[Bards] (no subject)

Scott Barrett barrett1 at cox.net
Sat Nov 4 00:15:43 PST 2006

On Friday, November 3, 2006, at 10:33 PM, Dan Corley wrote:

> " What i have seen here is that most of our "bards" think that a bard 
> was only a musicion or singer when they were actuall a travelling news 
> source, juglers, jokers, musicians, magicians and even law keepers and 
> judges in many cultures. If we have a college, let it truly reflect 
> that a true Bard is so many different things. To quote from the Bardic 
> Handbook "A bard is not a storyteller or harper playing long.....A 
> Minstrels job it is to sing, a Bard's to BE the song" "
> Lord Cormac "The Black" Starwalker of the Barony of Namron
> Okiewiter
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> Bards at lists.ansteorra.org
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I like your enthusiasm, Cormac, nice to see you here on the board.

As to your comments, to be quite frank with you, we are not bards in 
the true Gaelic/Cymmri sense of the word.

I know of no one person who could recite over 200 poems from memory by 
the age of twelve (and compose another 200 on their own before they are 
considered legit) and can tell you the entire family history of every 
person in their shire or barony, as well as interpreting both SCA and 
Kingdom law for the Crown from memory while traveling to every group 
with news of marriages, funerals, births, disputes and awards. The 
Welsh bardagh and the Irish Filidh required the sort of rigorous 
decades-long training that we might compare to some eastern religious 
orders. Yes, bards were much more than entertainers, but what would be 
required to become a functioning imitation would require many years of 
mental preparation and a constant refreshment of knowledge most SCA 
folk don't need in oral form. I can't begin to imagine the time that 
would take from my real life.

Despite the SCA-wide tendency to label vocal performers as bards, many 
people ARE...
  and historians.
  They are those things intentionally. It's more accurate to their 
  Not everyone is Scots, Irish, Manx or Welsh, either, and 
"bard/bardoi/bardagh" may not be appropriate to what they do. A Saxon 
tale teller and poet is not a bard, he/she is a scop and not as pressed 
for social authority as the bards of Ireland or Western Scotland. Not 
by a long shot.

A viable college/grove/fellowship/whatever would welcome all these 
different people as resources, not try to give them a universal style 
so that they can all fit a particular image of a bard.

I personally strive to be a seanachie, an Irish storyteller and lore 
keeper. Calling myself bard would have been seen as outlandishly 
arrogant among my fellow Irish and subversive to our English 
conquerors/tourists. Bad idea.

So while I doubt I'll ever find an historically true bard, the word 
bard is such a common term to describe what we do that I avoid trying 
to determine if someone is a "true" bard or not.
I might just irritate a "true" Norse skald, and I don't need that 

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