Autumnal Equinox

A sliver of moonlight
A blade in my hand

The Chosen of Koned
Together we stand

Wild dogs in the shadows

O gods do they howl
My sister before me

A wreath on her brow

Her brow . . . a wreath on her brow

The harvest was meager
A plague on the land

The winter before us

So few will withstand

Dear sister forgive me

I do what I must

'Tis Koned demands this

And Koned is just

Is just . . . Koned is just

Dear Mother and Father
Think not ill of me
The voices have spoken
Let be what must be
'Tis my task to rise now
'Tis her task to fall
'Tis yours to keep silence

I must heed the call
Heed the call...I must heed the call.

The sacrifice given
The offering made
The debts of the Chaga
So preciously paid
Down river to Noleans
We sail with the sun
With good grace of Koned
New life has begun
Has begun . . . new life has begun


W/68 - NYC & Charles River Park

Richard Griggs

I've always been intrigued by apocalyptic fiction and have enjoyed many science fiction novels and films about the collapse of our technological civilization and the subsequent state of society. Long before Planet of the Apes and The Road Warrior I had written several songs on this theme, of which Autumnal Equinox is a poignant example.

The narrator and tragic protagonist of this story is the high priest of a tribe named the Chaga (possibly relatives of mine from the Chicago area, circa 2500 AD). This agrarian people has been hit hard by severe crop failure and are preparing to migrate south along the mighty river to the ancient city of Noleens. In order to curry favor with their principal deity Koned (his name is possibly a corruption of "Consolidated Edison") they are about to perform a human sacrifice upon the only suitable virgin among them, the younger sister of our hapless narrator.

He addresses his plaint to his (and her) parents, who have raised both of their children to be pious, Koned-fearing citizens of the tribe, who trustingly refer to themselves as the "Chosen of Koned."

I think the seed for this tale was with me for a long time before it found voice in song. At age eight or nine I read the story of the sacrifice of Iphigenia at the hand of her father Agamemnon, in order to propitiate the goddes Artemis on the eve of his fleet's sailing for Troy (and you all remember how that turned out).

It's an old story, and one that has particular resonance in today's world of renewed religiosity.