Winternight Whisperings

by Valentine Wolfe

Released 2018
Released 2018
"Marley was dead, to begin with..."
So opens one of the most famous ghost stories of all time.
In the bleak midwinter, Victorians liked nothing more during the holiday season than to light a candle and tell ghost stories.
  • 03:58 Lyrics Hanover Winter Song

    For the wolf-wind is wailing at the doorways, 
    And the snow drifts deep along the road, 
    And the ice gnomes are marching from their Norways, 
    And the great white cold walks abroad. 

    But, here by the fire, we defy frost and storm; 
    Ha, ha we are warm, and we have our heart's desire. 
    For here, we're good fellows, and the beechwood and the bellows; 
    And the cup is at the lip in the pledge of fellowship. 
    Oh, here by the fire, we defy frost and storm; 
    Ha, ha, we are warm, and we have our heart's desire. 
    For here we're good fellows, and the beechwood and the bellows. 
    And the cup is at the lip in the pledge of fellowship, 
    And the cup is at the lip in the pledge of fellowship. 

    For the fire goblins flicker on the ceiling, 
    And the wine witch glitters in the glass, 
    And the smoke wraiths are drifting, curling, reeling, 
    And the sleigh bells jingle as they pass. 

    For the room has a spirit in the embers, 
    Tis a God and our fathers knew his name, 
    And they worship'd in long-forgot Decembers, 
    And their hearts leap'd high with the flame.

  • 02:56 Lyrics A Christmas Carol

    Before the shining rays of dawn 
    Intrude upon my reverie 
    Let me dwell within the dark 
    With my ghosts of Christmas past 

    I will rise to greet the morn 
    Convene with merriment and mirth 
    Join in fellowship with all 
    But for now I must reflect 

    On shadowed faces barely seen 
    Deserving of a memory 
    Reminders of what might have been 
    Of things perhaps to come 

    Solemn is this final hour 
    So many shadows creeping in 
    This moment sadly will not last 
    But I must revel in it 

    Each story that cries out to me 
    Each sad song that I hear 
    Leaves a lasting gentle touch 
    When I open and draw near

  • 03:08 Lyrics Let All That Are to Mirth Inclined

    Let all that are to mirth inclin'd, 
    Consider well, and bear in mind, 
    What our good God for us has done, 
    In sending his beloved Son. 

    Let all your songs and praises be 
    Unto His Heavenly Majesty; 
    And evermore; amongst our mirth 
    Remember Christ our Saviour's birth 

    The twenty-fifty day of December 
    We have good cause for to remember: 
    In Bethlehem upon that morn, 
    There was the bless'd Messiah born.

  • 02:18 Lyrics Why Do Bells for Christmas Ring

    Why do bells for Christmas ring? 
    Why do little children sing? 
    Once a lovely, shining star, 
    Seen by shepherds from afar, 
    Gently moved until its light 
    Made a manger-cradle bright. 
    There a darling baby lay 
    Pillowed soft upon the hay. 
    And his mother sang and smiled, 
    “This is Christ, the holy child." 
    So the bells for Christmas ring, 
    So the little children sing.

  • 03:59 Lyrics We Three Kings

    We three kings of Orient are 
    Bearing gifts, we traverse afar. 
    Field and fountain, moor and mountain, 
    Following yonder star. 

    O Star of Wonder, Star of Night, 
    Star with Royal Beauty bright, 
    Westward leading, Still proceeding, 
    Guide us to Thy perfect Light. 

    Born a King on Bethlehem plain, 
    Gold I bring to crown Him again, 
    King forever, ceasing never 
    Over us all to reign. 

    Frankincense to offer have I; 
    Incense owns a Deity nigh: 
    Prayer and praising, all men raising, 
    Worship Him God on high. 

    Myrrh is mine; its bitter perfume; 
    Breathes a life of gathering gloom: 
    Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying, 
    Sealed in the stone-cold tomb.

  • 03:28 Lyrics Veni, Veni, Emmanuel

    O come, O come, Emmanuel 
    And ransom captive Israel 
    That mourns in lonely exile here 
    Until the Son of God appear 
    Gaude! Gaude! Emmanuel 
    Nascetur pro te, Israel 

    O come, thou branch of Jesse! Draw 
    The quarry from the lion’s claw 
    From the dread caverns of the grave 
    From nether hell, thy people save 
    Gaude! Gaude! Emmanuel 
    Nascetur pro te, Israel 

    O come, O come, thou Dayspring bright 
    Pour on our souls thy healing light 
    Dispel the long night’s lingering gloom 
    And pierce the shadows of the tomb 
    Gaude! Gaude! Emmanuel 
    Nascetur pro te, Israel

  • 03:05 Lyrics The Bellman's Song

    The moon shone bright and the stars gave a light, 
    A little before the day; 
    Our Lord, our God, looked down on us, 
    And bade us awake and pray. 

    Awake, awake, good people all, 
    Awake and you shall hear 
    Our Lord, our God, died on the cross 
    For us whom he loved so dear. 

    O fair, O fair Jerusalem, 
    When shall I come to thee? 
    When shall my sorrows have an end, 
    Thy joy that I may see? 

    The fields were green as green could be, 
    When from his glorious seat 
    Our Lord, our God, he watered us 
    With his heavenly dew so sweet. 

    And for the saving of our souls 
    Christ died upon the cross. 
    We ne'er shall do for Jesus Christ 
    As he hath done for us. 

    The life of man is but a span, 
    And cut down in its flower: 
    We are here today, tomorrow are gone, 
    The creatures of an hour.

  • 02:50 Silent Night
  • 03:44 Lyrics The Bloody Bonnet at Blue Hole

    The Bloody Bonnet at Blue Hole 

    Back before the Civil War in what they called the antebellum days, up near a little Georgia town called Varnell, there was a main road that ran, called the Federal road that ran from Ringgold, Ga to Varnell and points beyond. And one Christmas Eve, some folks say around 1833 or so, a stagecoach driver was making a midnight run from Ringgold coming back to Varnell. It was late. It was stormy. He was cold and so were his passengers. He was working the six horses out front pretty good. About halfway to Varnell, the horses stopped in the middle of the road. No good reason. Couldn’t tell a thing that was going on. He thought is was a bear. Looked up, horses would not move, nothing moving in the underbrush. He laid on the whip. Gave it to them for all they were worth. And, you know what happened? The horses would not move for love or money. Until finally, after he laid a couple open, they moved forward into a brand new sinkhole that had just opened up in the road called the Blue Hole. About 75 foot wide and deep enough that when the stage went in; stage, driver, passengers, and horses, and all, none of them has been recovered to this day. 

    But, kind of a funny story, now the paved road, which I believe was called US 41, bypasses the Blue Hole but it’s still there, all 175 years later. But if you go up that way on a hike or out deer hunting or something, you may see a headless figure looking mournfully into the Blue Hole because supposedly the horses got so irate at the application of the whip that they kicked him. And one of them kicked his head clean off. And he comes back and marvels over his act of folly trying to get those horses to move. 

    Now I say the passengers and the coach and the horses vanished without a trace but that’s not exactly true. Some folks say that a bloody bonnet and a broken horse whip were found on the bank of the Blue Hole. but if you go up that way now, reports are you’ll hear the crack of a horse whip. You may well feel the rush of the carriage as it goes past trying to keep that Christmas Eve appointment. But the most likely thing you’ll see is that poor gentlemen staring into the Blue Hole wondering where his life went so terribly wrong.

  • 02:56 Lyrics Wexford Carol

    Good people all, this Christmas time, 
    Consider well and bear in mind 
    What our good God for us has done 
    In sending his beloved Son. 
    With Mary holy we should pray 
    To God with love this Christmas day; 
    In Bethlehem upon that morn 
    There was a blessed Messiah born. 

    There were three wise men from afar 
    Directed by a glorious star, 
    And on they wandered night and day 
    Until they came where Jesus lay. 
    And when they came unto that place 
    Where our beloved Messiah was, 
    They humbly cast them at his feet, 

  • 04:05 Lyrics Winternight Whisperings

    Darkness without, darkness within 
    I can’t escape these feelings 
    So I walk these moonless paths 
    Winternight whisperings forevermore 

    Chills can creep and burrow deep 
    None can quench the fires within 
    I will journey ever on 
    Winternight whisperings forevermore 

    Winternight whisperings 
    Darkness without, darkness within 
    Winternight whisperings 
    Cloaked in shadows of the night 

    Past that hill, over the mountain 
    Though the frosty winds make moan 
    Though the icicles threaten madness 
    Winternight whisperings forevermore 

    With every step I have to take 
    I feel the gaping loss of you 
    Every footstep I can’t see 
    Pristine snow cannot lie, tells me you are gone 

    Some might choose to find new love 
    Some might choose to forge ahead 
    But I love the darkness now 
    Winternight whisperings forevermore 

    You may choose to greet the dawn 
    You may hope to find new love 
    I will never be alone 
    Winternight whisperings forevermore

Valentine Wolfe has always had two distinct elements to our musical style: heavy metal and, perhaps less apparent, dark ambient soundscapes. Dark Ambient Soundscapes are instrumental/wordless compositions that place emphasis on tone, atmosphere, or creating the sensation of dark acoustic environments (abandoned buildings, mausoleums, underground caverns).
Winternight Whisperings is an album that revives the Victorian tradition of telling ghost stories on Christmas.

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