St... - Benedictus / Keep The Devil Out 7" (1972)
A wonderful song from the strong Grave New World LP, recorded in November 1971 once Rick Wakeman had left the band for Yes, and Blue Weaver had taken the keyboards, not for the worse to my view, even if it was a rude shock for the band. The song is everything I admire in Dave Cousins. This ability to mix traditional melodies with a modern flavour, never sounding passeist or old-times lover, but succeeding in recreating the magical mystery emanating from this ancient music, adding new standards to old ones. The instrumentation is perfect (thx to Tony Visconti, to whom Dave Cousins is actually grateful). It was not a hit but it was maybe a little too much to ask since the song is not quite the model of the ones that excited the glam audience of the period. The B-side is the same than the abhorted "Witchwood" single, a non-LP song from John Ford. I did the cover sleeve myself, based upon a flyer from the US tour to promote the album. Enjoy it here (rs) or there (mf).
Benedictus. The wanderer has far to go Humble must he constant be Where the paths of wisdom Distant is the shadow of the setting sun. Bless the daytime Bless the night Bless the sun which gives us light Bless the thunder Bless the rain Bless all those who cause us pain. Yellow stars may lead the way All diversions lead astray While his resolution holds Fortune and good will will surely follow him. Bless the free man Bless the slave Bless the hero in his grave Bless the soldier Bless the saint Bless all those whose hearts grow faint.