“The Price of Truth”

Giordano Bruno

This is an ode to Giordano Bruno, a 17th century Italian Dominican friar, philosopher, mathematician, poet, and cosmological theorist. The song is about his refusal to recant his belief that the earth was not the center of the universe, and that the points of light in the sky were stars like our sun with planets circling. The song begins in the place where I began thinking about Giordano’s story – a lonely highway in Colorado that runs along the Sangre de Cristo mountain range. The snowfields were melting in mid-summer, which brought Giordano’s convictions to mind. Also in the song is a mention of Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, as well as present day observations of our world and Giordano’s execution from the vantage point of the Campo de’ Fiori, the square in Rome where he was burned at the stake in 1600 after a seven year trial by the Roman Inquisition.

 

Northbound on 17
The Sangre de Cristos
Midsummer snow surrenders
To going ‘round the sun againIf I’d only known you well
But there’s centuries receding
And I’m wondering how’d you tell
It never turned around us, no
We never were the hub nor heart
How you divined the spheres and moons
Giordano in a field of flowers
You paid the price of truth

Like Plato’s prisoners in a cave
Who see only shadows
And echoes of the real
They believed the darkness to be light
But you slipped the bonds of error
And stepped out of the night
You saw the fires in the sky
True witness to the vault above you
But when you spoke of it to power
Giordano in a field of flowers
You paid the price of truth

Seven years of trial
For believing in other worlds and their eternity
Oh, the infinite dimensions
Of the inquisition’s cruelty come to light
As you rose into the sky

In the early morning sun
In the Campo dé Fiori
You’re the defiant one
Here where the fire burned
But in this age you predicted
Your status finally earned
We’re now the fires in the sky
True witness to the vault above you
‘Cause when you spoke of it to power
Giordano, in a field of flowers
You paid the price of truth

©2018 Scott Martin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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