All Creatures Real and Otherwise: A Familiar’s Promise

Editor’s note: This week’s “critter” post is a special post on music about the Irish wolfhounds in Irene Radford’s Merlin’s Descendants series.

I’m not certain when I fell I love with Irish Wolfhounds.  It might have been the day a Celtic War Dog walked into the book I was writing.  It might have been when I saw a wolfhound on a televised Dog Show.  By the time I got to meet one of these magnificent dogs in person, they stole my heart completely.Granger 1

That was the day Heather Alexander and I went on a photo shoot for the interior of the album she recorded of music spinning off the tales I told in my Merlin’s Descendants series.  You can find the CD here (you have to scroll down a bit).

“Familiar’s Promise” is written from the point of view of the wolfhound familiars in the books.  It is the pledge of honor between dog and magician.  The lyrics are amazing.  The first time I heard Heather sing it she only finished writing it that afternoon.  She hadn’t memorized it yet and had to read the words from her note cards, sung A Capella with her Jack Russell Terrier in her lap.  I silently wept, unashamed of my tears.  I wasn’t the only one.Granger 2

Since 2006 when this CD was recorded, Changeling Heather has gone back to Faery and Alexander James Adams has inherited her musical legacy.  He too has recorded the song.  You can buy the single at CD Baby or his album here:

You can find Alexander James Adams on Facebook or here.

This is an anthem for all of us who love our pets, or any critter, wild or domestic.

I can feel your heart burning
With tears that you hide
I will walk without turning
Ever close by your side
I will guard you at night
And alert you to harm
And will snuggle up tight
Just to keep us both warm,

Lay you hand on my head as the firelight dies
And believe what I’ve said
For this love never lies.

I’ll inspire you to laugh
I’ll release you to cry
I’m the strong silent half
Of what we unify.
I will give you my heart
If you give me your hand
And it’s never we’ll part
Whilst beside you I stand.

If it’s courage you seek
I am yours to command
I don’t outwardly speak
But I still understand
Through your joy
And your strife
I’ll attempt my own task
I will lay down my life
All you needs do is ask

Lay you hand on my head
As the firelight dies
And believe what I’ve said
For this love never lies.


About Phyllis Irene Radford

Irene Radford has been writing stories ever since she figured out what a pencil was for. A member of an endangered species—a native Oregonian who lives in Oregon—she and her husband make their home in Welches, Oregon where deer, bears, coyotes, hawks, owls, and woodpeckers feed regularly on their back deck. A museum trained historian, Irene has spent many hours prowling pioneer cemeteries deepening her connections to the past. Raised in a military family she grew up all over the US and learned early on that books are friends that don’t get left behind with a move. Her interests and reading range from ancient history, to spiritual meditations, to space stations, and a whole lot in between. Mostly Irene writes fantasy and historical fantasy including the best-selling Dragon Nimbus Series and the masterwork Merlin’s Descendants series. In other lifetimes she writes urban fantasy as P.R. Frost or Phyllis Ames, and space opera as C.F. Bentley. Later this year she ventures into Steampunk as someone else. If you wish information on the latest releases from Ms Radford, under any of her pen names, you can subscribe to her newsletter: Promises of no spam, merely occasional updates and news of personal appearances.

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