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Penelope

Words and Music © 2002 by Karen I. Olsen

Penelope is the wife of the warrior hero Ulysses, according to Homer's Odyssey; and she is known primarily for having waited for years for her husband to return from his bloody and bizarre adventures. In this version, she embarks on an odyssey of her own, with a lot of metaphors of traveling and seeking a loved one, without having any idea of where exactly to find him.

This song was written in the spring of 2002 for a favorite fellow Seattle-area musician who was out of the country for an extended period.

Listen to this song on my SoundCloud page!

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I hear the news of you, who stole my heart,
The lad I care for, long lost at sea;
Now youíve been sighted on the streets by daylight,
Just lately landed from your odyssey.
Ah, but I know not just where to find ye.

Now, Iíve waited long, and Iíve sought you longer,
With sad expression, hollow-eyed and poor.
Iím often heard keening at the cross-streets;
In a thousand guises, seen at every door,
Ah, for I know not just where to find ye.

So Iíll go and commandeer a three-master,
With twelve young sea-witches for my crew.
Weíll scavenge news of where youíre at or going,
And at every port, weíll all cry out for you.
For alas, I know not where to find ye.

A thousand hawks Iíve called to guard your pathway
Through desert storms and blue glacial flow;
And when you trek at hours too dark for climbing,
At every bend youíll see my candles glow.
Ah, but I know not just where to find ye.

In some strange land, perhaps youíll find true love,
While I skirt maelstroms far out at sea;
But when, one day, youíve come to see your darling,
God knows, she might have just sailed with meÖ
Ah, but I know not just where to find ye.

And that small boat in which you sailed abroad,
The same I borrowed, when Hallowís Eve did fall.
I sailed through fog, until I found the cauldron-cave
That brings rebirth and hope to one and all.
Ah, but still I knew not where to find ye.

You came and sang this weary town enchanted,
When Iíd been years within a sleep of pain.
Half-dead I was, walking through the market street,
Until your song awoke the spring again.
Now, if I but knew just where to find ye.

So Iíve heard the news of you, who stole my heart,
” Õasoin ”g, a bhuachaill chaoil mo chroŪ;
[Young Jason, young slender boy of my heart]
And before Iíll stay among these mad and drowning,
I will embark on my own odyssey;
Then perhaps, Iíll know just where to find ye.
Perhaps Iíll know just where to find ye.
I pray Iíll know just where to find ye.

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