Canadian musician André Lefebvre recorded and produced a beautiful cover version of Magna Carta’s Lord of the Ages, which will hopefully be released shortly as a single (duration 10:42). More about this can be read in his own words, but first read Chris comments below!
Chris Simpson writes:
LORD OF THE AGES BY ANDRÉ LEFEBVRE
It is a great English axiom, ‘ imitation is the greatest form of flattery!’
This really rings true when just sometimes, something happens that stirs the heart, and makes you wonder.
The music business can be a nest of vipers; and so very often is, for the land of musical milk and honey has all too often become the waterless desert wasteland, where musical hopes and dreams perish in spite of belief and hope.
I have had my share of downtimes and it was Lord of the Ages that came out of nowhere and proved to be unique. I had some ideas (and ideas in the early seventies were par to the course) and went on the train to demo the ideas with a friend who lived on St George’s Estate in Surrey. Two houses away from John Lennon at the time.
Whilst on the train ideas came and went and I scribbled some thoughts on cigarette packets, never knowing what would become of them, but trusting in the Muse.
Song fragments can be elusive.
From the depths of pockets, or in one case a dog kennel, I scribbled on this and that, then lost them.
I would write on whatever was around, one example being expanded into cornflakes packets which I called ‘Seasons’ – a journey through the Seasons of the year and the life cycle of man.
It was very successful and set us off along a different road.
As did this set of ciggy packet archive.
My friend, now sadly departed, had a deep and fruity bass ended vocal. I asked him to write down my jottings. And orate!
As soon as I heard ‘Lord of the Ages rode out one night’, I felt the earth turn a little.
The rest is history and gold records.
Rick Wakeman called it ‘the greatest album of its kind ever made’… The accolades rolled in from all over the world… and finally, apart from André and his musicians doing one amazing inspired performance, I have had to think the whole thing out… why did it come to me on a train. Thank heavens for ciggies!!
And, the Maya, in the Sixteenth Century, spoke of …’wise man and prophets and all workers of magic, and warned of the reckoning, the wind and the fire, and the plague of destruction that follows the paths of evil..’ And just old wives tales?
What price the Pandemic laying waste our world…?
The most shattering message came via e-mail some years back from Malik, who thanked me for making the record in the first place.
He said, they had been hunkered down in the sewers in Kosovo whilst their people were being tortured and killed and the factor that kept hope alive in the carnage was ‘Lord of the Ages’. Everybody knew it, and he thanked me for ‘the greatest work ever made by humans.’
Sometimes when the night is dark, I sense the power of the light and know in my soul that all will be well.
Blessings to André for picking up the cudgels where I left off…
God bless you all!
Chris Simpson, December 1, 2020.
Listen to an edited version (3:34) here