So @omniship-armada wanted to hear the story of how this song scared my uncle.
For those of you who’ve never heard this song, it’s a song about how sooner or later the downtrodden always get pissed off and overthrow the bourgeoisie, and push gotta come to shove, the lawyer and the lawbook only go so far so go out there and kill rich people, fuck the church, and make sure to stand in solidarity with the other downtrodden. It actually specifically mentions antisemitism. Which is cool.
Pretty rivetting stuff.
Now, if you’ve never heard anything by Leslie Fish, here’s what you should know: She’s most known for fantasy and really, really hating the police. See above. Only, she’s a filk artist. She’s one of the more folky filk artists, actually. So her music, while saying things like “fuck the police” and “unions are great” does so through the lens of “after the apocalypse the SCA became a band of heroes and killed police, it was awesome” and “man starfleet ensigns are treated like crap, they need a union”. With matching folky or silly tunes.
This one is actually one of her less folky ones, but it’s followed by two more in the same album that are much more folky sounding, “Weapon Shops of Isher” and “Old Issue”. As you may have guessed, this album has a theme. That theme is guns.
So I’m sitting down, listening to my music which is keeping me grounded. Specifically, I am listening to this song, No High Ground. Which, again, is about inciting revolution.
My uncle asks me what I’m listening to.
Now, I have a split second decision to make before he asks me again, thinking I didn’t hear him: I can take out my earphones and go through the lengthy explanation of what filk is, or I can give him a one sentence answer. Naturally, I decide on the one sentence answer. I’m sitting there. I’ve got black clothes and a black denim jacket on. I don’t move an inch. I give my answer.
“songs about guns.”
Naturally, he asks me why. Again, not wanting to explain, not thinking, I answer.
“They relax me.”
Preeeetty sure my uncle is terrified of me and/or thinks I’m Ron Swanson.
So sounds like I have a new artist to listen to…
Leslie Fish has some very fun stuff. A lot of it is on youtube
I know not everyone can afford to buy CDs, and not everyone wants to mess with physical discs any more, but for those who are interested, Leslie Fish has an official website where people can buy her albums.
Her website is lesliefish.com.
Consider the shape of the future
The lessons we’ve learned from the past
You must have chainmaille and black leather
If you want clothing to last
“Blood and Black Leather,” some solid post-apocalyptic worldbuilding by Leslie Fish, performed at Worldcon 1998
I’m headed to Wasteland Weekend today! If anybody who happens to see this is there (a long shot, but you never know), please talk to me. I’ll have my guitar. Look for a patchwork tent with CAPITALISM KILLED spray painted on the side.
Who else would roll so proudly
Across this blasted land?
Who else would bitch so loudly
On every channel band?
Now do they think that no one
Could stay out here alive,
Or did they think us low ones
Were too stupid to survive,
Too stupid to survive?
I listened to this song on repeat for a week after playing all of Tales From The Borderlands in a day. Now I’m thinking about it again because I’m gonna go to Wasteland Weekend (not soon, but it’s never too early to start fake apocalypse prepping).
“The Discards,” by Leslie Fish
Running from the future
Running from the past
Running from the mirror
How long can you last?
A song for compassion reborn from deperation, “Still Alive,” by Leslie Fish. Pretty much the opposite of Johnathan Coulton’s “Still Alive,” now I think about it.
Heart like an axle, bounded by your wheels
Rolling down the endless blacktop road
Stripping gears and losing, with every mile that falls
How long can you keep dragging that load
Firestorm is basically a concept album about the apocalypse, but this song in particular is almost certainly about Mad Max. “Heart Like an Axle,” by Leslie Fish.
Another post-apocalyptic song by Leslie Fish, sung by Mark Heiman. This is one of my favorite Fish songs, but I’ve never actually heard it sung by her.
@filkyeahfilk It’s on youtube
AWESOME thank you! This definitely wasn’t there the first time I looked for it, so if someone has been uploading old Firestorm stuff, that’s amazing.
All the birds are gone, and all the stones are shaking;
On and on and on, every day in turn
What will burn, will burn, and they dare to call this ‘needful’
But the birds do not return
“All the Birds are Gone,” by Talis Kimberley
One of the things that most complicates the constant question of “what is filk, anyway?” is that filkers tend to write about things that aren’t typical filk subjects as if they were. And so you get songs like this one, which sounds like it could be about Mad Max but is really about fracking.
So dress your ranks, lift your pikes
Tight as the teeth of a comb.
Rattling, clanking, down the road
Dressed in leather and steel and woad,
All too aware of history’s load
The War is going home!-
The War is coming home!
Pretty much the ultimate power fantasy for an anarchist SCA nerd, “Serious Steel” by Leslie Fish.
Cancel my salvation, give me leave to go
Back to the freedom of the snow
A Leslie Fish song about finding strength in the (temporary) absence of civilization, because the blogger behind the curtain is still desperate Mad Max trash.
And there’s a very nice flute part.
Lyrics available here