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The Litanies of Satan - Diamanda Galas

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Published on 20 Jan 2019 / In Knowledge & Religion

Side A:
"The Litanies of Satan"

From the debut album, The Litanies of Satan, by Greek-American avant-garde composer, vocalist, pianist, performance artist Diamanda Galás.

Known for her expert piano as well as her distinctive, operatic voice, which has a three and a half octave range, Galás has been described as "capable of the most unnerving vocal terror". Galás often shrieks, howls, and seems to imitate glossolalia in her performances. Her works largely concentrate on the topics of suffering, despair, condemnation, injustice and loss of dignity.

In this album Galás has interpreted poetry by Charles Baudelaire, Paul Celan, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Henri Michaux, Gérard de Nerval, César Vallejo, and Siamanto.

Along with shining a spot light on Armenian, Greek, Assyrian and Hellenic victims of the Turkish genocide, Galás also worked as a prostitute at one point.





Lyrics; [Les Litanies de Satan - charles-baudelaire]

O you, the wisest and fairest of the Angels,
God betrayed by destiny and deprived of praise,

O Satan, take pity on my long misery!

O Prince of Exile, you who have been wronged
And who vanquished always rise up again more strong,

O Satan, take pity on my long misery!

You who know all, great king of hidden things,
The familiar healer of human sufferings,

O Satan, take pity on my long misery!

You who teach through love the taste for Heaven
To the cursed pariah, even to the leper,

O Satan, take pity on my long misery!

You who of Death, your mistress old and strong,
Have begotten Hope, — a charming madcap!

O Satan, take pity on my long misery!

You who give the outlaw that calm and haughty look 
That damns the whole multitude around his scaffold.

O Satan, take pity on my long misery!

You who know in what nooks of the miserly earth
A jealous God has hidden precious stones,

O Satan, take pity on my long misery!

You whose clear eye sees the deep arsenals
Where the tribe of metals sleeps in its tomb,

O Satan, take pity on my long misery!

You whose broad hand conceals the precipice
From the sleep-walker wandering on the building's ledge,

O Satan, take pity on my long misery!

You who soften magically the old bones
Of belated drunkards trampled by the horses,

O Satan, take pity on my long misery!

You who to console frail mankind in its sufferings
Taught us to mix sulphur and saltpeter,

O Satan, take pity on my long misery!

You who put your mark, O subtle accomplice,
Upon the brow of Croesus, base and pitiless,

O Satan, take pity on my long misery!

You who put in the eyes and hearts of prostitutes
The cult of sores and the love of rags and tatters,

O Satan, take pity on my long misery!

Staff of those in exile, lamp of the inventor,
Confessor of the hanged and of conspirators,

O Satan, take pity on my long misery!

Adopted father of those whom in black rage
— God the Father drove from the earthly paradise,

O Satan, take pity on my long misery!

Prayer
Glory and praise to you, O Satan, in the heights
Of Heaven where you reigned and in the depths
Of Hell where vanquished you dream in silence!
Grant that my soul may someday repose near to you
Under the Tree of Knowledge, when, over your brow,
Its branches will spread like a new Temple!

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