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How my deeds pain me as time stretches long
How could I have hurt them this way?
So rest easy now, my punishment’s mine
The weight of my crimes are my own

But into that stillness you brought me your song
With your voice my company kept
For your tired eyes and sweet lullabies
In exile I pay you my debt

Once did a pony who gleamed like the moon
Look out on her kingdom and sigh
Dejected she cried, “Surely there is no pony
“Who loves me, or finds any love in my night.”

So great was her pain, she rose in rebellion
Against those who cared for her most
She let the Nightmare fall on those she ruled
And threatened to grip them in permanent cold

Lullay, dear Tia, good night sister mine
Rest now in starlight’s embrace
May this cool lullaby reach you in dreams
And ease you your passage of days
May my apologies find you this night
And may my sorrow in kind
Tia, you loved me much more than I knew
Forgive me for being so blind

Soon did her sister do what was demanded
And gave to the Moonlight her due
Breaking the Harmony, she saved her ponies
And banished her, as a wise ruler must do

Such is the weight of the crown that we wear, sister,
Duties we always uphold;
May you forgive me that foolishness mine
And live on with no burden upon your soul

Lullay, dear Tia, good night sister mine
Rest now in starlight’s embrace
May this cool lullaby reach you in dreams
And ease you your passage of days
May my apologies find you this night
And may my sorrow in kind
Tia, you loved me much more than I knew
May troubles be far from your mind
And forgive me for being so blind

The space now before us, empty and forlorn
I never imagined we’d face them all alone
May these sunless seasons swiftly pass, I pray
I love you, I miss you, all these miles away

May all your dreams be sweet tonight
Safe upon that bed above the lights
And know not of heartache, fear, nor gloom
And when I dream, I’ll fly away to meet you soon
Sleep, sleep
Sleep…
UPDATE

Thanks to the talented MsIkarishipper, this alternate version of the song has been recorded and posted on youtube. Visit this link and offer her some kudos: www.youtube.com/watch?v=waPvh7…

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If you've been checking my favorites box recently (for whatever reason), you'll probably know I'm a brony. I entered the fandom last year after I saw the multitudinous output of the fan community; I found the main characters relateable and complex, and these and several other factors have led me back to writing. None of my output between then and now will likely be posted soon, if you were looking forward to that: almost everything I've written is part of one long prose story or another. I've more or less quit writing poetry.

This piece, of course, would be an exception to that. The reason I wrote this is because this song, Ponyphonic's "Lullaby for a Princess", would not leave my head: www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4tyvJ…

I suppose I should explain, for the benefit of the laymen. (If you're already a fan, skip this paragraph, and maybe even the next one; you know all this already.) The world of MLP:FiM, Equestria, is resided over by two immortal, goddess-like figures who move and govern the celestial bodies: Princess Celestia, associated with the sun and daytime, and Princess Luna, associated with the moon and night. A thousand years prior to the current timeline of Friendship is Magic, Luna, disheartened by the fact that none of the populace stayed awake to enjoy her night (and likely deeply depressed), allowed her bitter feelings to consume her and became Nightmare Moon, vowing to never let the sun rise again. Celestia met her corrupted sister in battle, and banished her to the moon using artifacts called the Elements of Harmony. The two sisters had once wielded them to restore order to the world, but their bonds now broken, the Elements became depowered. The first two episodes of Friendship is Magic deal with the return of Nightmare Moon, and the efforts of our six protagonists to defeat this threat and restore Luna to her uncorrupted state.

The Elements of Harmony, of course, require their wielders to share close bonds with each other. Celestia and Luna were no different, and many fans would agree that such a sundering of their bonds as had occurred a thousand years ago in the story must have been devastating to Celestia. "Lullaby for a Princess" captures and records the emotions of the solar princess as she sings to her distant, banished sister, though Celestia can only hope Luna would be able to feel the things she conveys in her words, and find some measure of peace.

Which brings us to the lyrics you now have in front of you. In tribute to the people behind Ponyphonic, I wrote an alternate set of lyrics to "Lullaby for a Princess", from Luna's voice; Celestia's song did indeed reach the lunar princess, and this is her reply.

The way I interpreted Luna's character might be slightly different from what you're used to if you're a fan. I see Luna as someone who understands what rulers must do in the governance of their country, who knows that sometimes the harsh decisions must be made; while it was her unbearable emotional isolation and withdrawal that made her lash out at everything around her, deep down she understands that her outburst should not have occurred, and that her banishment is harsh but just--she does not want Celestia to feel guilty about what had happened, and is willing to bear the burden of her crime by herself. Celestia, of course, loves her far too much to let her suffer alone.

----------

Edit: Another clarification I should perhaps add is my thoughts on how Luna's corruption works. She was obviously in Nightmare Moon mode when she was first released from banishment, though she would have been lucid and repentant when she made her reply to Celestia. Drawing from real-life experiences with depression, I interpret her as being in a constant internal struggle: some days, resentment and anger drive her mad, and the darker side of her dominates her. On days like these she stares with baleful eyes onto Equestria, wishing for destruction. Some days, she understands why everything is the way it is, and rationalizes her situation while remaining emotionally distant from it. Some days, she just wants to go home, but she knows she can't because she must be punished--which makes her mind spiral between guilt, repentance, and despair. Her state of mind was a mix of the last two when she composed this reply.

When the magic enforcing her banishment broke, some of Luna's emotional restraint may have broken as well, leading to her going Nightmare Moon mode. I suspect, though, that Luna did not lose all of her mind to resentment, and may have been sabotaging herself from the inside in her second attempt to bring the world to eternal night, ending with the Elements giving her a jolt out of her negative emotional cycle in addition to purging her of any external dark influences. Much of her subsequent absence from the show was spent in catching up to the times (to a degree) and getting much-needed emotional healing. All of this, though, is neither here nor there.

----------

I tried my best to match the rhythm and meter of the original song. Some lines may not fit perfectly, but should still flow well enough over the music. Regardless, edits may be forthcoming.

"Lullaby for a Princess" was made by Ponyphonic, and performed by Christina Larson.
MLP:FiM belongs to :iconfyre-flye: and :iconhasbroplz:.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconcatfgoesmeow:
catfgoesmeow Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2015  New Deviant
umm actually i read your head cannon but her bitter feelings didn't consume her it was the nightmare spirits that fed off her negative energy and consumed her as to become nightmare moon.  the nightmare sprits do exist because the story of nightmare rarity that HASBRO made rarity was jealous of this imaginary pony and she let the nightmare spirits consume her.  But i agree on the rest
Reply
:iconswords-and-bandages:
Swords-and-Bandages Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you for the comment. In order to give myself a degree of flexibility, I tend to take canon fairly loosely whenever I write fan works, and not always consistently with how I've interpreted things in other works (though I do my best to stay internally consistent in a single given work). Usually I write based on ideas that I feel would give me the most opportunity to explore what I find interesting. In some cases I end up creating multiple alternating headcanons for the convenience of multiple stories.

I decided upon my interpretation in this specific case on a hunch that it would allow me to make a bigger emotional impact, and because I felt that I could "write what I know". In a different scenario--say a mystery story where Luna's investigating/hunting down nightmare spirits--an interpretation more in line with the comics may be appropriate. Or at least that's how I'd handle it if I were to write such a story.
Reply
:iconcutecat213:
CuteCat213 Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks to my friend (a hard-core brony), I actually knew of this one first, and had no clue it wasn't canon... Thank you for making it, his friend sings it and it's helped inspire me on many of my writing ventures. *solemn bow*
Reply
:iconswords-and-bandages:
Swords-and-Bandages Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
You're welcome. Happy to be a source of inspiration.
Reply
:iconmirrorkat:
mirrorkat Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is beautiful
Reply
:iconswords-and-bandages:
Swords-and-Bandages Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you.
Reply
:iconspotpeltthewarrior69:
SpotpeltTheWarrior69 Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
GIIRRRRLLLLLLL I am SO using this for a parody!
Reply
:iconswords-and-bandages:
Swords-and-Bandages Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks for the :+fav:. Parody away.

(Also, I'm male.)
Reply
:iconspotpeltthewarrior69:
SpotpeltTheWarrior69 Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Your approval: WOO HOO!

Now that I know I goofed up on your gender; DO'H!
Reply
:iconswords-and-bandages:
Swords-and-Bandages Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I don't mind.
Reply
:iconspotpeltthewarrior69:
SpotpeltTheWarrior69 Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Lol I was kidding
Reply
:iconswords-and-bandages:
Swords-and-Bandages Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
It figures, but eh, I don't mind either way.
Reply
:iconspotpeltthewarrior69:
SpotpeltTheWarrior69 Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Ok
Reply
:icongirlswithmanyaliases:
GirlsWithManyAliases Featured By Owner May 30, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Tear..... I can't catch a break today... But just as Lullaby for A Princess makes me cry, Luna's Reply has made me equally sad/happy. Love this.
Reply
:iconswords-and-bandages:
Swords-and-Bandages Featured By Owner May 31, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you. I'm happy I could impart that sort of emotional effect.
Reply
:iconshonafla:
shonafla Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Love
Reply
:iconswords-and-bandages:
Swords-and-Bandages Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you. :)
Reply
:iconkorngetup:
KornGetUp Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
It is sad I'm glad someone made this!
Reply
:iconswords-and-bandages:
Swords-and-Bandages Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you.
Reply
:iconsimplehp:
SimpleHP Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
*crys all over the lyrics* *sings but instead ends up singing Celestia's part*
Reply
:iconswords-and-bandages:
Swords-and-Bandages Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I appreciate your strong emotional response. And I'd sometimes imagined that the two princesses were singing back and forth to each other at the same time...
Reply
:iconsimplehp:
SimpleHP Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Me to *sigh* 
Today I ended up singing it two or three times because I have been practicing for awhile between school, friends, drawing and more.
Tired and all, I always loved the princess's so much, I guess I look to deeply into them. Happy enough, I found your lyrics, even though they really do differ from Tia's...

I have already drawn one well thought out character called Gold Dust, ( not to thought out, just drawn a lot in my spare time )
Sorry for the lengthy reply ^^; 
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:iconswords-and-bandages:
Swords-and-Bandages Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
No worries.

I frankly think the original lyrics are smoother. Eh.

I keep a repertoire of characters, MLP or not. I don't draw, so I sketch out story ideas in my head.

Do you sing often?
Reply
:iconsimplehp:
SimpleHP Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh yes, I sing all the time, except I still can't seem to memorize Luna's reply... It's just so... Stop and start..
Well, you have characters, why don't you tell me about one or two of them. They must be interesting x3
Reply
:iconswords-and-bandages:
Swords-and-Bandages Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Well, on the fanfic front I've got a story focusing on the Night Guard. The protagonist is responsible for delivering daily security briefings to Luna. There are other interesting characters like the old, refined, and sharp archivist, the glyph mage and the blood mage who are brothers, the old magic expert (named him Arcana, and his rank is Major...), the high altitude reconnaissance specialist who has a recurring lung disease, and of course the princess herself... and the Night Guard officer who has a crush on her.

I've also got a spinoff of that story, too, focusing on a mercenary company in the Griffon Empire who can claim a thousand-year heritage. One junior chronicler, one grizzled rhino, one Cathayan pegasus with superb martial skills, one diamond dog sapper, one unicorn mage, and one newbie earth pony who desperately wanted to tag along before realizing just how tedious and/or dangerous their mission is...

On the non-fanfic front, I've got a story inspired by Dark Souls, the Witcher, and the Dark Tower series. It's about a knight from a destroyed kingdom working to restore balance to the world. Along the way, he gathers up a colorful menagerie of companions--several of whom are characters inspired by the rappers of the Wu-Tang Clan.
Reply
:iconsimplehp:
SimpleHP Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Holy crap, maybe I can draw one of your characters for you!! Be it pony, human, griffin, bird, or anything really. I am always looking to draw something for someone. 

( most of what you said is gibberish, so let's go back to my drawing language xD ) 

I am usually a person to role play adventure and read romance and comedy :iconmingplz:
Reply
:iconswords-and-bandages:
Swords-and-Bandages Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I can explain anything you're confused about, if you'd like.

Any characters that strike your fancy at the moment?
Reply
(1 Reply)
:iconwatcher25:
watcher25 Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2013
about the lyrics and the head cannon characterization behind them x your note about how Celestia will not let luna alone be accountable for the event 
Reply
:iconswords-and-bandages:
Swords-and-Bandages Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Ah. Thanks for reading through that massive wall of text...
Reply
:iconchibiponyxox:
ChibiPonyxox Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Yea...I skipped that completely :3
Reply
:iconswords-and-bandages:
Swords-and-Bandages Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
No worries. A fair deal of it is just my own speculations about stuff.
Reply
:iconwatcher25:
watcher25 Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2013
Ah, now I get it.
Reply
:iconswords-and-bandages:
Swords-and-Bandages Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
?
Reply
:iconwatcher25:
watcher25 Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2013
I like this, but will face to read the discription later :P
Reply
:iconswords-and-bandages:
Swords-and-Bandages Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
All right then.
Reply
:iconsagitari-seiza-1213:
Sagitari-Seiza-1213 Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
So you're the one who came up with the lyrics to "Luna's Reply"? They're so beautifully written! I was brought here after I discovered "Lullaby for a Princess", which led me to someone's rendition of "Luna's Reply". The story interpretation is interesting as well. Kudos for your creativity! :clap:
By the way, am I the only one who thinks that the idea behind "Lullaby for a Princess" could also apply to Thor and Loki? Just an idea that popped into my head after I heard the song. 
Reply
:iconswords-and-bandages:
Swords-and-Bandages Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you, and thank you for the :+fav:. Though as I've told others before, ponyphonic deserves most of the credit for coming up with the original.

As for Thor and Loki, it really depends on how repentant Loki is.
Reply
:iconlionponyharvestking:
lionponyharvestking Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2013  Student
Love this song :)

:iconprincesslunaplz: 
Reply
:iconswords-and-bandages:
Swords-and-Bandages Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Most of the credit would go to ponyphonic. Nonetheless, thank you.
Reply
:iconlionponyharvestking:
lionponyharvestking Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2013  Student
:)
Reply
:iconswords-and-bandages:
Swords-and-Bandages Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
:)
Reply
:iconellysperani:
EllysPerani Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2013
Curse you and Ponyphonic for making this particular "tough girl" cry.
Awesome work!
Reply
:iconswords-and-bandages:
Swords-and-Bandages Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you. Being tough doesn't mean you can't cry, after all.
Reply
:iconerenea2011:
Erenea2011 Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2013
I'm drawing a draw inspired in the song Lullaby for a Princess and this song

PD:Thanks for the letters,I was seraching(sorry for my bad English)
Reply
:iconswords-and-bandages:
Swords-and-Bandages Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I'm glad it has inspired you.
Reply
:iconerenea2011:
Erenea2011 Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2013
Well...is...a little awful,I do not know how to pass this drawing to the pc,like other awesone drawings(I'm painting it hand)
Reply
:iconswords-and-bandages:
Swords-and-Bandages Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
No camera or scanners?
Reply
:iconerenea2011:
Erenea2011 Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2013
I drawing with hand,examples of my other drawings,one of my ex-friends of school say to electric table
Reply
:iconswords-and-bandages:
Swords-and-Bandages Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I guess at this stage, it's whatever suits you.
Reply
:iconrobloxhetaliagurl:
RobloxHetaliaGurl Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well i did a parody with hetalia

Reply
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