Songs to my Master  Volume I: Shadowlands
 
 
 
 
 
 

For Robert Marx Ridinger
Thank you for everything you have bestowed on me
...my teacher, my Master

1st Printing: December 1990
2nd Printing: August 1991
3rd Printing: October 1991
4th Printing: March 1992
 
 

All songs Copyright © 2001 by Household Keppeler.
All songs Copyright © 1990 by John E. Larsen.
Lyrics and Music published by John E. Larsen.
All rights reserved.

No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage or retrieval system,without permission in writing from Master Alex Keppeler, Household Keppeler.

 
 
 

PROLOGUE

The Story Behind the Story

A few years back, a certain visit and a certain twelve hours with a certain person changed my life as I knew it.  I had crossed the boundary into a world where I began to find who I really was.  I was frightened at how far I had felt I had progressed in understanding more about myself through the special time.  I stayed away from leatherfolk, hoping that I would sometime pursue this intimidating side of myself.  So instead of pursuing this self-knowledge, I sublimated.

I had for sometime wanted to write a story for a Drummer-type publication with a highlight on the spiritual aspect of SM.  When I had finished a rough draft, I found that I had a great story but it centered on the spiritual aspects instead of sex (big surprise to those of you who really know me...).  I realized that the greater part of the readership would be interested in the sex scenes.  So, I hid it away on a computer disk and forget about it...until...

I was challenged by someone close to me who could not believe that my interest with the leatherworld could be reconciled with a long history of tempered upbringing.  After distracting him with a series of carefully worded and nebulous statements, I realized that if I could set my story to music and thereby center in on more of my true feelings, I could cement more of my feelings about the unknown to improve my apologetical stance. At this point in my life, just the knowledge that a foundation of belief exists seems to be enough.  It does represent my own alternative interpretation.

And just why can't the Divine be perceived like a Master to us?  This is the argument my inclusionist brothers and sisters hate to hear because the inclusionist argument conveniently disregards personal revelation for community unity.  In inclusivity's true sense, my brothers and sisters will need to accept my revelation as I have accepted theirs.  There is a long a tradition of a the Divine as Master of pain and pleasure in the writings of St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila, not to mention scads of other mystics who have likened the divine being to a Master.  Even though their visions do not account for the homoerotic aspect of leather sexuality, the essence of the Master / bondslave relationship is present, even in the traditions found in scripture.  My archetypal Master of the Maze is the culmination of three years of listening and observing both what my gay and straight brothers and sisters detest and pleasure in.  He exists for the day when his own beloved dare to walk into the shadows long and hard enough to cross over into a permanent existence with him.  He reveals himself through both the whip and the caress.  There is a holy sensuality and sexuality present in a God who provides every need for His essence and is, in fact, a side of reality few of us dare to explore.

Songs to my Master is a song cycle based on that story I wrote upon entering the leatherworld and continues to evolve today.  It deals with the evolution of two characters, both seeking a sense of purpose.  This edition, and all further editions, feature all original compositions. I really don't consider this to be a "musical," but a cycle of poem-songs based on a central story.

Anyway, enjoy this.  Take it seriously, but take it as an attempt, full of holes that it may be, to see the Unseeable and explain part of the Unexplainable.  I've seen and understood part of it, as each of us have.  Please share this with the various extensions of your family.  I hope you enjoy this offering from another boy of the Master.

 
 
 

SYNOPSIS

Part I: Shadowlands

Jim, a neophyte to the gay world and aspiring disco diva, mistakenly stumbles into a leather bar called The Abyss.  He enters the tribal world and is compelled by whispered tales of "The Master of the Maze" and "Those Who Have Crossed Over."  His opening song, Tribal Nocturne / Dressed in Black, tells of his misunderstandings and fascination about what really motivates those of that world as well as himself.

He is seen by Karl, newly freed by his former master who had been recently called into eternal service to the Master of the Maze.  Karl approaches Jim and tells him of his former master in Ropes that Heal and Words that Bind.  Jim seems an eager student to Karl, but in an aside reveals to us his true intentions and immaturity in When It's All Said and Done.

The voice of the Master of the Maze comes to Karl, echoed by the voices of Those Who Have Crossed Over, revealing Jim's insecurities, giving him permission to give Jim The Touch of the Master's Hand.  Karl takes Jim home, and very soon Jim's initial insecurities are shed as he and Karl reach The Edge of Dreams.  As in a dream, Jim imagines seeing part of the Master of the Maze's face in a vision while being bound.  Jim responds, seeing much of who he is for the first time, by pledging himself with the Song to my Master.  Karl returns praise to the Master of the Maze with a song detailing his hopes for a more permanent relationship with Jim in Father & Son.

Karl goes out to The Abyss to relate his ecstatic experience with Jim to others of the tribe.  Upon returning home that evening, Karl finds that Jim has left him after reconsidering his relationship to Karl and to the leatherworld.  Karl cries out to the Master with And Only The Wolf Survives.  Jim is confronted by the full manifestation of the Master of the Maze and returns home to Karl, begging forgiveness in Only Give the Word.  Now secure in their purpose, the Master of the Maze intervenes again, reminding both of them that he is their sanctuary, in When You Are Home.

Years after, the Master of the Maze visits Karl and tells him that it is time for Jim to search the world to find his own boy and Karl feels apprehension and relief in Crossing Over (into the Shadowlands).  Now Karl, having become one of Those Who Have Crossed Over, watches from the Master's arms as Jim prepares to take his first boy at The Abyss. Jim remembers his former master of this world in Song to my Master (Reprise).

To be continued in
Songs to my Master, Part II, Outlander

 
 
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Tribal Nocturne / Dressed in Black

Chorus of Leatherfolk:
   We serve the Master... We live to serve...
 
Jim:
You stand to the wall with your clothes so tough
The look on your face, your boots so rough
Is it all just an act when you're dressed in black?
I've seen your type standing there before
Is someone in your arms when you head for the door?
Is it all just an act when you're dressed in black?
 
Is it all just an act when you're dressed in black?
Is it all just an act when you're dressed in black?
When you're dressed in black?
 
You stand there talking to the other men
You look at me and then you look again
Is it all just an act when you're dressed in black?
Do you see a conquest?  Do you see a fight?
Do you see a man who'll give you a hell of a night?
Is it all just an act when you're dressed in black?
 
Is it all just an act when you're dressed in black?
Is it all just an act when you're dressed in black?
When you're dressed in black?
 
Chorus of Leatherfolk
(continuing throughout last verse):

   We serve the Master... We live to serve...
 
Jim:
Just who is the "Master" you say that you serve?
Some third-rate demon with one hell of a nerve?
Why do feel I want to be dressed in black?
Why is it I feel you moving closer to me?
What's so seductive about your intimacy?
Why do feel I want to be dressed in black?
 
Why do feel I want to be dressed in black?
Why do feel I want to be dressed in black?
Dressed in black... Dressed in black...
 
Return to Synopsis  
 
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Ropes that Heal & Words that Bind

Karl:
I used to think that the dark and the light
Were different from each other
I feared the darker places of my soul
And wouldn't search inside them
But then you came and you took control
And with words and with rope, you bound me
To the simple truth I had longed to know
And were right there beside me, You told me...
 
Ropes can heal and words can bind
Our souls unto the Other
In the mystery of our selfsame goal,
You became my brother
In the dark we find the loving word
That comes only from surrender
Then the ropes that heal and the words that bind
Will bring us to each other.
 
It's in my heart to run far away
And to loose the reins of belonging
But it's then you give the word to me
And our souls become connected
I can see that all you require from me
Is to obey your higher calling
And the end result of losing all
Will be your lifelong heeding; You showed me...
 
Ropes can heal and words can bind
Our souls unto the Other
In the mystery of our selfsame goal,
You became my brother
In the dark we find the loving word
That comes only from surrender
Then the ropes that heal and the words that bind
Will bring us to each other.
 
Return to Synopsis  
 
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When It's All Said and Done

Jim:
Time stands still, in the world not filled with voices
(Are you offering me the chance to learn my name?)
Night turns to day in the endless change of seasons
(Am I pledging me to you or you to me?)
 
And when it's all said and done, you'll see through my completeness
You'll know the rise and fall of who I am
And when it's all said and done, you'll see my inner weakness,
I'll be the one you want, when it's all said and done
 
Life from myth, it's the same throughout creation
(Will you stay with me throughout the darkest night?)
Time unbound, with mysterious conclusions
(Will the thought of what I'll become be enough?)
 
And when it's all said and done, you'll see through my completeness
You'll know the rise and fall of who I am
And when it's all said and done, you'll feel my inner weakness,
I'll be the one you want, when it's all said and done
 
   I've played these games before, with different faces
   And the odds were stacked before game was begun
   But I'll win out, and I'll show you how the game is played
   With someone who knows how to stack the deck
 
Bridges burned, with a taste of blind confusion
(I can truly see the one that I'll become)
Flags unfurled, with a sense of new direction
(I will leave your face behind when time has run)
 
And when it's all said and done, I'll see through your completeness
And I'll know the rise and fall of who you are
And when it's all said and done, I'll see your inner weakness,
I'll be the one you want, when it's all said and done
 
Return to Synopsis  
 
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The Touch of the Master's Hand

The Master:
In ageless years the secret of the mystery
Was passed among the hidden and the few
And was looked upon in fear and blind confusion
The duality that found itself in you.
A time came when you wished to know the mystery
The mystery that comes to those who seek
Can find within the center of the circle
The mystery of the strong and of the weak
 
Chorus of Those Who Have Crossed Over:
And to Him all praise be given, throughout the span of Time
Keep sacred His gift to you, your rhythm in the rhyme
Stay strong amidst the torrent of pain at His command
And He will find you worthy for the touch of the Master's hand.
 
The Master:
And now you come to me with a new question
The mystery demands that someone new
Be allowed to seek the center of the circle
And now you're told his Master will be you
 
And with the Voice of Ages comes a promise
That voice within the mystery so strong
You will abide with me within the circle
And your time of endless waiting won't be long
 
ALL:
And to Him all praise be given, throughout the endless Dance
Stay strong and keep your courage, throughout all circumstance
Keep watch upon the Master and try to understand
And you always will be worthy of the touch of the Master's hand.
 
And to Him all praise be given, throughout the span of Time
Keep sacred His gift to you, your lyric in the rhyme
And you shall dwell within the center, far past the end of man
For you will have served your purpose,
For the touch of the Master's hand.
 
Return to Synopsis  
 
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The Edge of Dreams

Karl (spoken):
You have come to a place where all you have known
May dissolve and rearrange in one great tapestry
You have accepted my embrace and have taken me as your guide
To a world that til now have you dreamed about
I alone have waited for this moment
And have dreamed of its coming
For the time when I can show to one
The vastness of the mystery and the completeness of the Maze
And share with you the pleasure of the pain.
 
(sung)
So many nights I searched to find, the boy who would fulfill the dream,
The dream that I've believed in for so long
So many ways I've touched your face and loved your body to extremes
Until we went beyond the edge of dreams.
 
Jim (spoken):
You have brought me to the place where passion takes no second
And all in front of me is so uncertain
Where confusion takes no equal and reason has no friend
In a world that until I now I only dreamed about
I don't pretend to understand the reasons
But am certain that it is where I must be
In the time that you can show to one as I
The vastness of the mystery and the completeness of the Maze
And share with me the pleasure of the pain.
 
(sung)
So many nights I searched to find the man who would fulfill the dream,
The dream that I've believed in for so long
So many ways I've seen your face and loved your being to extremes
Until we went beyond the edge of dreams.
 
Karl & Jim (sung):
So many nights I searched to find the man who would fulfill the dream,
The dream that I've believed in for so long
So many ways I've seen your face and loved your being to extremes
Until we went beyond the edge of dreams.
 
Return to Synopsis  
 
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Song to my Master

Jim:
My goal in this life has been to fight the odds
To fight for my rights and for all that I have wanted
But it all becomes misty in the games of give and take
And there is something in your voice that tells me that I am wrong
And somewhere in the silence, I believe you...So
 
Capture me, and take me where you want to
And take from me all I have and all I am
Enrapture me, and teach me what you want to
And I'll pray you I'll be worthy of the things you have in store
 
I have fought for so long that I don't know if I am winning
Or if I am losing as I try to keep my ground
And I hear you're calling me to a life that I must lose
But it's hard to give control when that's all you've ever known
And somewhere in the silence, I believe you... So...
 
Capture me, and take me where you want to
And take from me all I have and all I am
Enrapture me, and teach me what you want to
And I'll learn that I'll be worthy of the things you have in store
 
   I know that I must lose it all to find you
   And that's the hardest choice I'll have to make
   But I sense that living for you is the only road ahead
   And maybe it's the only chance for me to take... So...
 
Capture me, and take me where you want to
And take from me all I have and all I am
Enrapture me, and teach me what you want to
And I'll know that I'll be worthy of the things you have in store
 
Return to Synopsis  
 
++++++++++++++++++++++
 
 

Father & Son

Karl:
You've come to a place where you've left fear behind
And you've surrendered what is and will be
You have taken a road that is rocky and rough
But you've chosen a lifetime with me
 
You have chosen the way for the hardest of souls
The ones who have nothing to give,
And by giving your burden to one such as I
You will find the courage to live
 
   I have lived for this moment for many a day
   And I'm certain that you are the one
   Who can love me the way I have wanted to love
   And will make us a father and son
 
I once thought that my dream would never come true
And that all that I ever would be
Was a person who'd always be there for another
And that no one would be there for me
 
You have proven to me that my dream would come true
And the folly that weakened my heart
Would be shattered in pieces by one such as you
And would never tear us apart
 
   I have lived for this moment for many a day
   And I'm certain that you are the one
   Who can love me the way I have wanted to love
   And will make us a father and son
   Who can love me the way I have wanted to love
   And will make us a father and son
 
Return to Synopsis  
 
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And Only the Wolf Survives

Karl:
Oh, the wolf seeks out its own in spite of many dangers
And he knows there is for him a higher calling
But his own may not receive him, so he'll walk his road alone
And the solitary hunter will survive
 
In the face of life and death, the wolf continues on
Though the nameless void may take so many lives
But the answer lies above him in the blackness ‘round the stars
And only the wolf survives.
 
Oh, the wolf may just devour what gets into his way
And the fear of what he's done may come before him
But the wolf knows he is destined to do what he must do
And the solitary hunter will survive
 
In the face of life and death, the wolf continues on
Though the nameless void may take so many lives
But the answer lies above him in the blackness ‘round the stars
And only the wolf survives.
 
   Oh, it's useless to try and understand him,
   For he travels by his own star
   And the battles that he faces are many
   But he's been the victor of them so far
 
There are myths and there are legends telling of the mighty wolf
Who has seen the face of death and spat upon it
And has seen so many victories and felt each wounding loss
But the solitary hunter will survive
 
In the face of life and death, the wolf continues on
Though the nameless void may take so many lives
But the answer lies above us in the blackness ‘round the stars
And only the wolf survives.
 
Return to Synopsis  
 
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Only Give the Word

Jim:
Time and time again, I try not to surrender
To the pain that life seems to always bring my way
But the pain is worth confronting when my eyes are set on you
And I wait alone to hear that final word
 
   Only give the word and I shall surrender
   To the mystery and the pain you set before me
   I only ask that you let me know
   That the pain that is before me
   Will be a true reflection of your love.
 
Time and time again, I fight the need to surrender
And I try to control all of the answers of my life
But the questions seem so many and the answers seem so few
That I will wait alone to hear that final word
 
   Only give the word and I shall surrender
   To the mystery and the pain you set before me
   I only ask that you let me know
   That the pain that is before me
   Will be a true reflection of your love.
 
      And I wait with the longing of a bondslave
      For the release that only you can bring
 
   Only give the word and I shall surrender
   To the touch and the mystery set before me
   I only ask that you let me know
   That the pain that is before me
   Will be a true reflection of your love.
 
Return to Synopsis  
 
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When You Are Home

The Master of the Maze:
Lost in the fullness, searching desire
You think you're destined to wander;
Deep in the mystery, in the arms of another,
Only has led you away
 
Sirens of passion beckon you nearer
Promises of light and of dark;
Promising shelter and keeping forever
Never to want or to sleep
 
   What can be felt and what can be seen
   May prove to be your undoing
   What can be feared is what can be known:
   I'll bring you safe to my arms
 
   Hear without listening, see without sight
   Search toward the center to me
   Touch without feeling, know without thought
   You will be safe in my arms,
   When you are home
 
Burning the bridges of what is behind you
You turn and face deep inside
Facing your soul's seductive power,
You choose to open your eyes
 
Seeking for homelands far beyond sunset,
Wastelands and darklands unknown,
You know the signposts; You smell the thunder
You take the road to your home
 
   What can be felt and what can be seen
   May prove to be your undoing
   What can be feared is what can be known:
   I'll bring you safe to my arms
 
   Hear without listening, see without sight
   Search toward the center to me
   Touch without feeling, know without thought
   You will be safe in my arms,
   When you are home
 
Return to Synopsis  
 
++++++++++++++++++++++
 
 

Crossing Over (Into the Shadowlands)

The Master:
In the center of the circle in the center of the maze,
I await all my beloved who have known me
As it was when I created it shall be unto the end
You must cross into the shadows to accept my gift for you...
 
You have done well, my faithful one
And I have waited for this moment to come
For you will spend eternity in the center of my arms
And soon you must be crossing over
 
In the center of the mystery lies just one redeeming truth
And you've come a long, long way to gaze upon it
From the dawn of all creation there has only been one way
Now you must cross into the shadows to accept my gift for you...
 
You have done well, my faithful one
And I have waited for this moment to come
For you will spend eternity in the center of my arms
But you must now be crossing over
 
(Short Instrumental)
 
Karl:
I have waited for this moment since I first knew who I was.
And have tried to serve my Master and His purpose.
I have seen the face of pain and of the pleasure there beside
And I pledge myself forever to accept your gift for me...
 
I have done well for my faithful one
And have waited for this moment to come
For I will spend eternity in the center of his arms
And I must now be crossing over...
 
Master (whispered):
Well done, my boy.  Come and spend eternity within my arms...
 
Return to Synopsis  
 
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Song to my Master
(Reprise)

Jim:
Capture me, and take me where you want to
And take from me all I have and all I am
Enrapture me, and teach me what you want to
And I'll learn that I'll be worthy of the things you have in store
 
Return to Synopsis  
 

Continue the song cycle in
Songs to my Master  Volume II: Outlander

Comments and inquiries invited to Master@HouseholdK.org.


 

All songs Copyright © 2001 by Household Keppeler.
All songs Copyright © 1990 by John E. Larsen.
Lyrics and Music published by John E. Larsen.
All rights reserved.

No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage or retrieval system,without permission in writing from Master Alex Keppeler, Household Keppeler.


 

This page last updated on January 18, 2007.
Copyrighted © 2000-2007 by Master Alex Keppeler.
Constructed and maintained by Master Alex of Household Keppeler.


 
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