The Mercinary Northguard

I think this might have been my very first commission – from Lady Bryn, at the Bare Blade Tavern Brawl. I believe I was paid in chocolate (and laughter.) This all works best with a merry “ompah” kind of choral underpinning. Gwillem provided the oompah running bassline and Constancia provided harmony.

Northguard!
They’re big and they’re mean!
Northguard!
With rapiers keen
Northguard
If you’ve seen what I’ve seen
You’d run away screaming
A lot.

Mercs all working for pay
Good scotch* or pennies a day
(Cheaper if the hit is on Vey)
The mercenary Northguard.

Chorus

Decades they’ve been around
Slaying and taking new ground
Slaughter, betrayal abound
In the mercenary Northguard.

Chorus

Swarming like bees from the hive
They leave no witness alive
Unless they’ve somehow connived
The mercenary Northguard.

Chorus

*Alt lyric: chocolate or pennies a day

 

Death Holds a Rapier – Ode to Jean du Montagne

“This song is one about my dear friend and merry minstrel partner-in-crime, Jean.”

http://www.mbouchard.com/misc/death-holds-a-rapier.mp3

If you are a rogue, a cad, a knave
I do not envy you
who would malign his captain
or insult his lady true
For I see your doom approaching
if that is who you are
in on hand death holds a rapier
in the other a guitar

If you are a rogue, a cad, a knave
then wary should you be
for there is a man among us
who fights with grand esprit
Honor does become him
know when you say “au rivoir”
in one hand death holds a rapier
in the other a guitar

If you are a rogue, a cad, a knave
who he has come to slay
you may hear a distant singing
that quickly comes your way
it is to give you warning
final thoughts for your memoir
in one hand death holds a rapier
in the other a guitar

If you are a rogue, a cad, a knave
polite while cavalier
if you honor king and lady then
you have nothing to fear
you may earn a throbbing headache
if you challenge him to spar
in one hand death holds a pint mug
in the other a guitar

you may earn a throbbing headache
if you challenge him to spar
for you’ll fill many a pint glass
as he plays on his guitar

Jean gets his OGRE
Jean gets his OGRE, and this song is for him on that day!

Song for the Bare Blade Tavern Brawl

Vey and Aneleda

“This is a special song for my favored a-muse, Ane du Vey. Note that in “amuse” there’s always a muse! There are extra lyrics in case Vey isn’t there to kil…er…honor. It was written at the Bare Blade Tavern Brawl in 2004. This is one of those songs that should be a warning to all those who would cross the bards…or try to carry them off with the cashbox…”

http://www.mbouchard.com/misc/bareblade.mp3

Wo ho hey
We’ll drink and fight today
We’ll vie for gold
And wealth untold
But only if we kill Vey*!

For `tis the Bare Blade Brawl
So come hither one and all
Leap through the din
Go rushing in
We’ll carry ya if ya can’t crawl!

Chorus * * * *

The bribes fly near and far
The dying are lit’ring the bar
The fallen run
Right out they come
To return with a rabid “yar!”

Chorus * * * *

We’ll play our games of chance
And bet on the fencer’s dance
The clink of swords
From brutal hordes
Lamenting their broken pants

Chorus * * * *

The tavern’s full of cheer,
Paranoid men, and beer! (BEER!)
The blades hit high
The wounded cry
“Oh bring me my last one here!”

Wo ho hey
We’ll drink and fight today
We’ll vie for gold
And wealth untold
But only if we kill Vey!

Wo ho hey
We’ll drink and fight today
We’ll vie for gold
And wealth untold
But only if we kill Vey!
Kill Vey – But only if we kill Vey.

HEY!

* * * * * * *

*Alternate choruses, to be sung if Vey isn’t there.

Wo ho hey
We’ll drink and fight today
We’ll vie for gold
And wealth untold
and pillage our friends where they lay
OR For we’re fencers merry and gay!

Words and Music ©2003 by Monique M Bouchard,

Scroll for EK Queen’s Rapier Champion AS 45

Sir Edward Grey of Lochleven
wreathed with greatest honor is revealed,
and with the most esteem, picked from the field.

Forbearance and Honor noted our queen,
Beloved lady of bliss, Aikaterine.
The rapier swift has its song to sing
And dances as swallows dance in spring
Through the field’s rite,
Bright glinting light
This blade did supply
You being near
We shall not fear,
Though Death stand by.

With you the swords take edge, the heart grows bold;
From you in fee their lives your liegemen hold.
Our lady Queen smiles on this one’s goodwill
Thus now the Champion’s role thou must fulfill.
Bless then the hour
That gives the power
In which you may,
At bed and board,
Embrace your sword
Both night and day.

From Bergental through all the East ring true
Thus mark we January twenty-two
Anno Societis forty-five
When the Queen’s Rapier Champion did arrive
Bless then the one
Whose duty done
With skill and grace,
and courtesy
we honor thee,
Signed in this place…

Honor, great honor, from our noble queen,
Beloved lady of bliss, Aikaterine.

 

Notes on the piece:

This poem is based on The Forest’s Queen by Philip Massinger, <span>originally published in The Guardian in 1633.  Below is the original, from which the central part of the poem is hugely based (because it was sooooo perfect!)  The scan works better on paper than out loud in parts because our lovely Queen of Love and Beauty is sounds the “e” at the end of </span>Aikaterine (Aikaterine-ah.)  I didn’t want to mar the beautiful look of the piece’s symmetry with the original by mucking about too much, so I decided to live with it even though it’s an extra syllable here and there.  Consider it a bonus!

THE ORIGINAL WORK: THE FOREST’S QUEEN by: Philip Massinger

Welcome, thrice welcome to this shady green,

Our long-wished Cynthia, the forest’s queen!

The trees begin to bud, the glad birds sing

In winter, changed by her into the spring.

We know no night,

Perpetual light

Dawns from your eye:

You being near,

We cannot fear,

Though death stood by.

From you our swords take edge, our hearts grow bold;

From you in fee their lives your liegemen hold.

These groves your kingdom, and our laws your will;

Smile, and we spare; but if you frown, we kill.

Bless then the hour

That gives the power

In which you may,

At bed and board,

Embrace your lord

Both night and day.

 

Welcome, thrice welcome to this shady green,

Our long-wished Cynthia, the forest’s queen!

Scroll text for King’s Rapier Champion AS 45

For fame one does not hoist the mighty sword
Nor take up as his art the rapier keen,
But for our Griffyth King, our Eastern Lord,
They thrust and parry, feint and fight as seen.
Thick has the field of noble challenge been
Yet one became distinct amongst the crowd.
Now sing we all as one this joyful pean
Unto the one who makes our King thus proud.
Ring out ye wintry bells of Bergantal
This twenty second day of the new year,
Proclaim this fencer’s prowess in your halls
Defender of the Eastern Realm all hear,
What Honor, Grace, Finesse and Chivalry –
The Champion of our King this one must be.

Signed King Griffith Fitzwilliam this day

That Gryffith d’Avingon
for pleasant art amid the lists is named
King’s Rapier Champion for this fine display

In anno societis forty-five
the year this noble one is thus acclaimed.

 

Notes on this piece:

Sonnet rhyme scheme based on a verse by Sir Philip Sidney written in 1581.