17 June 2013

Ian Read (Fire+Ice) plagiarised "Gilded by the Sun"

Fire+Ice's "Gilded by the Sun" is regarded, by the fans, as one of the best songs of this apoliteic band.



However, very few know that Ian Read, leader of Fire+Ice, plagiarised most of the song lyrics from The Anvil of Ice (Winter of the World, Vol. 1) written by Scottish fantasy/sci-fi author Michael Scott Rohan and published in New York in 1986. Below is the comparison of the Rohan's and Read's versions of the song (Rohan's version does not have a title).




Michael Scott Rohan (1986)

Kerbryhaine! Your Seven Towers stand gilded by the sun,
Beneath your walls the fields lie green, the tree-lined waters run.
Yet in your heart what light is there, what grows and comes to flower?
Does mind grow cold, do weakened hands slip their ancient power?

Kerbryhaine! I see you now, once noble, high, and fair,
Your greatness gone, your wealth dispersed, as empty as the air.
What wasting sickness struck so at the flesh beneath the skin,
Took might and honor at a stroke, and withered from within?

Kerbryhaine! A sapling tall, but one that dies, not grows!
The greater tree you left to fall, but now your own sap slows!
The winter comes to all that lives, the Ice that slays the root
If Spring shall ever shine again, will you still bear a shoot?

Kerbryhaine! If worth remain, if aught is left to show,
The smallest leaf, the slightest bud from ancient bark to grow,
The gain is worth the sacrifice, the battle worth the slain
But will your spirit yet endure the healing stroke of pain?
Ian Read (Fire+Ice) (1992)

Albion, how fine your trees stand gilded by the sun
Across the land and in your fields the tree-lined waters run
But in your heart what light is there, what grows and comes to flower?
Does mind grow cold, do weakened hands let slip their ancient power?

Albion, I see you now, once noble, high and fair,
Your greatness gone, your wealth dispersed, as empty as the air,
What wasting sickness struck so at the flesh beneath the skin,
Took might and honour at a stroke, and withered from within?

Albion, a sapling tall, but one that dies, not grows!
The greater tree you left to fall, but now your own sap slows!
The winter comes to all that lives, the Ice that slays the root,
If Spring will ever shine again, will you still bear a shoot?

Albion, if worth remain, if aught is left to show,
The smallest leaf, the slightest bud from ancient bark to grow,
The gain is worth the sacrifice, the battle worth the slain,
But will your spirit yet endure the healing stroke of pain?


The credits for the song in the CD booklet: Read/Fire+Ice. While it may be natural for Neofolk musucians to be inspired by fantasy novels and poetry, I don't know any other example of such blatant plagiarism in Neofolk.

2 comments:

  1. It is quite common in the trad folk/neofolk context that lyrics do not get theur proper credits (immediately another example comes to mind from Der Blutharsch). Crediting is a double edged sword because you have to ask the permission and people can either refuse or charge you for too much money. Anyway that's an interesting fact, cheers for the info!

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  2. Black Sun Bloody Moon on Swastikas for Noddy is taken firectly from maldoror book 1 chapter 8

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