A Ghost of a Song

Recently I posted a Ghost of a Story and since then have been trying to figure out how to add the song. I’ve failed and my teenager isn’t available to save me. Instead, I’ve transcribed the words.

First, a reminder.

This song was written by a friend, for a young woman who hung herself many years ago in an old hotel. People used to talk about hearing doors slam, seeing her in the window, and hearing her moving things in the kitchens. But once the hotel closed and started falling in, she was alone. The song nagged my friend, like all stories do that demand to be told. So he finally gave in and wrote it down. And then he sang to Annabelle in the hotel.

Picture the scene. A group of ghost hunters with all their equipment. My friend with his mandolin. A three-story hotel, built in the 1800s, empty since 2001. Windows broken, roof leaking, vandalized, no power. Can you hear creaking of old wood, swollen with Pacific Northwest damp? Can you smell mildew, feel cold? Are you struggling to see what is just outside the circle of light from your headlamp or flashlight? Can you sense sadness in the shadows?

If so, listen and you might be able to hear the notes of the mandolin as you read the words my friend wrote to Annabelle.

Annabelle’s Song

I’ve heard the stories

about your being here

in this cold empty space

you can’t shed any more tears

someone has done you wrong

now you wander these halls alone.

oh Annabelle

wouldn’t you like to go home?

Go on home Annabelle

go on and walk on into the light

the angels of mercy are waiting

to help you make it through the night

and your lover’s there wondering

wondering when it is you that might come home

so won’t you go there now dear Annabelle

you’ve done your time of being alone.

I can only imagine

how cold and lonesome

this could be

but for you I see

a stairway to heaven

or at least the next one

in the big spirit home

in the big spirit home

in the big spirit home.

So go on home Annabelle

go on and walk on into the light

The angels of mercy are waiting

to help you make it through the night

and your lover’s there wondering

wondering when it is that you might come home

so won’t you go there now dear Annabelle

you’ve done your time of being alone.

So won’t you go there now dear Annabelle

you’ve done your time of being alone.

I apologize for the weird formatting. I broke the sentences up by pauses in the song, trying to honor the phrasing of poetry. Hopefully the pauses helped you hear the tune. If not, the song will be released on a CD before too long, with a youtube video I’ll be able to link for you.

Until then, I like to think that Annabelle has gone home. And our town may just be the emptier for that.

A town without its ghost?

A town without its ghost?

2 thoughts on “A Ghost of a Song

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