Concordian Soil

This was written for Baron Jean Paul DuCasse and Baroness Lylie Penhill, who charged me to write a song for the Barony of Concordia of the Snows during my term as their bardic champion. It was first performed at the Wars of the Roses event in May 2017 in Concordia.

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Concordian Soil by Eric Schrager is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Concordian Soil

© 2017 words & music by Eric Schrager

From the woodlands I came
To a place I’d set foot once before, but it called and I could not resist.
Through the cold bitter rain,
I arrived to embraces and welcome that made me suspect I’d been missed:

“You were safe in your shire, but you came here instead.
If we manage a fire, we’ll all try to get warm.
This whole place is a mire! Are you touched in the head?
Tell us what so compels you that you’d brave this storm?”

I seek the flowers that bloom in the snow,
Where the air it is crisp, and the nights are so long.
I bear a seed, and I hope it will grow.
In Concordian soil, under snow there are deep roots and strong.

They’re a tough lot and fierce,
Full of bustle and fervor, with wisdom and skills in a myriad of trades.
Oh, their hide’s tough to pierce,
But you want to be mindful that sometimes they harbor sharp memories and blades.

Still, they’re quick to the task, and they’ll outpace the sun.
If you need help, just ask (though you’ll want to ask loud).
When you’re offered a flask, the brew’s second to none,
And if you find a place here, you’ve cause to be proud. (CH)

As the year draws to end,
They assemble a ceilidh that’s lively and joyous and merry and sad.
They recall passing friends,
And the oldest soul present regales us with stories both mournful and glad.

Then the hall’s plunged in night as our voices we raise,
There’s a single flame bright, and in shared grief we sing.
One by one, candles light under our tearful gaze,
And that glow, it will warm us ’til we welcome spring… (CH)

(End of Final Chorus)
In Concordian soil, in the earth may it sleep…
In Concordian soil, what we sow we shall reap…
In Concordian soil, under snow there are deep roots and strong.



To compose this piece, I relied on a few Concordians of long standing who shared their experiences with me and were kind enough to answer my questions. These included their Excellencies JP and Lylie themselves, as well as my good friends Magnus Hvalmagi, Finnguala ingen Néill meic Chuircc, Olivia Baker, and Kassir NiDeoraine.

I used an approach that has been helpful before (for “We Are the East” and “Lady of the Rose”), sending some written questions to the participants to draw out details and emotional connections that would help inform the resulting song. I like having written answers I can pore through a few times, though I can (and did in this case) take notes myself when pressed for time. I’m happy to say this approach hasn’t failed me yet.

I am particularly indebted for the descriptions I received about Bjorn’s Ceilidh for the final verse, for while we’ve attended the event a few times, at the time of composition we had never stayed for feast, so I had missed the moment where the heart of the barony is exposed and shared.

Thanks also to Baroness Maria von Ossenheim, whose masterful time management of court meant she was able to give me an opportunity to present the piece to the full court on Sunday. (This was helped greatly by their Excellencies’ willingness to traipse all over the campsite Saturday night conducting a roving court, handing out awards to folks who they knew might not be able to attend–another example of the fierce dedication this barony models from the top down.)


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