One of Us – Heather Dale & Mana Bijandgoodarz

‘Cause she was not the biggest fighter nor one to raise a fuss
But I remember being proud that she was one of us
And we might never stand together in the shield-wall side by side
But because of her I lift my sword with pride

“One of Us” by Heather Dale, with incredible ASL interpretation by Mana Bijandgoodarz.

This is part of a really cool project that Heather Dale is collaborating on with Deaf storytellers. For more videos from the series, check out Heather’s YouTube Channel.

Ballade of the Blue Rose – Clarsa McElhaney

"I know the secret longings hidden deep within the songs you sing,

     "and though I've never loved I must now for the sake of the rising Spring.

"I will fulfill your secret dream from now until the next sunrise

     "if you'll consent to let me have, the fire, from your eyes."

If there’s one thing filkers can’t seem to get enough of, besides puns, it’s weird and ominous songs about musicians.  “Ballade of the Blue Rose,” by Coral de Chauncey (Wendy Murphy) and Brad of Cambria (Brad Banyan), sung by Clarsa McElhaney.  Lyrics and chords available here.

Filksong Genealogy: December of Cambreadth


Use your hooves and use your head
Don’t let down the Man in Red 

“March of Cambreadth” (lyrics), by Heather Alexander, is a classic battle song about killing as many people as possible.  “December of Cambreadth” (lyrics), a parody by Bob Kanefsky, is…also about maximization of output, but the similarities end there.  Except that the language is, somehow, equally vicious.

(Series: Filksong Genealogy)

Gilbert’s Greatsword – Annwn


Braw and bold, he went a-raiding;
stout and strong, he went to war.
Long his lady will be waiting;

Gilbert’s greatsword strikes no more.

Apparently, there was an SCA contest for best elegy, so Leigh Ann Hussey wrote a song for the “death” of a player in “Steal the Sheep” earlier that day, a game where teams compete to move a stuffed sheepskin across a field.

“Gilbert’s Greatsword,” or “Elegy for Gilbert de Langspee,” by Annwn.  The percussion on this is tabla, played by Aditya Gurajada.

The Bard’s Exhortation to the Salaryman – Annwn

“Come away to the hills:
come away where the wine of life distills,
to the healing of your heart’s ills
come away, come away.”

“The Bard’s Exhortation to the Salaryman,” by Annwn, which sounds like a serious song, but apparently, the singer wrote this to make fun of banjo player, because he had a real job and she didn’t.

This album, for a long time only available from a website with low-quality downloads, is now back in print!  It’s available on Spotify, YouTube, and iTunes, and all profits will go towards making more of Annwn’s music available.

Beyond the Shire – Rowan and the Tudor Rose

As you leave these gates behind, carry forth the love and laughter
Be the vessels of the light we share, the keepers of the fire
Let our stories entertwine, be our happy ever after
Let your queen and country live beyond the shire.

I got this song via a submission, but then I had to be an ass and go find a version with a bit less ambient noise and a closer mic.  Also there’s some children singing along at the end, it’s adorable.  The submitted recording is this one (worth checking out, if only for the costumes, and there’s nothing wrong with the performance, just a lot of wind).

A sweet and moving song about Renaissance faires, “Beyond The Shire,” by Rowan and the Tudor Rose, to the tune of Stan Rogers’ “Northwest Passage.”

Seahaven – Annwn

 To the seahaven is a long, hard haul,
but I’ll leave soon as I may,
for I’m tired of treading the hard earth down
among land-loving sods who hide in towns
when tempest and wind make the breakers pound –
oh no, that is no life for me!

An SCA song Leigh Ann Hussey wrote for a friend, performed by Leigh Ann Hussey, Mark Ungar, and Elton of Annwn

Karelia’s Song – Master Iolo

I’ve had this song on my mind for a while for no particular reason; it took me some searching to find a recording by the guy who actually wrote it.  Apparently it’s going to be in a video game soon, so that’s exciting.

Anyway!  A morally ambiguous yet very sweet love song by David Watson, aka Master Iolo, “Karelia’s Song.”

Chords and lyrics available here.  Bonus trivia, and as an encouragement to my fellow Awful Guitarists, this is the song that convinced me to learn how to fingerpick and then taught me to do it.  Someday I’ll slightly annoy some SCA folks because I learned a tune that’s a tiny bit different.

Never Again – Andrew Heinrich

Well I’ve sailed north to Ireland
I’ve sailed south to France
I’ll sail to the New World
If you give half a chance
But brave as I might be
And bold as I am
I’ll never go drinking
With Michael again!

“Never Again,” by Andrew Heinrich, about someone who has apparently become a bit of a legend in the SCA.  The lyrics are here, and you’ll probably need them, since I couldn’t find a clean (free) recording, but they’re also incomplete.  They don’t include the “Stairway to Heaven” verse, for instance.

Valdemar’s Song (The Baron and the Minstrel of the Hall) – by Efenwealt Wystle

“So much of life in the SCA is centered around interactions between teachers and students. We all have so much to learn from each other, and none of us has all the answers. Though we all walk different paths on our quests, they all point to the same place. That place is made up of the very best qualities and talents within each of us. Learning to find that and forgive each other’s imperfections is what brings us all closer to our Dream.”

“Valdemar’s Song (The Baron and the Minstrel of the Hall),” by Efenwealt Wystle.  Valdemar, in this case, is an SCA persona, not the Lackey novels.

This song…it’s beautiful, and inspiring, and oddly sad.