[Bards] Repertoire Expansion

Ulf Gunnarsson ulfie at cox.net
Mon Jun 16 23:20:20 PDT 2003

Her Grace wrote:
> We all need to expand our repertoire. I have a suggestion. There has been
> a problem bought to my attention. Of course all of you know that bringing
> your problems to nobles is one of the legitimate pathways. The problem
> has been lack of courtesy and courtly behavior. People are becoming more
> and more mundane.

I do not want to detract from Her Grace's proposal.  By all means, do
continue it. But I would like to mention something I saw happen that was
like dew on the flowers for me.

At Lilies War a couple of years ago, the Crowns of Ansteorra and
Calontir signed a treaty.  Such matters of mutual alliance and support
are important in these war-filled times, and Calontir, on our northern
border, is a natural ally.

In days of yore, when today's Lions were cubs and our mighty knights
were still in small clothes, Calontir and Ansteorra fought.  The Lion
and the Falcon frequently stood side by side, but once in a while we
faced one another across the field of war.  In those days a bard from
Namron, Aeruin ni hEarain o Chonnemara, wrote a powerful song called
"Bare is the Brotherless Back" that chronicled each and every time we
stood the field together.  I can still hear her cry of "Vivat the Black
Star! Huzzah for Calontir!" ringing out over the joined voices of what
seemed like hundreds of others singing with her at InterKingdom.

I journeyed to Calontir for this new treaty with that echoing in my mind
like a thunderclap across the years, and the words to the song on a
sheaf of papers to share out.  I was Premier Bard of Ansteorra, and I
sought out my counterpart in Calontir, Master Mikal the Ram, with the
intention of gathering the bards of both kingdoms to join voices once
again as the treaty was signed.

Mikal turned to the bards around him and asked "Who here can sing this
song of Calontir's history?" And no one could.

I was dumbfounded. A song that once was lifted by the voices of two
kingdoms was forgotten.  Finally a bard from Forgotten Sea came forward,
then a herald of some years, who said they could remember it being sung,
but not in years.  They would join me at the signing, and we would not
see shame come to those who had preceded us.  Mikal, as their Premier
Bard, told the bards there that, as recompense, they *will* learn three
songs no longer sung over the course of the next year.

That was the first blush of dew, that these people recognized their
shortcoming as bards and agreed to recover their songs.

The second blush of dew was when we sang. Three hundred people gathered,
and a table was placed in front of the thrones. Witnessed by the crowns
of several kingdoms, His Stellar Majesty and His Calon Majesty signed a
treaty between two kingdoms that were once the best of friends.  We
started singing as the treaty was brought in.  And as we sang, a voice
joined us from a grizzled old knight.  Then a lady, and another, then
more, until dozens were rustily joining the verses and almost the entire
hall joined in on the choruses.

Across the decades, that initial thunderclap finally heard an echo.


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