I wrote a song last year called “You Will”. I wrote it for someone I’d ended up hurting quite a lot, the song is basically me apologising and telling that person that they are better off without me; an apologetic warning, if you will. I think it’s one of the most direct songs I’ve written and I kind of shrugged it off as one of my lesser efforts at the time because it’s so simple, but it’s grown on me since.
I wrote the majority of this song in Greece last year whilst re-reading the myths, and although there’s a couple of sly references to Shakespeare, self-harm and the Trojan horse, the song is mostly about Orion (the hunter), and the boy mentioned above. Orion is one of the only constellations I can successfully pick out in the sky. The Orion myth I’m singing about combines the versions as told by Hesiod and Hyginus, which I will recap here:
Orion is first led astray by a girl called Merope, whose angry father discovers Orion and blinds him out of rage. After regaining his sight, Orion befriends Artemis, and becomes the only mortal who can keep up with her hunting skill. Her jealous twin brother, Apollo, kills Orion with a scorpion. Devastated Artemis cries a mountain of tears and begs Zeus (the king of the Gods) to hang Orion’s portrait in the stars, so that he will never be forgotten, and that is where he still twinkles today with his arrow raised above him and his shield raised in front of him, mid-hunt.
Artemis has been my favourite goddess since I was about 7 (I still have clumsy drawings I made of her at primary school) so it was very self-indulgent to try and look through her eyes whilst writing this song. I’m notoriously dismissive with boys and had a reputation for being quite cool (cruel) with potential suitors in my younger years. Looking back I do feel a sense of remorse when considering all these poor ignored boys from the past: nobody wants to think they’re leaving a trail of broken hearts and misery behind them, even if your own heart has been beaten up over the years as well. Immortalising this particular boy and our brief time together in a song is my version of a portrait in the stars, I guess. I wonder if he’ll ever hear it, and if he does, if he’ll recognise himself?