Say a prayer for my bravest girl

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She is without doubt our bravest girl. 

What more can I do or say at this moment, other than sing a song that I borrowed from Leonard Cohen, Ballad of the Runaway Horse.

I first heard this on Rob Wasserman's Duets album, and the singer was Jennifer Warnes, probably the best interpreter of Cohen's songs, other than Cohen himself.

Jennifer's interpretation can be heard on youtube:

This is the song, and I now imagine this to be the story about my beloved sister.

Please come and say this prayer with me …


Say a prayer for the cowgirl her horse ran away
She'll walk 'til she finds him her darlin' her stray
But the river's in flood and the roads are awash
And the bridges break up in the panic of loss

And there's nothin' to follow nowhere to go
He's gone like the summer gone like the snow
And the crickets are breaking her heart with their song
As the day caves in and the night is all wrong

Did she dream it was he who went galloping past
And bent down the fern broke open the grass
And printed the mud with the well-hammered shoe
That she nailed to his speed in the dreams of her youth

And although he goes grazin' a minute away
She tracks him all night she tracks him all day
And she's blind to his presence except to compare
Her injury here with his punishment there

Then at home on a branch on a high stream
A songbird sings out so suddenly
And the sun is warm and the soft winds ride
On a willow tree by the riverside

Ah the world is sweet and the world is wide
And he's there where the light and the darkness divide
And the steam's comin' off him he's huge and he's shy
And he steps on the moon when he paws at the sky

And he comes to her hand but he's not really tame
He longs to be lost she longs for the same
And he'll bolt and he'll plunge thru the first open pass
To roll and to feed in the sweet mountain grass

Or he'll make a break for the high plateau
Where there's nothing above and nothing below
It's time for their burden the whip and the spur
Will she ride with him or will he ride with her

So she binds herself to her galloping steed
And he binds himself to the woman in need
And there is no space just left and right
And there is no time but there is day and night

Then she leans on his neck and whispers low
Whither thou goest I will go
And they turn as one and they head for the plain
No need for the whip oh no need for the rein

Now the clasp of this union who fastens it tight
Who snaps it asunder the very next night
Some say it's him some say it's her
Some say love's like smoke beyond all repair

So my darlin' my darlin' just let it go by
That old silhouette on the great western sky
And I'll pick out a tune and they'll move right along
And they're gone like smoke and they're gone like this song

2 則評論在 Say a prayer for my bravest girl.

  1. Yes, she is a  brave girl, very brave girl!  Also, she is  smart and capable. She is always in my mind. I don't want to write in past tense. Miss her very very much!
    [版主回覆10/05/2009 09:45:00]
    Who's the "he" that our brave cowgirl has set out to search for?  This came back to haunt me again and again. 
    I told Mum that her girl runs very fast, ahead of all of us.  She's there to meet Dad and Grandma, to take care of them on behalf of us all, and to prepare a place for all of us, a much bigger place than the small cubicle we were squeezed in when we were small.  And we will have a big place up there, and a bigger family too, because our Dad's kids will bring their own kids.
    Mum cried at hearing this, but I'm sure deep in her heart, she believed in the same thing and this will comfort her in her moments of pain and loss.
    Isn't this sweet, and something to celebrate:
    Then she leans on his neck and whispers low Whither thou goest I will go And they turn as one and they head for the plain No need for the whip oh no need for the rein

  2. Dear Stephen,
    You have just lost a beloved sister, and I lost my younger brother Joseph exactly eleven years this month, also a sixth in the family. The deep grief that you are feeling at this very moment is mutual. Below is the poem I dedicated to Joseph when I wrote about him in my diary. It was one of the stanzas in the German poet Friedrich Ruckert’s poem < The Kindertotenliede r > in which he mourned the loss of his son. Let us bury our sorrow and pray that their souls rest in peace. They have just gone out for a long walk.   We will catch up with them one of these days.
    Oft denk' ich, sie sind nur ausgegangen
    Oft denk' ich, sie sind nur ausgegangen!
    Bald werden sie wieder nach Hause gelangen!
    Der Tag ist schön! O sei nicht bang!
    Sie machen nur einen weiten Gang!
    Jawohl, sie sind nur ausgegangen
    Und werden jetzt nach Hause gelangen!
    O, sei nicht bang, der Tag is schön!
    Sie machen nur den Gang zu jenen Höh'n!
    Sie sind uns nur vorausgegangen
    Und werden nicht wieder nach Hause gelangen!
    Wir holen sie ein auf jenen Höh'n
    Im Sonnenschein!
    Der Tag is schön auf jenen Höh'n!
    < English translation >
    Often I think that they have only stepped out –
    A nd that soon they will reach home again.
    The day is fair – O don't be afraid –
    They are only taking a long walk.
    Yes: they have only stepped out
    A nd will now return home.
    O don't be anxious – the day is fair.
    They are only taking a walk to those hills.
    They have simply gone on ahead:
    T hey will not wish to return home.
    We'll catch up to them on those hills.
    In the sunshine the day is fair.


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