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

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. Adrian P. Childs. She currently studies voice with Lisa Barksdale from Furman University. Braxton holds a DMA in Double Bass Performance and has studied with Milton Masciadri, Albert Laszlo, and James Barket. He is the Education Director of the Greenville Symphony Orchestra and a member of the double bass section.

Their gothic metal music is heavily inspired by all things Victorian, including TV shows like Penny Dreadful and of course literature and poetry from that time period. The lyrics to Darkling, Listen off of The Nightingale are taken almost directly from Ode to a Nightingale by John Keats. The story of The nightingale is based loosely on The Emperor and the Nightingale by Hans Christian Andersen. They have chosen to set their version of this old story in a Poison Garden which they modeled on the Alnwick Poison Garden.

Braxton plays an electric upright bass for their gothic metal projects and it is similar to the bass he uses for his orchestral performances but with one big difference. His electric upright bass has a high C string that allows him to sound like a cello or even a violin in some instances. He loves to push the boundaries of traditional bass playing and create new worlds and soundscapes with his instrument. All of the layers that sound like a guitar or cello or bass are performed with his electric upright. He runs his sound through a Blackstar amp at this time and uses a Boss RC300 looper pedal.

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