A Hen’s Song

By Georgina Taylor

I’m currently writing up my Masters thesis and am conducting a stylistic analysis on Gallina ceramics and painted building murals. Deciding against the conventional route of summarising my research in a 300-word 100-metre sprint to you guys, I wanted to communicate the kinds of imagery that the Gallina painted on their pots and walls using an artistic approach. So, I aimed to do something completely new to me and write a ’60s Folk style song inspired by what you would see on Gallina rocks, walls and pots, as well as weaving in information from the academic literature about the political decisions of the Gallina in early first millennium AD New Mexico, especially in relation to the changes in social organisation going on in the wider Four Corners region. I also recorded the song using a cheap, yet mighty, resophonic guitar (see picture), that I picked up from Main Street Music from the city of Aztec. This type of guitar is commonly used in blues, bluegrass and country and the metal resonators give it that distinctive twang that’ll make me miss the Southwest even more! But hey, it’s nice to bring a piece of the place home.


A Hen’s Song


Drifting geese sail up high,
Pine trees whirl, pennants fly,
Infinite circles pass me by,
A thunder's blade splits the sky.
Chequer banquettes, quadrupeds,
Painted panels and sunflowers heads,
On the plaster of these humble walls,
Where the tale of those who left be told.
To the west, my love, most men drone,
Cast in sand and permanent stone,
Are the many stories shaped by wealth, 
Devout souls controlled through stealth.
A river's spell floods throughout,
Turquoise, shells, plumes, Cacao,
Yet who'll stay to break a cry,
When the desert creeks soon run dry.
To the hills obscured by pine,
Beyond the Badlands ridged and striped,
Revel back to our ancestral way,
Fine teachings for children of clay.

3 thoughts on “A Hen’s Song”

  1. Very nicely done. I did not anticipate a song, and once I realized that it what I would hear, I did not expect it to be so enjoyable. The lyrics, singing, and guitar were all great.

    In the event it is of any interest to you, the lyrics were changed slightly from printed version:
    Line 2 sounds like something other than “pine trees”, though I can’t hear for sure what was sung.
    Line 3 sings “Cosmic” circles.
    Line 14 sings “plumes” before “shells”.

    Liked by 1 person

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