Buttkickin’ Halloween Songs: “Will O’ the Wisp” — Blackmore’s Night (2015)

And in that dark, the dead of night
I thought I saw a flickering light
Dancing in and out of sight
Singing this song…

Ah let’s lighten things up a bit with some Renaissance Faire music, especially where it crosses over with the supernatural.

I mean it too, the last few tunes have been a bit on the dark side, so we’re going to dial it back a bit, and what better to ring that in than with some Blackmore’s Night? Living legend Ritchie Blackmore, THE noted guitarist from both Deep Purple and Rainbow, embraced Renaissance folk music decades ago with his wife Candice Night, forming the nucleus behind the project.

A dozen extremely enjoyable albums later, their work remains infinitely more fascinating than just swirling the drain of recycled classic rock clichés, anyhow.

Our selection today is Will O’ The Wisp, from their 2015 album All Our Yesterdays. The European folk legend of the will-o’-the-wisp is that of an “atmospheric ghost light”, flickering spirits noted by travelers on their sojourns. Most likely some kind of bio-luminescence, these spirits have often been associated with something just out of reach; a goal, dream, or objective that seems just within reach, and then disappears from view entirely, perhaps never to be seen again.

I also played a lot of D&D so this was prime Monster Manual material. But I digress.

The song is just lovely, with the clarity of Night’s warm vocals perfectly complemented by Blackmore’s multi-instrumental performance. But it’s also evocative enough to transport the listener centuries into the past, walking down a Wessex forest path, the chill Autumn evening shadows broken by the sudden appearance joyful spirits of light, beckoning us towards something wholly unknown and terrifying and fascinating and wonderful.

After all: Will O’ The Wisp is just another name for a Jack O’Lantern. You don’t get much more Halloween than that.

Then the lights they faded out
But the magic still remains
Though overgrown is the path
I still see the flame…

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