Lyrics from a poem by William Ernest Henley. Music by Faré.
A friend pointed me to this poem, a copy of which I'm told Mandela was keeping in his prison cell. I remembered the last lines as quoted and mocked by Hofstadter in Metamagical Themas "Due to circumstances beyond my control, I am master of my fate and captain of my soul", and I wrote some music for it. Now to have a hard rock band sing it...
Which makes me think — some of the notes seem awfully familiar, and I can hear the drums at times. Is my mind transferring memories from songs previously heard, or is that how creation works? Probably a bit of both.
Update 2014-10-16: Now that I'm teaching myself guitar, I replaced the chord names by actual guitar chords.
Update 2015-07-26: Now that I've made progress at the guitar, I updated the chords.
Update 2015-08-15: I wrote about the process of composing this music