I thought it was beautiful and haunting and I wanted to hear it again. So I listened to it a half-dozen times or so on youtube, and decided I liked it enough to buy it. But at Amazon the whole album was only $5, so I figured, hey, might as well buy the whole thing...
And I've been listening to it ever since.*
One of the cool things about the album is that it's a concept album: it's a series of songs each about, or from the point-of-view of, one of the Greek Gods -- but in a modern setting, updated, applied to the contemporary world. What this means varies from song to song -- in some cases it's extremely obscure, and you'd hardly know any Hellenic Deities had anything to do with it if you weren't told; in other cases the connection is almost impossible to miss for anyone who read D'Aulaires Book of Greek Myths as a child, let alone one who read it as obsessively and repeatedly as I.**
But while Williams mentioned in various interviews that particular songs were based on particular myths, I couldn't find, googling around, any comprehensive list of which songs go with which myth.
So here's a list:
|"I Am The One Who Will Remember Everything"||Hera||Edge article|
|"This Earth"||Hephaestus||My guess, but the Edge article confirms that one of the songs is based on him|
|"I Have Been Around The World"||Vesta||Preforming Songwriter Article|
|"The Light And The Sea"||Poseidon||Preforming Songwriter Article|
|"You Will Ride With Me Tonight"||Hermes||Edge article & Preforming Songwriter Article|
|"Crystal Creek"||Artemis & hunter Actaeon||WNYC post|
|"Summer Child"||Persephone||Edge article|
|"I Will Free Myself"||Dionysus||CityBeat review|
|"Write This Number Down"||Athena||Preforming Songwriter Article|
|"Storm King"||Zeus||my guess, despite what she says here about it being Pete Seeger|
Again, as I said, some of these are obvious, even to those whose Greek mythology knowledge is several decades dusty. But others aren't. Hence list.
In the meantime, I'm exploring Dar Williams's other songs, bit by bit. The local library had a copy her of her "Best-of" album, Many Great Companions, which I've only begun listening to, although I can already testify that "After All", "When I Was a Boy" and "Mercy of the Fallen" are fabulous.
She seems to be an Established Musician, so I assume someone else has heard of her (and if so, why didn't you let me know?), but I haven't seen anything from anyone I've heard of saying they like her stuff except for this rave blog post from Hendrick Hertzberg. So -- anyone out there a Dar Williams fan?
'Cause I swear, she sings like she's been touched by Apollo.
* Well, no, not continuously. But a lot. Certainly every day.
** D'Aulaires Book of Norse Myths is, I think, not nearly as well known, but it's also really good.