The Love Story of Turi MacKinnon and His Marguerite

Turi proposes to Marguerite.
Turi proposing to Marguerite. Photo by Meredith Bailin Hull.

This is a song-gift to Turi MacKinnon and his bride Marguerite, in honor of their love and in celebration of their wedding day. It is a shared gift from me and Sir Cullan Mac Cianain, who asked me to write it, which was splendid because I was going to write one anyway! As both Turi and Marguerite were present the first time I sang for the Unbelts, their story begins there. Turi proposed to her following the Unbelted battle at Pennsic the following summer, and I was happy witness to that moment too. They are people of great joy, and their smiling faces were in my mind as this was composed. I hope it sounds as warm as the Pennsic sunlight, and as happy as these lovely people who have found each other.

The violin part was played by my good friend Sam Hess.

http://mbouchard.com/misc/The-Love-Story-of%20Turi-MacKinnon-and-His-Marguerite.mp3

A fighter marched down with his friends one fine day
to sport on the tourney field green.
A maiden did come to watch the battle play
while they postured and fought to be seen.

He said to his brother standing beside
“Would that there were a lady for me.
Her honor I’d fight for, my sword she would guide
and my love for her I would decree.”

The ladies were standing like flowers arrayed,
She in blue stood apart from the rest.
She said very softly from beneath her shade,
“If one would fight for me, I would love him the best.”

And so it begins there so sweet,
out in the sun and the hay
the tale of life so complete
the love story of Turi MacKinnon and his Marguerite.

Came then a time of the winter’s cold bite
when warm thoughts are oft so far away
but he muse’d much on the lady’s smile bright;
how to her his heart convey.

Then at long last did a message he send
“Sweet lady please grant my desire,
I beg come with me and a fine feast attend,
for you I have come now to greatly admire.”

And so it begins there so sweet,
out in the sun and the hay
the tale of life so complete
the love story of Turi MacKinnon and his Marguerite.

In this fighting lad all delight she did find,
For he was all the things she could dream.
They were rose and thistle together entwined;
their joy like the sunlight did stream.

He marched off the field one victorious day,
to the one who owned his arm and heart,
and there at her feet his whole life he did lay
with a ring he did vow that they never would part.

And so it begins there so sweet,
out in the sun and the hay
the tale of life so complete
the love story of Turi MacKinnon and his Marguerite.

And so it begins there so sweet,
out in the sun and the hay
the tale of life so complete
the love story of Turi MacKinnon and his Marguerite.

 

River-bone Warrior – a Song for Talen

 

Odin grant me one more battle

that I may die on warriors ground

Guide my soul to meet the Æsir,

You whom sacrifice has bound.

 

The Idis gave me fearful fortune –

raise battle-light and turn to stone.

Yet I shall cast into the striving

though norns have named me river-bone

 

My life is yet an uncut thread!

deaf to Mimir’s warning be –

With shield-gnawers I will run

Bed-shame never shall I see!

Hear the black song of this reaver –

The straw-death shall not have me!

Hear above the cold tree breaker

calling down the valkyrie.

 

I will don my burnished war net

and go to where the blood-swan sings

to meet the day of flame-farewell,

hear battle song in raven’s wings.

 

bonehouse will not bear my war-gear

so I hear upon the wind,

I raise my glass and join my hallsmen

then raise blood-ember to discind

 

My life is yet an uncut thread!

deaf to Mimir’s warning be –

With shield-gnawers I will run

Bed-shame never shall I see!

Hear the black song of this reaver –

The straw-death shall not have me!

Hear above the cold tree breaker

calling down the valkyrie.

 

Hanging god give me no pity

my battle-sweat runs hot within

It need not be a field of honor;

I shall not die as cattle-kin!

 

Odin grant me one more battle

that I may die on warriors ground

Guide my soul to meet the Æsir,

You whom sacrifice has bound.

 

My life is yet an uncut thread!

deaf to Mimir’s warning be –

With shield-gnawers I will run

Bed-shame never shall I see!

Hear the black song of this reaver –

The straw-death shall not have me!

Hear above the cold tree breaker

calling down the valkyrie.

 

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This is a song for a warrior who has been told by the norns that if he lifts a sword again, he will turn to stone. They have already named him river-bone (stone.) He knows his body will break if he puts on his armor. But he will not, as any good Norse warrior would not, lay in his bed and wait, but chooses to join his brothers at war anyway, calling on the valkyries to come as he asks Odin for one final battle before the norns sever the threads of  his life if he battles. We don’t know what happens, only what his will is.

I may make this into a story at some point too.

This poem/song is inspired by Talen Wristbiter, whose warrior-spirit raised my muse today – her spear held to my back until I finished it – by writing about how he has been told that  he must stop fighting (and working) for his health, but how he refuses to stop fighting and working because those things give him purpose and meaning, without which life cannot be truly lived. That fierceness of spirit felt brave, and foolish, and admirable, and I was (and remain) in awe of it.

Thank you my war-brother. May your days on the field be many. -aneleda

I Fight for You

The Queen’s Meadhall in Carolingia was where this song was first publicly performed. It was written after a conversation with Aneleda’s noble cousin and friend Gryffyn Dunham, who was on the unbelted team at the time, about what inspires us do do what we do on the field (and elsewhere.) Since I had no song that really fit that theme, I wrote this one.

This song is featured on the CD “I Am of the North” available for purchase online at:  http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/aneledafalconbridge/

I Fight for You 

I fight for you,
my one, my love, my own
You who give more strength to me
than I would know alone.
While my arms are bound in linen
and my legs are wrapped in steel
nothing brings me to my knees
as the way you make me feel.
I fight for you.

Many are the days and nights
when I have left you behind;
deep within a warrior’s trance
seemed to push you from my mind.
But know that you are all to me
no matter what I show
for I don the armor to protect
what I hold safely below.

I fight for you...etc.

The miles, they leave me lonesome
for the warrior’s road is long.
I miss your laughter ‘round the fire
And your voice raised soft in song.
As I look up to the star’s light
that I know above you shine,
I pray that my thoughts carry
to the love I know is mine.

I fight for you...etc.

Each buckle and each lacing
Marks the rituals of war,
Knowing solidly and firmly
that for you I would do more.
With my life I will protect you
and would keep you from all harm,
each time I step upon the field
I wear that knowledge as a charm.

I fight for you...etc.

When I have the time I watch you
‘neath the shadow of my helm.
But I do not do it often
lest my feelings overwhelm.
With all the honor in my being
I take every day for you
I swear that your belief in me
I shall never make you rue.

I fight for you...etc.

In Hadrian’s Town

For the dear people of Hadchester – my friends and companions – this is yours.

Click here to listen to an mp3 of the song:
http://www.mbouchard.com/misc/Hadrians-Town.mp3

See Hadrian’s town down by the sea
Hi lily hey lily hi lo.
If you are a- looking for fine company
To the Hadchester coast you should go.

If by longship you land, or by three-masted sail,
You shall find a reception as warm as the sun.
Cold as the winter, they’ll serve you their ale,
And find you your comfort as tall tales are spun

See Hadrian’s town down by the sea
Hi lily hey lily hi lo.
If you are a- looking for fine company
To the Hadchester coast you should go.

While the morning fog clears you can see her great worth
As the folk of Hadchester before you appear.
Wide gardens a-plenty grown from the rich earth,
Providence favoring hard work and cheer.

See Hadrian’s town down by the sea
Hi lily hey lily hi lo.
If you are a- looking for fine company
To the Hadchester coast you should go.

Beneath Harold’s orchard they play in the wood
Neighbors and friends gather from far and near
When y’ think you have had all the pleasure you could
Sit down by the fire and rest yourself here.

See Hadrian’s town down by the sea
Hi lily hey lily hi lo.
If you are a- looking for fine company
To the Hadchester coast you should go.

The Romans and Tudors together do dance,
Vikings and Templars share platters of bread
Picts spar with Frenchmen when they have a chance,
As to all good people the good-will is spread,

See Hadrian’s town down by the sea
Hi lily hey lily hi lo.
If you are a- looking for fine company
To the Hadchester coast you should go.

There’s nary a noble with a greater home –
Of mountains that gather the first rays of day,
Her people as lovely as the ocean’s salt foam
If you land at Hadchester, you will want to stay…

In Hadrian’s town down by the sea
Hi lily hey lily hi lo.
If you are a- looking for fine company
To the Hadchester coast you should go.

If you are a- looking for fine company
To the Hadchester coast you should go.

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A couple of years ago I was asked to make a song in celebration of the people of the Shire of Hadchester, which is on a beautiful coastal section of Maine. But it’s not nearly as lovely as the people who live and play there!

The song sat, quietly, with just the text for some time, as I’d not recorded it so it could be taught. But someone recently asked about it, so I made a recording to use to hear how it goes – and so – Hadchester, my beloved friends, this song is for you – long overdue!

love, Aneleda

Last Saw You In June

Thinking of Armistice Day and Veteran’s Day got me thinking to songs about loving and missing people. And this song came and told me that she was thinking the same thing. So she wrote herself by my hand. It was recorded at the kitchen table straight onto the laptop, which is exactly where I’d imagine myself singing this song if I had to. It’s my thank you to all those who wait for someone serving…that’s worthy of great respect too.

http://mbouchard.com/misc/Last-Saw-You-In-June.mp3

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All the golden leaves are gone, stark stand the trees
The busy hum of summer’s gone, the flowers and the bees
there’s smoke from every chimney, though it seems much too soon
It’s November now, and I last saw you in June.

You held the lines and laughed, “it won’t be long.”
“You will pass the time with friends and the singing of your songs,
and I promise I’ll be back before the final harvest moon”
But it’s November now and I last saw you in June.

The sea is sometimes kind and sometimes cruel
She will always hold your heart first, I’m no fool.
I can share your love with her I guess, but not your body with Neptune.
It’s November now, and I last saw you in June.

(Bridge)
I cannot walk the sea and wring my hands.
I have our boy to raise, and I must care for our lands,
And I don’t have time to waste away like old heroines who swoon.
But it’s November now, and I last saw you in June.

So we wait and work and wait and pass the time
And I’ve put away your painting of the damned Marinere’s rime
For sometimes this love’s an albatross, upon the sea my hopes are strewn
For it’s November now, and I last saw you in June.

Footfalls on the gravel make me fear,
I look out the frosty window – God, you’re here!
The tears they start to fall again – I had though I  was immune.
For it’s November now, and I last saw you in June…

For it’s November now, and I last saw you
It’ November now, and I last saw you
It’s November now, and I last saw you
in June.