“Boudica” by Karliene

It is not, and will not be, my custom to post every time one of my favorite artists posts anything new. However, this song earns a special shout-out.

I’ve commented on Karliene’s work before. In fact, it was one of my very first posts. She’s not been idle since, producing a tribute album to Labyrinth and roughly two dozen songs, both covers and original works. I particularly enjoy Snow, Magic Dance, The Hanging Tree, and Into the West. (I am certain she could make a fortune reading Lord of the Rings)

Boudica, however, strikes a special, potent chord within me.

The lyrics, the instruments, the composition, the arrangement, the rhythm, the vocals… everything captures the fierce fighting spirit of the ancient warrior queen. She was a woman who had been betrayed and savagely beaten down, but rose up again, defiant. While she did not win, in the end, she made Nero (Nero of all people!), seriously consider withdrawing Rome from Britannia. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, but always, always, you stand tall and proud.

I’d say great swathes of the world could do with rediscovering some fighting spirit.

And that’s just the song itself. The story behind it is every bit as inspirational. I’ll let Karliene tell it to you in her own words (translation: go visit her site! 😉 ) but the spirit she crafts in this song is basically her answer to the bullies from her early life. Small wonder it resonates to strongly with me, then, and small wonder I love her work so much: her soul speaks to mine through her music. Which, really, is what music is all about, isn’t it?

Sparing you the details, and sparing myself the need to revisit said details, I have felt much of what she’s described. I have felt small and worthless, bullied and mocked, derided for being different. Sub-standard. Weak. Alone.

I’ve only learned later that most everyone feels that at some point. Someone, sometime, somehow, makes them feel like they are nothing. So we retreat to our fantasies, whatever they may be. For me, I was this mighty hero, in whatever setting, wise and clever and brave and kind. For others, it’s the fantasy of being an athlete, or a wealthy CEO. Whatever they are, we have them. We retreat from the darkness into our own little sphere of light, and then we come back out, a little more like that ideal.

We are beaten down, and we get back up, and we keep going. We keep “fighting.”

While I haven’t had many outstanding triumphs in my life, I can say I keep trying, and I know my worth, far more than “nothing.” I owe bits and pieces of that to every good thing, every good influence, in my life. Karliene is an inspiration. And I really like Boudica!

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