The Seven Songs of Merlin

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The Seven Songs of Merlin
Author T. A. Barron
Country U.S.A.
Language English
Series The Lost Years of Merlin
Genre Fantasy
Publisher Penguin
Publication date
Media type Print (Hardcover)
Pages 336 pp (hardcover edition)
ISBN 978-0-399-25021-7
Preceded by The Lost Years of Merlin
Followed by The Fires of Merlin

The Seven Songs of Merlin is a work of literature by T. A. Barron, published by Penguin. The Seven Songs of Merlin is the second story in a five story epic known as The Lost Years of Merlin.[1] These books chronicle the childhood of Merlin.

Plot summary[edit]

Young Merlin has brought new hope to Fincayra, the enchanted isle that lies between earth and sky. Having finally freed it from the terrible Blight, Merlin and the forest girl Rhia set out to heal the land using the magical Flowering Harp. But Fincayra remains in great danger still — and the first victim of the renewed tide of evil is Merlin's own mother.

Merlin's sole hope of saving his mother's life is to master the Seven Songs of Wizardry passed down from the greatest wizard Fincayra has ever known, Merlin's grandfather Tuatha. Only then can he voyage to the Otherworld of the spirits and obtain the precious Elixir of Dagda. Yet to do that he must first succeed where even Tuatha failed — by defeating Balor, the ogre whose merest glance means death. Even more difficult, Merlin must discover the secret of seeing not with his eyes, but with his heart.

The Seven Songs[edit]

The Seven Songs refer to the seven major arts of Wizardry. These arts are Changing, Binding, Protecting, Naming, Leaping, Eliminating, and Seeing. A song written on the walls inside Arbassa (Merlin's Sister's Home, an Oak Tree) by Merlin's grand father Tuatha tells of these seven arts and it is only by finding the "Souls of the Songs" that Merlin can begin to master these arts and venture into the Otherworld to retrieve the cure for his Mother. The Song goes as follows:

The Seven Songs of Wizardry,
One melody and many,
May guide ye to the Otherworld,
Though hope ye have not any.

Divine the truth within each Song
Before ye may proceed.
For truths like trees for ages grow,
Yet each begins a seed.

Pursue the Seven Songs in turn;
The parts beget the whole.
But never move until ye find
Each Song's essential soul.

The lesson Changing be the first,
A treeling knows it well.

The power Binding be the next,
As Lake of Face can tell.

The skill Protecting be the third,
Like dwarves who tunnel deep.

The art of Naming be the fourth,
A secret Slantos keep.

The power Leaping be the fifth,
In Varigal beware.

Eliminating be the sixth,
A sleeping dragon's lair.

The gift of Seeing be the last,
Forgotten Island's spell.

And now ye may attempt to find
The Otherworldly Well.
But lo! Do not approach the Well
Until the Songs are done.
For dangers stalk your every step,
With Balor's eye but one.

The soul of each song is as follows:
Changing - All of us, all living things, have the potential to change. Merlin also thinks of a relevant saying his mother told him - The butterfly can change from a mere worm to the most beautiful creature of all. And the soul, my son, can do the same.
Binding - The strongest bonds are of the heart
Protecting - The best way to protect something is to set it free.
Naming - For a true name holds true power
Leaping - Everything is connected to everything else.
Eliminating - Every living thing is precious somehow.
Seeing - The heart can see things invisible to the eye.


  1. ^ Dodds, Georges T. "The Lost Years of Merlin". SF Site. Retrieved 2008-01-05.