Back in December, I learned about a new (to me) band called Eine Blume on the Velvet Ashes blog. Their newest album is called Farewell to Shadowlands, and it is inspired by C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia. I have to admit that I am not familiar enough with the whole series to pick up all the connections, but I still love the album. They describe it as a “joyful lament.” The first song I heard from it is the one that they shared on the Velvet Ashes page, called “I’ll Hold On.” After listening to the album a lot over the past few months, it is still one of my favorite songs.
When I first heard it, it was the the title line that stuck out to me “I’ll hold on / I’ll hold on.” I was at a low point in the culture shock cycle heading into Christmas. This song was a reminder to hold on, to keep on keeping on, that things would get better. It has continued to be a good companion through the language learning journey, a reminder to hold on through the process of losing what I knew before, a prayer “good ghost comfort us.” One of the things that the last six months have impressed upon me is the need for perseverance. Learning a new language is full of so many ups and downs. A couple of weeks ago, I felt like I was barely holding on with all the new content I was trying to assimilate into my brain and feeling frustrated that I still struggle with speaking. But I kept working and this week has felt easier. Class hasn’t felt quite so difficult, and I’m learning to accept my own language learning strengths as well as weaknesses. And through it all, I’m practicing holding on. It’ll probably get harder again (my guess is next week). And I’ll keep having to hold on and be held by the Good Ghost.
Because I love this song so much I transcribed the words to share with you (although I struggled in a couple of places). I highly recommend listening to it, because the music is part of the prayer (even better would be to buy the album for yourself!).
Growin’ fond of this place
And I can feel my pretense fold
And I will not be the same
My father comes
And make a way
To plant the seeds that favor brings (RL: this line was hard for me to figure out)
And I’ll hold on, I’ll hold on.
I find it hard to call you friend,
I find it hard to like myself.
But I will not remain this way,
I will not remain this way.
I can see your smile,
I can hear your tone
And all the lights I have come to know have gone out
Oh my dear, oh my love
Oh my love, oh my love
And oh the comforts we know are lost
And all the trumpets revealed to be false
Oh, great ghost speak to us,
Oh, good ghost comfort us.