Lechuza (The Owl Witch)

from by Nathaniel Johnstone

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This was written in our van as we were driving from somewhere in Ohio to somewhere in Tennessee. I had my baritone uke and a poem that my Dear Lady Tempest had written a few days before. As she drove I fussed with the uke and fussed with the words and by the time we made it to the hotel I'd come up with the final arrangement. It started life as a waltz but I like it better in even time. It's more frantic and creepy that way. :)


On the border that lies between here and there
Of which few speak for who would dare
In the place where shadow and sky do meet
Dwells a being so dark so fierce and so fleet.

Soft white feathers hide talons of steel
Wide bright eyes that hunt for her meal
Body of a woman, mind of a beast
And heart of the wild to say the least


Lechuza, Lechuza must you hunt tonight?
Oh lady Lechuza who has earned your spite?
Dread owl waiting on shadowy tree
Oh lady Lechuza, won't you leave me be! 
I've done you no wrong, I mean you no ill
I hear your song, oh, what is your will? 

I hunt for you mouse man
I've come for your soul
I'll devour your heart 
Swallow your bones
I won't end my spell 
'til I've had my fill of you

A hellish creature of vengeance, magic, and lust
No qualms has she to grind you to dust
Once you've crossed her or harmed her kin
Harbor no doubts that she knows your sin

She'll come in the night, on your rooftop she'll land
Scratching and clawing to draw out your hand
Swooping down to carry you off into the night
The cold quiet moon, your very last sight. 


Revenge is hers, that's all Lechuza wants
Its the bully, the villain, the fool she haunts
Conjuring storms and spirit spells a-weaving
Trust me, its true, seeing is believing.

Some advice for you my friend, a devil's deal
Don't get drunk in her lands, don't curse or steal
The Owl Witch knows your crimes and sings,
"Death will come for you on soft white wings"



from The Dubious Hat, released September 28, 2019
Lyrics/Music by Laura Tempest Zakroff & Nathaniel Johnstone
Nathaniel Johnstone: Vocal, Guitar, Ukulele
Elizabeth Lain: Oboe
Martin Irigoyen of Vernian Process: Bass, Baglamaki, Bouzouki, and Tambourica


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Nathaniel Johnstone Seattle, Washington

Multi-instrumentalist Nathaniel Johnstone (violin, viola, banjo, mandolin, and guitar) LOVES to play music with his many musical friends. He's played with many bands and has as yet been unable to settle down with one instrument or musical genre for too long.

Each album is different but there are enough through-lines that you can get a sense of where he's been.
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