For Such a Time as This: “Let’s Away”

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The timeless nature of literature never ceases to amaze me. How is it that writers from centuries past and different cultures can so clearly understand me and prophetically address the struggles of our time? It’s actually quite simple: we’re all human and there are universal struggles that continue to play out throughout history. The epic Beowulf, for example, still resonates with modern readers for more than the breathtaking translations by J. R. R. Tolkien or Seamus Heaney. There’s always a Grendel seeking to destroy society and what is central to human life, always an evil force spreading terror and destruction that hates nothing so much as love, joy, peace, freedom, and hope.

Moving forward a couple of centuries, Shakespeare emerges as another voice of the ages. Here I revisit his least hopeful tragedy, King Lear (not that I’m feeling, hopeless, however; actually, I see a tiny ship on the horizon). Any one of Shakespeare’s tragedies speaks volumes to our lives today if we’re willing to submerge ourselves in that beautiful blank verse, but it’s a song I wrote inspired by Lear that became my deepening place recently. Although I wrote the song seven years ago (hard for me to believe), the chorus came back to me over the weekend: “Come, let’s away from these prisons we’ve made; there’s nothing to hold you though they bought and they sold you.” I began to wonder, once again, how many of us realize the prisons we’ve made, founded on lies, an unwillingness to have an open mind, or the stubborn denial of facts. How many of us have been bought and sold, and how often, by systems and parties bigger than us? The song, “Let’s Away,” takes the perspective of Kent, Lear’s most loyal servant, though more optimistic than the character in the play itself. It’s a call “to embrace the truth” and “flee the demons” who’ve dehumanized us, tricking us into fearing and hating others. It’s an offer to flee our kingdoms of clay in exchange for a greater destiny. Are you coming?

“Let’s Away” – Track 1 from For Such a Time as This by Vincent H. Anastasi 2020

Let’s Away

Vincent H. Anastasi 2013 – Inspired by Shakespeare’s King Lear

These three fools and I scour the countryside
Driven by grief and pride, together alone
In the howling wind there’s a reckoning
For crimes and sin that we have all known

Now I’m begging you to embrace the truth,
Flee these demons who torment you now

Come, let’s away from these prisons we’ve made
There’s nothing to hold you
Though they bought and they sold you
Come let’s away, leave these kingdoms of clay
Let fools become wise
Our destinies rise like dawn unto day


We’ve known bitter loves, felt the stinging touch
Of words that say too much with nothing behind
We’ve put on the guise, failed to recognize
Truth masks for the lies when love is unkind

Now I’m begging you to embrace the truth,
Flee these demons who torment you now

Come, let’s away from these prisons we’ve made
There’s nothing to hold you
Though they bought and they sold you
Come let’s away, leave these kingdoms of clay
Let fools become wise

Our destinies rise like dawn unto day

Now the grief sticks deep, loved ones swung to sleep
No more words to speak from untainted heart
Though this button chokes and your cheeks are soaked –
Blooms no more the rose – still do not depart

Now I’m begging you to embrace the truth,
Flee these demons who torment you now

Come, let’s away from these prisons we’ve made
There’s nothing to hold you
Though they bought and they sold you
Come let’s away, leave these kingdoms of clay
Let fools become wise

Our destinies rise like dawn unto day

Published by thedeepened

I am a lover of words - the way they sing together in neat or sprawling lines upon the page, conducted by the great wordsmiths of all time. The way a sudden turn of phrase or surprising combination of sounds resonates with the deep within me, causing pause: moments of reflection and appreciation that transcend the superficial babblings and paltry visions of the infantile. Here at the deepening ground, it is my intent to make time and space for the reflection, appreciation, and creative imaginings that sustain the human soul.

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