From the recording Heartwood

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`It is said that the faerie queen took pity on Liselle and let her live on as a butterfly, but nobody knows for sure.` said the old poplar, `But what we do know is that before this the birch had pure white bark, and now all birches are covered in little markings, the language of the birch. These markings say, `Liselle, my princess, I miss you, Liselle my love come back.`
~Taken from Liselle and the Birch Prince, a children's story by Bryan P. Hunt.
This song was inspired by a children`s story my ex-husband wrote called `Liselle and the Birch Prince`. The fairytale-esque story which tells the tale of how the Birch came to be marked, is centered around a cheerful and bright washer girl named Liselle, an evil prince who sets his intent to make her life as miserable as possible and the trees of the grove that come alive at night at dance. In particular, the Birch tree, who falls in love with Liselle and ultimately is saved by her sacrifice. As soon as I read the story, I knew that it was something very special indeed and would make a wonderful song. It took me over a year to write the music though, as the story is quite long and involved and I could not figure out how to condense it all into a song that wasn`t 20 minutes long! I had the chorus written for literally months and months before I was inspired to write the rest of the lyrics. Then one day I realized that I didn`t need to tell the story with all the intricacies of each character, from an objective point of view, that instead I wanted to give the Birch a voice, and tell *HIS* story. At that point, it all fell together in a matter of hours. The story can still make me cry. The last lines of the song are taken directly from the story, the rest is my interpretation.

As a central theme to this song is the dance that occurs between the Birch and Liselle, not just physically, but the emotional dance that happens in love. To put a string quartet on this song was immensely satisfying, and fits well with the waltzing quality of the time within this song Written in October of 2006


How long have I lain in this relative slumber
While the seasons they pass too many to number
Oh the woods they grow thick with their secrets and memories
And the stories are carried in bark, bud and berry

How long must I wait to hear her voice?
Oh why must she pay for her selfless choice?
Oh how I long to once again say

Dance my princess
Dance, Liselle my love
Dance, dance with me

I remember the day as the cherry was blooming
And the petals they fell to her beauty alluding
So I asked for her hand which she gladly extended
And we danced in the glade till the soft moon descended

Oh how she laughed, her face aglow
Night after night, we danced so
Like whispering leaves each night I’d say

Dance my princess
Dance, Liselle my love
Dance, dance with me

How I rue the day that he followed her hither
His eyes, full of thorn as she visibly withers
Though I bested him then, Liselle she knew different
For as nighttime releases, my power grows distant

How could I know his heartless plan?
Asleep as I lay, once day began
If only I’d known, the last words I’d say

Dance my princess,
Dance Liselle my love
Dance, Dance with me

And that was the last that I saw of my princess
For she led them away, heart pounding breathless
To the door in the hill, which is death to all mortals
Her life to save mine as she led though the portal

Come back to me love, I miss you so
I write to you love, on bark of snow
The words on the birch forever will say

Liselle, my princess
I miss you Liselle, my love
Come, come back to me.