By Bathory, 1996 All words and music (c) by Quorthon. Produced by Quorthon and BOSS. [Note some textual errors corrected, but only where this does not affect the sound of the lyrics - gjd]. [Thanks to Francisco Rocha for typing the intro text] The snow covered plains... Early dawn... "As the village greets a new day, the old Crow cries atop the pine. Spiritually bounded with nature and all creatures, great and small, the hunting families sense danger as the cry of the old Crow continues. A rumble, at first loud enough to a human ear, grows into a deafening storm of hooves thundering across the frozen tundra. Then bursts into the village, four times five riders clad in in armour black. SSwords drawn glimmering int the awakening sun's light. Cries echoes. Throats are slit. Beautiful bodies fall to the frozen ground and limbs of able men are stewn across the snowcovered plains. The blood colours the white snow red. Women and children are brought far north. Hidden under the foliage of a majestic tree, a ten year-old boy. When the shadows ahorse can no longer be heard, he crawls out from his hideout to seek his loved ones. Not a sound. Not a movement. No sign of life... And thus begins the saga of Blood On Ice..." Blood on Ice The old Crow's cry the first warning The rumbling frozen ground the last. Hooves thundering on the three feet snow, The icy dawn yet to begin. Bursting through the icy morning four times five black shadows ahorse. Steel glimmering in the awakening sun's light, And blood colours the white snow red. Cries echo through the dark deep woods. Open wounds steam in the cold morning air, And the new day was greeted with a burden both raped and dead. Long scalps hung by the old twin headed Beast's standard black. Women and children brought far north into the land of no turning back The burning village spread by the wind across the tundra Cry old Crow cry. Long tall beautiful people fallen lifeless to the ground Headless scattered still graceful bodies. Blood coloured the white snow all around. Through the dark deep woods to the mountains towering to the sky The wind carries the quest for revenge and the tale of Blood on Ice. The Eternal deep dark Woods... Late daytime... "Fifteen years have passed. Living among the animals. Learning to read the signs in bark and snow. Never forgetting the sights that morning in the village all those years ago. Pain from inside. Transforming him. Thus he had grown into a Man of Iron..." Man of Iron I have paced these forests for so long I don't know if I am man or I am beast. I, though, hold deep within me a quest for revenge. Then I must be a man as much as I can be. I have learned to speak the tongue of the animal I have learned to read the signs in bark and snow. I have taken within myself the spirits of my fathers, long time gone. In this short time, far from home, a man of Iron I've grown. A man of Iron I have grown. A part of the Eternal Woods... Late evening... "Just after sunset on his way back to his camp after watching the sun unite with the mountains in the west, he sees the flickering of light between the tree trunks. Approaching, he sees an old man sitting calmly by a fire, as if waiting for him. His left eye missing. His beard as if gold. The signs on his cloak and hood familiar. The one eyed old man matches the description of the soothsayer, as told by the elders of his village by the fires at night when he only a child. The boy, now a young man, eager to know, asks the one eyed old man about his dreams. Dreams he cannot understand. Dreams about strange things he is seeing himself doing. Then the winds that seem to talk to him. Voices that whisper to him behind his back. The one eyed old man tells him of the cycles of the stars, of the trail of fate and of the valley where time and space had ceased to exist... where his world ends and the shadows begin. The one eyed old man tells the young man that fate has chosen him to interfere with the other world. The disturbance is already made. The daughters of the four winds have sold themselves to the shadows, distorting the balance of the universe. And the one eyed old man says he has seen him come for a thousand years, and that the aging gods have told him to teach him all that he has ever known and to prepare him to ride beyond his world and into the shadows as their champion to restore the balance. To his aid he shall be given a sword forged when this world was young. He shall be guarded and guided by two ravens, and he shall ride the eight-legged stallion of his fathers' god. He will encounter the Woodwoman, and he will make a visit to the Lake. One hundred days and one hundred nights his training shall be hard. And this very night it will already have begun. And thus he had met the One Eyed old Man..." One Eyed Old Man O ye one eyed old man., You who see it all. You who see the past and all to be Say, ye one eyed old man. For I need to know. Tell me which path fate has chosen for me. Say does the Northstar still shine on me. Say will I set my loved ones free. O ye one eyed old man. Of ye our elders told. You have been since land and sky was one. And if you really know all that will be, tell me, what the future wants with this young no-one's son. Say does the Northstar still shine on me What do you see in store for me.... Questions, questions. Many you ask. About the future and some of the past. Few have seen what I see. Fewer still will ever know. I gave an eye to see better. And your thirst for knowledge grows. But you, my child, who treads the road of pain. Who have felt such anger. Such that bears no name, Thee shall I nurse as if you were my own son. And this very night your training will already have begun. For I have seen you come for a thousand years or so. And the gods have told me to teach you all that I possess and know And though my eye no longer sees my hand held out in front of me, I still gaze crystal clear at all that mortal man cannot see. And I see you riding up on a stallion as white as snow. With the speed of the winds and endurance untold. And you wield a sword of steel forged in fire and ice. And the cry of a warrior you sound and victory is in your eyes. Hear me my son, for you are the chosen one.... An icy cave in a mountain... Bright morning... "At the one eyed old man's request, he walks into an icy cave lighting up its inside with a torch. Finding what he has been told to look for, a wooden box containing a five foot long object wrapped up in bear's fur, he brings the object back to the one eyed old man. Upon unwrapping the fur, the long sharp blade of the sword catches the beams of the sun and a sigh is heard across the sky. And thus he was granted The Sword..." The Sword This sword of steel that II hold in my hand Ore of this mountain. A sword of this land. Made for a king when the elders were young. To guard us and to guide us in an age since long gone. A sword to protect the peace in troubled times. A sword made to battle and to take a life. This sword is the backbone of the life that I know. Here among the mountains and snow. This sword will be one with me. Body and soul. All of me will be delivering each blow. Slung on my back. Oh it's powers I feel. I can hardly wait to try it's steel. A sword to protect the peace in troubled times. A sword made to battle and to take a life. This sword is the backbone of the life that I know. Here among the mountains and snow. Behold it's sharp beauty. Just look at it's shine. This sword was forged in fire and ice. This sword is the backbone of the life that I know. Here among the mountains and snow. Now I am ready To let this old sword sing again. Atop a snowcovered hill... Just before sunset... "Waiting atop a snowcovered hill, the two standing silent, facing the sunset in the west. The one eyed old man mumbling strange words into the cold air. The haze spreading fast across the purple and blue vault. The winds taking up speed, bending the trees down the valley, throwing the snow crystals up and against the mountainside into gigantic sparkling clouds high in the sky. The voice of the one eyed old man becoming stronger. The words now spoken with increased intensity as if he was calling someone or something. And so a hazy white figure appears on the horizon, blazing across the sky with the speed of the winds... a part of the wind. A horse as white as snow, galopping across the mist, its eight hooves blistering like bolts of lightning. The one eyed old man crying out loud in the blaze to him, to take its reins and not to let go. And thus he had been given The Stallion..." The Stallion Tendons and muscles of steel. And the blaze of lightning in its eyes. White as the snow on the hills. And it's reins, that I hold, they are mine. This stallion and sword in exchange for my heart and both of my eyes. The ravens of swift wings my sight Surely now victory must be mine. Eight legged stallion of mine. Run with the speed of the winds. Eight legged stallion I stride. Run as if you carried wings. I paint thee with the blood from my veins Images of origin long lost. I adorn your white mane and tail With the stars that fell from the sky. A glade in the Eternal deep dark Woods... Midnight hours... "Sitting by his campfire alone one night, the young man is approached by the Woodwoman. She asks him to follow her to her den where she promises him magic for the price of his young heart. Eager to win the upcoming duel, he entrusts his heart into her wooden hands for the ability to survive every cut or slit by his adversary. And thus he had met the Woodwoman..." The Woodwoman Resting by my fire. Looking deep into it's flames. My mind must have been somewhere else Far beyond these plains. I am suddenly aware of a pair of eyes staring at me. I turn around and behold the most ugly thing I have seen. The woman standing in the glade like a shadow in the night Points her wretched finger at me with a wretched smile And she asks me in a voice that sounds as if it's been so long since she spoke, if I seek magic then I should come along I'm but a man. Mortal, a man. But she leaves no footprints in the snow Still I follow on to where she is going For she has promised me magic if I follow on. She takes me to a part of these woods few have ever seen. Where the sun surely won't reach Still the ground ominously gleams. She says she's seen me coming and that she knows where I'll go. But before I leave she says there is this one thing I should know. She offers me the ability to take a fatal wound. Every cut by sword or spear will be absorbed by her tree-womb. The magic will remain until it's time for me to part with this mortal world. And all she'll claim is my young heat. I'm but a man. Mortal, a man. And I'll need all the help that I can get. So I give my heart to the woman of the dark With or without it...my life is not over yet. Wing of bat and lizard's eye. Dust of a star fallen from the sky. Tears of a virgin, *** of a god. Thirteen drops of an infant's blood A twist of a cat's spit and oil of the moon Stir for a while and very soon A salve to be applied upon the chest close to where the heart beats strong. No pains will occur when her hand is pushed into my flesh She'll slowly draw my living heart out of my open chest. She'll place my heart in the pit of the snake and behold the years go by. Hers to keep from the moment when the time has come for me to die. By a lake in an open part of the Eternal Woods... Noon... "The one eyed old man had told him of a lake. Its bottom uniting with the end of the universe, Fall into it and there is no return. To reach its bottom will take a thousand generations. When this world was anew, the one eyed old man, then a young wanderer, hidden behind a tree, had overheard two gods speak as they walked by. All the knowledge of all worlds, old and new, was kept safe in a lake in a part of the Eternal Woods. The one eyed old man had found the lake after having taken away by a magical blizzard. Throwing his left eye into its black water he had gained not only all the gathered knowledge of all the worlds. He had also been granted the sight into the future. Set to find this lake, the young man mounts his satllion. Riding with the speed of the winds high in the sky, he all of a sudden sees the sun reflected in a lake. Standing by it, he throws both of his eyes into the depths. Now he will not need to stare down the beast on the day of The Battle. Now he had gained supreme vision offering his eyes to The Lake..." The Lake The one eyed old man told me that the face that I will see Has paralysed a thousand brave men sure of victory I cannot fight blindfolded and I'd freeze if I should see. So I need to sacrifice my eyes to see all from within. The one eyed old man told me of a lake that no-one knows of. where the end of the sky unites with the bottom countless feet down deep And he told me when this world was young into it's depths his eye he had thrown So that though one eyed, he could see more than can be seen. I'll throw my eyes into the lake. So that I will see from within I'll throw my eyes into the lake And when blind I will still see. At the bottom of the lake. My two eyes will shine like the stars At the bottom of the lake I will see no matter how near or far Regardless at which speed my horse takes me through the night No matter how sharp the blade of my sword seems to be. Even with the aid of two pair of eyes way up high In the end before the Beast, it's face I would have had to see. But with my two eyes in the depths my vision is supreme I see all things that can't be seen but not my hand that is held out in front of me. The face that makes me freeze I now need not see at all. I'll feel the presence of the Beast. but will not need stare him down no more. I've thrown my eyes into the lake. So that I will see from within I've throw my eyes into the lake And now when blind I still see. At the bottom of the lake. My two eyes are shining like the stars At the bottom of the lake I now see no matter how near or far The Highlands... Early morning hours... "Heading north. Sitting upon his majestic eight-legged white stallion. His sword slung on his back. Sensing his feathered friends way up high. Seeing all they see. Feeling all they feel. Though the sun has just cut the horizon in the east to bring a new day, the shadows now seem to grow mightier for each passage in these mountains. Riding into a thick mist, his senses alert. Distorted voices in the shadows whispering to him. Taunting him. He knows his mission. He knows the powers and the magic he birngs with him as he rides trough the valley of death, where time and space have ceased to exist. The eyes of the unseen are upon him. The spirits of his fathers long time gone riding next to him. And the hearts of the Gods of Thunder of Wind and of Rain..." Gods of Thunder of Wind and of Rain Creator of life. Guardian of the dead. Goddess of battle and war, All of ye watch me. My sword by my side. Proudly I sit on my horse. And I wait for the sign in the sky to appear. telling me that the moment has come For me to ride beyond the edge of this world into the realms where the shadows are strong Gods of Thunder of Wind and of Rain Valkyries my soul is yours should I fail. Let my beheaded and battered corpse lay and take me where you bring all nordsmen slain. Gods of Thunder of Wind and of Rain. Hugin and Munin my eyes in the sky. Heart of mine thrown in the pit of the snake I will not need no heart where I go should I die. Realms of the shadows bring me no fear I may stand or be beaten and torn The mountains will stand. But the life of a man was decided long before he was born. Leaving the plains where my ancestors hunted for meat and for hides against the cold. Here the fire was tamed. Here our sword were made. And here the elders amazing takes told I ride into land few have seen or returned from to tell of it's bleakness and dark I see nothing but mist and the mountains so tall I can't tell them and the sky apart Gods of Thunder of Wind and of Rain Valkyries my soul is yours should I fail. Let my beheaded and battered corpse lay and take me where you bring all nordsmen slain. Gods of Thunder of Wind and of Rain, Hugin and Munin my eyes in the sky. Heart of mine thrown in the pit of the snake I will not need no heart where I go, should I die. Realms of the shadows bring me no fear I may stand or be beaten and torn The mountains will stand. But the life of a man was decided long before he was born. Gods of Thunder of Wind and of Rain Valkyries my soul is yours should I fail. Let my beheaded and battered corpse lay and take me where you bring all nordsmen slain. Gods of Thunder of Wind and of Rain. Hugin and Munin my eyes in the sky. Heart of mine thrown in the pit of the snake I will not need a heart where I go, should I die. Atop a ridge between the two worlds... the untime... "Halting his stallion for a brief second, taking a deep breath of cold air, he hesitates for a moment while his feathered friends fly ahead. As the frozen wind tears at his face, he is reminded of his origin, that he is of flesh and blood and not of this world. He, a young man, chosen by destiny. Putting his faith in magic and that subtle thing known as fate. He is depending on an immovable trust in an old sword, a stallion given birth to by the wind and the spells of a woodwoman. Not even the cry of the Ravens, urging him on, can take his mind off what lies ahead of him. Feeling smart next to these mountains, so gigantic they unite with the sky, he somehow finds the spirit to continue. Having come this far, already well into the valley of death, it makes little sense in returning. And thus he follows The Ravens..." The Ravens Steadily on jagged wings Feather black against the burning sky Spread your wings and ride the wind Gaze down on me with blackest eyes. Fly my raves, fly ahead. Over the mountains and endless sky Fly my ravens, fly ahead Over the mountains over my head. Let the wind carry you up high. Fly my ravens, it's time to fly, And for me maybe to die. Valley of Death in the land of no return... The moment of glory or death... The Revenge of Blood on Ice Fifteen years have passed Every day the woods have cried the words of vengeance and revenge. The Gods have watched him day and night by the Northern stars bright light. Growing stronger. Coming nearer. Upon a steed as white as snow he is riding through this land of no return His hair blowing in the wind A sword in his hand. And his eyes they burn. Guide me, my Ravens. Find the way through the woods and snow Let your eyes be mine seeking for the valley of death Come this far, I am willing to face the twin-headed beast's breath Let your wings be my heart in the air, black as night. I have steel at side. Powers of thunder The Gods with me ride I trust in my ravens, watching from above Black as night. Swift as lightning, and graceful as doves. I trust in my Stallion. Borne by the wind, Taking me through the valley where this world ends, and the shadows begin I trust in my sword. Forged in fire and ice. It's sharp blade shall be baptised in blood as I take the Beast's life. Cry, old crow, cry... Come out of the darkness you beast of Hel, face me. Out on this field of moonlit snow. I will not e deterred by your ugliness. Before my sword your two heads will roll. I will not let my sword rest until it's steel has song for your ugly twin heads. I'll wipe the sweat off my face with your bloody scalps and watch your four eyes telling me that you're dead. Gathering speed. Charging forward. collision is close now. The swords are drawn, held high. they flash in the pale blue moonlight. aiming at throats bare. The moment is so near The time seems to halt for a while Even the stars in the sky hold their breath This is the moment of glory or death... The moment to maim or to be put to rest... So close now I almost can hear the black blood in the beast's thick veins pumping. I am swinging my sword. May the Gods be with me. I ride out through the vast portals of Hel. I swing my sword in the air. And the dead beast's two bloody scalps attached to a spear. Now is come the moment for me to set free those, a long time ago, brought far north by the twin-headed beast. On that daybreak when the old crow did cry... That hard winter when I, still a child... By my Father was told of a hall way above the clouds, Gates open wide for the one who dies with sword in hand.