Song: Afraid of the Dark


Sal D’Souza. Art by Nath Holden

Sal’s song from Chapter 11 part 1 is ‘Afraid of the Dark’, and I originally wrote both words and music in 1986 for a Blake’s 7 filktape I did with a Canberra fan and musician, Fiona Undy (now Fiona Johnson).

Filk, for those who don’t know the jargon, is a typo of ‘folk’ dating back to early fandom and relates to the songs people wrote inspired by TV shows, books and films they loved. Many are based on existing melodies (especially folk tunes) but other filksong practitioners wrote original music too.

Professional musicians do it too, actually, only it’s not called filk when they do it. Think Charlotte Sometimes by the Cure, Venus in Furs by The Velvet Underground, Kate Bush’s Wuthering Heights and The Alan Parsons Project’s entire Tales of Mystery and Imagination album, inspired by Edgar Allan Poe.

Anyway, I wrote lyrics back then for a bunch of songs and the music was mostly written by Fiona, with some done by her brother Cameron (and one where we used the melody of My Favourite Things by Rodgers and Hammerstein).

But Afraid of the Dark I wrote myself, words and music. This is what I wrote about the original inspiration for the lyric:

“The Blake we saw in the episode Blake was, I always felt, a much darker and more bitter person than the man we’d met in The Way Back. Ending with a song about Blake seemed a nice, circular way to complete the tape and thematically it continued on from Prometheus Unbound. The melody line came to me in a haunting moment one afternoon, and the lyrics followed easily on.”

Here’s a link to an old webpage about the project: Voices from the Past

And here’s a link to the song as performed on that album in a wav file: Fiona plays the guitar and the vocal is by Susan Lake.

Afraid of the Dark (.wav)

When I was working on songs for this chapter, I remembered this old one and thought it fitted Sal’s state of mind well, and since it began as Kurt’s song, it gave a hint of the darkness Kurt was capable of even before he became a vampire.

Sal, of course, has a much deeper voice than Sue. 🙂

Do you have any favourite songs based on literature or other pop culture? Share the cross-referenced pop culture joy!

New to Kitty and Cadaver? Find out about the project in About Kitty and Cadaver or start from chapter one at Read the Book.

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