
    Spirits to enforce, art to enchant, 
    And my ending is despair, 
    Unless I be relieved by prayer, 
    Which pierces so that it assaults 
    Mercy itself and frees all faults. 
    As you from crimes would pardoned be, 
    Let your indulgence set me free.

  • 04:43 Lyrics
    Last Kiss

    Last Kiss 

    Last kiss 
    Soft touch 
    Gentle storm 
    Heralding 

    Shadowy 
    Billowing 
    Mind is caving in 
    Changes without end 

    Shadows cannot enter 
    The places I have built for you 
    Hide with me 
    Escape this world 
    We won’t have to say goodbye 
    Never ever say goodbye 
    Hide with me 
    Escape this world 
    We will never ever have to say goodbye again 

    What if time is slipping by? 
    Rushing past me at full force 
    Like the grains of sands that slip 
    Through the fingers of the poet 

    What if I was not the one? 
    The one to beat your demons back 
    I failed you 
    I let you down 
    Still you let me stay by you 
    Still you held me in the dark 
    You helped me 
    To find my way 
    Who will ever help me find my way out of here now?

Annabel Lee (Epic Version)

by Valentine Wolfe

Released 2017
Released 2017
Two classically trained musicians combining ambient solo bass, brutal distortion, electronica, and 18th century opera to tell a story of the macabre.
  • 12:30 Lyrics
    Annabel Lee (Epic Version)

    Annabel Lee 

    It was many and many a year ago, 
    In a kingdom by the sea, 
    That a maiden there lived whom you may know 
    By the name of Annabel Lee; 

    When Death came in to steal her from me 
    I tried to put up a fight 
    But I was no match for that figure cloaked in black 
    And I lost my bride to the night 

    She was a child, I was a child 
    In that kingdom by the sea 
    How cruelly then she was taken from me 
    My beautiful Annabel Lee 

    She was singing at her piano 
    Such a beautiful sight to me 
    But blood has now consumed our lives 
    It is dripping from the keys 

    She was a child, I was a child 
    In that kingdom by the sea 
    How cruelly then she was taken from me 
    My beautiful Annabel Lee 

    "Let me have under her own hand 
    A letter bidding me goodbye 
    I may die, My heart will break 
    But I will say no more." 

    It was many and many a year ago, 
    In a kingdom by the sea, 
    That a maiden there lived whom you may know 
    By the name of Annabel Lee; 
    And this maiden she lived with no other thought 
    Than to love and be loved by me. 

    I was a child and she was a child, 
    In this kingdom by the sea, 
    But we loved with a love that was more than love— 
    I and my Annabel Lee— 
    With a love that the wingèd seraphs of Heaven 
    Coveted her and me. 

    And this was the reason that, long ago, 
    In this kingdom by the sea, 
    A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling 
    My beautiful Annabel Lee; 
    So that her highborn kinsmen came 
    And bore her away from me, 
    To shut her up in a sepulchre 
    In this kingdom by the sea. 

    The angels, not half so happy in Heaven, 
    Went envying her and me— 
    Yes!—that was the reason (as all men know, 
    In this kingdom by the sea) 
    That the wind came out of the cloud by night, 
    Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee. 

    But our love it was stronger by far than the love 
    Of those who were older than we— 
    Of many far wiser than we— 
    And neither the angels in Heaven above 
    Nor the demons down under the sea 
    Can ever dissever my soul from the soul 
    Of the beautiful Annabel Lee; 

    For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams 
    Of the beautiful Annabel Lee; 
    And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes 
    Of the beautiful Annabel Lee; 
    And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side 
    Of my darling—my darling—my life and my bride, 
    In her sepulchre there by the sea— 
    In her tomb by the sounding sea. 

    She was a child, I was a child 
    In that kingdom by the sea 
    How cruelly then she was taken from me 
    My beautiful Annabel Lee

NOTES
Re-composing Annabel Lee

“Sure, we’ll do it!”

This is a phrase that, in the years we’ve been performing as Valentine Wolfe, have gotten us into no end of trouble. But more often than not, fun trouble.

Which was our mindset when we opened the old Logic files from 2012-2013 (Annabel Lee was the first song written for Once Upon A Midnight), and started trying to figure out how we were going to accept …
Read more

Krampusnacht

by Valentine Wolfe

Released 2016
Released 2016
Two classically trained musicians combining ambient solo bass, brutal distortion, electronica, and 18th century opera to tell a story of the macabre.
  • 02:47 Lyrics
    Krampusnacht

    Krampusnacht 


    Gather my children 
    Who think you’ve been good 
    You will not think so 
    After this night 
    When we are through 
    Punishing you 
    Pain and despair 
    Will wash over you 


    Blood flows in the streets 
    He’s not bringing treats 
    Krampusnacht 


    Switches from the birch 
    Striking at your flesh 
    You may try to hide 
    But Krampus will you find 


    When you’ve been so naughty 
    Attitude quite haughty 
    He’ll show you the claw 
    He knows how to shred 


    Just cause you think 
    You are safe from the law 
    Think nobody saw 
    Those things that you did 
    How wrong you will be 
    And soon you will pay 
    For all your discretions 
    Krampusnacht

NOTES
Formed in 2006, Valentine Wolfe is the combined effort of Sarah Black and Braxton Ballew. Imagine Sarah Brightman being backed by Francois Rabbath blowing through a Marshall stack at midnight. Having dubbed their music "Victorian Chamber metal", the duo have synthesized a love of metal, classical and industrial, infusing them with a Victorian sensibility that evokes the likes of Bram Stoker and Edgar Allan Poe.



The ethereal soprano vocals of Sarah Black--which call to mind not …
Read more

A Child's Bestiary

by Valentine Wolfe

Released 2016
Released 2016
We've created a musical Cabinet of Curiosities, featuring all manner of beasts, creatures, fiends, and oddities.
  • 04:40 Lyrics
    A Taxidermist's Toybox

    Cleaning off the skin 
    Scraping off the chaff 
    Got to keep the cuts small 
    Make the feathers last 
    Jiggle in an eye 
    Paint on the claws 
    Arrange a pose 
    And then it’s done 
    Beauty in this death 

    Jackdaw, magpie, rook, crow 
    Say them all and then you’ll know 
    What’s the secret? 
    Never tell 
    Bad little ones under my spell 

    Receive the little birds 
    In spirits of wine 
    Got to sew the beak shut 
    With a bit of twine 
    Then untie the skin 
    Head turns toward the left 
    Twist ligament 
    This is my design 
    Beauty in this death 

    What life has gotten wrong 
    I can now correct 
    My own interpretation 
    My revisions to the script 
    When a mind is fertile 
    Ready for suggestion 
    What to say 
    How to move 
    Beauty in this death 

    Creating works of art 
    Making something new 
    From a lifeless dead thing 
    Giving a new hue 
    I work my magic only 
    With one goal in mind 
    To breathe new life 
    To start afresh 
    Beauty in this death

     

  • 04:06 Lyrics
    My Black Hen

    My Black Hen 

    Hickety, pickety, my black hen, 
    She lays eggs for gentlemen; 
    Gentlemen come every day 
    To see what my black hen doth lay. 

    My black hen gives me 
    Such black feathers 
    Each one tied in a knot 
    Each a rung on the ladder 

    The blackest curse 
    Turns the soul 
    In a witch’s ladder 
    With thirteen rungs 

    Malediction 
    With cord magick 
    And a cross of black pins 
    Check for it under the bed 

    The gentlemen come 
    They can’t stay away 
    Though the danger beckons 
    They follow its clarion call 

    Gentlemen should harbor 
    Some caution 
    Though they are tempted this way 
    Best to just stay away

  • 06:29 Lyrics
    Wynken, Blynken, And Nod

    Wynken, Blynken, and Nod 

    Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night 
    Sailed off in a wooden shoe — 
    Sailed on a river of crystal light, 
    Into a sea of dew. 
    "Where are you going, and what do you wish?" 
    The old moon asked the three. 
    "We have come to fish for the herring fish 
    That live in this beautiful sea; 
    Nets of silver and gold have we!" 
    Said Wynken, Blynken, and Nod. 

    Ghost children 
    Playing in the dark 
    Ghost children 
    Living worlds apart 

    The old moon laughed and sang a song, 
    As they rocked in the wooden shoe, 
    And the wind that sped them all night long 
    Ruffled the waves of dew. 
    The little stars were the herring fish 
    That lived in that beautiful sea — 
    "Now cast your nets wherever you wish — 
    Never afraid are we"; 
    So cried the stars to the fishermen three: 
    Wynken, Blynken, and Nod. 

    Ghost kisses 
    Catch them while you can 
    Ghost kisses 
    Never leave my hand 


    All night long their nets they threw 
    To the stars in the twinkling foam — 
    Then down from the skies came the wooden shoe, 
    Bringing the fishermen home; 
    'Twas all so pretty a sail it seemed 
    As if it could not be, 
    And some folks thought 'twas a dream they'd dreamed 
    Of sailing that beautiful sea — 
    But I shall name you the fishermen three: 
    Wynken, Blynken, and Nod. 

    Ghost wishes 
    One by one to make 
    Ghost wishes 
    Dreadful the mistake 

    Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes, 
    And Nod is a little head, 
    And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies 
    Is a wee one's trundle-bed. 
    So shut your eyes while mother sings 
    Of wonderful sights that be, 
    And you shall see the beautiful things 
    As you rock in the misty sea, 
    Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three: 
    Wynken, Blynken, and Nod. 

    Ghost children 
    Playing in the dark 
    Ghost children 
    Living worlds apart

  • 05:06 Lyrics
    Kraken

    Kraken by Tennyson 

    Below the thunders of the upper deep 
    Far, far beneath in the abysmal sea 
    His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep 
    The Kraken sleepeth: faintest sunlights flee 
    About his shadowy sides; above him swell 
    Huge sponges of millennial growth and height 
    And far away into the sickly light 
    From many a wondrous grot and secret cell 
    Unnumbered and enormous polypi 
    Winnow with giant arms the slumbering green 
    There hath he lain for ages, and will lie 
    Battening upon huge seaworms in his sleep 
    Until the latter fire shall heat the deep 
    Then once by man and angels to be seen 
    In roaring he shall rise and on the surface die.

     

  • 03:17 Lyrics
    Corvidae

    Corvidae, come after me 
    Corvidae, I shall not flee 

    One for sorrow 
    Two for joy 
    Three for a girl 
    Four for a boy 
    Five for silver 
    Six for gold 
    Seven for a secret never told 
    Eight for a wish 
    Nine for a kiss 
    Ten for a bird 
    You must not miss 

    One for sorrow 
    Two for mirth 
    Three for a funeral 
    Four for birth 
    Five for heaven 
    Six for hell 
    Seven for the devil, his own self

     

  • 04:31 Lyrics
    Silent Siren

    Silent Siren 

    IV. 
    Dissolving into sea foam 
    She floats among the waves 
    The storm rolls on, the sea grows calm 
    Her memory fades away 

    III. 
    The pain of slicing knives 
    Separates her flesh 
    The dance leads on, she hides her frown 
    Each step to please her prince 

    II. 
    To a witch she sells her voice 
    Her siren, clarion call 
    All for the love of an unknown man 
    And half his worthless soul 

    I. 
    Her first trip to the surface 
    She saves a drowning prince 
    He never knew of his protector 
    Never caught her name 

    There’s a moral to this tale 
    A lesson to be learned 
    Don’t trade your voice for anything 
    Own it, don’t silence your song

  • 05:08 Lyrics
    La Fée Verte


    I’m trapped in this bottle 
    Please set me free 
    Then I will be all yours 
    For this night 
    Your inspiration 
    Your darkling muse 
    Your Green Fairy 
    La Fée Verte 

    Drink, drink 
    With me tonight 
    Drink, drink 
    Deep with me tonight 
    Never has a poison 
    Tasted so sweet 
    Never has your nightmare 
    Spoken this way 

    La Fée Verte 
    They whisper my name 
    They long for my touch 
    Horrific visions I bring 

    La Fée Verte 
    One little sip 
    One little taste 
    Let me show you the way 

    La Fée Verte 
    The night comes alive 
    A swirling haze 
    Dancing with you 

    La Fée Verte 
    Do you long for your muse 
    Shall I visit you 
    Open your mind to my world

  • 06:32 Lyrics
    Peter the Wolf

    Peter the Wolf. 

    Once upon a time in Russia... 


    Peter awoke from the nightmare with the taste of blood still in his mouth. He could remember fleeting images: the silver moon hanging in the darkened sky, the pale light illuminating the forest with an unworldly glow, and thick summer air, hot and stifling around him. 


    Peter sat up, and the nightmare continued. As he looked around his cottage, he could remember the shrill sounds of screaming birds. Could birds scream? As his memories grew more vivid, Peter remembered them screaming. 


    He could remember drinking with his friend Utkin. Last night, he remembered a look of terror in his eyes, and his mouth contorting into another silent scream. Odd that he remembered Utkin’s screaming silently, but not the birds. 

    He idly tried to remember where Utkin went after he started screaming… 


    As he looked around the cottage, with debris and destruction littering the small room, he tried to banish the images of sheer terror returning to the edge of consciousness, like a recalled echo, telling himself that he and Utkin must have drank enough for their ancestors last night. 

    Peter got out of bed, and the nightmare continued. He remembered the tiger. 


    The great siberian tiger slunk out of the forests, and towards the cottage where Peter lived alone with his grandfather. Grandfather was a mighty hunter. Peter remembered not understanding why Grandfather didn’t lift his heavy rifle from above the mantle and come for the mighty cat as he had so many times before. 


    Peter noticed the rifle wasn’t above the mantle. Nor did he see grandfather in the ransacked cottage. Grandfather’s bed was unmade, his boots gone, his chair empty. 

    Peter remembered the heat of the tiger’s breath. Peter remembered the sharp claws going for his throat. Peter remembered swatting them away as playful as a kitten, laughing at the tiger’s frantic attacks and roars as if it were a game. 

    Peter remembered snapping the tiger’s spine, and wondering why the tiger was so delicate. 

    It was then Peter remembered the taste of blood in his mouth. He wondered how it got there. 


    He padded to the door of the cottage and opened the gate, shaking the rest of his sleep away from his eyes. In the light of dawn, he saw what was left of Grandfather and Utkin, their blood and bodies staining the grass, torn into shreds by the predator. 

    Peter found his friend and his Grandfather, and the nightmare went on and on and on…

  • 05:24 Lyrics
    Ouroboros

    Ouroboros 

    Darkness is beautiful
    When you can see the spark
    Of a tiny, little light
    Dancing through the shadows

    Darkness is terrible
    When the light seems far away
    Much too far away to reach
    Midnight is closing in

    Fear will choke down our resolve 
    Like a serpent maw grown wide 
    Her tail inching ever near 
    We’re consuming our own fears 

    Surrendering our days of bliss 
    Precious moments in the sun 
    One life, one chance to live 
    That’s all we ever have 

    “And by strange alchemy of brain 
    Our pleasures always turn to pain 
    Being young and dipped in folly 
    We fall in love with melancholy.” (E.A.Poe) 

    We are the snake 
    We are the serpent 
    We are eating our own tail 
    And the circle grows ever smaller 
    And the noose grows ever tighter 
    We are slowly choking on our own fear

NOTES
A Child's Bestiary: Nine tracks of macabre oddities from the imagination, an exploration of a grotesque menagerie, lurking under the guise of a child's innocent rhymes.

Enter the Bestiary with A Taxidermist's Toybox, a track inspired by surreal horror of the television show Hannibal. My Black Hen is a witches scene, our very own version of a Hexensabbat. Wynken Blynken and Nod are here, the beautiful lullaby taking on a tragic and ghostly interpretation, inspired …
Read more

The Ghosts of Christmas Past

by Valentine Wolfe

Released 2015
Released 2015
The Victorians had a tradition of gathering round to tell each other ghost stories and we've tried to capture that atmosphere using just voice and electric upright bass as our medium with which to commune with those Christmas spirits!
  • 03:22 Lyrics
    Dark Is the Even

    Dark is the even 
    Yet is the heaven 
    Lighted and glowing around us. 
    Shepherds arising 
    In wild surmising 
    Magic indeed hath found us! 

    Fair roses growing 
    Mid winter’s snowing 
    Who hath the vision beholden? 
    Yet, o’er the meadows 
    Through midnight’s shadows 
    See! How the sunlight is golden! 

    Over His dreaming 
    Radiance is streaming 
    Flooding the desolate manger 
    In Mary’s keeping 
    Soft He is sleeping 
    Held in her arms from danger 

    From God descended 
    Ragged, untended 
    Birds in the branches above them 
    Warmer are biding 
    Safe in their hiding 
    Clothed by the hands that love them 

    Melodies ringing 
    Angels are singing 
    Songs all around us are swelling 
    Sun of the morning 
    Tender thy dawning 
    Darkness and ill dispelling

     

  • 03:15 Lyrics
    Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence

    Let all mortal flesh keep silence, 
    And with fear and trembling stand; 
    Ponder nothing earthly minded, 
    For with blessing in His hand, 
    Christ our God to earth descendeth, 
    Our full homage to demand. 

    King of kings, yet born of Mary, 
    As of old on earth He stood, 
    Lord of lords, in human vesture, 
    In the body and the blood; 
    He will give to all the faithful 
    His own self for heavenly food. 

    Rank on rank the host of heaven 
    Spreads its vanguard on the way, 
    As the Light of light descendeth 
    From the realms of endless day, 
    That the powers of hell may vanish 
    As the darkness clears away. 

    At His feet the six winged seraph, 
    Cherubim with sleepless eye, 
    Veil their faces to the presence, 
    As with ceaseless voice they cry: 
    Alleluia, Alleluia 
    Alleluia, Lord Most High!

  • 03:57 Lyrics
    In the Bleak Midwinter

    In the bleak midwinter, Frosty wind made moan 
    Earth stood hard as iron, Water like a stone 
    Snow had fallen, Snow on snow, snow on snow 
    In the bleak midwinter, Long ago 

    Angels and archangels, May have gathered there 
    Cherubim and seraphim, Thronged the air 
    Only His mother, In her maiden bliss 
    Worshipped the beloved, With a kiss 

    What can I give him, Poor as I am 
    If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb 
    If I were a wise man, I would do my part 
    What can I give Him, Give my heart

     

  • 03:54 Lyrics
    I Wonder as I Wander

    I wonder as I wander out under the sky 
    How Jesus the Saviour did come for to die 
    For poor lonely people like you and like I 
    I wonder as I wander, out under the sky. 

    When Mary birthed Jesus twas in a cow’s stall 
    With wise men and farmers and shepherds and all 
    But high from the heavens a star’s light did fall 
    And the promise of ages it then did recall. 

    If Jesus had wanted for any wee thing 
    A star in the sky or a bird on the wing 
    Or all of God’s angels in heaven to sing 
    He surely could have it cause He was the King.

     

  • 03:00 Lyrics
    Wither's Rocking Hymn

    Sweet baby sleep, What ailes my dear? 
    What ailes my darling thus to cry? 
    Be still my childe, and lend thine ear 
    To hear me sing they lullaby 
    My pretty lambe, forbear to weep; 
    Be still my dear, sweet baby sleep! 

    Thou blessed soul, What canst thou fear? 
    What thing to thee can mischief do? 
    They God is now they Father dear, 
    His holy spouse thy mother too. 
    Sweet baby then, forbear to weep; 
    Be still my babe; sweet baby sleep!

     

  • 03:13 Lyrics
    Bethlehem Down

    When He is king, We will give him the king’s gifts 
    Myrrh for its sweetness and gold for a crown 
    Beautiful robes, said the young girl to Joseph 
    Fair with her firstborn on Bethlehem Down 

    Bethlehem Down is full of the star light 
    Winds for the spices, and stars for the gold 
    Mary for sleep, and for lullaby music 
    Songs of a shepherd by Bethlehem fold 

    When He is king they will clothe Him in graves sheets 
    Myrrh for embalming, and wood for a crown 
    He that lies now in the soft arms of Mary 
    Sleeping so lightly on Bethlehem Down 

    Here He has peace and a short while for dreaming 
    Close huddled oxen to keep him from cold 
    Mary for love, and for lullaby music 
    Songs of a shepherd by Bethlehem fold

     

  • 03:42 Lyrics
    Candlemas Eve Carol

    Down with the rosemary and bays 
    Down with the mistletoe 
    Instead of holly now up-raise 
    The greener box for show 

    Thus times and seasons oft do shift 
    Each thing his turn doth hold 
    New thoughts and things now do succeed 
    As former things grow old 

    The holly hitherto did sway 
    Let box now domineer 
    Until the dancing Easter day 
    Or Easter’s Eve appear 

    Then youthful box which now hath grace 
    Your houses to renew 
    Grown old, surrender must his place 
    Unto the crisped yew 

    When yew is out, the birch comes in 
    And many flowers beside 
    Both of a fresh and fragrant kin 
    To honor Whitsuntide 

    Green rushes then and sweetest bents 
    With cooler oaken boughs 
    Come in for comely ornaments 
    To re-adorn the house

  • 03:15 Lyrics
    Gaudete

    Gaudete! gaudete Christus est natus 
    Ex Maria Virgine: Gaudete! 

    Tempus adest gratiae, Hoc quod optabamus; 
    Carmina laticiae Devote redamus. 

    Deus homo factus est, Natura mirante; 
    Mundus renovatus est 
    A Christo regnante. 

    Ezechielis porta Clausa pertransitur; 
    Unde Lux est orta, Salus invenitur. 

    Ergo nostra concio Psallat jam in lustro; 
    Benedicat Domino: Salus Regi nostro.

     

  • 03:52 Lyrics
    The Coventry Carol

    Lully, lulla, thou little tiny child 
    By, by lully, lulla, thou little tiny child 
    By, by lully, lullay 

    O sisters too, How may we do 
    For to preserve this day, 
    This poor youngling 
    For whom we do sing, By, by lully, lullay 

    Herod the King, In his raging 
    Charged he hath this day 
    His men of might, In his own sight 
    All young children to slay 

    That woe is me, Poor child for thee 
    And ever mourn and sy 
    For this parting, Neither say nor Sing 
    By, by, lully, lullay

  • 03:10 Lyrics
    Morning Hush

    Morning hush 
    First a blush 
    Faintly telling 
    Day is welling 
    Down the glades 
    Flee the shades 
    Through the meadows 
    Speed the shadows 
    Yet in vain 
    For again 
    Come the even 
    All the heaven 
    Loses light 
    Turns to night 
    Fades from splendor 
    Pale and tender 

    Brighter light 
    Burns at night 
    What a wonder 
    Burst asunder 
    Night unmade 
    Where a maid 
    Bears a blossom 
    At her bosom 
    Holy morn 
    God is born 
    Heaven’s treasure 
    Without measure 
    Poured on earth 
    At His birth 
    Night for ever 
    Gone for ever 

    Here is news 
    None refuse 
    Crowns of gladness 
    Changed for sadness 
    Joy for shame 
    Since He came 
    No more sorrow 
    No tomorrow 
    All today 
    Sing and pray 
    Sing His praises 
    Ask His graces 
    All is bright 
    All is light 
    On the seven 
    Roads to Heaven

NOTES
“Marley was dead, to begin with.”

This is the opening to my favorite Christmas Story, Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol. When I was a child, the fact that it is a ghost story wasn’t immediately obvious to me. But I loved it. I had storybook and record of the tale, and I generally would listen to side one (the ones with all the scary bits in it) over and over instead of turning …
Read more

The Nightingale: A Gothic Fairytale

by Valentine Wolfe

Released 2015
Released 2015
This story is based loosely on The Emperor and the Nightingale by Hans Christian Andersen and is set in a Poison Garden. The soundscape of music features haunting, ethereal female vocals and virtuosic bass layers.
  • 04:13 Lyrics
    Black Feathers

    Black feathers teasing the edge of my mind 
    Black feathers wrapping my body in sin 
    Black feathers whispering secrets to me 
    Black feathers winging my soul to the night 

    Beautiful song bird 
    Come to me now 
    Wrap me in pleasure 
    Say you’ll be mine 

    Beautiful song bird 
    I just might hurt you 
    I just might take you 
    I need what is mine! 

    My Nightingale sings for me 
    Like no one else can 
    Her voice whispers just for me 
    Of pleasures just out of reach 

    Belladonna has opened my eyes 
    To a world I don’t want to leave 
    Whatever the price to stay here 
    I’ll gladly pay

     

  • 03:05 Lyrics
    Dark Desire

    Dark Desire 

    She is my everything 
    She is my sin 
    She is my fantasy 
    My dark desire 

    The voice of an angel 
    Floating all around me 
    Enraptures and captivates me 
    My wanton desires 

    I’ve never encountered 
    An enchantress quite like this 
    Her beauty surrounds me 
    I drown in her bliss 

    A fragrance consumes me 
    And sends my thoughts reeling 
    I’m drowning in passion 
    Unquenchable thirst 

    I must possess this creature 
    She will not escape me 
    I’ll terrify and subdue her 
    I’ll tenderly make love

  • 05:30 Lyrics
    The Place Where Evil Grows

    The Place Where Evil Grows 

    Have you ever felt out of place? 
    Have you ever ended up 
    In a world you know is off limits? 

    We reach for what lies just beyond 
    The edge of tainted fingertips 
    Yearn for the blackness which comes 
    Past the edge of shadows 

    Where nothing ever quite makes sense 
    And all surrounding me is wrong 
    I can’t believe it might be true 
    That I have finally found a home 

    So give me the bloodroot whose juice is red 
    I’ll drink it down and lose myself 
    I’ll partake of the monkshood and as I burn 
    All my doubts will drift away 

    If home is the place where evil grows 
    If home will tear your heart to pieces 
    When home wraps you tight in her poisonous blooms 
    Where else can I choose to be 

    In seeking something we are not 
    What type of madness will we find 
    And if the rot has settled in 
    What new creations then unlock 

    I twist the key and close my eyes 
    Afraid of what lies just beyond 
    But nothing good is ever cheap 
    Tonight I know I’ll pay the price

     

  • 04:05 Lyrics
    Inside My Nightmare

    Inside My Nightmare 

    Inside their Poison Garden 
    Strangers come and go 
    Inside my Nightmare 
    The iron bars the way 

    Inside their Poison Garden 
    Terror grips my limbs 
    Inside my Nightmare 
    The stench of death is rife 

    What happenstance 
    What twist of fate 
    Has brought me to this place 
    I'm drowning in their nectar 
    I'm crumbling neath the weight 

    Blooms around me beautiful 
    Deadly one and all 
    Fragrance so insidious 
    Snares a gentle soul 

    Inside their Poison Garden 
    Twisted lilies bloom 
    Inside my Nightmare 
    No petal must I touch 

    Inside their Poison Garden 
    Trapped the weary heart 
    Inside my Nightmare 
    Forever I am lost 

    Inside their Poison Garden 
    Toxic lover's kiss 
    Inside my Nightmare 
    Where touches are remiss 

    Inside their Poison Garden 
    Plant a little seed 
    Inside my Nightmare 
    Then we'll see what grows

  • 03:31 Lyrics
    Devil's Bane

    Devil’s Bane 

    Devil’s Bane, Devil’s Bane 
    Shrieks are ringing through the night 
    Devil’s Bane, Devil’s Bane 
    Lips like honey spew nothing but lies 

    Cause the Devil’s coming after me 
    She’s turned a deaf ear to my pleas 
    I seek asylum for this night 
    I will look to Devil’s Bane 

    Her stinging touch 
    Her icy stare 
    Within her breast 
    No love found there 

    Vervain, vervain, my Devil’s Bane 
    Vervain, vervain, my Devil’s Bane

  • 04:28 Lyrics
    Darkling, Listen

    Darkling, Listen 

    Darkling, listen 
    For many a time 
    I have been half in love with easeful death 

    My heart is aching, drowsy numbness pains 
    My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk 
    Or emptied some dull opiate to drain 
    One minute past and Lethe-wards had sunk 
    Darkling, listen 
    For I will fly to thee 

    Where youth grows pale and spectre thin and dies 
    Where but to think is to be full of sorrow 
    Where beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes 
    Or new love pine at them beyond tomorrow 
    Darkling, listen 
    For I will fly to thee 

    I cannot see what flowers are at my feet 
    Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs 
    You make me beg or crawl upon my knees 
    Just for a taste, a decadent perusal 
    Darkling, listen 
    For I will fly to thee

  • 03:43 Lyrics
    Twisted Melody

    Twisted Melody 

    Twisted melody 
    Work your magic over me 
    Twisted melody 
    Captivate the errant heart 

    Let me drink it in 
    I will rise again 
    From her ashes 
    Beauty for the night 

    Nothing in this world can stop me 
    There’s no price I wouldn’t pay 
    I will have it all 
    I will get my way 

    The Song will be mine 
    The night will bow to me 
    Such enthralling, captivating splendor all for me 

    Twisted melody 
    Work your magic over me 
    Twisted melody 
    Captivate the errant heart

  • 04:42 Lyrics
    Precious Moments

    Precious Moments 

    Precious moments 
    All I have 
    When the night is dark 
    Making music 
    For the night 
    Sadness from my heart 

    Fate has brought me to this place I never thought to be 
    I wrap my arms around myself to try to give me peace 
    But any feelings bubbling up from deep inside of me 
    Must explode so quietly that no one else can see 

    Precious moments 
    When my heart beats 
    To the rhythm 
    Of the darkest night 
    Precious moments 
    All alone now 
    No one sharing 
    My forlorn melody 

    I don’t want them knowing what this place has done to me 
    I won’t let them see how much their ways are killing me 
    I wasn’t meant to live this way and now the truth comes out 
    I’m thinking thoughts too dark to let the light back in my mind 

    The path of least resistance will not ever set me free 
    The power to take action is so deep inside of me 
    It’s time for me to let it loose and set that darkness free 
    To work its wicked magic on this twisted poisoned world

     

  • 03:51 Lyrics
    Moonlight Prayer

    Why me? 
    Why now? 
    The sweat is dripping off my brow... 
    Why this? 
    Why indeed? 
    No one will answer this for me! 

    Moonlight, now wash over me 
    Moonlight, you must comfort me 
    Let my earthly cares fade into nothingness this night 
    I will sing until my breath 
    leaves me at the last moment 
    I will cling to shadows till the end 

    So little time left to me 
    So many dreams left undreamed 
    So much pain is welling up 
    Inside my heart tonight 

    This treachery from within 
    Undoing all my hopes 
    Leaving me bereft 
    Leaving me to die 

    Thou wast not born for death 
    Immortal bird or waking dream 
    Fled is that music 
    Do I wake or sleep

     

  • 03:01 Lyrics
    Belladonna, Deadly Nightshade

    Six small berries 
    So innocent in size 
    And yet they can send me to my grave 
    Six little berries 
    And if I consume them 
    No euphoria will carry me away 

    Belladonna, Deadly Nightshade 
    Take me away 
    Belladonna, Deadly Nightshade 
    Please end my sorrow 

    Death has beckoned, and I must follow 
    Is my hand being forced in this strange world 
    Savior, killer (what a lovely taste) 
    Maybe my pain is neverending 

    They slip past my lips 
    Roll over my tongue 
    Now so deep inside me 
    What have I begun 
    A brand new beginning 
    An end to this night 
    Six little solutions 
    My pupils to dilate 

    Belladonna, Deadly Nightshade 
    Take me away 
    Belladonna, Deadly Nightshade 
    Please end my sorrow

     

  • 03:08 Lyrics
    You Could Never Have My Heart

    You Could Never Have My Heart 

    My last night has come too soon 
    So much work is left undone 
    So many songs I had yet to sing 
    And tales I longed to tell 

    But the light is quickly fading 
    My breath is leaving me 
    I have strength for one more curse 
    I’ll let my captors know 

    You could never have my heart 
    Never touch my soul 
    You never even came this close 
    To finding the real me 

    You can keep your poisoned lies 
    Your poisoned thieving hands 
    I’ve got a one way ticket 
    To leave your poisoned hell 

    A dark shadow welcomes me 
    Into his close embrace 
    He whispers just beside my ear 
    Tonight I will be safe 

    With this curse I’ll leave you wretched 
    Flailing useless after me 
    Hearing just a fragment now 
    But never my full song 

    If my shade can haunt this garden 
    If I leave something behind 
    As the saying goes 
    May you get what you desire

  • 05:02 Lyrics
    Ghost of Her Self

    Ghost of Her Self 

    What was lost will all come back 
    Changed yet so familiar 
    Differences all wiped away 
    Her song my heartsick mirror 

    Dancing lonely once again 
    Waiting breathless for her signal 
    Ghostly reveries now beckon 
    Of her sleep eternal 

    Whispers in shadows 
    Fragments of a ruined song 
    Whispers in shadows 
    Tendrils snake around my face 
    Filling all my senses 
    With memories of her 
    Ghost of Her Self

NOTES
Braxton Ballew and Sarah Black have been composing and performing music together as Valentine Wolfe since 2006. Their scores have been heard in productions of The Merchant of Venice, The Tempest (Warehouse Theater), The Winter’s Tale (Furman University), and Twelfth Night (The Distracted Globe). Both hold graduate degrees from the University of Georgia, where they studied electronic composition with Dr. Leonard V. Ball. In addition, Sarah completed her Masters degree in composition studying with Dr. …
Read more

Once Upon a Midnight

by Valentine Wolfe

Released 2013
Released 2013
In the mists of a past both forgotten and imagined, the life and work of Edgar Allan Poe is our guide though this world of forgotten and forbidden knowledge, echoes through time, and a simple yet horrible secret.
  • 04:05 Lyrics
    The Tell-Tale Heart

    The Tell Tale Heart 

    His vulture eye is watching me 
    And tempting me to sin 
    What man could resist such devil bliss 
    To give in to this mortal whim 

    Madness winds around my mind 
    Haunting me both day and night 
    When the night comes black as pitch 
    I’ll hear the groan of terror 

    That dull blue eye with the hideous veil 
    Chills the marrow in my bones 
    The hellish tattoo of his heart increases 
    Quicker, quicker every instant 

    His vulture eye is watching me 
    And tempting me to sin 
    What man could resist such devil bliss 
    To give in to this mortal whim 

    4 o’clock still dark as midnight 
    Who’s come knocking at my door 
    They want to check his chambers 
    My manner must convince them 

    At ease, at ease with the world 
    But for the ringing in my ear 
    I foamed- I raved- I swore (to cover) 
    That beating from under the floor 

    His vulture eye is watching me 
    And tempting me to sin 
    What man could resist such devil bliss 
    To give in to this mortal whim

  • 03:49 Lyrics
    Annabel Lee

    She was a child- I was a child 
    In that kingdom by the sea 
    How cruelly then she was taken from me 
    My beautiful Annabel Lee 

    When death came in to steal her from me 
    I tried to put up a fight 
    I was no match for that figure cloaked in black 
    And I lost my bride to the night 

    She was singing at her piano 
    Such a beautiful sight to me 
    But blood has now consumed our lives 
    It is dripping from the keys 

    Let me have under her own hand 
    A letter bidding me goodbye 
    I may die, my heart will break 
    But I will say no more

     

  • 04:08 Lyrics
    The Fall of the House of Usher

    The Fall of the House of Usher 

    it was a crack, it was a fissure 
    running down the facade 
    the vacant eye-like windows 
    reflecting agony inside 
    an unredeemed dreariness 
    of thought and sensation 
    the hideous dropping off of the veil 

    Not hear it? yes, I hear it! 
    Yes, I have heard it! 
    long, long many minutes hours and days 
    I dared not speak- I dared not 
    miserable wretch that I am 
    we have put her living in the tomb! 

    Madeline- 
    do I hear her footstep on the stair 
    Madeline- 
    do I hear the beating of her heart 
    Madeline, Madeline 
    O whither shall I fly? 

    blood red moon 
    show me the fissure 
    splitting the house of Usher in two 

    blood red moon 
    just enough light 
    to show the tarn swallow it whole

  • 04:17 Lyrics
    The Masque of the Red Death

    There are chords in the heart of the most reckless which cannot be touched without emotion. 

    Seven rooms full of color 
    Prisms of light fall on the revelers 
    Outside the corridor a brazier of fire 
    Projects its rays through the tinted glass 

    Gigantic clock made of ebony 
    Pendulum swings to and fro 
    When the hour is to be struck 
    The revelers stop in their paces 

    To and fro in the chambers 
    Stalked a multitude of dreams 
    And these dreams writhed about 
    Taking their hue from the rooms 

    There was much of the beautiful 
    Much of the wanton 
    Much of the bizarre 
    Something of the terrible 
    And not just a little of that which might have excited disgust 
    And not just a little of that which might have excited disgust 

    One last chamber, the black chamber 
    With panes of scarlet, a deep blood color 

    Spectral image tall and gaunt 
    Shrouded as the grave 
    Mask conceals a stiffened corpse 
    Vesture shrouded in blood 

    The Red Death had come 
    Like a thief in the night 
    And one by one the revellers dropped 
    And died in the posture of the fall 
    The ebony clock went out with the last 
    And the flames of the tripod expired 
    And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death 
    Held dominion over all

     

  • 03:37 Lyrics
    Morella

    Morella 


    hour after hour 
    would I linger by her side 
    and dwell upon the music of her voice 
    until at length its melody 
    was tainted with a terror 
    and a shadow right there fell upon my soul 

    I am dying, yet shall I live 
    Her whom in life thou didst abhor 
    In death thou shalt adore 

    I am dying, yet shall I live 
    Her whom in life thou didst abhor 
    In death thou shalt adore 

    Morella 
    Morella 

    as the years rolled away 
    I gazed upon her every day 
    then did I discover 
    new points of resemblance 
    in the child to her mother 
    the melancholy and the dead 

    I am dying, yet shall I live 
    Her whom in life thou didst abhor 
    In death thou shalt adore 

    I am dying, yet shall I live 
    Her whom in life thou didst abhor 
    In death thou shalt adore 

    Morella 
    Morella 
    Morella 

    I am dying, yet shall I live 
    Her whom in life thou didst abhor 
    In death thou shalt adore

  • 04:00 Lyrics
    The Lake


    In spring of youth it was my lot 
    To haunt of the wide world a spot 
    The which I could not love the less 
    So lovely was the loneliness 
    Of a wild lake, with black rock bound 
    And the tall pines that towered around 

    But when the night had thrown her pall 
    Upon that spot, as upon all 
    The mystic wind went by 
    Murmuring in melody, 
    Then- ah, then- I would awake 
    To the terror of the lone lake 

    Yet that terror was not fright 
    But a tremulous delight 
    A feeling not the jewelled mine 
    Could teach or bribe me to define 
    Nor Love, although the Love were thine 

    Death was in that poisonous wave, 
    And in its gulf a fitting grave 
    For him who thence could solace bring 
    To his lone imagining 
    Whose solitary soul could make 
    An Eden of that dim lake

  • 03:48 Lyrics
    Ligeia

    Ligeia 

    Ligeia! Ligeia! 
    My beautiful one 
    Whose harshest idea 
    Will to melody run 
    O! is it thy will 
    On the breezes to toss? 
    Or, capriciously still, 
    Like the lone albatross, 
    Incumbent on night 
    (As she on the air) 
    To keep watch with delight 
    On the harmony there? 

    Ligeia! wherever 
    Thy image may be 
    No image shall sever 
    Thy music from thee. 
    Thou hast bound many eyes 
    In a dreamy sleep 
    But the strains still arise 
    Which thy vigilance keep 
    The sound of the rain 
    Which leaps down to the flower 
    And dances again 
    In the rhythm of the shower 

    Go! breathe on their slumber 
    All softly in ear 
    The musical number 
    They slumbered to hear 
    For what can awaken 
    An angel so soon 
    Whose sleep hath been taken 
    Beneath the cold moon 
    As the spell which no slumber 
    Of witchery may test 
    The rhythmical number 
    Which lulled him to rest

  • 03:36 Lyrics
    The Oval Portrait

    The Oval Portrait 

    She was humble and obedient 
    Sat meekly for weeks 
    While the painter took glory in his work 
    Went on from day to day 

    She was a maiden of rarest beauty 
    All light and smiles and frolicsome 
    Loving and cherishing all things 
    Hating the art as her rival 

    He would not see the light which fell 
    So ghastly in that turret 
    Withered the health and spirit of his bride 
    Who pined to all but him 

    Vivid light presents a portrait 
    Flashing candles on the canvas 
    Dreamy stupor stealing over 
    Senses that recede from me 

    She was a maiden of rarest beauty 
    All light and smiles and frolicsome 
    Loving and cherishing all things 
    Hating the art as her rival 

    As the labor drew near its conclusion 
    The painter wild with ardor 
    He would not see the tints he used 
    Were drawn from her cheeks 

    And when but one stroke remained 
    And then the tint was placed 
    He stood entranced beside his work 
    His wife sat pallid and dead

  • 05:52 Lyrics
    The Bells

    The Bells 

    I. Hear the sledges with the bells 
    Silver bells! 
    What a world of merriment their melody foretells! 
    How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle, 
    In the icy air of night! 
    While the stars that oversprinkle 
    All the heavens seem to twinkle 
    With a crystalline delight; 
    Keeping time, time, time, 
    In a sort of Runic rhyme, 
    To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells 
    From the bells, bells, bells, bells, 
    Bells, bells, bells- 
    From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells. 

    II. Hear the mellow wedding bells 
    Golden bells! 
    What a world of happiness their harmony foretells! 
    Through the balmy air of night 
    How they ring out their delight! 
    From the molten golden notes, 
    And all in tune, 
    What a liquid ditty floats 
    To the turtle-dove that listens, while she gloats 
    On the moon! 
    Oh, from out the sounding cells, 
    What a gush of euphony voluminously wells! 
    How it swells! 
    How it dwells! 
    On the Future!- how it tells 
    Of the rapture that impels 
    To the swinging and the ringing 
    Of the bells, bells, bells- 
    Of the bells, bells, bells, bells 
    Bells, bells, bells- 
    To the rhyming and the chiming of the bells! 

    III. Hear the loud alarum bells 
    Brazen bells! 
    What a tale of terror now, their turbulency tells! 
    In the startled ear of night 
    How they scream out their affright! 
    Too much horrified to speak, 
    They can only shriek, shriek, 
    Out of tune, 
    In a clamorous appealing to the mercy of the fire, 
    In a mad expostulation with the deaf and frantic fire, 
    Leaping higher, higher, higher, 
    With a desperate desire, 
    And a resolute endeavor 
    Now- now to sit or never, 
    By the side of the pale-faced moon. 
    Oh the bells, bells, bells! 
    What a tale their terror tells 
    Of Despair! 
    How they clang, and clash, and roar! 
    What a horror they outpour 
    On the bosom of the palpitating air! 
    Yet the ear, it fully knows, 
    By the twanging, 
    And the clanging, 
    How the danger ebbs and flows; 
    Yet the ear distinctly tells, 
    In the jangling 
    And the wrangling, 
    How the danger sinks and swells, 
    By the sinking or the swelling in the anger of the bells- 
    Of the bells- 
    Of the bells, bells, bells, bells, 
    Bells, bells, bells- 
    In the clamor and the clangor of the bells! 

    IV. Hear the tolling of the bells 
    Iron bells! 
    What a world of solemn thought their monody compels! 
    In the silence of the night, 
    How we shiver with affright 
    At the melancholy menace of their tone! 
    For every sound that floats 
    From the rust within their throats 
    Is a groan. 
    And the people- ah, the people- 
    They that dwell up in the steeple, 
    All alone, 
    And who tolling, tolling, tolling, 
    In that muffled monotone, 
    Feel a glory in so rolling 
    On the human heart a stone- 
    They are neither man nor woman- 
    They are neither brute nor human- 
    They are Ghouls: 
    And their king it is who tolls: 
    And he rolls, rolls, rolls, 
    Rolls 
    A paean from the bells! 
    And his merry bosom swells 
    With the paean of the bells! 
    And he dances, and he yells; 
    Keeping time, time time, 
    In a sort of Runic rhyme, 
    To the paean of the bells- 
    Of the bells: 
    Keeping time, time, time, 
    In a sort of Runic rhyme, 
    To the throbbing of the bells- 
    Of the bells, bells, bells- 
    To the sobbing of the bells; 
    Keeping time, time, time, 
    As he knells, knells, knells, 
    In a happy Runic rhyme, 
    To the rolling of the bells- 
    Of the bells, bells, bells: 
    To the tolling of the bells- 
    Of the bells, bells, bells, bells, 
    Bells, bells, bells, 
    To the moaning and the groaning of the bells.

  • 05:19 Lyrics
    Spirits of the Dead

    I. Thy soul shall find itself alone 
    Mid dark thoughts of the gray tombstone 
    Not one, of all the crowd, to pry 
    Into thine hour of secrecy. 

    II. Be silent in that solitude 
    Which is not loneliness- for then 
    The spirits of the dead who stood 
    In life before thee are again 
    In death around thee- and their will 
    Shall overshadow thee: be still. 

    III. The night, tho’ clear, shall frown 
    And the stars shall not look down 
    From their high thrones in the heaven 
    With light like Hope to mortals given 
    But their red orbs, without beam 
    To thy weariness shall seem 
    As a burning and a fever 
    Which would cling to thee for ever. 

    IV. Now are thoughts thou shalt not banish 
    Now are visions ne’er to vanish 
    From thy spirit shall they pass 
    No more- like dew drop from the grass. 

    V. The breeze- the breath of God is still 
    And the mist upon the hill 
    Shadowy- shadowy- yet unbroken 
    A symbol and a token 
    How it hangs upon the trees 
    A mystery of mysteries!

     

  • 02:30 Lyrics
    The Assignation

    The Assignation 

    Thou wast all that to me, love 
    For which my soul did pine 
    A green isle in the sea, love 
    A fountain and a shrine 
    All wreathed with fairy fruits and flowers 
    And all the flowers were mine 

    Ah, dream too bright to last 
    Ah, starry hope, that didst arise 
    But to be overcast! 
    A voice from out the Future cries, 
    “Onward” o’er the past 
    (Dim gulf!) my spirit hovering lies 
    Mute- motionless- aghast! 

    For alas! alas! with me 
    The light of life is over 
    “No more- no more- no more.” 
    (Such language holds the solemn sea 
    To sands upon the shore) 
    Shall bloom the thunder-blasted tree 
    Or stricken eagle soar! 

    Now all my hours are trances 
    And all my nightly dreams 
    Are where thy dark eye glances 
    And where thy footstep gleams 
    In what ethereal dances 
    By what Italian streams 

    Alas! for that accursed time 
    They bore thee over the billow 
    From Love to titled age and crime 
    And an unholy pillow! 
    From me, and from our misty clime 
    Where weeps the silver willow!

NOTES
A multimedia creation from Victorian Chamber Metal duo Valentine Wolfe, Once Upon a Midnight features all new music for voice, double bass, and electronics, along with original artwork and an original narrative, all based on the life and works of Edgar Allan Poe. The story is a re-imagining of Poe's work, and re-interprets his imaginative fiction as if it were an actual account of his day-to-day reality. A companion graphic novel is also available!

Musick Most Dark

by Valentine Wolfe

Released 2012
Released 2012
13 tales from the steampunk macabre, featuring sultry soprano vocals and solo electric upright bass (there are no guitars in our music). Add in a dash of electronica and love of heavy metal, and you have a potent musical concoction!
  • 04:13 Lyrics
    Gaslight Fantasia

    Gaslight Fantasia 
    There’s a secret door - hidden in my parlour 
    There’s another world - hidden in the dark 
    There’s a gaslit street - waiting just outside 
    There’s a darkened path - lurking in plain sight 
    Bottom of an alleyway 
    Where the dead come out to play 
    I’m the whisper in the darkness 
    The shadows that embrace you 
    The dusk that will complete you 
    And call you home 
    To a life that you’ve been missing 
    A glimpse of the forbidden 
    Lost amongst the mournful 
    Yet now you’re home 
    Let’s distinguish wicked from the uncouth 
    Yes, I know a secret - ritual to observe 
    Bottom of an alleyway 
    Where the dead come out to play 
    I’m the whisper in the darkness 
    The shadows that embrace you 
    The dusk that will complete you 
    And call you home 
    To a life that you’ve been missing 
    A glimpse of the forbidden 
    Lost amongst the mournful 
    Yet now you’re home 

    yalpottuoemocdaedehterehw yawyellanafomottob 

    I’m the whisper in the darkness 
    The shadows that embrace you 
    The dusk that will complete you 
    And call you home 
    To a life that you’ve been missing 
    A glimpse of the forbidden 

    yalpottuoemocdaedehterehw yawyellanafomottob

  • 04:26 Lyrics
    You're Not an Angel

    You’re Not an Angel 
    I know you’re not an angel 
    Cause your wings are drenched in blood 
    But I also know I haven’t seen 
    Where your darkness really lives 
    Show me what is means to feel 
    The bitter anguish mixed with pain 
    A decadence I cannot find 
    I’m lost inside of my own mind 
    I know you’ve got a secret 
    Something that’s for sale 
    Services are rendered 
    When payment is in full 
    But that’s not the secret I’m referring to 
    I want something exotic 
    What you try to hide 
    I know you’re not an angel 
    Cause your wings are drenched in blood 
    But I also know I haven’t seen 
    Where your darkness really lives 
    Show me what is means to feel 
    The bitter anguish mixed with pain 
    A decadence I cannot find 
    I’m lost inside of my own mind 
    I heard a little rumor 
    You’re keeping something back I want to get inside 
    The filthy part of you 
    I want to rip aside 
    The shroud of propriety 
    I want to dwell in darkness 
    Find out what makes it yours 
    I know you’re not an angel 
    Cause your wings are drenched in blood 
    But I also know I haven’t seen 
    Where your darkness really lives 
    Show me what is means to feel 
    The bitter anguish mixed with pain 
    A decadence I cannot find 
    I’m lost inside of my own mind

  • 05:51 Lyrics
    A Thousand Little Deaths

    A Thousand LIttle Deaths 
    I gave you everything I had 
    Now it's too late to take it back 
    You said you loved me oh so much 
    And never would you hurt me 
    How I clung to that lie 
    I die a little bit each night 
    You're killing me slowly 
    Just like a poison 
    Your venom leaks through me 
    I die a thousand little deaths 
    But all that pleasure can't change the truth 
    Your love is killing me 
    Your love is killing me 
    How long does it take to die 
    Of a broken heart 
    I have been slipping away for years 
    A pinprick here, pinprick there 
    The color leaches from my life 
    I die a little bit each night

  • 04:55 Lyrics
    Obsessions in C Minor

    The echo of an angel 
    Who’s weeping tears of desire 
    Illusion casts my dying shadow 
    I simply must possess you 
    I simply must posses you 
    No law can keep me from you 
    I will hunt you, I will find you 
    I will take you for my own 
    An echo of a memory 
    And a world that shuns my shape 
    There’s no place on earth for my bones 
    There’s no room in heaven for my music 
    Last kiss goodnight 
    She is my elegant decay 
    I am older than your sun 
    I am older than the stars 
    Essence of my soul lives on in everyone 
    I am older than your sun 
    I am older than the stars 
    Essence of my soul lives on in everyone 
    The echo of her beauty 
    It’s long since passed away 
    Pearls encircle alabaster neck 
    And a velvet pall is her death mask 
    A creature singing in a lonely chapel 
    Performing a serenade no one will hear 
    I am older than your sun 
    I am older than the stars 
    Essence of my soul lives on in everyone 
    I am older than your sun 
    I am older than the stars 
    Essence of my soul lives on in everyone 
    The echo of an angel 
    Who’s weeping tears of desire 
    Illusion casts my dying shadow 
    I simply must possess you 
    I am older than your sun 
    I am older than the stars 
    Essence of my soul lives on in everyone 
    I am older than your sun 
    I am older than the stars 
    Essence of my soul lives on in everyone 
    The dying sound of the sigh of strings 
    My obsession, my lust 
    Fill this deserted menagerie 
    I simply must possess you

     

  • 03:49 Lyrics
    Her Ladyship's Remedy

    Her Ladyship’s Remedy 
    “Jealousy pricks at my heart like a knife. Your face is all I see. My heart stops at the thought of what you choose over me.” 
    1. One drop for dexterity 
    2. Two drops for purity 
    3. Three will bring the sleeping death 
    4. Four brings out the crimson rain 
    -eye of newt 
    -toe of frog 
    -howlet’s wing (colors swimming in the air) -adder’s fork 
    -blindworm’s sting (I start to hallucinate) 
    “Poison is the leveler, the judge who sits upon the court of infidelity and rage passing sentence on us all.” 
    Give it to a man who doesn’t understand how to please a lover, how not to break a heart. If he’s out of line, watch him drink it down. 
    IT WORKS JUST LIKE A CHARM! 
    Ladies often have different sets of needs. What may work for one is disaster for her friend differing amounts 
    different results 
    The Charm’s full Potency!

  • 03:42 Lyrics
    The Darkest Night of Winter

    The Darkest Night of Winter 
    Waiting for the moon to hit the sky 
    Then will be the time for you and I 
    To dance until our hearts explode 
    We will take the less traveled road 
    It’s the darkest night of winter 
    Waiting for the moon to hit the sky 
    Then will be the time for you and I 
    To dance until our hearts explode 
    We will take the less traveled road 
    Snow will help to muffle my footsteps 
    As I hurry now to the grove 
    I don’t want to miss my lover 
    We will meet out under the stars 
    it’s the darkest night of winter 
    Snow will help to muffle my footsteps 
    As I hurry now to the grove 
    I don’t want to miss my lover 
    We will meet out under the stars 
    My lover comes to me wrapped in a pelt 
    An arctic winter fur to keep us warm 
    The things we then will do on sacred ground 
    A blessing sought and never to be found 
    Our hands will seek the place of inception 
    Our lips continue work thus begun 
    The night after all holds many hours 
    To succor strangers rekindling pleasure 
    It’s the darkest night of winter 
    Our hands will seek the place of inception 
    Our lips continue work thus begun 
    The night after all holds many hours 
    To succor strangers rekindling pleasure

  • 03:28 Lyrics
    A Rose for Remembrance

    place it gently now 
    upon her still form 
    a rose for remembrance 
    a life now is gone 
    untold possibilities 
    waiting to discover 
    now lie unanswered 
    and fading away 
    no more her lips 
    will taste of this pleasure 
    time has bereft her 
    of lasting forever 
    a bleak disappointment 
    tired nonaction 
    stillness embodied 
    no longer my lover

     

  • 04:07 Lyrics
    Whisper My Name

    Whisper my Name 
    The dark shadows need hold no fear for you 
    A hushed whisper doesn’t need to send chills 
    Down the spine of such a pretty young thing 
    I’ll keep you safe 
    I’ll take you under my wing 
    Come with me 
    Let’s step over the Edge of Unreason 
    Whisper my name 
    So quietly in fear 
    Unreason takes over 
    But you know I am near 
    I know that you hide in terror 
    From the things that take away your smile 
    I’ve watched the light leave your eyes 
    I have seen all they do to you 
    I’m here now to tell you this 
    Not while I have breath in my body 
    Not while my eyes can still see tears 
    Never again will I allow them hurt you 
    Whisper my name 
    So quietly in fear 
    Unreason takes over 
    But you know I am near 
    Two hearts burning up as one 
    Never more to be alone 
    I look into her blazing eyes 
    And see my future written there 
    Whisper my name 
    So quietly in fear 
    Unreason takes over 
    But you know I am near

  • 04:50 Lyrics
    Black, Black Kisses

    If you want to be a heart breaker 
    Then baby, you’re safe with me 
    Cause I don’t have a heart to speak of 
    Just an empty black, black hole 
    If you want to play some rough, rough games 
    If you want to go for broke 
    I think I can help you out 
    I’ll go along for the ride 
    Black, black kisses 
    From your head down to your toes 
    They don’t mean a thing 
    Why would you ask for more? 
    I know I won’t feel a thing 
    When I see your pretty tear-stained face 
    Not even a touch of guilt 
    When I see your bruised and reddened flesh 
    Cause in the end we’re both alone 
    In matters of love 
    You want eternal and exquisite 
    Well, I can give you one 
    Black, black kisses 
    From your head down to your toes 
    They don’t mean a thing 
    Why would you ask for more? 
    Some pains don’t fade away 
    They leave a mark, a burn so deep 
    I wonder if I’ll ever feel the way I did before 
    Some wounds leave a lasting scar 
    I’m slipping into the dark 
    I’m losing all those bits of me 
    I don’t know if I can wake up from this dream 
    Black, black kisses 
    From your head down to your toes 
    They don’t mean a thing 
    Why would you ask for more?

     

  • 05:07 Lyrics
    La Cantarella

    La Cantarella 
    Something in the way she stares 
    Across the room at me 
    A sweet and gentle sister’s kiss 
    Can bring me to my knees 


    Bella mia, mio dono 
    Mia saggezza, mia creatura 
    E nelle vostre mani, sono stato 
    Sempre un arma 

    You’ve got a special something I need to exploit 
    You make my breath catch in the back of my throat 
    You are like the moon reflecting light across the night 
    I want to catch a little bit 
    I want to make you mine 
    A steady hand to pour the wine 
    Belies intent inside 
    A crafty mind so cleverly 
    Planning her widow’s weeds 
    You’ve got a special something I need to exploit 
    You make my breath catch in the back of my throat 
    You are like the moon reflecting light across the night 
    I want to catch a little bit 
    I want to make you mine 

    Bella mia, mio dono 
    Mia saggezza, mia creatura 
    E nelle vostre mani, sono stato 
    Sempre un arma

  • 04:22 Lyrics
    Lucy

    Lucy 
    The lights of London are in the wrong direction 
    A trick of the moonlight 
    Gliding across the graves, my mouth is hungry for you 
    Can you keep a secret? 
    It’s my beginning 
    The bed was empty 
    The tomb was empty 
    I’m counting on your discretion 
    Lying alone, my lips are red 
    Do you suppose I’m beautiful? 
    A wanton smile, redder than before 
    In the brilliant moonlight 
    Silver sound, ruby on pearl 
    Languorous ecstasy 
    Now I live alone in my churchyard 
    Do you suppose my sweetness turned to heartless cruelty? 
    The bed was empty 
    The tomb was empty 
    I’m counting on your discretion 
    Lying alone, my lips are red 
    Do you suppose I’m beautiful? 
    A wanton smile, redder than before 
    The bed was empty 
    The tomb was empty 
    I’m counting on your discretion 
    Lying alone, my lips are red 
    Do you suppose I’m beautiful? 
    A wanton smile, redder than before 
    “She’ll makes a very beautiful corpse, sir. It’s quite a privilege to attend on her. It’s not too much to say that she will do credit to our establishment!”

  • 04:48 Lyrics
    Reliquary of Thorns

    Reliquary of Thorns 
    There was a princess asleep in a castle 
    She was surrounded by a wall of thorns 
    The apples were monitored 
    The paradise was under siege 
    Now the thorns fall down around me 
    I can’t stop this forest of splinters 
    I can’t take the pain of these thorns 
    Stabbing deep into my heart 
    This princess doesn’t want a savior 
    Her apple is rotten to the core 
    Give me a thorn 
    I know how to use it 
    Her ladyship is a maiden no more 
    Now the thorns fall down around me 
    I can’t stop this forest of splinters 
    I can’t take the pain of these thorns 
    Stabbing deep into my heart 
    This princess doesn’t want a savior 
    Her apple is rotten to the core 
    Give me a thorn 
    I know how to use it 
    Her ladyship is a maiden no more 
    There was a princess asleep in a castle 
    She was surrounded by a wall of thorns 
    The apples were monitored 
    The paradise was under siege

  • 04:11 Lyrics
    Disarticulation

    Disarticulation 
    I’ve got bones in my skirt 
    An extra head in my bonnet 
    Mustn’t meet the constable 
    Some men just don’t understand 
    My husband brings home the cash 
    It’s never quite big enough 
    A girl’s got to find some honest means 
    To keep herself in luxury 

    Disarticulation: It’s a gentlemen’s occupation 
    No women need apply for we know you’ll only cry 
    Watching our frightful vivisection 

    I gently pry open the crypt 
    With the lantern, I peer inside 
    I’m here for the dearly departed 
    Fresh ones fetch the most coin 
    There’s a tidy sum to be had 
    If you don’t mind the grave 
    No one suspects a lady 
    Some men just don’t understand 

    Disarticulation: It’s a gentlemen’s occupation 
    No women need apply for we know you’ll only cry 
    Watching our frightful vivisection 

    Now, I would like to take a moment if I may, to address these most dreadful accusations and assaults on my character and indeed, my philanthropy. You see, I provide a valuable service to all the young medical students out there! They need all the help they can get to get ahead: good thing I’ve got a few to spare. A helping hand or two or three or six is really all they need to get a leg up in their studies. And they find the freshest selections in my hearse....er..wagon! my wagon! My prices are always a cut above the rest! 

    My friends say I look tired 
    I’ve mud on my boots and my skirt 
    I find I’m quite enjoying my nights 
    Cavorting among the dead 
    Don’t know why he wants bodies 
    I keep all the jewels I find 
    He’s up to no good with those corpses 
    Some men I just don’t understand

NOTES
Ever find yourself yearning to hear some Victorian Chamber Metal? No? Ever find yourself wondering what Victorian Chamber Metal is? Yeah? Your search is over! We present Valentine Wolfe: Purveyors, Performers, and Composers of the finest Macabre Melodies for Voice, Double Bass, and Electronics. Proudly Providing Elegant Decadence for all: Living, Dead, and Otherwise.

Goth? Oh yes. Steampunk? Oh, DEFINITELY yes, despite a lack of brown clothing. Reviews containing the phrase "milkshake of the macabre"? …
Read more

The Crimson Masquerade

by Valentine Wolfe

Released 2010
Released 2010
Nine macabre songs forming a song cycle about Vampires featuring sultry and operatic female vocals, electronically manipulated solo double bass, Gothic atmospheres and EBM/Industrial dance beats.
NOTES
Lady Sarah Black always knew her destiny was to become more than this vale of tears offered: she was to be the sultry singing siren of the most Gothic and grievously macabre performing ensemble and to compose musical masterpieces about the detestable, deviant, and disturbing (and dare one say, delectable) deeds of the wicked and undead.

With her destiny clear, the Lady Black set about becoming the accomplished composer and chanteuse we have all come …
Read more

Our Email List...won't you join us?

Upcoming Manifestations

  • Sep 29
    Monsterama,  Alpharetta
     
  • Oct 5
    Hughes Main Library,  Greenville
     
  • Oct 19
    Greenville Hughes Main Library,  Greenville
     

Other web presences

YouTube -- https://www.youtube.com/user/TheValentineWolfe Twitter -- https://twitter.com/Valentine_Wolfe Instagram -- http://instagram.com/officialvalentinewolfe/ Facebook -- https://www.facebook.com/valentine.wolfe CD Baby -- https://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ValentineWolfe

Join us on Spotify