This song came out of Marling's reading of a "pagan" story; that is, a tale of Celtic folklore. It was about a child born at the Beltane Festival of the Sun (one of the four sabbats, or in modern terms, Mayday). The child was forgotten in the woods after the festivities and nonetheless survived. Upon reaching a more advanced age, the child visited the city nearby and met with scorn and rejection for her uncivilized ways. She returned to the forest where she found another child similarly abandoned and raised that child as her own. In time the second child was also rejected by society and that rejection was blamed on the only person she knew (child number one). It was a story of generational futility.


Laura Marling

They dance like sirens, hoping the sun would come out again
And I was born in the fog of that day
Can they hear a babe over all that faith,
Or have they forgot what it was that they made

Crawled out of the fog, found a river,
Found a log and floated away
Didn't think I'd be coming back this way
But my feet resolute;
Found their root and brought me back to its place

And on the hill where I was born,
There is a rose without a thorn;
They cut it off each year and give it away

But can they hear a babe after all these days,
Or have they forgot what it was that they made

So left to wander blind, I find myself in cautious times,
And they say, "Love's labors never lost; labor on to this very day."
So I walk into the fog, find a babe atop a log and all alone
Took him under, took him on,
Taught him everything about the world I'd come to know

And he blames me for every wrong ever he made
I am blamed for every wrong ever he made
Forgive me I am only a maid
Forgive me I am only a maid

But I can see a babe under all that blame
But I am forgot from the day I am laid

Thanks to Hannah Goad, blogger, a senior at Mountain View High School in Virginia.