I was on holiday in Spain with my family when we drove in to San Sebastian, a beautiful fishing town on the northern coast, with steep cliffs above the beach. On top of the cliff, seen from the distance, there appeared to be a statue of the Madonna, predominant as the Jesus above Rio de Janeiro and a melody that had been playing in my head for days suddenly found itself with lyrics. While my wife and daughters swam, I went off to explore it. A narrow path zigzagged through the trees, and at every ten yards another couple transformed it into a lovers’ lane. Used condoms were planted in the hedgerows. Variations upon Romeo loves Juliet were scrawled over the base of the statue. The Canaanites could have been copulating beneath the trees in this sacred grove of Astarte, who turned out not be Astarte after all, nor any other version of Our Lady, but a stone Jesus after all. But it was still magnificent, and by the time I discovered it, half the song was already written in my head.
There’s a light on the hill when the angels pass by
Where the sun and the moon embrace in the sky
A cold marble statue stands facing the sea
In a Paradise garden for lovers-to-be
It’s a shrine made of kisses - but there’s never enough
It’s a home in the world for Our Lady of Love
And this is the blessing and this is the curse
May she bind up the scars of this torn universe
At the apex of longing, on the mount of desire
May her kisses bear fruit her caresses inspire
May she give you the wax may she give you the seal
May she honour the contract of healer and healed
In the glow of her beauty that light on the hill
Ten thousand years old and yet visible still
Such eloquent silence such memorable calm
Your heart in its stillness serene as a psalm
And the lovers’ graffiti cannot even smudge
This statue so perfect Our Lady of Love
And this is the blessing and this is the spell
On all who love badly the few who love well
May Our Lady protect you may she cradle your heart
When your lips come together when your limbs move apart
May she bind up the wounds of the women and the men
May she keep you together, forever, and forever, amen.
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Use of this song, and/or these recordings, for non-commercial purposes, is not simply permitted but invited.
Words and music by David Prashker
Copyright © 2014 David Prashker
All rights reserved
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