Surprise! – Gunnar Madsen

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.

Lyrics can be found in the To Touch the Stars CD booklet, available for free download on the Prometheus Music website.

Eureka! – The PDX Broadsides

“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.

Lyrics available on Bandcamp.

Fille Du Roy – Heather Dale & Thurga Kanagasekarampillai

Nineteen young women asleep in their bunks
But one up on deck here with me
She’s watching the stars with the wind in hair
And she tells me her name is Marie
No stranger to laughter, no stranger to joy
And a spirit as wild as the sea
She’ll make a man happy in distant Quebec
But he won’t be a sailor like me

“Fille Du Roy” by Heather Dale, with heartfelt sign language interpretation by Thurga Kanagasekarampillai.

Here’s some historical context from Heather Dale’s note on the video:

Four hundred years ago, the colony [of Quebec] was thriving but pioneering families were few. The French King Louis XIV did something surprisingly progressive:  he offered to formally adopt any orphaned French young women of marriageable age (legally making them princesses), provided they were willing to travel to New France and marry whomever they wanted…  Over 700 brave young ladies took the plunge, and were treated with huge respect.

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.

Rocket Robin Hood

From Eva Baskins:

Since this is a show theme song, I’m not sure if it counts, but… Rocket Robin Hood! This feels like something that could have a filk following, just because the concept opens up so many questions! (I’ll admit, I’ve never actually watched it, and I only just now found out the thing existed.)

 

…can’t say I’ve ever heard of it either, but MAN what a concept.  And now if I had to explain filk to someone without using any actual filk music…I might just show them this.

Filksong Genealogy: Black Flag

And you’ll regret that ever you fed
At the board of Anne Bonny…

A very earnest song about pirates (lyrics) by Annwn, and one to the same tune, performed by the same band, but with lyrics by Bob Kanefesky, which is…earnest in its own way.  Take care among pirates, they rarely wash the dishes.

From the liner notes of the Roundworm album:  “whey hay (/hwA ‘hA/) n. a fibrous yellow mold (Coloropus yukosporus) commonly found on expired cottage cheese. See also dairy down.”

Content warning, in case the above isn’t enough: the second song is about very, very unsanitary kitchen conditions.

(Series: Filksong Genealogy)

 

Bridge-Guard in the Karroo – Leslie Fish

(Few, forgotten and lonely,
Where the empty metals shine—
No, not combatants—only
Details guarding the line.)

“Bridge-Guard in the Karroo” by Rudyard Kipling, set to music and sung by Leslie Fish.  The poem is said (by Wikipedia) to evoke “the loneliness experienced by blockhouse soldiers at Ketting station on the Dwyka River while guarding the Karoo railway track, a lifeline during the South African War.”  Thank god for Wikipedia, because I know nothing about the South African War.

Archetype Cafe – Talis Kimberley

Lady MacBeth said to Helen of Troy
When they finished the wine they’d been drinking
“I’m all for regicide once in a while, but
Helen, dear, what were you thinking?”

“Archetype Cafe,” by Talis Kimberley, for all the reviled and diminished women of history and myth, with Tim Walker on drums and Simon Fairbourn on bassoon (and holy hell he is good).  Lyrics available here.

Harvester – Leslie Fish

Find me a sword with a pacifist’s soul
Harvester! Harvester!
Making peace while the ages roll
So many years to roam.

I found the lyrics and chords to this song unexpectedly, and I was so surprised, since Fish chords are often hard to find, especially for more obscure songs, that I had to go looking for a recording, and I was surprised to find that to.  Even better, this was recorded in a Worldcon room party called the SIN PIT.

“Harvester,” by Leslie Fish, lyrics and chords available here

(Also, please notice the little picture I found of guys in slashed doublets demonstrating scythe fighting techniques.  I found more in which their pants were intact; apparently there’s some kind of progression of superficial damage doing on and I appreciate the artist’s thoroughness.)

Fire In the Sky – Kristoph Klover

Prometheus they say brought god’s fire down to man
And we’ve caught it, tamed it, trained it since our history began
Now we’re going back to Heaven just to look Him in the eye
And there’s a thunder ‘cross the land and a fire in the sky.

“Fire in the Sky,” by Jordin Kare, performed by Kristoph Klover – for when you want to be REALLY PUMPED ABOUT SPACE but also kind of sad and afraid.

Fire in the Glen – Andy M. Stewart

s-a-o-r-s-a:

Fire in the Glen by Andy M. Stewart

R.I.P Andy M. Stewart, 8th September 1952 – 27th December 2015

You will never be forgotten

Considering I found out this singer had passed on from a filk group on facebook, this seems appropriate to post.  Anthony M. Stewart (best known as the singer from Silly Wizard) will always be one of my favorite folksingers.