We All Come From the Horned God, possibly, but don’t sing it…

We all come from the Horned God, and to him we shall return, like a spark of flame, rising to the heavens . . . . .

While I’ve never particularly liked that line, it’s been a welcome part of many rituals that I’ve participated in for the last fifteen years. That line served as a balance point to the more well known We all come from the Goddess, and to her we shall return, like a drop of rain-flowing to the ocean. (A friend of mine calls “We All Come From the Goddess” the Pagan “Kumbaya.”) That last line there, the one about the Goddess, was written by Z. Budapest, as was apparently the tune its sung to, and Z’s none too happy with people covering her song and adding verses to it.

This became a public issue yesterday (I’m writing this on April 18) when Z put up an angry note about other people recording her song, and individuals adding new verses to it. For the record, if Z has a copyright on that song, then no one should be recording it or using it for “for profit” purposes without her getting a cut. That’s how copyright works, and I’m not against anyone enforcing their copyright. Anytime you record a songwriter’s song (even if they don’t like you recording the song), they get a share of royalties, that’s how it works. Anytime your song is sung at a bar or club (or possibly the main stage at a Pagan Festival) you get a cut. When that song is played on the radio, you get a cut. When that song is played inside of a business or coffee shop, you get a cut. That’s fine with me, and should be fine with everyone else.

Z’s post sent Facebook into a flurry yesterday (I had 56 comments on my Facebook page about it alone), with various levels of outrage being attached to that flurry. Some people were upset about her attempting to enforce her copyright (as stated above, I’m not one of them), and they tried to argue that “We All Come From the Goddess” is now a folk song and beyond copyright protection. There’s a thing known as a “traditional” song that is often beyond copyright, but folk songs can certainly be copyrighted. People are still writing new folk songs, and the people who write those songs enjoy eating, they should certainly be paid for their work.

What was so upsetting about Z’s comments yesterday were totally unrelated to copyright, and directly related to belittling the beliefs of others. There’s a long history out there of people adding new words to established songs, or adding an extra verse or two when it suits them. “The Star Spangled Banner” is only half an American song for example; Francis Scott Key wrote the lyrics, and the tune its self is an old English drinking song. Saturday Night LIve featured a skit just last weekend about people changing the words to Jay Z’s “New York,” and those parodies are easy to find online. As a sport fans I’ve seen dozens of clips on Youtube featuring expanded and altered lyrics to promote a specific team. People can be proud to be a fan of the Yankees but not the Sun God?

I’ve had a few people tell me that I’ve misinterpreted Z’s comments, but I’ll repost them here (emphasis my own, grammatical and spelling errors, Z’s) “I would like you to help me spread the words that Singing “We all come from the Goddess” should NOT BE rewritten. It is my intellectual property. it is NOt a folk song, which by the way is the fate of many composers whose songs are stolen. You steal my song from now will have consequences. You put men into the song, like God,a hex will be activated.” I’m not even going to comment on the hex (not everyone follows the Wiccan Rede), but the part that upset me was “You put men into the song, like God.” In so many ways, thanks for belittling my beliefs. I guess I don’t deserve the love and attention of the Goddess if I’m going to worship the God right alongside of her. How dare I worship Pan!

Perhaps Z’s post yesterday might have been written under duress (it’s been removed). There’s a part in there where she calls out a group named Serpentine for recording her song without giving her a song-writing credit. I’m sure if someone stole one of my columns and attached their name to it I would be angry (though I wouldn’t hex anyone)*. She should call out people who violate her copyright, I’m fine with that, as are most people. What’s bothersome is that a verse about the Horned God is so offensive to her. I’ve always sung “We All Come from the Goddess” because it’s a beautiful piece of music, and the words speak to me. As a Wiccan who likes to honor the idea of balance in his rituals (I worship a God right alongside the Goddess) and to do that in song, next to a beautiful verse that so captures Her essence, and to love that moment . . . . . . hearing the composer want to take that away from me is heart breaking.

As people have reacted to this little controversy, it’s important to remember that we should never wish each other ill. I’ve seen a lot of nasty comments about Z the past 12 hours. I understand that people are upset, but calling her a “sexist scumbag” doesn’t improve the situation or add any clarity to it. While Z’s brand of Paganism has never been my chalice of cider, I’m sure she’s empowered thousands of women and improved their lives. As I find myself disagreeing with her on various issues, I always try to remember the good that we all know she’s done for the community. I hear from many that she’s a very warm person with a wicked sense of humor, I hope that she is, and I wish her no ill will and hope her copyright issues are cleared up. I will miss that song in ritual though, because it’s obvious that the person who wrote it, doesn’t want me to sing it. People adapt things for use in ritual, and instead of being upset about it, I think it makes more sense to be honored by it. Enforce your copyright, but also lean back and enjoy what your magick has created.

Z’s Facebook posting in full from yesterday:

Dearest Friends!
I would like you to help me spread the words that Singing “We all come from the Goddess” should NOT BE rewritten. It is my intellectual property. it is NOt a folk song, which by the way is the fate of many composers whose songs are stolen. You steal my song from now will have consequences. You put men into the song, like God,a hex will be activated. I have found that people actually sell their wares with my song in the Title,like Serpentine for example. These people are NOT having my permission, especially when they don’t even credit my name. Women are fooled that its from me, or fooled that its Serpentine. .Theft is theft. I cannot be everywhere, but i have experienced women making up new words,attaching it to my song that NEEDS NO attachments. Have you ever heard a man writing a song about the gods, and then put females in it?? Never. So stop you generosity attacks with my songs, write an original .Men who had Mozart and Schubert amongst them,surely will come up with their own songs .
Women like to give away and include but please do it with your own intellectual property.
I wrote that song for the Goddess worshipping women. Its gone around the globe. I don’t mind you singing it, only selling it and not giving me credit.
Its a sacred song, and i will protect it! Speak up when you hear this song abused, and write to me. Blesssed be!

*You might argue that a blogpost is nothing like a song, and I’ll grant you that, but I can offer another example. Several years ago I wrote my own “Charge of the God.” It’s a piece I’m very proud of, and it’s been used in ritual all over the country (and not just by me). People have emailed me and asked if they could change a line or two, or re-arrange the verses, and my response has always been “Yes! Of course you can!” The only thing that might ever bother me is if someone took it and claimed that they wrote the whole thing, but changing it up? Certainly. People have changed Valiente’s “Charge of the Goddess” over the years to suit their own needs, I don’t recall her ever being offended by it.

About Jason Mankey

Jason Mankey has been involved with Paganism for the last twenty years, and has spent the last ten of those years as a speaker, writer, and High Priest. Jason can often be found lecturing on the Pagan Festival circuit, so you might just bump into him. When not reading and researching Pagan history he likes to crank up the Led Zeppelin, do rituals in honor of Jim Morrison (of The Doors), and sing numerous praises to Pan, Dionysus, and Aphrodite. He lives in Sunnyvale CA with his wife Ari and two hyper-kinetic cats.

  • Jamesjkohler326

    Your point is a valid one but it brings up an entirely different issue. The obvious question that we have to ask is one of presumed credentials. Is Z. Budapest just an author and song writer or is she a priestess – and I raise the distinction because she can not be both. The Pagan tradition does not support a professional clergy nor does it require individuals to offer mandatory compensations to the clergy for the services they perform. More-over there are serious legal distinctions between a not-for profit corporations and commercial enterprises. If Z. Budapest takes a stand as any other author artist or artisan has every reasonable right to do – then she should also concede that she is not a priestess of any church or religious organization which by definition may not abuse religious organizational structures for personal profit. The issue becomes is she a priestess or a scam artist using a religious front to take advantage of the pagan community. Her assertions restated  herein above make the later seem obvious to her discredit – She is no longer fit to call herself a member of the clergy!  

    • Arokk

      “The Pagan Community” doesn’t do or not do anything. Individual congregations (where and if they exist) may or may not offer compensations  to their clergy. Blanket statements about any group are rarely true. 

      Not-for-profit organizations are not prevented from making money. The distinction occurs when what is DONE with the money comes into play. For-profit ventures invest and pay bills, then what is left goes to the owners to do as they please. Not-for-profits just take those leftover funds and put them back into the business. 

      Budapest is fully capable of being both a priestess and a writer (your assertion to the contrary was another silly statement). There are plenty of writers who are also clergy, and vice versa. With sexist stances like she has taken over the years, however, her particular congregations will likely find itself shrinking more and more as time goes on.

      The one thing I will agree with you on, James, is that she has discredited herself and her movement. Her aggressive stances (whether real or in jest) against men, transgendered folks, and Pagans at large have squandered any capital she has for being a Pagan “elder”. 

    • http://kenazfilan.blogspot.com/ Kenaz Filan

      Is Z. Budapest just an author and song writer or is she a priestess – and I raise the distinction because she can not be both. 

      Says who? There are lots of initiated Wiccans, Pagans, Heathens, etc. who write books, perform music, make art, etc. They are entitled to due recompense for their work just as much as any other craftsman.  Last I checked, Gardner prohibited selling degrees for profit.  Putting aside the issue of the many non-Gardnerian witchcraft traditions, there’s a big difference between saying “you can’t take money in exchange for making someone second degree” and “you must work for free for every member of your coven and tradition in all ways without daring to ask for a red cent in exchange.” 

       The Pagan tradition does not support a professional clergy nor does it require individuals to offer mandatory compensations to the clergy for the services they perform. More-over there are serious legal distinctions between a not-for profit corporations and commercial enterprises. If Z. Budapest takes a stand as any other author artist or artisan has every reasonable right to do – then she should also concede that she is not a priestess of any church or religious organization which by definition may not abuse religious organizational structures for personal profit.

      Which Pagan tradition are you talking about? There are a number of Pagan traditions. And as Arokk pointed out, there’s no reason why a non-profit organization can’t make money, or why the head of a non-profit can’t make extra money on i.e. speaking fees.  (Lots of them do).  

      I’m no fan of Z Budapest: hell, I’ve been poking her with sharp sticks on Wild Hunt for a while now. But your argument is somewhere between wrong and incoherent. 

    • http://twitter.com/whitestagforest Aine Llewellyn

       “The Pagan tradition does not support a professional clergy nor does it
      require individuals to offer mandatory compensations to the clergy for
      the services they perform.”

      /The/ Pagan tradition? What Pagan tradition? Plenty of ancient Pagan traditions didn’t have a problem, actually definitely had, professional clergy. Just because Wicca, or some traditions of Wicca, don’t have professional paid clergy doesn’t mean other Pagan paths don’t.

      • http://sarenth.wordpress.com/ Sarenth

        Why shouldn’t we pay our clergy if they provide us professional services?  It is not easy to write rituals, training for laity/other priests (depending on the path’s model), and engage in spiritual counseling.  It is draining, hard work, and I think the Pagan community is long overdue in providing many of its overworked, hard-working clergy help in their positions.  If you want people who can provide consistent religious services you need to support them.  The same goes for oracles, diviners, healers, etc.  

        Gebo, that is, gift-for-a-gift, needs to come to the fore for all our relationships in the Pagan community.  It would not hurt to start with our leaders, facilitators and other people who make many of its functions possible.

        • http://twitter.com/whitestagforest Aine Llewellyn

           I agree…I’m  quite pro-paid clergy. Have been since I joined the community.

    • dani_alexis


      More-over there are serious legal distinctions between a not-for profit corporations and commercial enterprises.

      None of which are at issue here.  And yes, I am a lawyer.

      A not-for-profit corporation is allowed to make money via “commercial enterprises,” including the sale of goods and services.  They’re allowed to make unlimited amounts of money by selling goods and services, in fact.  And many, if not most, not-for-profits help pay their own bills in precisely this way: by charging for goods (Girl Scout cookies, for example) and/or services (Planned Parenthood pelvic exams, for example).

      The legal distinction comes into play when a not-for-profit decides what to do with its profits, or the money left over after it pays what it owes (bills, payroll, mortgages, etc.).  For a federally registered not-for-profit, that money cannot go into the pockets of stakeholders.  It must go into furthering the organization’s mission in some way – but the organization has extraordinary freedom to decide what it funds in order to “further its mission.”  A for-profit corporation, on the other hand, puts that money into the hands of its stakeholders (shareholders in the case of public corporations, owners/partners in the case of closely-held corporations).

      The other big point you’re not grasping here is that even someone who runs a non-profit corporation is not prevented by law from making their own money privately in some other way – such as by writing a book, for example.  Nor does any law prevent them from defending their own intellectual property rights in anything they personally produce.  

      So, even if Z Budapest does in fact work for a non-profit – and I have absolutely no idea whether she does or not, because a non-profit is a specific type of legal entity, not just a designation automatically slapped on any religion you like – nothing prevents her from writing on the side, selling her writing, and/or defending her copyright in those writings.  Even if they are religious writings.

      I see your point about using one’s religion as a “front” for a personal gripe, but your reasoning used to get there does not comport with known facts.

    • Vonnie Thompson

      Many religious professionals are also artists and authors and as such deserve the same protections to their intellectual property as any other artist, even those who are not paid clergy.  They own their sermons, they own the religious services they create, as intellectual property unless they agree otherwise with their particular denomination.  They write beautiful, engaging books which speak to many and they are paid for them (e.g. Thich Nhat Hanh).  Though I disagree heartily with Z’s assertions and her magical ethics in this case, I do not see that her insistence on copyright enforcement to be abuse of our religion.  We had a similar issue with a song that we used in our UU church for the children’s recessional.  The woman who wrote it originally used the word “God” in the lyrics and like many UU churches, ours decided to make the lyrics more inclusive and replaced “God” with “love”, as did many other UU churches in the nation.  The lyricist found out and objected.  Out of respect, we simply stopped singing the song.  I was sad, but I respect her right to the integrity of her intellectual property.

      Z isn’t my cup of tea.  And obviously she isn’t yours.  But there are many people out there who recognize and celebrate her as a priestess and you can’t simply tell them or her that she is not a priestess.  You don’t have to respect or agree with her, and you don’t have to recognize her as having religious authority over you, but you cannot speak for others or our community as a whole.  We all have free will and must follow our own will as Z follows hers.

  • http://profiles.google.com/celticelk Scott Martin

    I happen to own that Serpentine record (that’s the name of a person, not a group, BTW), and took a look at the liner notes yesterday after this story broke.  “Rock the Goddess,” the track that includes “We All Come From the Goddess,” is indeed credited as “Traditional.”  The copyright date on that album is 1994.  I purchased the album in the late ’90s from unrelated pagan music retailer Serpentine Music .  It seems a little late for Z to be making a big stink about this issue given those circumstances.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=601178231 Jason Mankey

      Thanks for sharing that!  Good to know.   

    • http://www.facebook.com/amber.montague369 Amber Finley-Montague

      I looked this up, and you’re right. I also looked up statute of limitations on copyright infringement. The statute of limitations is 3 years after discovery of the infringement, or when she should have reasonably discovered it. For this album to have come out in 1994, it’s pretty safe to assume that she has known about it being used in that song for quite some time- more than 3 years. If that is the case, the statute of limitations has expired for her almost 15 years ago. Why, then, would she bring this issue up now for a song that was written 40 years ago? Seems like a publicity stunt to me.

  • Adrian Hawkins

    I wholeheartedly respect her right to protect her material through the avenues of law. I encourage My issue has nothing to do with that right but the words Z spoke when she asserted that right. For me ( I cannot speak for others) it has nothing to do with her gender but the malfeasance shes encouraged with her choice of the word hex. I think it would have been entirely different if she had asked us to report those that were infringing on her rights to her, rather than threatening everyone who doesnt do it her way.

  • Thelettuceman

    Z’s copyright to “We All Come From the Goddess”  is filed with the US Copyright office (in this instance searchable through their online records)  from 1975.  There are two other copyrights with that song on the album, but the site does not go into any form of royalties paid.  I assume that it would have been.  So she most definitely HAS copyright over the song itself and can act accordingly if a site, person, or organization is found to be infringing that copyright.

    What has been posted elsewhere is that she doesn’t grasp the concept of fair use.  Beyond this, things like the Audio Home Recording Act specifically states that it is legal to make recordings for non-commercial use.  Parody can be considered fair use, even in the case of commercial sales,
    which has been held up in a handful of Supreme Court rulings over the
    years.  The Wiki article (dubious, yes, but I am strapped for time) also states that the copyright holder cannot revoke the right of fair use on their item in question.  This, I believe, is very telling and should be looked into.

    She’s showing herself to simply be lashing out in anger.  Her threats of hexes are doing nothing to endear her any more than her previous inflammatory comments on various issues she has become notorious for.    They are not going to stop anyone from doing anything and are simply bullying tactics.  I wrote on the Wild Hunt yesterday that I think the best thing to do is drop the use of the song forever and let it lapse out of memory.  If she wants the song to be within a minor clique of people, let it.  I’m sure other people could come up with vastly superior melodies and songs.  There is no reason to chain oneself to the work of some cantankerous personality.

  • http://johnfranc.blogspot.com/ John Beckett

    Some songwriters are very protective of their work and don’t want people making up extra verses.  I don’t necessarily agree with that, but I understand it, and I certainly support songwriters enforcing their copyrights and getting paid if others record their works.

    What I find … curious … is the timing of this rant.  According to Budapest’s website, “We All Come From the Goddess” was written in 1972.  So after 40 years and after  who knows how many variations have been added and recorded, NOW she’s concerned about derivative works???

    Z Budapest did some great work in the formative days of Paganism.  I hope that when her history is written she’ll be remembered for that and not for the sad and unnecessary controversy of the past few years.

  • Arakiba

    I stopped taking Z Budapest seriously after reading in one of her books that (female) humans are the only creatures on earth whose reproductive cycle is based on the cycle of the moon.  All other species, she stated, have a cycle based on the sun – they could only get pregnant and give birth at certain times of the year, unlike humans.  I laughed – she was obviously only thinking of certain types of wild animals that breed once a year, or of dogs, with their average of two cycles a year.  Does she not know that cows and horses have a similar cycle to humans, and that they aren’t fertile just once or twice a year?  Or that cats cycle continuously for months at a time?  And what about elephants, with pregnancies that last about two years?  Her knowledge of the natural world, or even the agricultural world, has got to be pretty poor if she could make statements like that.  She’s a strong adherent to her own dogma…so I’m not surprised she’s making a fuss about this.

  • http://moonkissedraven.blogspot.com/ Aimee

    I want to thank you for pointing out that the way some people have been acting is just wrong. I have noticed alot of comments that had nothing to do with the copyright issue & were nothing but attacks on her. I think that is a real shame.  Then on top of it attacking not only her but her path as well.

    I am Dianic. The path itself is not men hating or sexist in any way. It just confuses & breaks my heart to see other pagans speak with such ignorance & hatred.  You can read my blog for more info on that if interested.

    I think Z should have asked with much more kindness and have been respectful instead of throwing out the word hex & such. Perhaps she spoke with frustration idk…

    Either way I believe that as a pagan community we should stand up for the rights of pagan artists and respect them, their wishes, and their art. Even if you do not like the artist or agree with them.

    I didn’t see it as a negative act towards those who honor/worship a God as well. I think instead that she created it as it is with her heart an intent to be used in a specific way. Some of us may be ok to see something we created used in a different way then we intended but I can equally see how it could be frustrating as well. But that in the end we should respect the authors wishes if we wish to use their work.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=601178231 Jason Mankey

      I’m going to disagree with that.  Anytime you inject anything into the Pagan sphere it tends to get modified, changed, adapted, transformed, put in descriptive term here.  Pieces like “The Charge of the Goddess” are adapted based on whoever is using them (we’ve all seen the Starhawk version for instance, my wife uses her own slightly modified version, etc).  

      When an author writes a ritual and sticks it in a book or puts it online, my guess is that they expect people to adapt that ritual for their own use.  I’m not saying that practice is right or wrong, but it seems to be the way in which Modern Paganism works.  If you willfully share anything within the Pagan Community, and it is good, you can probably expect it to mutate and change.  If you write a Goddess chant and don’t ever want anyone to change it or add verses to it, you either need to keep it to yourself or locked up  and within an initiates only tradition.  

      On Facebook yesterday Z mentioned “they (referring to some male individuals) will be forgotten when my song will still be sung globally as it is now,” and my guess is that when it’s sung it will include lines like “We all come from the Horned One.”    

  • Tyetknot

    Z. Budapest continues to strive for relevancy and, once again, falls flat on her face.

    People are finally noticing that she is a vile, hateful old hag who is consumed with loathing for pretty much anything around her. She has no grasp of history or basic biology, is hideously sexist and monstrously transphobic, and is still trying to get along based off of the fact that she wrote a few books several decades ago.

    The time has come for ignorance-spewing trolls such as herself to be called what they are – bigots. I don’t give a tinker’s damn if she is called an elder – she’s still a small, bitter little thing who needs to be roundly mocked for her backwardness and ignorance.

    For God’s sakes, this is a woman who included a forced conversion ritual in her ‘Holy’ Book of Women’s Mysteries. She is deserving of nothing but scorn.

  • Lise Quinn

    “Is Z. Budapest just an author and song writer or is she a priestess – and I raise the distinction because she can not be both.”

    She absolutely can be both because she, in fact,  is all of these aspects and more.
    She is a priestess of the Susan B Anthony coven, she wears that hat at public ritual and private. She teaches individuals in her path. She writes books.

    Who are you to lay out what can and cannot be in any pagan circle. 

    “The Pagan tradition does not support a professional clergy nor does it
    require individuals to offer mandatory compensations to the clergy for
    the services they perform. ”

    There is no “Pagan Tradition”.  there are 100′s or more spiritual practices that are not of the JudeoChristoIslamic faith. Hindu woud be considered pagan, Buddhists, etc.  And again who are you to speak for the “Pagan Tradition”.

    And for the record I do disagree with her on a few points, but she is not a scam artist – what crap. What utter crap. You have no personal knowledge of her source of personal income – of the staus and practice of the non-profit organization and how it is run.

  • Pingback: We All Come From the Horned God, possibly, but don’t sing it… – Patheos (blog) | Thumbs Up Hostel Budapest

  • guest

    Here are a few verse I was able to pull together in about 5 minutes…

    We All Come From The Goddess And To Her We Shall Return Like A Drop Of Rain, Flowing To The Ocean 

    Sage and Crone, Sage and Crone, Wisdom’s gift shall be our own. Crone and Sage, Crone and Sage, Wisdom is the gift of age.
     
     
    We all come from the Horned One: And to him we shall returnLike a flash of light: Shining from a fiery storm.

    Hoof and horn, Hoof and horn All that dies shall be reborn Corn and grain, Corn and grain All that falls shall rise again 

    We all come from the Horned One, and to Him we shall return Like a spark of flame, rising to the heavens.

    Corn and grain Corn and grain all that falls shall rise again.  Corn and grain Corn and grain all that seeds shall live again

    We All Come From The Sun GodAnd To Him We Shall ReturnLike A Spark … Of FlameRising To The Heavens

    Hoof and Horn, Hoof and Horn, All that dies shall be reborn. Hoof and Horn, Hoof and Horn, All that dies shall be reborn.

    We all come to the Ki-ing, And to him we shake our thang.  Like a blues suede hound dog, Taking Care of Business too.
     

    • http://www.patheos.com/ Star Foster

       That last one cracked me up, but I think I’d trade out the last bit with an earnest “Hunkah-hunkah burning love…”

    • http://coastliveoak.wordpress.com/ Quercki

      “Hoof and Horn” has a totally different tune and was written by Ian Corrigan. Sage and Crone is another verse to that song.

    • LaurelhurstLiberal

       Music nerd here: Elvis hated to be called “the King” because he thought it was disrespectful.  He always called himself the King of Rock n’ Roll, which admittedly does not scan. 

  • Kaurastefen

    I have no quarrel with an author/lyricist/composer enforcing their rights in terms of intellectual property. This discussion, however, addresses two dissimilar arguments with differing ownership attributes. As Jason logically records, use of copyright-protected material requires citation, permission and/or compensation, depending on circumstances. Most venues/broadcasters who offer live or recorded performance of music pay for ASCAP licensing which constitutes royalty payment for protected music. I doubt very much that ritualists (as a rule) buy ASCAP licensing and question if festival sites do- likewise. Licensed use obviously allows some forms of editing as noted by radio stations that use fragments of music for bumpers or teasers. Z’s message seems to skirt the copyright/fair use issue and present an entirely different argument- music with a message should not be misapplied so as to challenge the original message. Carrying her assertion to the next level, suppose “We All Come from the Goddess” was sung as written and followed by a hypothetical song, “We All Come from the God?” What if her song was performed in the context of a phallic totem? What if her song was performed letter-perfect- but as a parody? …Or by someone only paying lip-service to it? …Or if the performer forgot the words and improvised? To a certain degree, once one sends their child off to school, there are no guarantees. In a culture such as the pagan movement that thrives on borrowing oral traditions; with general tolerance toward eclectic and spontaneous ramifications… To become possessive and proprietary about canonizing sacred songs seems on one hand antithetical, the other, unrealistic. I empathize- just as I empathized with Rush, Peter Gabriel and Chrissie Hynde who challenged Limbaugh over use of their material on his radio show. ..But one must admit there is a consumate legal difference between commercial and non-commercial use of copyright-protected material. Under the circumstances she might best be served, issuing her material with magickal protection against misuse.

  • Rev. Elizabeth Greene

    This is sane and refreshing, and I thank you.  Also, just for the record, Z says that no one has ever added females to god oriented songs.  Wrong.  The Unitarian Universalist hymnal, Singing the Living Tradition, is full of hymns that have been changed–with permission, where appropriate–to include the feminine element of the sacred.

  • LaurelhurstLiberal

    I agree that she has copyright to the song, but copyright doesn’t keep people from singing a song at home or in ritual (or we would all have to pay up every time we sing “Happy Birthday” to a co-worker), and it doesn’t stop people from making up their own words to the tune.  I think she would be better off enforcing her rights and not trying to control what is not in her power to control.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lamyka-L/649965363 Lamyka L.

    I don’t really see what’s the big problem. Z wrote it. She laid down the rules for it’s use and sharing. Full stop. No one’s opinion matters because at the end of the day–it’s HER’s. Why do so many Pagans have such a problem with borders and the word “no, you can’t.”??

    • http://profiles.google.com/celticelk Scott Martin

      For starters, there’s the idea that an individual has any right to control every possible use of a piece of art once it enters the public sphere; that’s both logically absurd and totally unsupported by US law, which (as others have observed) carves out a number of exemptions to copyright for fair use.  Second, there’s the timeline: this chant has been out in the community for *decades*, and as I pointed out above, Z’s example of an alleged infringement on a recording is itself nearly two decades old.  What possible motivation can she have for raising this issue *now*?  Third, there’s the continued theme of Z dealing with her issues with the community in the most offensive way possible: in this case, by issuing an ultimatum backed up by magical threat.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=601178231 Jason Mankey

      If she wanted to make sure no one ever changed the lyrics, rhythm, added a verse, etc., she should have made it a part of an oath-bound tradition or kept it to herself.  When has something in Paganism ever NOT been changed or adapted?  

      There’s also the matter of “tone” in the request.  Instead of saying “I’d prefer that people not add extra verses to the song I wrote” she goes completely negative.  I think we can treat each other better than that, even when we disagree with something going on.    

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lamyka-L/649965363 Lamyka L.

        However which way people want to look at this issue or at Z it doesn’t change the fact that it’s her’s. I stand by what I said.

        If a holy song is written by person A then they have the inalienable right to say how said holy song is used. Period, end of story. If you go against what they want and it’s their’s, well then you take your chances at garnering their ire. Then again maybe for Hawaiians we’re just raised differently.

        • Dragontech64

          The fact that she phrased it is a decidedly hateful against men attitude makes this more than a matter of a song writer asking for credit for their work, or even asking that people not change it. She had to go on the attack instead. That sort of attitude garners its own retribution.

  • Pingback: The Wild Hunt Podcast, Episode 3: Pagan Chants and Pagan Documentaries

  • Sunweaver

    Her attitude is very poor and that’s unfortunate. I’m not going to be hateful toward her about it, but nor will I condone her bad attitude. Her rights as a songwriter aren’t really in dispute here, so I believe that what’s getting our collective hackles up isn’t that. It’s that she has expressed her desire in such a way that does not reflect what we would ideally want from our clergy or from anyone who is prominent in community. (My kind call ‘em “big-nosed Pagans”)
    Bless her heart, I wish her well and hope that she might become more skilled at interacting with a world that includes males.

  • V12

    Hexing is, and always will be against the will of the divine and against our true wills.The universe tends toward balance and will do whatever it takes to correct it once it has been upset whether the deities mandate the specific retribution or not.

    I do see your point overall though.No man is born without a mother, nor is any woman born without a father.What’s more is that I can think of many other pieces of devotional music I have heard of many kinds that the writers do not become outraged about their adaptation or use.People cover songs all the time in bars and in basements all over the world and their makers hardly ever make a fuss.

  • Dragontech64

    If Z wants to threaten a hex (how tacky) if we honor the God with a verse based on hers, then my group will be sure to drop her song from our use ALL TOGETHER. We don’t need her hatefulness, and bigotry against men.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X