“Merlin,” a fantastically creepy interpretation of Arthurian legend by Doug McArthur, performed here by Kathy Mar. If you’re familiar with the BBC TV show version of the character, this is… pretty much the exact opposite of that.
Some filk songs narrate Serious, Philosophically Meaningful first contact scenarios… this is not one of those filk songs.
Today in found filk: “The Griesly Bride,” a murder ballad adapted by Tom Campbell from a poem written by John Manifold.
Despite being written in the mid-20th century, it sounds like a traditional ballad, and has a very filkish supernatural twist. It’s actually so filkish that when I was first trying to track down the origin of the song, I found some folks who were convinced it had been written by filker Cynthia McQuillan.
Quick content warning for an implied threat of sexual coercion, though it’s never followed through, and the woman who’s threatened is not the one murdered in this ballad.
And it’s way hey, me lads, click on refresh again
There might be a new posting by one of your friends
Yes it’s way hey, me boys, leave a comment or two
It’s not like you’ve got something better to do
“Livejournal Shanty” by Brooke Abbey with John Caspell. Because as Brooke puts it, “I wanted to write a sea shanty. But I don’t exactly spend all day working on the sea. Or working on anything, really. ‘Gee,’ I thought to myself, ‘what DO I do all day?’ Oh. Oh yeah.”
And as the lyrics prove, while many of us have migrated away from Livejournal, it’s not like things have changed that much.
Hi! Sorry if this is a stupid question, but do you think poetry could be considered filk too? Because I wanna try writing some filk stuff, but I’m terrible with music, and even changing the lyrics of already existing songs so that it still works with the music seems like a bit too big challenge to me (especially in English, since it’s not my first language), but I can write poems. Not very good poems, I have to admit that, but poems anyway.
Definitely! I’ve heard a few people read poetry at filk events. Sometimes it’s a song they don’t feel confident enough to sing but want to share anyway, and sometimes because they found or wrote a very filkish poem that was never intended to be sung.
Go forth! Write things!! And there’s always a chance that someone else will be able to set something you write to music later!
A Dalish lullaby I wrote. It uses the tune of Rozhinkes mit Mandlen, a Yiddish lullaby. I used Project Elvhen to construct the sentences (I’ll put my translation and explanation below the cut so people can have a go at translating it themselves if they want)
Sura esha’lin’es eranain
Gara eir’ne julseithe hallain.
Ane ne halla’amelan.
mar Ghilan’ain’es vallaslin.
I got the replicator malfunction blues
It messes up whatever I choose
Chief come and fix it and don’t be late
We never had this trouble on Deep Space 8
It’s driving me crazy, and I’m losing weight
And I got those replicator malfunction blues
“Replicator Malfunction Blues” by Chris Conway, a song about the trials of living on a certain space station.
Lyrics available on the Deep Space Love CD page (scroll halfway down the page to get to the lyrics section).
Beep beep beep beep…Hello there!
Sputnik sails giggling through the skies,
Red flags, red faces, jump into the race
As the space age begins with a surprise!
“Surprise!” by Leslie Fish, a song commemorating the rather abrupt kickoff of the space race. This version is sung by Gunnar Madsen, with Mitchell Burnside Clapp providing the backing Russian.
The Stockholm Tolkien society started their choir Mellonath Gleowine in the early 1970s, and it is still going strong, and is the oldest continuous filk tradition in Sweden. They sing a mixture of Tolkien and early modern songs. Here is their concert when Stockholm’s science fiction bookstore had their 30-year-anniversary as an independent business in 2014.
Don’t miss their version of The Misty Mountains Song in Swedish and Khuzdul at 10:00!
[submitted by anonymous]
Do you think the song “Pioneers Over c” by Van Der Graaf Generator could be considered filk? It’s prog rock rather than folk, but it is about the first astronauts to surpass the speed of light, who then find themselves sort of disconnected from time. I suppose it’s more like speculative fiction in song form than science fiction fandom, though. Idk, that’s why I’m asking y’all.
It is if you want it to be! Because definitions are made up and only exist as long as they are useful to us. I definitely thing filk is a genre doesn’t ever need to sound folk-ish, it just often does because 1) it evolved out of the 60′s folk movement and 2) it’s an easy style to write and perform in for amateur musicians. But heck, there’s rap filk, there’s no reason there should be prog rock filk…except that prog rock typically requires at LEAST six musical instruments and electricity, and so is more conducive to staged concerts than song circles.
….but there’s plenty of filk on concert stages, with electric instruments, with the extensive arrangement, rehearsal, and setup you get in prog rock. I saw a prog rock band at a con, and while it wasn’t billed as filk, being at a con makes you basically filk.
As for whether it’s science fiction fandom music – if you’re in the science fiction fandom, and feel like it’s relevant, and you like it, it’s science fiction fandom music. That’s why songs about cats and Shakespeare are considered filk, even though they have heck all to do with science fiction. They might be pretty far removed from Star Trek, but a whole bunch of people like all of those things, and that unites them. Fandom is about the people, more than the content, in the end.
Anyway, I’d say a case can be made for calling it filk, and if you want to make that case that’s fine by me. It’s a few steps removed from what I might suggest as some kind of archetypal filk song, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t one. It’s like how a dachshund and a wolfhound are both dogs. They’re just very different dogs, and you just have to be aware that traits of most dogs do not necessarily apply to these dogs. If filk had a real dictionary definition it would have a dozen subdefinitions, and one of those would probably say “songs about science fiction concepts” and that’s this!
“Eureka! Eureka!” Archimedes cried
And throughout all of history, from both far and wide
It’s a new discovery, they exclaim with pride
“Eureka! Eureka!” Science is applied!
“Eureka!” by the PDX Broadsides, a sweet song commemorating some of the brilliant scientists who’ve made discoveries that change the shape of human knowledge.
So I made the mistake of listening to your whole “ose” tag over the last couple days at work. Shall we go with “One More Ose Song?“
[submitted by arachnaetheyarnspider]