a bardic exception

Most of the time I make no claims to be a bard.  In general, the SCA uses the term ‘bard’ to describe people who write original music.  I don’t do that; it’s not even my primary interest musically (period music fills that role).  I describe myself as a musician or minstrel; I play instruments, I sing, but almost exclusively I perform period music with a few SCA-compositions (by others!) thrown in.

But nothing is 100%, eh?  When I was driving home from the airport after my return from Pennsic, I got hit with an earworm.  My principality, the Summits, has few patriotic songs… so here is another!

Folk of the Grail

The river runs clear, the gryphon flies free
(Sing Hey! for the folk of the grail!)
Forever the mountains, forever are we
(Sing Hey! for the folk of the grail!)
(repeat after each line)

Chorus (could repeat after each verse, or after alternate verses)
Sing hey for the folk of the grail! Sing hey for the folk of the grail!

Sprung from the lion, our cups we raise high
Our pride in our people, it never will die

Gabriel, Prince, is just and is fair
Summaya, our Princess, shares wisdom most rare
(designed so that names of current Alpine Highnesses can be substituted)

Mighty in battle, we fight with our king
A torrent unleashed, our forces take wing

United in honor and friendship we stand
And ne’er will forsake our gryphon homeland

The river runs clear, the gryphon flies free
Forever the mountains, forever are we

For those who read music, a PDF is available so you can get a sense of the tune.  (Folk of the Grail)

It was an interesting experience; I didn’t really spend a lot of time thinking about how to put things together, it just sort of … flowed.  Inspiration, I guess!  I do like how it turned out;  I like that I worked in some of the symbols of our principality (gryphon, mountains, river, grails) – the very first line is in fact a direct quote from part of our ceremonial (you can take the song out of the herald, but you can’t take the herald out of the song… or something…).  Anyway, all feedback welcome and appreciated!

Now that I’ve done this, I’m kind of wondering if it’s something I’d be able to repeat… I’ve been listening to the songs of some of my fave wordsmiths/bards (Mistress Rosalind, Ken & Lisa Theriot, eg) and putting a lot of thought into what makes their words so powerful.  I think telling a story in words is a lot harder than a praise/patriotism song like this – with stories, you have to get much more specific and very concise.  One method that I have thought of is to first write out an outline detailing what should happen in each verse;  then in each verse, choose the main idea and write one or maybe two lines (depending on your rhyme structure) focusing on what you really want to convey and then work the other lines and rhymes in around that.

But I’d love to hear what other people do and any suggestions!


2 responses to “a bardic exception

  1. Elizabeth Turner de Carlisle

    EEEEEEE I love it!!! Love, love, love it! 🙂

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