, Newburyport, MA


March 21, 2013

Moved by mythology

Folk singer Dar Williams returns to Newburyport


Alone on a long stretch of road, surrounded by nature, a thought jumped in her head — she wanted to write a biker song.

“My second thought was, ‘I want to write an epic biker song,’” Williams said in a statement. “The Greek messenger of the dead is named Hermes, and I want to write about him, the god of travelers and thieves. I had this picture of Hermes starting to take a silver-haired woman down to her death, as she’s asked him to do, and instead he seduces her, saying ‘I love people like you who are experienced and worldly.’ And then I thought, why don’t I really freak out my record company and make a whole album about Greek mythology? So I decided to look at each of the gods of the Parthenon and see if their stories sprang to life for me or not.”

They not only sprang to life for Williams, but gave her numerous lyrical roads to travel.

“At the end of the day, it’s really not so much about Greek mythology as it is about power,” Williams said. “Power and folly, betrayal and redemption. That sense of being played with, you know, like a fly being shaken up in a cup by a child, and what you do with that. How do you wake up and still stand for civilization? And all of the things that push against it and dismantle it? It’s more about that than about Greek mythology. It’s just that that was such a great lens for looking at human power. And, at the end of the day, the Greeks still built all those great buildings.”

IF YOU GO WHAT: Dar Williams with Jake Armerding WHEN: Tomorrow, 8 p.m. WHERE: Newburyport City Hall auditorium, 60 Pleasant St., Newburyport. TICKETS: $35, go online to

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