Music from Anne McCaffrey's World of Pern
Sunset's Gold
Cover art by
Elizabeth Malczynski Littman

SONG FOR PETIRON

SWEET SEA
(My Nightly Craft)

GATHER DAY

THE LITTLE QUEEN
(Firelizard Song)

SUNSET'S GOLD
(The Blackest Night + Harper Tell)

BREKKE'S CRY

RUN!
(The Running Song)

FOUR HUNDRED TURNS


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SONG FOR PETIRON
by Anne McCaffrey ©1977 (small edits by Tania Opland in italics)

The tears I feel today
I’ll wait to shed tomorrow,
Though I’ll not sleep this night
Nor find surcease from sorrow.
My eyes must keep their sight;
I dare not be tear-blinded.
I must be free to speak (talk)
Not choked with grief, clear-minded.
My tongue (mouth) cannot betray
The anguish that I know.
||: I’ll keep my tears till later;
But my grief will never go. :||

SWEET SEA
by Anne McCaffrey ©1977 (lyrics in italics added by Tania Opland)

My nightly craft is winged in white;
A dragon of night-dark sea.
Swiftborn, dreambound and rudderless;
Her captain and crew are me.
Oh sweet sea, oh dear sea,
Take me far from shore,
But bear me safely to my Hold
When morning comes once more.
The fickle wind’s my foe,
With tide his keen ally.
They’re jealous of my sea’s love
And taunt (rouse) her with their lies.
Oh sweet sea, oh dear sea,
Heed not their stormy wiles
But bear me safely to my Hold
And from their watery trials.
I sail a hundred sleeping tides
Where no seaman’s ever been
And only my white-winged craft and I
Know the marvels we have seen.
Oh sweet sea, oh dear sea,
Take me far from shore,
But bear me safely to my Hold
When morning comes once more.

GATHER DAY
original version, by Anne McCaffrey ©1977:

Gather! Gather! It’s a gather day!
No work for us, and Thread’s away.
Stalls are building, square’s swept clear,
Gather all from far and near.
Bring your marks and bring your wares,
Bring your family for there’s
Food and drink and fun and song.
The Hold flag flies; so gather along!

Extended version, by Anne McCaffrey ©1977 and Mike Freeman ©2007:


||: Gather! Gather! It's a gather day! -
No work for us, and Thread's away. :||

Market Stalls Appearing,
The square has been swept clear,
To gather all from far and near.

Bring your marks & bring your wares,
Bring your family for there's
Food and drink, dance and song.
The hold flag flies, so gather along!
Gather! Gather! It's a gather day...
It's morning and the great bell tolls.
Breathe the scent of spicy rolls.
Children dart as holds parade.
Memories of threadfall fade.
Gather! Gather! It's a gather day...

Finest wine from Benden,
Scorching Bubbly Pies;
One Mark for six, the baker cries
Runners at the starting line,
Holders in their robes so fine,
Journeymen from far and wide,
Crafters brought by wind and tide.
Gather! Gather! It's a gather day...

Tune (The Harper's Glass)

Gather! Gather! It's a gather day...
Stew pots simmer on the fire.
Harpers form a gather choir.
Joyful music, merchant's calls
Echoing around the halls.

Gather! Gather! It's a gather day...

Glowbaskets on Standards
Cast their golden light,
While shadows dance into the night.

Gather! Gather! It's a gather day...

Tune (The Harper's Glass)


THE LITTLE QUEEN (The Firelizard Song)
by Anne McCaffrey ©1976/1977 (small edits by Tania Opland in italics)

The little queen all golden
Flew hissing at the sea.
To stop each wave
Her clutch to save
||: She ventured bravely. :||

As she attacked the sea in rage
A holderman came nigh
Along the sand
Fishnet in hand
||: And saw the queen midsky. :||

He stared at her in wonder
For often he’d been told
That such as she
Could never be
||: Who hovered there, bright gold. :||

He saw her plight and quickly
Looked up the cliff he faced
And saw a cave
Above the wave
In which her eggs he placed.

The little queen all golden
Upon his shoulder stood
Her eyes of blue (Her eyes all blue)
Aglow with true (glowed of her true)
Undying gratitude
- With undying gratitude.

SUNSET'S GOLD
by Anne McCaffrey; v. 1 (The Blackest Night) ©1968, v. 2 (Harper, Your Song) ©1976, v. 3 (Harper, Tell) ©1977

The blackest night must end in dawn,
The sun dispel the dreamer’s fear.
||: When shall my soul’s bleak, hopeless pain
Find solace in its darkening weyr? :||

Harper, your song has a sorrowful sound
Though the tune was written as gay.
||: Your voice is sad, your hands are slow,
And your eye meeting mine turns away. :||

Harper, tell me of the road
That leads beyond this hold,
That wends its way beyond the hill…
Does it go further on until
It ends in sunset’s gold?

BREKKE'S CRY
by Anne McCaffrey ©1977 and (in italics) Tania Opland ©2006

soprano:
Don't leave me alone!
alto & baritone: A cry in the night of anguish heart-striking
soprano: Don't leave me alone!
alto & baritone: A cry in the night of soul killing fright

(soprano:)
Awakened in darkness (alto & baritone: terror! grief!)
Bursting with thoughts not our own (alto & baritone: terror! grief!)
Awakened in darkness (alto & baritone: terror! grief!)
(all:)
Choking, burning, falling, dying...

soprano:
Don't leave me alone! A cry in the night_______
alto & baritone: A cry in the night of anguish heart-striking
soprano: Don't leave me alone! A cry in the night_______
alto & baritone: A cry in the night of soul killing fright

alto:
Live for my living or else I must die
soprano & baritone: Live for my living or else I must…
alto: Live for my living, the world heard that cry_______
soprano & baritone: Live! Live! The world heard that cry.

soprano:
Don't leave me alone!
alto & baritone: A cry in the night of anguish heart-striking
soprano: Don't leave me alone!
alto & baritone: A cry in the night of soul killing fright

All:
Don’t leave me alone!

RUN! (The Running Song)
by Anne McCaffrey (in italics) ©1976 and Tania Opland ©2008

Far away from Hold, far away from Hall,
From the safety of stone and steel,
I had ventured far on my own
To find spiderclaws for my creel.
And as feet may wander, minds do, too,
Losing touch with distance and time
But when the sky turned black with dragons overhead
And I knew I was about to die, I had to

Run! Run! Run! No time to think, stop or stay, just 
Run! Run! Run! I want to live to see the end of this day.
Then my feet took off my legs went, too,
And my body was obliged to follow.
Me with my hands and mouth full of cress
And my throat too dry to swallow.

I thought I’d run before – been running all my life
Never doubting I could hold my own
But faster than I’ve ever been is still not fast enough
Though I’m straining every muscle and bone, to
Run! Run! Run! No time to think, stop or stay, just 
Run! Run! Run! I want to live to see the end of this day.
I have never yet been run off my feet
But this nearly ran the feet off of me
Wore right through the bottoms of my old battered boots
‘Till the soles began to bleed
I thought I’d run before – been running all my life
Never doubting I could hold my own
But when the sky turns black with dragons overhead
Then you know ___ you’ve got to
Run! Run! Run! No time to think, stop or stay, just
Run! Run! Run! If you want to live to see the end of this day.
Run! Run Run! Run! Run! No time to think, stop or stay, Run! Run! Run ___
FOUR HUNDRED TURNS
by Anne McCaffrey ©1969

Four hundred Turns in the black of night
Four hundred of Rukbat's sun bright,
Four hundred Turns never a Thread
Dropped on Pern from the wand'ring Red Star.
Four hundred Turns to discard
As needless the Weyrs, and to disregard
The warnings sent down through ages in song,
That all must give honor to those who belong
In mind and in heart to the great winged beasts
Whose flaming breath on grey Threadfall feasts.
“Four hundred Turns,” Lord Holders said.
“We’ve nothing to fear from mythical Thread.”

But the Finger Rock points upon Benden Weyr rim
To an Eye Rock red, in the dawn sky dim.
So F'lar, Weyrleader, bronze Mnementh's man,
Prepares the Weyr as well as he can.
With Records dust old, and a sharp, clear mind
He readies Pern with what help he can find.
Thanks to Lessa, his Weyrmate, and Ramoth her queen,
He rallies his scant force to go time between.
When black dust blows cold warning to all
That at dawn over Nerat, live Thread will fall.
“Four hundred tithe-paying Turns we have scorned,
And never a Thread since our grandsires were born.”

Then the vineflowers' eyes peered out through the dawn
On the mythical menace they all swore was gone.
And the riders braved Thread as it fell from space
In a desperate battle between time and place.
With fearful mind, Lord Holders came
Show’ring plaudits on Benden's proud name:
Begging to know what help they might give
Now they had witnessed that Pern could not live
Without these bold riders abroad in the sky
Searing the Threadfall as they flamed by.
Four hundred Turns the weyr was alone.
Few were the dragons where many had flown.

In Ruatha's great hall hung a tapestry fair
Depicting a scene with dragons mid-air.
And footmen who guided bright flame:
So Benden's Weyrwoman, Lessa by name,
Gold Ramoth's rider, of Ruatha's bloodline
Saw in these woven strands beckoning signs
That would take her gold dragon between timeless space
Bringing forward the Lost Weyrs in a star-guided race.
Four hundred Turns of a cold black as death.
Robbing the riders of all sense and breath.

In Four hundred Turns let Pern honor still
Lessa and Ramoth of time-conquering will.
Praise Fandarel's craft, and F'lar's brave stand
Which have preserved our Thread-free land.
In Four hundred Turns let no man say
We need not depend on the Dragonman's way;
That Weyrs serve no purpose, tradition is dead:
That Pern is not threatened by Red Star or Thread.
Honor those riders the great dragons heed
Lest dragonless, all rediscover the need.
Four hundred Turns ago, four hundred hence,
Honor the Dragons — Pern's defense.