Since its eruption in March 2021, Anna and I have watched the Fagradsfjall volcano's development on YouTube several times a week, especially via the Reykjavik Grapevine channel. Coincidentally I was at the same time working on a tune that I conceived of as a mixture of synthesized strings and metal guitar. Given metal's fascination with all things Nordic and my own with Iceland, this seemed a perfect theme for the song, which soon was christened Liquid Fire.
A bit of background: Fagradalsfjall erupted on 19 March 2021, about 40 km or 25 miles from Reykjavik and not far from the national airport. It started with one cone, developed several new ones over the next weeks, some of which merged into one large cone, which now spews lava hundreds of meter into the air at geyser-like intervals. (The original geyser which gave us the name is not far from here either.) The lava has flowed through several adjacent valleys, despite an attempt to form an earthen wall with bulldozers. It looks as if it will cross the road to the south of it and reach the sea in summer or fall 2021. Valur Grettisson of the the Grapevine Reykjavik Newscast said, having a road cut off with molten lava may sound terrible to the rest of the world, but Icelanders are used to fixing things like that!
I thought the Nordic Icelandic culture surely had a fire god who would be responsible for volcanos. Surtr is such a one, well described in the 13th century Prose Edda by Icelander Snorri Sturluson. There he is "stationed guarding the frontier of the fiery realm Múspell."
On reality and fantasy: When I wrote "fiery fountain", lava flowed more than spewed, but meanwhile it is hurled hundreds of meters into the air every 20 minutes or so. This volcano is usually not so loud as in the outro of the song, but can be heard.
We stand astride liquid fire Beneath the ground, where you see no flames An invisible pyre Earth air and fire become the same Oh Surtr! Magma rising Earth unfolding Lava flowing Surtr embold'ning We stand astride liquid fire Beneath the ground, where you see no flames The situation is dire Your fate may turn out to be the same Fagradalsfjall Sending a warning Fiery fountain Is now aborning
More songs about sleeping and shoes...