Gerry Paul – The Fairy Child: New Song Of The Day

Gerry Paul puts music to the poetry of Margaret Mahy. Now listen to The Fairy Child.

Here’s the blurb with more:

Gerry PaulTen years ago when cherished New Zealand author Margaret Mahy passed away at the age of 76, musician and songwriter Gerry Paul was preparing to perform a show at the Wellington Museum of City and Sea. As a tribute to the author, Gerry put the poem ‘The Fairy Child’ to music and performed it at the show.

Earlier this year, Gerry connected with Margaret’s daughter Bridget, who endorsed the musical version of ‘The Fairy Child’ and subsequently, the song was recorded and will be released this July, to remember Margaret Mahy on the ten year anniversary of her passing on.

‘The Fairy Child’ is a poem that was included in the 2009 publication; The Word Witch: The Magical Verse of Margaret Mahy, a collection of 66 of her much-loved poems and stories in rhyme, gathered from school readers, collections, picture books, anthologies, magazines and edited by Tessa Duder.

Gerry PaulGerry recorded the song with his band T-Bone, who recently released their debut album which went to No. 2 in the New Zealand album charts. The addition of fiddles recorded by Irish fiddler Tola Custy, add a Celtic flavour to the folk treatment of the poem. The layered harmonies and strings – which include guitars, mandolins, fiddle and double bass – give a warmth to the poem and the delicate vocals amplify the vulnerability in the lyrics. Gerry comments:

“I identified with the poem in the way that many creatives can probably identify with having been ostracised at some time in their life. People can feel threatened by imagination and dreaminess, it can often appear as being aloof. ‘The Fairy Child’ captures this and there is just such beauty in the poem, leaving the mundane behind and rejoicing in the imagination of a child”.

After listening to the song, Bridget Mahy commented that it “reminded me of Blerta’s 1970s reversioning of a story of Margaret’s, using her romantic vision of ‘Come dance all around the world’”.

To add another link to the original publication, David Elliot, the illustrator of The Word Witch, allowed his original illustration for the poem to accompany the song’s release. David praised the musical version of the poem as being a “great tribute to Margaret…and I’m sure Margaret would have been chuffed”.

The Fairy Child By Margaret Mahy

The very hour that I was born

I rode upon the unicorn.

When boys put tadpoles in their jars

I overflowed my tin with stars.

Because I sing to see the sun

The little children point and run.

Because I set the caged birds free

The people close their doors to me.

Goodbye, goodbye, you world of men –

I shall not visit you again.


From The Word Witch: The Magical Verse of Margaret Mahy (page 81)

Published by HarperCollins

ISBN 9781869507077