Home Music Articles Forums Blog Chat More...      

The Colchester Sphinx


Get Flash to see this player.

Description
On the Roman Road between London and Colchester was once a grave that was guarded by a Sphinx, the well preserved remains of which are in the Colchester Museum, as in the pic. It dates to the period of Boudicca's revolt, around AD 60, when the aggrieved queen of the local tribe led a devastating rebellion against the Roman occupation, totally destroying the town of Colchester, along with London and St Albans. The Sphinx clutches a skull between her paws, and was a potent symbol of death, so corresponding well with the episode of Boudicca's rebellion, which was driven by anger, and scorched everything in its path. If you dig down anywhere within the bounds of the old town of Colchester, you always find at a certain level the same thing: ash and charred remains. The Sphinx saw it all, and said nothing, keeping her mysteries to herself, and she keeps them yet..

Note: Andraste was an ancient goddess of victory sacred to the Britons. The hare was her symbol. Cymbeline is traditionally the founder of Colchester.
Leave a Comment
You must be registered and logged-in to comment.
Lyrics
The Colchester Sphinx


Goddess of mystery
Ancient divine
The skull and the cradle
are thine,

The hare of Andraste,
Revenge broke the gate,
The city of Cymbeline
Burned,

Boudicca’s fury,
Flames rose in blood,
Screams in the temple,
that died.

Ashes and soot,
They’re all that you’ll see,
If you dig under Colchester’s
Streets.
Song Stats
Hits: 1844
Comments: 24
Fans: 10
Plays: 79
Downloads: 40
Votes: 0
Uploaded: May 13, 2012 - 01:31:17 PM
Last Updated: May 13, 2012 - 01:31:17 PM Last Played: Jan 10, 2017 - 05:31:29 PM
Song License
Creative Commons License:
NonCommercial

Creative Commons

Song Actions
share on facebook share on twitter download song
Hardware:
BR-600
Software:
GB
Comments
Philip18 said 1957 days ago (May 13th, 2012)
Colchester
I do love these folkie-style tunes, and this one is beautiful. You build an air of mystery with the effects on the sphinx voice and warmth through the instruments you bring in to complement the guitar (both the woodwind and the strings are very nice). I get a bit of hum here and there (noticeable at the start and end) but for the most part the recording and mix is clear and spacious. Much enjoyed!
Check out my latest song called First Night Alone
mrattue said 1957 days ago (May 13th, 2012)
Thank you!
Thanks for listening and i am glad that it was a good experience!

The guitar and voice are recorded via a broad focus microphone so a fair amount of noise gets into it unfortunately, though the other sounds are GB instruments which obviously don't add anything of that sort.

Cheers now

marc
Check out my latest song called Second Wind
johnwhitehead said 1957 days ago (May 13th, 2012)
Sphinx
I like the spare arrangement. Guitar and backing instruments work well with each other. I like the subject and lyric as well.There's a particular kind of English folk-melancholy feeling that you strongly channel here. This could be an outtake from "The Wicker Man" soundtrack.
Check out my latest song called Wandering Blues
mrattue said 1956 days ago (May 14th, 2012)
like
the allusion to 'The Whicker Man'. It was that sort of feeling that i was trying to get across. The Sphinx may be in a museum now, but her mysteries still enthrall and inspire us.

Cheers for listening. Its great that you liked it.

Marc
Check out my latest song called Second Wind
Jarvoid said 1956 days ago (May 14th, 2012)
This put me in
mind of early Steeleye Span,whilst they wewre still a bit less electric ....well good and atmospheric....Cheers

Jarvo
Check out my latest song called Port Arthur Blues
mrattue said 1956 days ago (May 14th, 2012)
Hi Jarvo
Thanks for giving this one go. Glad it didn't let you down.

i love Steeleye, so that is a great compliment!

Got to hear that Entertainer of yours.

Marc
Check out my latest song called Second Wind
MichaelZebro said 1956 days ago (May 14th, 2012)
Haunting
Beautiful piece Marc. Well performed and produced. Thanks for sharing.
Check out my latest song called Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)
mrattue said 1956 days ago (May 14th, 2012)
Thank You for listening!
Glad you liked it. Hope you sleep all right!

Cheers now

marc
Check out my latest song called Second Wind
j4nne said 1956 days ago (May 14th, 2012)
nice
folky stuff... a good one... keep up the good work.
Check out my latest song called Drivin'
mrattue said 1956 days ago (May 14th, 2012)
I'll try!
Thanks for the encouragement.

Marc
Check out my latest song called Second Wind
PeterB7858 said 1956 days ago (May 14th, 2012)
Bad hair day...
Good to hear more music from you, Marc. You always have an interesting and intriguing story to tell, and you do it with an economy of sound that focuses the listener to the story. Sounds like you didn't want to mess with Boudicca... Enjoyed. Thanks, Peter.
Check out my latest song called Ships In The Night (w Sam D)
mrattue said 1956 days ago (May 14th, 2012)
Hi Peter!
Thanks for giving this one a listen. It was a very bloody episode by all accounts! Thousands slaughtered at a time when there weren't all that many people around.

Hope you are OK.

Marc
Check out my latest song called Second Wind
gadzooks said 1955 days ago (May 15th, 2012)
The Colchester Sphinx
The two guitar parts are working well together. The gentle backing instruments compliment the guitars. Very gentle melancholy feel to this ... I enjoy the sparseness. Nice vocals and lyrics.
Cheers
SG
Check out my latest song called Emoji
mrattue said 1955 days ago (May 15th, 2012)
Hi there!
Glad that you liked the arrangement. i thought that maybe it might be a bit too sparse, but it is a very atmospheric and sad situation, and i thought that the aftermath must have been full of mourning and subdued and shocking scenes.

Thanks for listening

marc
Check out my latest song called Second Wind
neilh79 said 1955 days ago (May 15th, 2012)
Colchester Sphinx
Really good to hear you again Marc, really enjoyed this, great playing
mrattue said 1955 days ago (May 15th, 2012)
Hi Neil!
Good to hear from you, too!

Glad this one didn't disappoint!

Hopefully i might get around this great site a bit more this year. Always so rewarding to listen to good stuff and get encouragement.

Cheers now

Marc
Check out my latest song called Second Wind
PHBB said 1954 days ago (May 16th, 2012)
Nice minimalistic approach
to the arrangement you demonstrate here. Very folky but also nicely intriguing through the use of a few special effects and instruments. Definitely a song that keeps you hooked until the end. Per
PS I am sure you can do something about the noise from the mike. I haven't heard that kind of static in years. It's a pity for such a great song
Check out my latest song called The Queen of 94
mrattue said 1954 days ago (May 16th, 2012)
Thanks
so much for the comment.

i am glad that you thought it worthwhile, and i take your point about the static. The guitar parts and the vocals were all recorded with a broad focus mike, so there's three lots of static in there, i'm afraid. i have tried noise reduction software with mixed results. Maybe a narrower mic focus would work. i have to experiment. i hope the static didn't fatally injure the effect.

Thank you so much for the encouragement.

Marc
Check out my latest song called Second Wind
Char said 1951 days ago (May 19th, 2012)
You
sure got the vibe of tragedy and loss in the tone of the guitar and your vocal. I always feel as if I've gone back in time when I listen to your music. Thanks.
Check out my latest song called Bound, v2. w Music by Dirigent
mrattue said 1950 days ago (May 20th, 2012)
Hi Char!
Thanks for listening to this one!

Back in time is good!

Hope you are OK.

Marc
Check out my latest song called Second Wind
paul f. page said 1947 days ago (May 22nd, 2012)
The history...
...is intriguing. The music is haunting and simple and I like the breath you put between the singing of verses. There is, unfortunately, a great deal of the 2nd half of each verse that is vocally lost somewhere in the low pitch and the rest of the recording. Since the song tells a story, the vocal rendition has to be clear in order to be effective. ... I do very much like these "obscure" lyrics that tell stories that are based on historical fact. But do try to get those vocal lines to speak clearly.
Check out my latest song called 124
mrattue said 1946 days ago (May 24th, 2012)
Thanks, Paul!
Sorry some of the lyrics got a bit lost for you. As you say, they need to come out in order for the effect to be properly appreciated.

On the other hand i did deliberately make the verse lyrics faint and echoey, to try and suggest the historical distance, as if a voice from long ago was speaking, heard through the centuries between us. Maybe i overdid it!

Thanks for listening and leaving a comment. Very encouraging.

Marc

Check out my latest song called Second Wind
lyzak said 1934 days ago (June 5th, 2012)
Fine Musical Picture
I wish you were a history teacher when I was in school! If one day I
see a piece like The Sphinx, this song will come to mind, and I'll look more carefully. Am enjoying!
Check out my latest song called Playful Al with A-man
mrattue said 1933 days ago (June 6th, 2012)
Thank you!
Glad that it took your interest, and much encouraged by your comments.

My history teachers weren't up to much either, just rote learning and pretty dry from what i remember; or maybe i just wasn't paying attention!

Cheers now

Marc
Check out my latest song called Second Wind
Artist Info
artist photo
Name: Marc Rattue
Location: Warminster United Kingdom
send a note
Forty something (just!), reclusive, seafaring latecomer, up until a year or so ago a writer of poetry, but more recently moved into music, having found that the production of songs was possible with a minimum of talent with the aid of modern technolo... [see more]

Check out some of my other songs:

Chat
Who's Online
Invisible Members: 0
Visitors: 98