We headed up to Carolingia (Massachusetts) on Saturday for Falling Leaves. There were two primary reasons we ventured so far from home. The first was that our Marauders campmate Eadgyth æt Stæningum was on vigil for the Order of the Pelican. And the second? Well, I had accepted a challenge from her Highness Margarita, and had agreed to answer it in court, resulting in a new filk, “Prince Luis” (the page has lyrics, backstory, and documentation, because I had the time and couldn’t resist)
[UPDATE 10/13/19: In light of recent events, I have removed the song page and the video from public listings.]
Last fall, when I started filking ABBA for Wilhelm and Vienna, I reached out to Vincenzo da Brescia (aka Vince Conaway), whose mastery of the hammered dulcimer delights listeners at Pennsic as well as at Renaissance Faires all over the country and internationally. The Mamma Mia filk demanded hammered dulcimer at the Pennsic concert, I suggested, and to my delight he agreed.
Vincenzo and I will be collaborating again soon on a recording for the album in progress, but in the meantime, here is “Carpe Diem” in its full, accompanied, silly glory.
I have added the full song page for “Take a Chance on Me, Pendragon Edition”, with video, lyrics, and more detailed notes on the writing of this filk (because it was a more involved process than the other filks I’ve done). Completionists rejoice.
This #WordFameWednesday I wish to honor my beloved friend, sometime travel companion, and partner in mischief, Juliana Bird, King’s Bard (in Exile) of the East.
If I have taught Bird anything about what it means to be a bard, I’m delighted. But I know what she’s taught me. She’s modeled for me what it means to survive adversity, do hard work on oneself, and come out of it still connected to joy, authenticity, and childlike wonder. She has shown me how rapidly it is possible to grow in musicianship and art when it is done with zeal and passion and deep effort.
On top of everything else, she has shown me the artisanship of creating truly great filk.
I have often had an uneasy relationship with filk (specifically, the art of writing new original lyrics to an immediately-recognizable modern popular song) as a bard.* Too often, I’ve heard people lump together all original work created by SCA bards as “filk”, which I still find dismissive as a creator of SCA folk music. I enjoy a good filk as much as the next person, but I’m mindful that they are largely humorous and often considered “silly”.
So, I got to return to the SCA and my kingdom with both feet yesterday at Bjorn’s Ceilidh up at our second home, Concordia of the Snows. I probably need to explain how it is that this happened, since it was not in anyone’s plans at the start of the day…
Our King’s and Queen’s Bardic Champion Tourney is four weeks out, and I’m deep in preparations. Yesterday, my friend Gwendolyn the Graceful presented the last in a series of articles about the Bardic Arts for The Æthelmearc Gazette, about the hot-button topic of “bardic authenticity”. It’s worth a read. Apparently it set my muse off, and she’s been in a mischievous mood of late. So…got this out of my system. Enjoy. (Or wince. Or both.)
Filk (Is The Word) by Eric Schrager (aka Drake Oranwood)
(To the Tune of “Grease (Is The Word)”)
I found the Bardic Arts and saw the light,
We know we love our craft, and yes we do it right,
There’s all the research, we can’t go too far,
We are believers now – but that’s not all that we are.
Filk is the word… Continue reading →