In the mountains and valleys of southern France
In the Middle Ages, when peasants tilled lands
These brave good people most rightly abhorred
The decadent life-style of the Pope, their lord.
The Catholic Church had gained power and wealth
And this combination's bad for your soul's health
But in Languedoc with the Pyrenees nigh
The valleys are deep and the mountains are high
The counts in these parts were so fierce, proud and strong
And they said to the Pope's men: "You guys got it wrong
To live a good life, love thy neighbour and God
We need no-one meddling, your influence's naught
Get out of our land, cause one thing is sure:
Your smoke might be holy, but the Cathars are pure!"

This summer I drove through this land not so far
Which proudly is now called the Pays cathare
On every mountain-top high in the clouds
A fortified stronghold, a blind ruin shouts
The endless memory of days so long gone
The terrible tale of a fight lost and won

When Rome heard that people resisted his will
He sent down his soldiers to fight and instill
These hotheaded rebels with the Heavenly Peace
Just kill in God's name, put your conscience at ease!

The trouble was only, the hotheads as well
Thought their way was the right one and thus did rebel
And bravely they fought back, but could not succeed:
The Catholic army was mighty indeed!
Bézier city was sacked in the year 1209
Many other towns followed, the only place fine
Was a stronghold so mighty, you all know for sure
That the castle I mean here is proud Montsegur

After endless driving through the wild, rugged scene
A roadsign announced it, the place of my spleen
All eager and hopeful I looked up, but shock!
A huge weathercloud had envelopped the rock!

The cathars at least when they went to their grave
Were facing the sun, but today I was slave
To foggy bad weather; I decide with a sigh
To rest till tomorrow in a hotel nearby

note the tiny spot on the left mountain-top: Montsegur Castle

The following morning, the weather is great
And the village of Montsegur nice - no debate
I'm strolling through ancient steep alleys and see
A little museum which I visit with glee
I buy a few postcards, page through a guestbook
Then all of a sudden, I take a close look:
A few days before me, another great fan
Had the same destination and travelling plan:

And would you believe what I found out just now
My heart is exploding, I'm all amazed, wow!!!!
A pic of this autograph CSPT2
Sent to me and therefore I gladly thank you!

It's the same signature than the one in the book
So the guy who just days before me undertook
The journey to Montsegur was not a fan,
It was, dearest Heaven, our Air Raid Siren!!!!!!
The very best singer this world ever saw
Has been touching the same page as me, I'm in awe.

*the bard's duely thudding, as well she now should
Such news for her heart are quite simply too good*

When I parked in the parking lot, let it be said
That a look up that mountain filled me with dread
The face of the rock was a wicked, sheer drop
How on earth should I ever arrive at the top?

yes, this is where I had to leave the car and set out on foot

No matter the cost - I must labour and strive
A pilgrim defies every torture of life
I set out on a path, not too steep I must say
And hope that I'll make it before end of day
Soon the path becomes steeper, the wanderer receives
A pleasant canopy of forest green leaves

A shelter from the sun blazing hot on this day
But half-way to the top, to my greatest dismay
The forest gives way to the rocks, bare and bold
But the view is just awesome, if thruth shall be told

note the white dots to the left: they are cows. Also note the dots to the right: one of them is my car.

My pace has slowed somewhat, why hurry too fast?
(What the heck, I'll admit it: I'm totally past
Any hope of reaching that damned, damn top
So I might as well turn around .... but wait! stop!
The ruins of Montsegur Castle, they stand
Now within my reach, just behind the next bend
After 50 long minutes stands cathar so pure ... no, I don't suffer from hybris, I just wanted it to rhyme
At the gates and the walls of Montsegur!

I cannot quite say that I stand all alone
On this desolate place, there are tourists, I own
But the mood that befalls me is gothic solemn
As I wander around this Medieval gem.

Not sparkling and colourful, nay, barren cold
The sturdy grey stones speak of horrors untold
My thoughts travel back with a sigh and a frown
To the time when the cruisaders sacked Bézier town:

Their leader was Abbot Arnaud-Amaury,
A ruthless blood-maniac, and thus then spoke he:
"Do not heed all the moaning and begging you'll hear
Just remember God sent you, so never you fear
'My baby was baptised!' will mothers now cry
Kill them both, for this might be a catharic lie
In the name of sweet Jesus, no mercy is shown
As we kill them all, so God will know his own!

Still the fighting went on, for decades on end
For riches and power, for titles and land
The cathars were desperate and thought for sure
No army would ever take in Montsegur!
The siege lasted long - ten months all in all
Knights templar beleaguered them, headstrong and tall
But if you sow storm than you earn tempest, too
And then the Pope, Templar, will come after you!

Then the second of March in 1244
The cathar resistance was crushed at the core
The mountain called "safe" was taken by force
The zealous cruisaders ripped open its doors
The catharic leaders, the Perfect, held high
Their heads and they calmly looked death in the eye
When Religion is burning in rage all inside
Compassion and Love turn their faces and hide
Impassive they saw all their followers slain
Cause templars they killed on command yet again
The Perfect must choose between life and the grave
Better burn like a dog than live on like a slave
A stone at the bottom of Montsegur mount
Says the cathars a fiery death here had found

Als catars als martirs del pur amor
crestian 16 mars 1244

To the cathars, the martyrs of pure Christian love
On March 16 back then, this stone's speaking of

Coming down from the mountain I rest at this spot
So are cathars the pure ones, and catholics not?
This question is nonsense, I will not debate
Black and white TV is no more up to date
Today every colour and mix can be seen
Also good things and evil have shades in between
I relish the view and the sun and the air
As I walk to my car with the wind in my hair
I think that if Satan his weapon is lust
Then the lust for destruction I abhor the most

A wonderful trip, I'll come back here, I'm sure
And till then, dear mountain, I say fare thee well
At the gates and walls of Montsegur
Blood on the stones of the citadel