Bardic stuff

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I've not been inspired to write much recently, but here are few gems from the past.


Contents

The Swashbuckling Game

This song came and sat on my chest, saying "write me!" many years ago, when I still lived in the Barony of the Stargate (Houston.) A bit of historical note: it was written about my Cadet, Hans Durmast von der Wanderlust (usually called Dormouse) when he was seneschal of Raven's Fort, shortly before he got his White Scarf.

(To the tune of "The Patriot Game.")

Come all ye young bravos, and list while I sing
For the love of adventure is a terrible thing
It banishes sense and it drives you insane
It'll make you a part of the Swashbuckling Game

My name it is Dormouse, I've just gone nineteen
My home is in Stargate, 'tis there I was weaned
I was taught all my lifetime, Don Tivar to blame
Because he invented the Swashbuckling Game

I was just seventeen when I wandered away
And went to a tourney of the bold SCA
I'd read of D'Artagnan and I wanted the same
To play out my part in the Swashbuckling Game

Well they told me of Gilwell, and Tullamore Dew
Of Robin and 'Licia and Gallowglass, too
They gave me a red scarf, let me kill and maim
They soon made me part of the Swashbuckling Game

And now I'm Don Durmast, and a seneschal, too
They think I'm important--I think I've been screwed
They stuff me in teapots and make fun of my name
And they're all out to kill me in the Swashbuckling Game



Many years later, the beginnings of this little gem, I am not kidding, came to me in a dream. I managed to keep hold of enough of it when I woke up to write it down as well. It's about Don Christian Richard Dupre, and was written shortly after his knighting. He, too, was once my cadet.

The Stick-Jocking Game

(Also to the tune of "The Patriot Game.")

Come all you young swashers, and list while I sing
For the love of more fighting is a terrible thing
It will bruise up your backside, and rattle your brain
And make you a part of the stick-jocking game

My name's Don Dupre, and I wear blue and gold
In Bryn Gwlad country I was dashing and bold
Yes I'd swashed all my life, but Don Tivar's to blame
'Cause he didn't keep me from the stick-jocking game

I was twenty years old when I wandered away
To try heavy weapons in the bold SCA
They told me my rapier was too thin to play
With their broadswords and polearms in the stick-jocking game

They gave me a helmet and took off my lace
They beat on my thighs and my ribs and my face
They gave me a broadsword, let me kill and maim
And they soon made me part of the stick-jocking game

So now I'm Sir Christian Richard Dupre too
They think I'm important--I think I've been screwed
'Cause when I'm not swashing they're calling my name
To come out and play in the stick-jocking game



God Rest Ye Frantic Autocrat

(With annotations. To the tune of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.")

God rest ye frantic autocrat, let nothing you dismay
Remember that your great event is still a month away
Don't panic yet, there's lots of time and don't get swept away

Chorus: And sing ye in chorus: "Never again, never again"

And sing ye in chorus: "Never again"


God rest ye frantic autocrat, let nothing you dismay
Remember that your great event is still two weeks away
The site is grand, though if it rains it just might wash away [1]
(chorus)

God rest ye frantic autocrat, let nothing you dismay
Remember that your great event is still a week away
The music's fine, if only they remember how to play [2]
(chorus)

God rest ye frantic autocrat, let nothing you dismay
Remember that your great event is still three days away
The feast is planned, the food's been bought, though God knows how you'll pay
(chorus)

God rest ye frantic autocrat, let nothing you dismay
Despite the fact your great event is scheduled for today
The tourney's grand, the rain won't last for very long, they say [3]
(chorus)

God rest ye frantic autocrat, let nothing you dismay
Despite the fact that everything is going wrong today
The King and Queen came, unannounced, and God knows who else may [4]
(chorus)

God rest ye frantic autocrat, let nothing you dismay
The herald's lost his voice and he can't even cry "Oyez" [5]
The list field's under water, [6] a tornado's on the way [7]
(chorus)

God rest ye frantic autocrat, let nothing you dismay
The ants have eaten half the food and dragged your tent away [8]
Some mundane called the cops, and they took all the knights away [9]
(chorus)

God rest ye frantic autocrat, let nothing you dismay
It's getting cold, it just might snow, you'd better start to pray [10]
The fire won't start, the food will spoil, so serve it anyway [11]
(chorus)

God rest ye frantic autocrat, let nothing you dismay
The feast was grand, though half the court is dying of the plague [12]
The revel would have been great, but the tavern blew away [13]
(chorus)

God rest ye frantic autocrat, you'd better run away
The Queen is mad, her tent and King have both been washed away [14]
It might be wise to change your name and quit the SCA
(chorus)

God rest ye frantic autocrat, now hide ye while ye may
The gentry loved that damned event that ended yesterday
They're asking for another one, the King hopes you'll obey

Final chorus: And they're singing in chorus: "Do it again, do it again"

They're singing in chorus: "Do it again"


Notes: That last verse and chorus were added by Baron Vargskol Halfblood, the others are mostly based on things that actually happened during the early days of Ansteorra.

Specifically...

  1. Several sites used in the early days of the Barony of Bjornsborg (San Antonio) were in flood plains.
  2. When I first joined, the local "Musicians' Guild" was pretty much anyone who brought an instrument and has some clue which end was which. Technical things like "rehearsals" were unknown.
  3. This doesn't refer to any specific event, but we all know about events that were rained out.
  4. At the first Baronial Court in Bryn Gwlad, the King and Queen did show up unannounced. Lots of unpleasant politics followed.
  5. Again, no specific event, but we've probably all seen it happen.
  6. At the third Ansteorran Coronet Tourney (held at one of those Bjornsborg flood-plain sites) a big thunderstorm came through Saturday night. First thing Sunday morning, the Park Police came in and told us we had an hour to clear the site before the low water crossing on the only road out would be flooded. After we all escaped, the final round of Coronet was fought in an empty field a couple of miles down the road.
  7. At one of the early Steppes Warlord Tournaments (held on Memorial Day weekend near Dallas, and frequently hit by bad weather) a tornado touched down nearby, then, so the story goes, skipped directly over the list field.
  8. Fire ants are a perennial problem in Ansteorra, but this is a bit of poetic license.
  9. To the best of my knowledge, this has never actually happened, although cops stopping to check us out at Fighter Practice is a fairly common occurance.
  10. Specifically referring to the Tournament of the Queen's Grace (generally known afterwards as "Queen's Ice") where the temperature dropped over 40 degrees between 10:00 AM and sunset on Saturday. It didn't quite snow, but it was certainly cold enough.
  11. In the early days, cooking the evening's feast over a campfire or outdoor grill was fairly common. We had a few instances where the "cooking" was more wishful thinking than actual fact.
  12. Cause-and-effect from the uncooked food. I've also heard of Pennsics where some kind of bug ended up taking out half the site or more.
  13. More poetic license. While it was very windy at Queen's Ice, the tavern tent didn't quite blow away.
  14. And a bit more poetic license.

This one's on a bit more serious note.

Questing

He’s got that questing look about his eyes
And soon he will be going off again
To seek a distant legend or some prize
That hidden lies beyond all mortal ken

The treasures that he sends to me are grand
The ransom of a king in gems, and more
There’s fifty gallant knights--mine to command
Made captive in some tournament or war

Perhaps he’ll send a rescued wizard, who
Beguiles my empty hours with his sleights
And once he sent a baby dragon, too
To keep me warm on lonely winter nights

But all these treasures I would gladly spend
If I could, by some alchemy, devise
A way to bring my sorrow to an end
And take that questing look from my lord’s eyes



This is based on an actual incident at an Ansteorran Kingdom Warlord Tournament in AS XVIII

The Tale of Caradoc and the Monster

’Twas to the Warlord tournament
In the Springtime of the year
There came the valiant Caradoc
The man who knew no fear

He fought not on the field that day
Though he watched with knowing eye
For men were not his chosen foe,
But monsters from the sky

He revelled well that night, 'tis said
And drank a toast or ten
To our new warlord, and the King
And all the fighting men

And in the morning early
He rose up from his bed
And looked well to his weapons
For he felt a nameless dread

He went not to the lists that day
Among the gala throng,
Who watched the squires at battle-play
And heard the minstrel’s song

But rather stayed he in the camp
And gazed with careful eye
For he felt in his marrow
There was something coming nigh

And then it came! Oh dreadful sound
That smote upon his ear
The very sky was darkened
But still he knew no fear

He stood his ground, and challenges
Rang forth into the air
“Today’s the day you die, foul fiend
Come, face me if you dare!”

The monster turned, it would not face
That brave and stalwart man
But fled to the pavilion
Of Mistress Shanahan

Then trapped within those silken folds
The monster turned at bay
To battle forth strode Caradoc
And did not flinch or stay

No helm was there upon his head
Upon his arm no shield
With sword alone he took his stand
Upon that silken field

To face a deadly monster
With venom-dripping sting
And eyes of flame and tempest-blasts
That sprang forth from its wings

The battle joined, with steel and sting
They played their deadly game
The speed of either one would put
A lightning bolt to shame

Throughout the day the battle waged
And neither would cry “hold”
With mighty blows and deadly thrusts
Their martial tale they told

And then at last, bold Caradoc
A cunning thrust he gave
That struck the monster in the heart
And so the day was saved!

The monster’s dying cries would fill
A lesser heart with dread
But Caradoc stood by unmoved
'Til he was sure 'twas dead

So praise the monster-slayer
And raise a shout of glee
Sing Ho! for Caradoc the bold
Who slew the bumblebee!

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