caper_est: Musical notes (song)
Return of the Kateverse folksongs! Run away! Run and hide!

Soldier song, set ten years after The Deed of Katy Elflocks and twenty before Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland. It does not depend on knowledge of the story.  It has a tune, though not a very remarkable one, and I've probably nicked the musical elements from some part of the Great Folk Cauldron or other.


The Queen of the River


When I was naught but a lad of sixteen,
Ambrosine Wills was the name of my Queen.
Freely she called to me, gaily I strode
Daily to meet her by the old river road!
The old river road, boys, the old river road -
Our babe came sailing down the old river road!


Payments grew many and pennies grew few.
Amber and I barely knew what to do
Till our lords put the young Queen from her throne.
I took her silver, and left Amber alone.
The Allwater road, boys, the Allwater road -
Off with the Green Rose down the Allwater road!


Battles we fought for her, battles we won.
Bounty she showered when her battles were done.
Now I could pay all the debts that we owed,
And farm like a franklin by the old river road!
The old river road, boys, the old river road -
Homewards to Amber up the old river road!


Back home by Siffswater, Amber was gone,
Fled with a pedlar and with Simkin our son.
All the Queen's silver she'd spent for their meat -
Fled with a pedlar so Simkin should eat.
The damned river road, boys, the damned river road -
She saved our Simkin down the damned river road!


I walked a thousand miles, bowed and bereft,
Back to the Green Rose, all the queen I had left.
Loyalty I offered her, loyalty she showed -
I send her foemen down the Black River road!
The Black River road, boys, the Black River road -
Till I meet Amber by the Black River road!



caper_est: The Liberty Bell strikes! (liberty)
Overheard by financial journalist Nick Goodaway of the London Evening Standard, from a group of youths travelling home on the Jubilee Line (the silver one on the Underground, and one of the two that serve my own district) - this change rung on an old seasonal song of my childhood:

Christmas is coming, the bankers are getting sacked.
Please put a billion in their fucking pay-off pack!
If you haven't got a billion, a million will do.
If you haven't got a million, then SOD YOU!

Vox populi, vox dei.


ETA: For those happening upon this post at random, and not already familiar with my opinions, note that I haven't got a million or an appreciable fraction thereof, yet notwithstanding I have been obliged with the rest of us to put money into rich chancers' fucking pay-off packs.  Please interpret my sentiments accordingly.

caper_est: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (golden kate)

Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 440 words. Pear-shaped middle-aged physician 1, hulking drunken young berserker 0. 

Outside the novel but in the same world, a sprightly little ditty from the midlands of Morgander: Leland Came Calling. Folksong characters in all the universes seem to get into the same peculiar kinds of pickle.

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
My relationship with Nonny, the underrated Muse of Folksong, is generally a delightful one.  Sometimes she'll return from the slopes of Parnassus in melancholy mood, and breathe over me the breath of Carrie Grey; sometimes she will be ribald, and bring me Kyra from Kazandry; sometimes she will be both, and bring me De Ville's Toast to His Friends.  And other times she will be so completely off the wall, I haven't even any description for the result that is shorter than singing it.  Always, she will break in upon me like a wave where no sea was hitherto apparent, and not cease until I've worked her latest inspiration into safely-recorded words and music.

This is often inconvenient, but almost always worth it.

And then sometimes she will come back totally monstered on bad nectar, and afflict me with I've Got Badgers in Me Nadgers.

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
Lob Lazy at the House of Silence: 480 words, writing the ritualistic fairy-tale linkage between eucatastrophe and dénouement while it's hot. Or, in this case, while pleasantly crisp and chill.

This has been giving me some interesting insights, not only into the Kateverse's alt-Scandinavian cultures, but into the things they know that maybe I don't. This linkage stuff, for instance, strikes a seam in their folklore that... well. There are Deep Mysteries in this world that Katy Elflocks knows about, and the gods and the Elvish Court and suchlike; but here's plain proof that at least one other mortal once learned them too. Likely in more detail than Katy, who has other cares and interests she considers much more wholesome.

I wonder now who this world's Woden-figure really was. If he wasn't exactly Mercury after all, but knew something of the god's ways... and didn't mind screwing around with some heavy necromantic crap... Oho!  He could be my ultimate source, and plenty more.   I wonder whether I'll ever get to develop any of that. Not in anything I'm writing at present, either way.

And here, as a special bonus because it is gibbering away in my head, is a little riddle-chant those healthy hearty Nordic nannies like to teach their children.

Old King Dead, his drink is red:
He'll sup you up from your sleepy bed.
Old Queen Rot, she's on your slot:
She'll suck you down to her creepy grot.
Young King Cold is stark and bold:
He'll stoop for steel and spurn at gold.
Young Queen Clay is fair as day:
She'll steal the gallant and the gay.
Dead or Rot or Cold or Clay,
Who will take your time away?
Rich or Low or Rude or High -
Who will have your soul for aye?
 
There is probably a reason that all the Nordic-descended cultures seem to have drifted towards bland mainstream neo-Olympianism.

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
The BBC's carrying a story today about the Somali poet Abdirashid Omar, who is in hiding from the al-Shabaab militias after scourging them in his widely-circulated work Fatwo, or the Decree.  They would like him to recant it: he would like them to shove it. 

"A person who contradicts his own poem will never be taken [seriously] again in Somali society - something they knew because they are Somalis."

Read, read, read the full story here

My own thoughts at larger length, on my main blog here.

The author's musical recitation of the whole piece (in Somali) on YouTube is linked to from both, or you can find it directly here.  Though wholly ignorant of the language, I found it well worth the listen.

And his making and his upholding of it, well worth an honourable toast, and a few minutes' humble contemplation.

caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
A happy New Year to one and all!

I have not been awful active in a literary way over the holiday. 2,650 words of Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland, all of them from a long Council of Infodump very little of which will survive the redraft. But the developments it sparked have changed both my present chapter and the whole dynamic of the Rising beyond all expectation. Again, I am cast upon strange tides, and many-braided Allwater has taken me to some places I never imagined I'd see.

Two new visions which may bear future fruit, and which have at least helped keep me out of mischief. One was a reverie into which I fell upon the Holyhead train, in which I learned that one Man's Eru is another Orc's Azathoth - and that one side's desperate doomed stand against overwhelming horror and power can look remarkable similar on the other side of the lines. But not necessarily in the same genre. I like Doc Wolfram and Splicewire and the Lady of the Last Ditch almost as much as I would hate to live in their world, and it is just conceivable that I've met a dark fantasy notion with enough heart that I might be able to yarn about it. Certainly I haven't stopped having new flashes about that setting yet.

...And one that came to me in a dream, of a hunt on St Lucy's Eve, where I involved myself in a thousand-year adventure with St Lucy herself, and the Titaness Luna, and a charming and witty Iranian emigrée named Soraya, to wrest the light of the world from the heartless legalist glare of Delian Apollyon.  The end of this dream is not yet, so I shall say no more.  But if there is really a sensible answer to its central problem, I should give a great deal to be able to tell of that, too.

Ars longa, vita brevis, as always.

Meanwhile, here is a merry year's-getting toast from me and all the Katherines; and here are certain New Year's resolutions, looking to a day when they have gone to their long slushpile. 

Wassail, dear friends and good neighbours!  Drink hale! 

[Glug]


caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
I blame [info]heleninwales for bringing the original meme to my attention. This evolved the following poetically proper Twelve Days of Christmas:

Twelve del_cs drumming
Eleven suzychs piping
Ten mountains a-leaping
Nine goats dancing
Eight physics idling
Seven economics a-writing
Six books a-walking
Five ga-a-a-ames
Four cats
Three computers
Two politics
...and a music in a biology.


But then it all went doorstop-shaped! Knocking back her fifth miniature of Old Sheepdip, my Muse observed that everything is better with Extruded Fantasy Product, and began carolling according to the following scheme...


...Twelve pages' cast list,
Eleven elves enchanting,
Ten swords backtalking,
Nine Dark Lords duncing,
Eight buckles swashing,
Seven dwarves upshacking,
Six stewpots stewing,
FIVE ONE RINGS!
Four fated meetings,
Three plotty coupons,
Two looming sequels, and
A hero up a gum tree.


I regard the squarer-shaped parcels under my tree with a new and superstitious awe, and wonder how many she's got right.


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