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Sheet Music

Under the Gripping Beast

Lyrics and melody © 1997 by Catherine Faber

For a journal bound in leather fine, as soft as human skin,
A gripping beast embossed thereon and all the world therein,
I bargained with a Power; I need scarcely mention who,
And should I keep it till my death, the standard fee falls due.

Under the gripping beast is all the price I'll pay,
For I'm quits of all my bargain, if I throw the book away.
But for that pain of parting, there can be no balm, nor salve;
For just an hour longer, I will hold to what I have.

I sat there, that first evening, the book upon my knee.
I opened it, and held my breath, for fear of what I'd see.
The stuff of creativity, from Hell and Heaven wrung;
The ghosts of tales untested and of stories yet unsung.

As I read, my breathing raced to meet my heart's demand,
For scraps of songs and stories there were written in my hand.
I turned to seize a pencil and my eyes were fever-bright;
I slept but half an hour, but I wrote three songs that night.

My songs and stories brought me joy, honor they did win.
Without the book, I still would be an orphan looking in.
The thought that I must lose it is the sum of all my fears.
"For just an hour longer" -- I have held it fifty years.

I've tasted of creation and the time draws near to rest,
But I haven't finished writing, and the last must be the best.
I battle death by inches and too soon will know defeat
But I won't discard the book before my swansong is complete.


This is the first song on the CD "Under the Gripping Beast".
To see songs from "As Good As Any", or other songs, use the song list links above.

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It was created by Cat Faber (cat(at) It is maintained by Arlene "Callie" Hills (callie(at)