André Lefebvre writes:
I first want to express my gratitude to Chris Simpson and Magna Carta, for an epic song which continues to transcend generations with such a timeless and timely message.
It’s been a real privilege and joy for me to create a cover of the song Lord of the Ages, something I had wanted to do for almost 20 years, when I first wrote Chris to ask his permission to do it, to which he immediately agreed to. But then, life happened…
Forward to February of this year 2020, I suddenly felt it in my bones – THIS is the time to go forward and do it!
This project would never have been done without the precious contributions of the following extraordinary artists:
Darin Janzen: Acoustic and electric guitars, back vocals
Andrew Smith: Vocals, back vocals
Frank van Essen: Drums
Simon Fitzpatrick: Bass
Sally Minnear: Vocals
Steve Stickley: Narration
(I contributed piano, keyboards, VIs, effects, produced and mixed).
Thank you all for sharing your kindness, your gift, passion and unique sound.
42 years ago…
I first heard Lord of the Ages in 1978 and it had an immediate and lasting impact on this young Quebecois hippie! Here was pure poetry, on par with that of celebrated mythical authors, describing with sharp imagery a fantastical reality staging fears and hopes concerning the fate of our world. To me, it is universally “archetypal”.
Each time I hear the song, I can visualize almost every tableau as if I was right there, witnessing the scene. And what a scene…
Like a prophecy, the song presents a state of things which, if not addressed, will evolve to a point in time where a shift will occur on earth, and all injustices will come to an end. Those who have chosen to perpetuate evil will meet their fate in a self-destruction of their own making, but their victims will be gathered into love’s eternal presence.
The concept of Lord of the Ages isn’t about divine retribution from a vengeful celestial entity, though; it is an allegorical telling of a foreseeable conclusion of humanity’s self-imposed fate, reaping what we have sown through the kind of lives we lived.
It is an appointed time where the raging world devourers face the full measure of the hell they foolishly summoned, deaf to both reason and conscience. Like Sméagol slowly morphed into Gollum, their lust for power overcome their nature and degrade their soul. And they welcome it. And billions needlessly suffer as a result.
“His heart dark with sorrow, the Lord of the Ages gathered in his harvest.”
This line in Lord of the Ages is like a revelation about its main character. He decrees an end to the abuse and sufferings of the innocent, intervening with a heart of compassion and righteous justice, yet unblemished by desires of vengeance or punishment. He is incapable of hatred, of evil.
He takes no pleasure in the destruction of the wicked, rather the opposite, and we gather that his heart was always hoping for their redemption. They could turn toward the light by tending to those in pain, a sure way to regain their humanity. But many choose otherwise.
Not surprisingly, 2020 could be seen as a harbinger of things to come, as we witness our world being assailed on every continent by a microscopic virus, and the elite resetting the world to fit a new permanent paradigm. Our vulnerability and dependency were revealed, our routine disturbed, highlighting our need for one another’s presence.
Two diverging fates are ultimately presented for humanity: one is the dissolution of the parasitic houses of greed and malice, these monuments to putrid vanity and their architects; and the other is the redemption of those who value empathy, love and compassion, despite being visited with unrelenting sufferings.
As we come in agreement to unite around a common purpose to maintain the dream of a better world alive, guarding against the excesses of violence that impatience can breed, we are making better choices for ourselves and the world.
In that sense, the Lord of the Ages represents for me more than one of the greatest gems of human lore ever created, and more than an epic legend masterfully told: it is an anthem of sort containing the burning flame of a promise that consistently rekindles hope in the heart of every generation, no matter their race, gender or religion, never to be extinguished.
I hope the song keeps delivering this sobering promise to those who hear it, breaking the chains of malice forged in jealous and resentful hearts, ushering a harvest of souls into the sanctuary where love thrives…
“Love – it is all there is.” – George Harrison, speaking with Chris Simpson, Trident Studio, London, circa 1972
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