Filksong Genealogy: Shapes in Shadow

(Series: Filksong Genealogy)

Above: “Shades of Shadow,” off the album A Wolfrider’s Reflections, based on the ElfQuest comic.  (The official album songbook is here; lyrics to this song are about halfway through.)  Lyrics by Mercedes Lackey, music by Leslie Fish, sung by Julia Ecklar.  The speaker in this song is Winnowill, a powerful magic-worker and master manipulator.

Below: Bob Kanefsky’s “Shapes in Shadow” is one of those filksongs that can’t really be called a parody of the original song, as there’s nothing comedic or satirical about it.  Like the original, it’s about power.

Programming announcement: Guest of Honor concert

contata-nefilk:

This year, Contata continues its proud tradition (on the principle that anything you do three times in a row is a tradition) of non-vocal guests!

2005: Guest of Honor Carla Ulbrich came down with laryngitis, so the GoH concert featured “Carla-oke” – audience members requested songs for Carla to play on her guitar while they sang.

2008: Toastmaster Tom Smith injured his leg only weeks before the convention, so the Toastmaster concert became a “sing Tom Smith covers” benefit concert to raise money for his medical bills and recovery.

2011: Guest of Honor Judi Miller, sign interpreter extraordinaire, performed with all her usual non-vocal brilliance during everybody else’s concerts – and also sang during her own show.  (No accidents or illness interfered.  We thought we might be onto something.)

2014: Guest of Honor Amy McNally, phenomenal fiddler, also sang some during her concert – but mostly played to beat the devil.  (We made notes.  Definitely a trend worth pursuing.)

Which brings us to …

2017: Guest of Honor Bob Kanefsky, filk’s premiere parodist! … who very seldom sings in public.  So our GoH concert this year will be a Kanefsky Cabaret, or Kabarefsky, in which other filkers will sing Bob’s parodies on stage.

Interested in being a Kabarefsky performer?  Contact merav.hoffman(at)gmail(dot)com, or drop a note in our ask box!

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.

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.

Filksong Genealogy: By the Time I Get To…

 

Yesterday I journeyed for half a million miles.
Now I’m stacked up on an aircraft’s back.
This last part takes a while.

“Phoenix,” by Julia Eckar (lyrics), is a heartwrenching song about a futuristic space ship with a soul.  “By the Time I Get To…”, by Bob Kanefsky (lyrics), is one of those rare parodies that’s almost as poignant as the original song, this time about very realistic spaceflight, and picking up the pieces after re-entry.

(Series: Filksong Genealogy)

 

Filksong Genealogy: The Comforts of Home

 

Who checks the airlocks anyhow?
A million years from now it may reach
Home…

 

It is a blessing and a curse among filkers, but a lot of our best jokes need…a bit of setting up.

The first of these (lyrics) is a deceptively sweet love song.  The second (lyrics), by the same band, is a legitimate criticism of Gene Roddenberry’s visual worldbuilding.  The third (lyrics) is Bob Kanefsky’s triumphant combination of the two, in beautiful polyphony by the original band.

(Series: Filksong Genealogy)

 

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)

 

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)