Sheet music with guitar tablature
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The Story Behind The Song
Spīdala is another fictional character from the Latvian poem ‘Lāčplēsis’ (Bearslayer). She, like Kangars, makes a vow to serve the Devil, but her story takes a very different course from his. The daughter of a Latvian Lord, Spīdala has a dark beauty and wicked cunning. She is a thrill seeker, exploring life’s pleasures and exploiting its pains in equal measure. Her narrative revolves heavily around water, to me a reflection of the beautiful but wild Latvian landscape itself. As the tale goes, a sunken castle lies at the bottom of a valley which was flooded by the Devil long before. Inside, Spīdala battles the Hero, but upon her defeat the castle gloriously rises back to the surface once again. This is not only seen as a good omen for the Latvian people, but is a premonition of Spīdala’s own destiny too. When she finally witnesses the true horrors of evil, her trail of death and destruction comes to an abrupt end. Spīdala’s story longingly blossoms into one of love and redemption after she burns her contract with the Devil and rescinds her old ways. The celebrations prove premature, however, as the poem’s grand finale deals one last terrible blow. This song ends with the exact same chord as ‘Kangars’, only here it sounds markedly different. Instead of ringing out like a knell at the end of a dramatic descent, it now sits atop a triumphant crescendo. Perhaps the over-arching moral of Spīdala’s fable is that while fate may be sealed, we alone control our destiny. It still feels remarkably relevant 133 years on.
Released 9th July 2021