Cordelia's song

Remember when I was
Your greatest treasure of all
Remember when I was
Gone and the sky would fall all around you
Hold me now
Draw me close to you

Tell me why you never loved me dearly
Tell me why I was never one of yours
If in one shining moment I could feel your hands again
Tell me when will I ever hear you say
I'm yours

Remember when I was
Yours and yours only
Remember when I was
Your earth and sky and sea
Hold me now
Draw me close to you

(repeat chorus)

For starters, this was a reference to literary work: Shakespeare's King Lear. For those who do not go for Literature class, read on.
Imagine a single parent, the King of England, whose name is Lear. He had three daughters, Gonerill, Regan and Cordelia. His favourite daughter was Cordelia. Now, it came to pass that Lear wanted a declaration of love - a public one - from his three daughters. He was hoping to divide the kingdom into three parts (a chunk of it would go to Cordelia), and give each part to each daughter. Gonerill and Regan flattered Lear with all their poetry and their versions of the love declaration. Cordelia, on the other hand, was saying everything that she would say - her true love for her father was expressed when she said something that went like "I love you as a child would love his father. No more, no less." Lear was shocked, and all the more disappointed, and with two suitors (the Duke of Burgundy and the King of France) waiting for Cordelia's hand, he was angry. He disowned Cordelia but the King of France took her hand in marriage because of the down-to-earth person that she was. As for Gonerill and Regan, they got the land Lear promised to them, plus halves of Cordelia's part, and Lear became king only in name. And can you beat it, Lear even parted ways with his crown and it was "split up" between Gonerill's and Regan's husbands, Albany and Cornwall !

It was only later that when Lear hoped to stay with Gonerill and Regan that he knew their true colours. Both of them didn't really love him; they were just greedy for the property and the power. They didn't allow Lear to bring his soldiers along with him, and they treated him badly - such that he let all the four elements take their course on him, he lived a vagabond, he lost everything - his land, his power, the love he hoped his daughters would give him, and even his clothes ! The only people who were loyal to him were the Earl of Kent, and of course - Cordelia, who was hoping to see her father once more.

Soon after (here, I write in present tense because this is the setting of Cordelia's Song), the French army comes to England, led by Cordelia, hoping to retrieve Lear and restore him. However, England wages war on France and several people are captured. Gonerill and Regan attack each other (because they're in love with the same person) and both die; Cordelia is captured and hanged to death. Halfway in his insanity, he sees the dead body of Cordelia and comes to his senses. He dies shortly after.

I heard this entire description in one Literature class during my AS Levels preparation, but I knew I'd be doing it for A2 - the second half. I almost sobbed. And I wanted to write something on it immediately when I came home. I summarised the entire passage on Cordelia in King Lear into just two verses and a chorus, perhaps for emotional suppression. I wrote this on 2008/10/11 ; it's only today that I put it here - I don't know, perhaps to create a gap between the previous set of lyrics and today's ?


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