Today’s track “Medea” is for Erin at the blog rinicorn. She agreed to be my latest muse, so I asked her lots of questions and got lots of good answers; now I know about her first kiss, that coffee and pecan is her favorite ice cream flavor, and where she’s ticklish (my secret to keep). I also learned that her favorite moment in literature comes from the Euripides play Medea, when Medea exacts revenge on Jason for being unfaithful. Jason is left cowering and cursing as his wife looks down upon him from her golden chariot made from the sun. Erin loves this girl-power moment, and so do I (even though I’ve never been a big fan of her killing her own children). I was thinking of Jason and Medea’s story arch—the Golden Fleece, their marriage, the betrayal—from Jason’s perspective, and I realized the whole time he probably doubted her love. It would be difficult to feel true love in Ancient Greece; too often relationships were based upon the magical will of the gods. And doubting the love could make a man unfaithful. This idea doesn’t excuse adultery (nothing does in my book); but it does make for a good lyrical heart in a song. I’m at the beach this week, and I pack light. I just have an acoustic nylon string and my laptop’s built-in microphone—hence the white noise and my whispering. In some ways I think it creates a fitting minimalism for the emotions at hand. Thanks for being my muse, Erin. Enjoy, listeners! — K.C.
You helped me get the Golden Fleece,
gave me a cream so I could tame the beasts;
and I plowed the earth as them ox spewed flames,
sowed dragon teeth ‘til an army came.
And I didn’t know if you loved me,
or if the gods had you under their spell.
And I threw a rock on your advice,
and that army couldn’t find me in the fight;
And that dragon proved a poor guard for the Fleece
when your drugs put him to sleep.
I married you, as I promised, and we had two sons.
I was haunted by the truth, by the why of our love.
So when I had a chance to wed the King’s daughter,
I took him up on his offer.
But you killed the girl with poisoned robes,
and killed all of my true love hopes.
Your revenge reached a fever pitch
when you took our boys and rode the chariot.
And you laughed in triumph at my pain,
but it didn’t teach me one thing.
I still don’t know if you loved me,
or if you were under the gods’ spell.