Song

Here are my songs. Where the tune is original, I've included MIDI and MP3 files. Please be generous; I'm not a musician, so some of the sound files are rudimentary.

Rose of Midrealm

Too Soon Old

Jo-see-fus in the SCA

At the Duck Tape Jamboree

Lady Constance

The Lantern Room

Rose of Cleftlands

The Seven Deadly Virtues

The Song Which Is. Period.

A Brief Tour of Northern North Oaken (and other things) (rated R)

We Stand on Guard

Songs

 

Rose of Midrealm

First presented at Harpwood Hall, Pennsic, July 28, 2009.

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In our hills, on our farms,
Where our graceful rivers' arms
Greet our lakes and embrace oak and elm -
Where our cities touch the sky -
Where our dragon banners fly -
Proud and true grows the Rose of Midrealm.

[Chorus]
Emerald scepter in dew-silvered gown:
Windblown fragrance sings of your renown!
Ever bloom, Midrealm Rose,
For your heritage bestows
The velvet ruby petals of your crown.

Where the coursing hound is led;
Where the weft and warp are wed;
Where the arm'rer closes rivets on a helm;
Where the lute sings his tune;
Where the oaken box is hewn:
Proud and true grows the Rose of Midrealm.

      [Chorus]

When the dragon of our dreams
Weaves a tale from misty themes;
When the hunger for our hearth starts to whelm -
Call us home, call us home,
And no matter where we roam,
We'll return to the Rose of Midrealm.

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Too Soon Old

There are already too many songs for callow young men to seduce silly young women with. Here's one for "mature" people. First presented at the NOWM bardic circle, June 13, 2009.

For Juliane.

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Too soon old, my lady, too late met -
But the best of our lives has not come yet!
Life is a candle, burning so swiftly, brief as sin.
In your window it's burning - let me in.

Let me in, my lady, to your side.
We can't know where life leads us, till we've tried.
Ready the banquet, I'll come a-feasting, let's be bold!
If we're fearful to start, we're too soon old.

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Jo-see-fus in the SCA

With assistance from Juliane Bechaumpe, Brendan O Corraidhe and Kveldhrafn Ulfgrimsen. First presented (in final form but without last verse) at Comfort Zone, October 24, 2009.

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My buddy Joe was feeling kinda lonesome -
His brother and his wife had run away,
His truck had lost its shocks, and his gun rack was in hock ...
So I thought he might enjoy the SCA.

I handed him a beaded velvet bag
And a particoloured brocade cotehardie.
He said "I can't wear that, (may's well) wear a feathered hat."
So I give him one and said "Lissen to me ..."

[Chorus]
That ain't a dress, it's a tunic.
That ain't a purse, it's a pouch.
Those ain't tights, they're ... oh hell, have another beer.
It'll keep you from veggin' on the couch.

At the meetin' I said, "You'll now be called Jo-see-fus,
"And I know you think Tuh-LEE-do's where you board",
(And he said) "In Spanish, I got Cs, so toe-LAY-doe's fine with me,"
And I said,  "You reside in Hroths-gyeers-fyord-r".

Well, I had to get between him and the exit,
Gave him a glass o' mead so he would stay.
He said "Where's my Bud Lite?" (I said) "Hush, you'll start a fight,
"Just lissen to what I've got to say ..."

[Chorus]
That ain't a dress, it's a tunic.
That ain't a purse, it's a pouch.
Those ain't tights, they're ... oh hell, have another beer.
It'll keep you from becomin' such a grouch.

(Spoken banter: Can't go no further without mentionin' my buddy - my other buddy - Kveldhrafn Ulfgrimsen, who was the first to say the words used in the chorus. Ol' Hraffy [sniff] he ain't with us no more. [Pause] He's in Indiana.)

Now Joe was never really good in high school,
At languages and "prose" and learnin' rhymes.
Civics was a mystery, and he'd failed to learn from history ...
He was doomed to repeat it - three times.

But he was always pretty good at scrappin',
So I shoved on the list so he could train.
He took a hit below his shirt, where no man oughta hurt,
And I said to him when he looked at me in pain:

[Chorus]
That ain't a dress, it's a tunic .
That ain't a purse, it's a pouch.
Those ain't tights, they're ... oh hell, have another beer.
Straighten up or you'll be in a perm'nant crouch.

Now Joe thought he warn't cut out for Pennsic,
He seemed to have real bad case of "sad",
But I know a thing or three about SCAdian therapy:
There ain't nobody lonesome down at Vlad's.

Well, even Hamlet warn't much good at parties,
But I took him to the gate, give him a shove.
He found hisself a "she" who was more depressed than he,
And she whispered in his ear these words of love:

[Chorus]
That ain't a dress, it's a tunic.
That ain't a purse, it's a pouch.
Those ain't tights, they're ... oh hell, have another beer.
It's period to live life in a slouch.

Joe and his lady started travellin' widely.
His truck is fixed, his gun rack holds a sword.
He bought memberships for life for his brother and ex-wife,
And he's the owner of a record duck-tape hoard.

One day at troll they heard a youngster moanin'
About the loaner garb he had to use.
Joe took him by the scruff and said, "I've heard enough!
"I've got some good advice you can't refuse:"

[Chorus]
That ain't a dress, it's a tunic.
That ain't a purse, it's a pouch.
Those ain't tights, they're ...
[spoken] Son, are you of legal drinkin' age?
Let's have a home-brew beer.
You'll become a happy SCAdian, I vouch.

NOTE: When I first wrote this song, I thought it ended with Joe finding love at Pennsic, but many people thought it needed an additional wrap-up verse. Brendan O Corraidhe even provided one (although I think it takes the song in a direction I never intended):

Joe and his lady, they set up housekeepin'.
Joe got hisself a-squired to a knight.
He bought a WalMart tent, and went to an event
Where it was rumored there might be a fight ...

It was raining when the herald called his name.
He grabbed some duck tape, made a quick repair.
It might have been a fluke, but he beat a backstop Duke,
And now Jo-see-fus is the Royal Heir ...

(spoken sotto voce: Your Royal Highness ...)

[Chorus]
That ain't a dress, it's a tunic.
That ain't a purse, it's a pouch.
Those ain't tights, they're ... oh hell, have another beer.
... And it's hard to find more words that rhyme with "pouch".

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At the Duck Tape Jamboree

On a trip my lady Juliane and I passed an actual Under Armor Factory Outlet store. First presented at Pennsic 42. The tune went awry in the latter verses of the live performance below. The part of the first verse represents what I intended.

Live Performance badge bulletSorry, no midi/mp3

Chorus:
            At the Duck Tape Jamboree-ee-o / It's a shopper's paradise
            You can buy a kit, or just make it / At a special SCAdian price

Verse 1
At the Under Armor Factory Outlet Duck Tape Jamboree
There are duck tape palettes twelve feet high and miles of PVC.
There's Under Armor armor under a big-top circus tent.
If your fav'rite Knight's dressed not-quite-right, there's pre-fab scratch-and-dent.

There's Under Armour haute couture in the style of Genghis Khan.
You'll strike a chord with any dark horde from the moment you put it on.
Elizabethan's fine but if in duck tape garb you're clad
One ruff's enough, perhaps a cuff to start a Lizpunk fad

Verse 2
There's moving vans with Leathermans and zipties by the bale,
And helmets made of freon cans 'cause cooler heads prevail,
At the day care center, nine am, just drop off your papoose.
After duck tape origami class, stop by to cut them loose.

For the Laurel who's got everything but wants that "war elan"
There's a truckload sale on makeup kits to put those bruises on.
At the clearance table, Barbie Boxes half-off (just one cup!)
There are kits for dukes at our legal booths - free divorce with each pre-nup.

Verse 3
There's camo underwear for things no one will ever see,
Or if you go commando, then the Gold Bond Powder's free.
There's a tank-truck of patchouli that'll cure your Fighter Funk.
There's bandaids by the trunkful and all jockstraps are pre-shrunk.

From also-rans to pelicans, to feed that service drive -
Just load up on quick energy - six hours for the price of five!
There's Brasso-Murphy's joy-juice that will shine a rattan blade,
And a rib burn-off with a prize for sauce that's made from Gatorade.

Verse4
(Yodelling)

So bring the kiddies, bring the spouse, bring your grandmama
Where all the fun is 2 for 1, a SCAdian Shangri-La.
Step up and get your kit remade: from head to toe you'll be
A moder-evel gal or guy, At the Duck Tape Jamboree!

Final Chorus (last line, "finale" style rising pitch)
... At the Un-der-Ar-mor-Fac-t'ry-Out-let-Duck-Tape-Jamb-o-ree

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Lady Constance

Written in the style of a late-period ballad to honor Countess Noelle la Chauciere for her wit and for the loyalty she has shown me. In addition to twice sponsoring me on her Rose Tourney team, Her Excellency is also the co-author of Viking Girl. This was the winning entry in the non-Laurel category at the Rose Tourney, held at Brendokenfest, April 30, 2011. See the documentation for more details.

Tune: Tam Lin, in this version by John Renfro Davis

The king put forth a call: "My vassals one and all
"Protect my crown and throne"
Lord John he answered "Aye, your safety I will buy
"Though it cost me all my own"

Lord John said to his wife, "To leave cuts like a knife,
"So take this ring I give:
"Gold band and violet too, Lady Constance stay you true.
"You must wear this while you live."

In lonely misery, she wove a tapestry
A year and then a day.
Then a ruined knight drew near and whispered in her ear:
"You dare not say me nay."

"Your husband he did flee to join the king's army.
"He never will return.
"So take this ring of tin, and let our love begin
"For in my loins I burn."

Lady Constance did she plead, "Perform a simple deed:
"For a year and then a day
"Search the country through for a greater fool than you,
"And then with you I lay."

Sir Andrew mounted horse and set off on his course,
Three hundred days and more,
Until he spied a wretch, "The man that I must fetch!
"He's foolish, crude and poor."

To Lady Constance' gate, he came his case to state:
"I did as you would lief.
"He begs alms upon the street, but he left a jewel sweet
"In plain view of a thief."

Lord John threw off his cloak, and with great ardor spoke:
"No longer we're apart!
"A noble fools stands nigh, no greater one than I,
"To so lightly weigh your heart."

Lady Constance smiled, her heart in her grew wild,
Into his arms she fell.
Sir Andrew took his leave, his heart upon his sleeve,
And all lived long and well.

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The Lantern Room

Adapted freely from the legend of the haunting of Conwy Castle, which is based on a period incident. First presented at the Afternoon of Fun bardic circle, October 4, 2008.

Tune: Adapted (freely) from Rolling of the Stones in this version by Lesley Nelson-Burns

A castle stands in Conway Town,
And rises to great height there,
But when the lantern room moans loud
You dare not spend a night there.

Lord Conway fought Queen Bess's wars;
His lady, he sorely missed her.
He counted every hour until
On her warm lips he kissed her.

His lady set a lantern high
To aid in her Lord's returning.
When at that window she leaned out
You could almost hear her yearning.

Then her steward Rhys cried out her name -
'Twas from the cold to call her -
But she started so she lost her foot
And fell down from that wall there.

They bore her to the lantern room,
Where steward Rhys did tend her.
But no fire would that room support,
Nor ever could he mend her.

And as she sighed Lord Conway's name,
Then did steward Rhys grow mournful;
For a ship's great bell was her death knell,
And his Lord Conway made landfall.

In that lantern room he met his wife,
And he kissed her lips of stone there.
"I'll murder steward Rhys," quoth he,
"For all that he has done here."

Lord Conway searched that lantern room,
But he found nor foe nor friend there.
Then he mourned her death with his last breath,
And his life he brought to end there.

So that lady left this earth,
And her lord pursued unbidden;
And steward Rhys moaned his last breath
Trapped in the chimney where he'd hidden.

Now to this day the chimney moans
Where the steward's bones do moulder;
And a lantern bright shows forth each night
While the castle stones grow colder.

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Rose of Cleftlands

For Juliane. First presented as half of our entry in the Girlie-Manne Challenge at NOWM, June 13, 2009.

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Rose of Cleftlands, sheathe your thorn -
Your danger overpowers me.
As the sunshine pierces morn
Your beauty ever cowers me.
Like the rose, your sting is hid
Where your petals lure.
Rude embrace is quite forbid -
Your defense is sure.

Must I boldly pluck the rose
To house it in a crystal dome?
Cage the bliss where fragrance grows,
And never let the tendrils roam?
No glovéd hand your stem shall score
To mew up bloom sublime.
Rose of Cleftlands, evermore,
Upon my arbor climb.

(alternate first verse)

Rose of Cleftlands, sheathe your thorn -
Your danger overpowers me.
I must shield me from your scorn,
Or die in painful ecstasy.
Like the rose, you hide your sting
Where your petals lure.
Vain advances do I bring -
For your defense is sure.

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The Seven Deadly Virtues

First presented at the Cleftlands Standard Bearers competition, April 5, 2008, which was themed on "The Virtues". My first SCA bardic piece.

Tune: Adapted from Padstow (the best known version is Steeleye Span's; the tune is thought to date from the 19th Century).

If a good man must seek to live in Chastity,
I would not have my part crust with rust.
I'll find someone to shine it to bright vastity,
Lest Chastity descend into Lust.

If a good man must seek to live in Temperance,
Renounce beef and things muttony,
Then I'll eat patty-fois, so I'll not give beef a glance,
Lest Temperance become Gluttony.

If a good man must seek to live in Charity,
And I must needs give till I bleed,
I'll give the poor my debts in true austerity,
Lest Charity become nought but Greed.

If a good man must seek to live in Diligence
To earn both his bread and his cloth,
I'll wallow in my study of examples of constance,
Lest Diligence descend into Sloth.

If a good man must seek to live in Moderation,
And guide mischief-makers to The Path,
I'll guide them with such force that they'll sense no aggravation,
Lest Moderation turn into Wrath.

If a good man must seek to live in Admiration,
Then I'll never hide this from thee:
My admiration for your wealth accumulation,
Lest Admiration turn to Envy.

If a good man must seek to live in Humility,
And all of his virtues must he hide,
Then I'll not tell a soul of my wond'rous versatility,
Lest Humility descend into Pride.

If a good man must seek to practice every Virtue,
And shun all the Seven Deadly Sins,
Then let me practice this, and I know I'll not convert you:
Sin's where every deadly virtue begins.

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The Song Which Is. Period.

First presented at the NOWM competition, June 7, 2008, described in the opening banter (the "documentation" there is largely bull, by the way). At the risk of overexplaining, I've included some pronunciation notes.

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(Opening banter: This competition is for a song of war or battle, with extra points for using a documented period form.  The specific verse form I used is not known in period, but it's very similar to a number of existing verses - for example the witches' songs in Macbeth - and in fact the tune is based on two tunes by Thomas Morley.  Finally, I think you'll find that the lyrics are strictly period.

I wanted to call this "Lord Atholl's Song", but I was over by the lists earlier and apparently there are a number of people in the Society who are called "Atholl".  So I've renamed it "The Song Which Is. Period." and I changed the name of the main character to one I hope will offend no one.)

Lord Facher has gone off to war. (pronounced "Fokker" like the plane)
With a hey and a ho and a hey nonny-no.
A place he's not been heretofore.
With a hey-hey nonny-nonny-no.
Each blow he would bravely decline-oh.
Said his foes with respect:
"Though his garb's not Utrecht,
He must be Landsknecht,
For his armor is surely from the Rhine-oh."
And he banished each fear he had,
And his fighting style's something ... Period.

Lord Facher has gone off to war.
With a hey and a ho and a hey nonny-no.
Over books ("buchs") ... of decorum did he pore.
With a hey-hey nonny-nonny-no.
He kissed all things shiny or sharp-oh:
Coronets, penny flutes,
Armor suits, army boots ...
He would not be struck mute
Like a stringless Celtic harp-oh!
A veneer insincere he had,
And his social skill's something. Period.

Lord Facher has gone off to war.
With a hey and a ho and a hey nonny-no.
On the lists ... of the best-dressed he will score.
With a hey-hey nonny-nonny-no.
He evaded near every barb-oh:
From attitudes prone,
Once from behind the throne,
But he would ("vood") be alone,
For he'd never distemper his garb-oh.
And that codpiece is very odd ...
And his person is (persona's) something! Period.

Lord Facher has come back from war.
With a hey and a ho and a hey nonny-no.
With glorious tales his wife he'll bore.
With a hey-hey nonny-nonny-no.

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A Brief Tour of Northern North Oaken (rated R)

I wrote this for the Baronies and Shires of northern North Oaken - which are the territories officially covered by Gorsedd, the community of bards in northern Oaken - with the noted assistance from Juliane Bechaumpe. Two of Ohio's other SCA territories are in Additional Verses below, along with the starting attempts at "A Brief Tour of the Great Households". First presented at the Baron Wars "adult" bardic circle, May 10, 2008.

MIDI badge bulletMP3 ( Any limerick tune will do. Mine includes a chorus)

There once was a lass from Brendoken
Who, except for her ass, was soft-spoken.
Her farts would crescendo
Till she blew out a window.
Now her ass can't pass gas cause it's broken.

[Chorus]
Oh,  when they're done pokin', provokin' and strokin',
They come home to northern North Oaken.

There was a musician of Eastwatch:
When she couldn't play she'd at least watch.
While her husband's erection
Plied the violin section
She kept perfect time on her wristwatch.

            [Chorus]

There once was a Lord of Red Spears:
When he showed off his schlong he met jeers.
He explained with chagrin,
"It's quite long and not thin,
"But exhibited it disappears."

            [Chorus]

A ravenous Lord out of Oakford
Ate nothing other than Roquefort.
His breath's a disaster,
And his ass, quite a blaster,
So he's seeking an old auto's choke for it.

            [Chorus]

A lady of old Castell Gwent
On finding a mate was hell bent.
She paid off a herald
To announce she'd been sterile'd,
And found it was money well spent.

            [Chorus]

An insistent Lord of Rivenvale
Never quits until he's given tail.
Now his lady wears four sets
Of carbon steel corsets,
And her panties will outlive chain mail.

            [Chorus]

A discreet lass of old Falcon's Quarry
At midnight would get shockin' whorey.
She got dressed in her best,
Headed out to the west,
And strutted through Norwalk in glory.
(Norwalk is the mundane city west of FQ)

            [Chorus]

A Lord pleased a Lass out of Cleftland
When he played lefty-loose with his left hand.
When he tried righty-tighty,
She cried "God Almighty,
"My g-spot is now a midriffed gland."

            [Chorus]

A Lady of northern North Oaken ...
On the prowl, she would let any bloke in.
She bedded a kiniggit -
He sailed off like a frigate.
She tried with a Laurel -
But his taste's a mite "floral".
Got no rise from a Pelican -
"With the right personnel he can!"
So she bedded a duke -
But he gave her the hook.
When she bedded a Count
She gave him a discount
Then she bedded a Baron -
He was so nice and carin' ...
But he left her completely heartbroken.

            [Chorus; repeat]

** Additional Verses **

... Northern Oaken's Neighbors

There once was a lady of Fenix
Who made all her garb out of Kleenex.
In the wind and the rain
All the men got eyestrain,
Cause you never knew quite what you'd see nex'.
(thanks to Juliane)

[Alternate Chorus]
And when they want pokin', provokin', and strokin'
They come up to northern North Oaken

A launderer of Middle Marshes
Always bragged that his wang was the larges'.
When asked for a show
His Viagra ran low,
And he tried to make do with his starches.

            [Chorus]

... The Households

A well-armed Lord of House Darkyard
Used to find all his dates at the stockyard.
A cowboy forlorn
Took this bull by the horn,
And he said, "Don't touch that that's my ...  Glock, pard."

            [Alternate Chorus]

A certain young Lord from House Stahlgeist
Was implicated in a mall heist.
He went to the slammer
And he slept with a hammer,
But he still got his whang and one ball-vised.

            [Chorus]

My own household's called Furies Keep.
We drink too much booze, then we sleep.
We wake up all red-eyed,
Wondering how we got hog-tied,
And how we made friends with that sheep.

            [Chorus]

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We Stand on Guard (The Eastwatch Toasting Song)

First presented at Afternoon of Fun, October 4, 2008.

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(Sung by the heavy fighters)
We stand on guard, the Dragon's Claw:
'Gainst eastward threats our longswords draw,
To watch our foes retreat in awe;
So raise a glass for Eastwatch.

(Sung by the rapier unit)
We stand on guard, the Dragon's Sting:
Our bucklers chime, our rapiers sing:
"To Arms!" whene'er the tocsins ring;
So raise a glass for Eastwatch.

(Sung by the archery unit)
We stand on guard, the Dragon's Fire:
'Neath hails of arrows, foes retire
From this great citadel, our Shire;
So raise a glass for Eastwatch.

(Sung by the A&S specialists)
We stand on guard, the Dragon's Scale:
The troops we arm with mace and mail,
With feast, and scroll, and martial tale;
So raise a glass for Eastwatch.

(All)
We stand on guard, the Dragon's Eye:
The Midrealm's Watch, the warning cry,
A tower in the eastern sky;
So raise a glass for Eastwatch.

 

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