so i recorded this song months ago, and am finally posting it now because
(1) i am currently hardcore procrastinating on my schoolwork, and
(2) today marks two months since i first started T, and when i was listening to this track again i realized just how much my voice…doesn’t sound like that anymore.
it was the first moment that really hit home just how much things are changing in my life right now. i’ve come so far, and i am so different from the person i was just two months ago – who will i be two months from now? how can i know, until i get there?
…so, existential crisis aside, enjoy! once again, shout out to @rabbittmouth, @dog-of-ulthar, and tom lehrer for inspiration. lyrics are below the cut!
Please don’t ask me to smile
Please don’t tell me to cheer up
This is my face and it isn’t your place to tell me how
I should use it
No don’t ask me to smile
Because it isn’t kind it’s creepy
I just wanna be me
Angry, sad or carefree and
I’m fine with me
So I don’t see a need to excuse it
“Smile!” by the PDX Broadsides, a song in response to a directive that most of us who’ve ever been gendered as female have had to deal with at some point.
I like comics and spaceships and cats-es
and I’m barely holding the panic in
I’m afraid of eye contact and taxes
bartender, please extra gin
“Extra Gin” by the Doubleclicks, or the most personally relatable drinking song the brain mod has ever encountered.
Dinosaurs were just really, really big chickens
Growing up is just being a really big kid
“Really Big Chickens,” a reassuring reminder from the Doubleclicks.
Lyrics available here.
So tell me a story, aren’t all stories true?
Tell me a story and I’ll tell it back to you
There’s always someone else there, up the river, up the river
Got to find my own way up the river
“The River,” a song about trying to make art when it feels like there’s someone upstream in the river of creativity (for example, Bob Dylan), catching all the good ideas before they get to you. But in good filk fashion, Vixy and Tony point out the bright side – the fact that there are other people fishing means we can help each other. Idea fish , unlike meat fish, don’t get used up, they grow.
The splendid Scottish folksinger Karine Polwart tweeted one day about witnessing a girl being told not to climb a tree because she was in a very nice skirt. Or maybe just in a nice skirt, it was some time ago, and either way, this little song fell happily out and has been sung a handful of times since.
There is a particularly British distinction, I think, betweem a skirt, a nice skirt, and a very nice skirt. And you can climb trees in any of them, so there.
“Polly,” by Talis Kimberley, a very modern song in a charmingly traditional style.
Alfie Purl, Christopher, Ruby and Zack;
Move the sheep and the fences around!
Take the ones from the front and put these in the back
Move the sheep and the fences around.
Why would you write a shanty about sheep? Why not. Sung, appropriately, in a field, by Talis Kimberley and Chantelle Smith. Featuring the names of real sheep!
There are women I’ve been who you would not have liked
Very much – and I can’t say I’d blame you for that;
but I had to be them before I could be me
They are threads on the loom of the woman you see
And they’re all – here – sewn in the lining of me
In the seam-folds and the small mended corners
Tucked into collar and sleeves in the lining of me
“Small Mended Corners,” by Talis Kimberley, a song about identity and sewing – which, as someone who has struggled with both, I appreciate.
It was only a matter of time before I wrote a filk inspired by The Last Mabelcorn. Don’t let the unicorns get you down.
The unicorn smiled when she saw you approaching her fountain
“Just one little test” she demanded and shot you a grin
“Just prove that your heart is as pure as the dew on the snowdrops
You’ll foul my glade if you’re wicked and tainted with sin.”
Don’t fall for the lies of those cruel unicorns
You’ve been messy and mortal since the day you were born
If you try to be perfect it’s just gonna tear you apart.
They want you to break yourself down till you shatter
They’ll say that you’re selfish for knowing you matter
So be brave and tenacious and loving and joyful and smart
But forget pure of heart.
“My lady,” you said, “I can’t claim that my spirit is blameless,
But I try to do good and to help in the ways I know how
My heart’s filled with love for myself and the people around me
And I’ll strive to do more and be better and stronger, I vow!”
The unicorn scoffed and she drew back her head with a shudder.
“I knew it! You arrogant mortals have never been pure!
Perhaps if you’re humble enough you may gain some forgiveness
But you’ll never be perfect. You’re sullied, and I have no cure!”
“Well, what have you done then?” you said as you stood up and faced her
“Just sit in this glade telling people the things they can’t do.
There isn’t a deed or a person who’s ever been perfect
And I may not be pure but I’ve damn well done more good than you!”
If you’re careful you’ll notice that unicorns live all around us
You can tell by the smugly superior look in their eyes.
They’ll enumerate each of your flaws with distain in their voices.
They’ll all tell you you have to be perfect; they’ll all tell you lies!
Don’t fall for the lies of those cruel unicorns
We’ve been messy and mortal since the day we were born
If we try to be perfect it’s just gonna tear us apart.
I won’t let the world break me down till I shatter
I’d rather be selfish than think I don’t matter!
I’m brave and tenacious and loving and joyful and smart
But I’m not pure of heart.
Hold the line – don’t retreat and don’t surrender
Hold the line – though around you others fall
We will give our last full measure
May the fates all treat us kind
So hold the line, my boys, just hold the line
“Holy the Line,” by Terence Chua, a war song applicable to real life or to a dozen sci-fi and fantasy universes, as ones’ predilections direct.
Teacher, dear teacher
We live in trying times
These days it seems that nowhere’s safe
No refuge can we find
The terror’s tainted Freedom’s shores
Stained it with crimson hues
And that’s the reason why my paper’s
Two weeks overdue
Relateable, politically relevant content from Terence Chua
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.
METRO into Washington
Gonna rock the national phallus down
Drumming at the White House in the rain
And we won’t let up until they let us in
Me and the mandolin holy man
“Mandolin Holy Man,” a protest song by S.J. Tucker. Not about the most recent march, but in the same vein.
Lyrics and chords available here
And now you know why your daddy drank
And why his hair turned gray
And why your mum so seldom laughed
And why they could not play
“Soul Stealers,” by the Dehorn Crew. This was attributed to Leslie Fish by the uploader on YouTube, but a comment corrected it. This is Fish’s band, but the lead singer, writer, and banjo is Kathleen Taylor, with Carol Shuttleworth on high harmony.