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Yeah, Filk!

For space is wide and good friends are too few

hello! if you don’t mind, would you know of any non-white filkers? thank you!

dog-of-ulthar:

Unfortunately not very many, but a few!  Sorry this took me like a week to get back to you; I had to consult with @animatedamerican and…I was avoiding my responsibilities, to be honest (yes, there’s a point at which tumblr messages count as “responsibilities,” somehow).

But I can point you towards Terence Chua, whose niche seems to be songs about Lovecraft to the tune of ABBA, and

Errol Elumir, half of Debs & Errol, Debbie Ohi, the flutist (and sometimes propsmaster) of Urban Tapestry, also a children’s book author, and Ariel “Abbie” Cinii, who I unfortunately can’t find any recordings of, so here’s her blog, but she did win a Pegasus Award and is also a writer.

I know there are more, because I’ve run into a few and not gotten their names, so if anyone knows any more please send suggestions!  Even if it’s just “hello I am not white and into filk but don’t really perform” because that’s still filking and I want people to make friends.

xpost from my mainblog because it’s relevant, and because there’s a much better chance of me tracking down more Filkers of Color over here

Starfleet Hymn – dangerouscommiesubversive

dangerouscommiesubversive:

to the tune of “Northwest Passage,” by Stan Rogers

Sung at the funerals of Starfleet crew members who died in the line of duty. “In the line of duty” is to be understood as “while in good standing at all,” whether the particular crew member died on a rescue mission or peacefully in bed.

(refrain)
We will gird our minds with the armor of compassion
And set our course for starfields where we have not gone before
To see far more worlds than one person can imagine
Each nebula and wormhole is a newly opened door

We started on the ocean and we sailed from coast to coast
And we mapped the planet over, every tree and rock and ghost
And when the world was drawn out and the sea and land were ours
We raised our eyes and turned them to the stars

(refrain)
We will gird our minds with the armor of compassion
And set our course for starfields where we have not gone before
To see far more worlds than one person can imagine
Each nebula and wormhole is a newly opened door

Each planet is a treasure, every nebula a jewel
And the workings of the galaxy are strange and sometimes cruel
But our duty is to guard it from the ones who would destroy
And to learn and to adventure is our joy

(refrain)
We will gird our minds with the armor of compassion
And set our course for starfields where we have not gone before
To see far more worlds than one person can imagine
Each nebula and wormhole is a newly opened door

‘Tis a gift to sail the cosmos with the glory that is flight
Serve the universe together, and the future will be bright
We’ll go hand in hand together and both near and far we rove
And the message we are sending out is love

(refrain)
We will gird our minds with the armor of compassion
And set our course for starfields where we have not gone before
To see far more worlds than one person can imagine
Each nebula and wormhole is a newly opened door

Now your wandering is over and your mission at an end
You will leave us with all honor as a true and loyal friend
While we cannot go together you can travel with no fear
To the last and most unknowable frontier

(refrain)
We will gird our minds with the armor of compassion
And set our course for starfields where we have not gone before
To see far more worlds than one person can imagine
Each nebula and wormhole is a newly opened door

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.

Since we seem to be on a Kipling kick lately:

The Four Angels Lyrics: Rudyard Kipling, 1905

Music: Mark Horning, 2005

Recorded live in Concert at CopperCon 34

The Four Angels

Close your eyes – Heather Alexander

vardathestarkindler:

Close your eyes – Heather Alexander

Close your eyes, forget your every care,
Picture faerie castles in the air
Magic is in store for you,
You may find your dreams come true,
When you wake your wishes may be there

No High Ground – Leslie Fish

lh-moth:

jewishlyriumghost:

arthurandfordandzaphodandmarvin:

jewishlyriumghost:

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.

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.

via @rocket-song-acoustic: Kipling and 12-string guitar.  For some reason I can’t play this one without thinking of Seanan’s Toby Daye series.

“The Fairies’ Siege,” words by Rudyard Kipling, music and performance by Mark Horning
The Fairies Siege

Re: Filksong Genealogy: Bashing the Balrog

sci-fantasy:

filkyeahfilk:

(Series: Filksong Genealogy)

Firstly, above: Leslie Fish’s setting of Rudyard Kipling’s poem “Dane-Geld,” about the dubious wisdom of paying tribute to avoid being conquered by a neighboring country with less portable wealth but better armies.

Secondly, as previously seen on this blog, a classic filksong to the tune of “Waltzing Matilda”: Lee Gold’s “You Bash the Balrog,” a cheerful little ditty about an ill-fated set of D&D adventurers.  (If you’ve never heard “Waltzing Matilda,” have a listen here and maybe check out the wikipedia page.)

And finally, below: Bob Kanefsky’s synthesis “Bashing the Balrog,” performed by Leslie Fish.

So the next one is “And the Fans Sang ‘You Bash the Balrog,’” right?

(Dr. Jane Mailander, mashing up “You Bash the Balrog” with Eric Bogle’s “And the Band Played ‘Waltzing Matilda.’” Not sure if there’s a recording of it, I just have the lyrics.)

Whoo.  Okay, I’ll be honest, I hesitated to reblog the followup with the full lyrics; I’d forgotten that there are ableist slurs (and what I’m pretty sure is an implied prison rape joke) in the fourth verse. I think last time I heard this sung, the filker either sang something different or skipped that verse entirely.

But there’s no point in denying that like every other music genre and every other fannish community, filk has got some deeply flawed and problematic content, both historical and contemporary.  And like every other community, we’re still working out how to deal with it.

I’m gonna compromise in this case, and link to the lyrics instead of posting them.

Folks, our ask box is open; if you have any suggestions about how to deal with this kind of thing in future, I don’t promise we’ll abide by them, but I think we’d like to hear them.

Narnia – Choirfly

gorgonika:

Hey so @choirfly had the best time performing at @housingworksbookstore and we’re happy to share this Chronicles of Narnia parody of Toto’s “Africa” with you! Please subscribe & share if you most likely wouldn’t sell out your sibling for a piece of Turkish delight.

 

Filksong Genealogy: Bits

Boots

(Series: Filksong Genealogy)

Above we have Rudyard Kipling’s “Boots”, a poem about the endless slog of a soldiers’ march, set to music by (who else) Leslie Fish.

And below we have Bob Kanefsky’s inevitable parody about a different sort of endless slogging:  “Bits,” performed by Leslie Fish.

Filksong Genealogy: They’re Singing Banned from Argo

(Series: Filksong Genealogy)

 

Above: Leslie Fish’s setting to Rudyard Kipling’s “Danny Deever,” a poem about soldiers having to watch a public hanging, framed as a series of questions from a young inexperienced soldier and answers from an older veteran who has seen all this before.

Below: Bob Kanefsky’s “They’re Singing ‘Banned From Argo’,” a similarly framed series of questions and answers about another dreaded ritual.

If you find yourself confused by the veteran filker’s reaction in Bob’s parody, a look at this Fanlore page may be of some help.  And if you’ve never heard the original “Banned From Argo” before, run while you still can here’s your chance!

Filksong Genealogy: Bashing the Balrog

(Series: Filksong Genealogy)

Firstly, above: Leslie Fish’s setting of Rudyard Kipling’s poem “Dane-Geld,” about the dubious wisdom of paying tribute to avoid being conquered by a neighboring country with less portable wealth but better armies.

Secondly, as previously seen on this blog, a classic filksong to the tune of “Waltzing Matilda”: Lee Gold’s “You Bash the Balrog,” a cheerful little ditty about an ill-fated set of D&D adventurers.  (If you’ve never heard “Waltzing Matilda,” have a listen here and maybe check out the wikipedia page.)

And finally, below: Bob Kanefsky’s synthesis “Bashing the Balrog,” performed by Leslie Fish.

Filksong Genealogy: Song from the Pig’s Side

(Series: Filksong Genealogy)

Above: another poem by Rudyard Kipling set to music by Leslie Fish: “Song of the Men’s Side,” a mythic story about how humankind rose above its status as prey for wolves by attaining a crucial piece of technology.

Below: Bob Kanefsky’s take on a … loosely related story, which is also about wolves and prey and technological advancements:  “Song From the Pig’s Side,” performed by Leslie Fish.  (Look at the end of the third verse for a sneaky shoutout to a different Kipling poem entirely – which, yes, has also been set to music by Fish.)

Filksong Genealogy: Save Yourselves!

(Series: Filksong Genealogy)

Above we have Seanan McGuire’s “Wicked Girls” (lyrics), performed in concert by the author along with Michelle “Vixy” Dockrey and Tony Fabris, S.J. “Sooj” Tucker, and Amy McNally.

And below, we have Bob Kanefksy’s truly wicked parody, “Save Yourselves!” (lyrics), performed in circle by Vixy and Tony.  Yes, that’s Seanan nearby in the circle, and yes, she’s hearing it for the first time.

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