Two nights ago, I was visited by a ghost.
That's the best way I can describe it.
One moment, all was still; nothing but the cold water in my water bottle, some incense, and the evening breeze drifting through the window of my study. The next moment, inspiration struck and a song flew out of me without hindrance. When it was done, the energy in the room dissipated. I was left enraptured and exhausted by the experience.
Researching various topics for the next "Rite Of Song" episode, I tend to cast a wide net, attempting to find new and interesting angles in which to approach subjects. On the night in question, I was looking into the concept of "futility", which I experienced in attempting to read about the concept. It turns out that people don't particularly feel called to talk about the subject of futility with much dedication at all, which is, I must say, frustratingly understandable.
The irony was not lost on me.
It was around then, in the most unlikely of ways, I came across the story of Mercedes de Acosta, the poet and playwright who is known for her romances with Hollywood starlets Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich. While reading her story and the stories of her ill-fated loves, something strange started. My hands started forming chordal patterns against the keyboard, and a melody immediately came into my mind, like it had just been whispered by some invisible being standing beside me.
The first words came like a call. "Marlene...Marlene..."
I knew what I had to do. Abandoning my research, I sat at my piano and, within fifteen minutes, the complete song was born in a frenzy of lines and melody. I recorded it.
The lyrics recall letters from de Acosta & Garbo, with the obscuring effect of using a unfixed narrator. We're not exactly sure who is singing this song. But it's one of the three; de Acosta, Deitrich, or Garbo.
It's in the new "Rite Of Song" (8-25-19 edition), but I have also included the song here, recorded in the moments of it's inception.
It's called "Marlene (You Belong To Me)".