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.

Raucous, Rude, and Rowdy – Mercedes Lackey

 We’re raucous, rude, and rowdy
And ask us if we care!
We have our boisterous buddies
And food that we don’t share
 We’re foremost at a party
And rearmost in a fight
And if you think you’re tougher
We’ll just say that you are right

A tribute to crows, the birds with the best life philosophy.  “Raucous, Rude, and Rowdy,” lyrics by Mercedes Lackey, sung by Paul Espinoza (I think)

Song Of The Hertasi Water Killers – Mercedes Lackey


Never think a servant cannot
Have his own free will
Never think that those who serve
Do not know how to kill
Owlflight: Song Of The Hertasi Water Killers – Mercedes Lackey

Damn, I loved these books.  And the hertasi were flipping awesome.

Black Water – Leslie Fish & Heather Alexander

Black water, final rescue, dark water, lasting peace
Black water, keeping secrets none may know
Black water, final rescue, bring silence and release
Black water, through the city swiftly flow

“Black Water,” also called “Suicide,” by Mercedes Lackey and C.J. Cherryh, performed by Leslie Fish and Heather Alexander.  This is one of those songs that sounds like fantasy until you realize what they’re talking about (obvious, in this case, from the subtitle), and then it’s a little unsettling.

Warrior – Meg Davis

Ride, warrior, ride
With your blade by your side
Follow on your spirit-steed
While moons darken and bleed
Drink the wind as you fly
Hear the night-beasts cry
Cold tears run with the rain
Down a horse’s mane

“Warrior,” by Mercedes Lackey, from the novel By the Sword, performed by Meg Davis

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Valdemar – Mark Heiman

Some people were around at the height of Mercedes’ Lackey’s career and read her books as they were coming out.  For the rest of us, with some catching up to do, there’s “A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Valdemar, Or The How To Write Your Own Mercedes Lackey Novel Song.”  Necessary background information, since she, Leslie Fish, and Kipling seem to have written 90% of filk.

Written and performed by Mark Heiman, meant to be sung to the tune of your favorite Mercedes Lackey song.


@filkyeahfilk and anyone else who likes space stories

Batya here: I’m pretty sure “Some Kind of Hero” was on one of the first filk collections I ever owned, although not this recording of it.  “Dawson’s Christian,“ on the other hand, is one of those songs that I heard five different parodies of before I ever heard the original.  (My favorites are probably “Dawson’s Mitzvah” and “Crossin’ Myths Some,” a terrible pun of a title for a hilarious crossover fanfic in song.)

Confusions – Cecilia Eng

All that I want is a single thing that’s mine
Is that so very selfish, or so much out of line?
All that I want is one corner of my own
One place were I can be myself and just my self alone

@obscenitiesandgeekery, the stars have aligned!
“Confusions,” by Mercedes Lackey, sung by Cecilia Eng
Thanks to @sumeriasmith, who did a lot of digging through poorly cataloged MP3 files to find this!

(I meant to post this a few days ago, but it got lost in the queue somehow)