May 29, 2011

Ealdormere Crown Tournament

We moved up to Ealdormere just slightly too late for the reign of Quilliam and Dagmar - a bit disappointing, as I'd heard nothing but excellent things about them as people and as monarchs.  So I was pretty excited yesterday to watch 20-year-old Quilliam win his second crown.

Coming from an all-rapier background, I don't know nearly enough about heavy fighting for the blow-calling to make any sense.  But I can tell this - when everyone a person kills looks really happy about it coming off the field, that person is doing something very right.  Best I can tell, Quilliam fought with deadly honor, and I've not heard a soul breathe otherwise.

The rest of the day was filled to the brim with music, and I want to share this song by Lady Marie l'Englois.  She wrote it for Quilliam's first coronation, and reprised it most aptly at feast last night.


Northern Heir
... being a bardic retelling of the happenings at Ealdormere's XXIVth crown tourney, to the popular Elizabethan tune of Lord Willoughby's March

The last day of October in AS44
King Nigel sought a royal heir to lead his land to war.
The strongest northern fighters all gathered in the cold
To learn who would inherit the lupine crown of gold.

Syr Mordain and Syr Edouard both fought a valiant fight,
But in the end they fell before a stalwart squire and knight.
Syr Wat addressed the people in windblown Ard Chreag,
Then Quilliam showed his mettle with a heart-felt dialog.

He spoke of inspiration, and of a childhood dream,
He spoke about the baroness whom he would make his queen.
He spoke of his opponent, his honoured consort's knight,
And thanked him for the training that brought him to the fight.

When Quilliam finished speaking, Wat gave a bow profound.
The two embraced as brothers upon the tourney ground,
Then knight and hardy squire each other did assail
Until, for love of kingdom, young Quilliam did prevail.

My noble lords and ladies raise cups and voices high
For Adrielle and Nigel, and their heirs we name hereby,
For one spring day in Greyfells, bards of the trillium
Shall sing of the ascension of Dagmar and Quilliam.
         -Marie l'Englois, December ASXLIV

You can see a recording of Quilliam's speech and the ensuing bout here.  I love this song because it's got everything anyone could want in an SCA bardic piece - it's a stirring account of people we know doing great things and it's totally authentic.  Lady Marie wrote this to the tune of "Lord Willoughby's March," a song from period that recounts a person's accomplishments in battle.  Not only is the tune period, but the practice of melody-borrowing itself was common throughout period - in fact you can find a period filk of this very tune here (PDF).  It's even persona-appropriate - though Prince Quilliam is a Viking, Lady Marie is a 16th century English woman living in France.

Information on period printings of "Lord Willoughby" can be found here.  Lady Marie has a recording and the score available for download here.

And Waes Hael to Prince Qulliam and Princess Dagmar - may their reigns be fruitful and frequent!

May 09, 2011


There are leaves on the trees and flowers blooming and grass on the ground and NO!  SNOW!  And there's an event coming up with the word "dandelion" in its name, and that means it's time for REJOICING IN THE STREETS!!!!!

Also songs about Spring.  So at Dandelion Festival, I'm challenging people to bring bardic pieces that celebrate the Springtime.  Find the girl in the green dress with the harp during the day, perform a piece, fill the day with song (or stories, they're fine too) and receive a bright, shiny as-yet-to-be-determined token.  Yee-uh.

So here, to get your bardic juices flowing, are some ideas:

Oh how I love the springtime gay...
A troubadour song about bashin' the springtime.
Read more here.

Kalenda Maya:
A troubadour song about a jilted the springtime.
Lyrics and translation here.
Listen on youtube here.

A l'entrada de temps clar
A troubadour song about a springtime the springtime.
Lyrics and translation here.
Listen on youtbube here.

Greek Mythology
The myth of Persephone and Hades was a popular basis for stories and poems in period.
Read more about it here.

Norse Mythology
They had Norse people in period!  And they had....
Myths about the Springtime.

Sonnet 98
Willie Shakespeare wrote about everything.  Including the springtime.

From you have I been absent in the spring,
When proud-pied April dress'd in all his trim
Hath put a spirit of youth in every thing,
That heavy Saturn laugh'd and leap'd with him.
Yet nor the lays of birds nor the sweet smell
Of different flowers in odour and in hue
Could make me any summer's story tell,
Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew;
Nor did I wonder at the lily's white,
Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose;
They were but sweet, but figures of delight,
Drawn after you, you pattern of all those.
   Yet seem'd it winter still, and, you away,
   As with your shadow I with these did play.