"On a Sea of Fleur de Lis" as written by and Richard Shindell....
I adore thee Mother Mary
But would you change me back to a witch
And let me live in the arms of a sorry old elm
Give the gypsy moths a realm of their own
For a postman's fee would I work for Thee
From that tree would I swoop down and leave
A billion blue eggs of eternity
And in no time you'd have your own See

Don't just stare
I mean it, really
Hear my prayer
I give it freely
Are you there Fleur-de-Lis?

I adore thee Mother Mary
But would you change me back to a witch
And let me live in the arms of willow
And fly around not wearing a stitch
For so long has this room been so hollow
We wait at the gate for an echo
In the flesh of your newly cleaned frescoes
Where Jesus holds John to his breast

Wrapped around
And rocking slowly
No one bound
To be so holy
In your gown of fleur-de-lis

I adore thee Mother Mary
But would you change me back to a witch
As a witch would I love you more than any man
So give a wink, give a nod, but give a damn
Be a sport, Mary, and don't tell Dad
He need never know how He's been had
And never you mind about those seven seals
Daddy was a one shot deal

One, two, three
It could be that easy
There we'd be
I with my baby
On a sea of fleur-de-lis

Do-re-mi
It could be that easy
There we'd be
I with my baby
On a sea of fleur-de-lis



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"On a Sea of Fleur de Lis" as written by Richard Shindell

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  • 0
    General CommentFrom nytimes.com/1998/05/17/nyregion/…

    "Mr. Shindell said he wrote his first song, ''On a Sea of Fleur-de-Lis'' -- ''a prayer for creativity,'' he called it -- while studying at the Union Theological Seminary in Manhattan in 1987. ''When I finished it,'' he said, ''I stepped back, and the place where I had ended up was far removed from what I understood about myself or songwriting.''"
    japedubyaon February 12, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI've loved this song for many years, but one day I was listening to it with my bud (pun definitely intended) and what I heard was a song about processing a loss of faith by someone who isn't ready to move on yet. I've googled for more in depth interpretations, but that is what I hear in it.
    japedubyaon February 12, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSome more interesting commentary on this song can be found at

    mudcat.org/…
    japedubyaon February 12, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFrom sixsongs.blogspot.com/2010/10/…

    "One of the best-known songs in ex-pat Fast Folk-era singer-songwriter Richard Shindell's catalog, and one of the most cryptic, this song appears as the centerpiece to his 1992 debut album Sparrows Point, and - in its original form - it features the appalachian dulcimer, on which it was composed.

    Like so much of Shindell's songs, On A Sea Of Fleur De Lis tells its tale in first person; as near as I can tell, the narrator is a nun, though it could merely be an autobiographical echo of Shindell's own time in the seminary before he set out to become a songcrafter. But truly, there are layers upon layers here. Perhaps it is enough to say that the narrator, seemingly caught in a web of religious trappings, longs to be a witch again, naked and cradled in the arms of the sacred elm or willow, and the song is her prayer.

    But like a spell, an ex-witches prayer can take many forms. The vast difference in tone and mood between the hollow, ringing original and the rich, joyous celtic-tinged cover Solas brings forth in live performance is an exercise in transformation, turning pensiveness into celebration, completing the circle that four versions lay out for us, setting free the trapped soul of the tale."
    japedubyaon February 12, 2013   Link

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