[Bards] From the Newest Premier Bard

Scott Barrett barrett1 at cox.net
Mon Jan 8 21:32:35 PST 2007

My fellow fable forgers,

  I should begin by stating that at the end of the first round of 
Kingdom Eisteddfod, I turned to my lady and said...
"I'm dead. There's no way. They could charge money for this show. This 
is history."
She grinned back and said "Omigod! This rocks!"

This is the second time I have achieved the position of Premier Bard, a 
privilege I share with His Excellency, Master Robin of Gilwell and Her 
Grace, Mistress Willow De Wisp (at least, I think I have that right). 
Needless to say, I'm humbled.
  Let me be absolutely clear in this. I envied so many of you Saturday, 
you poets, you singers, you harpers, you multi-lingual lyricists, you 
composers, you historians, you... bards. More amazing than your 
devastating talent was your companionship and your festive fellowship. 
You sang, you laughed, you encouraged and you called to each other by 
name. You spoke the same terms and nodded even in disagreement. The 
empathy and enjoyment of performers was thick and heady.
It was like a benefit where all your favorite celebrities performed and 
stayed to have a drink and a laugh.
I give you my word that I shall strive to provide the same format and 
desirable setting when I retire the title.

To you judges, I say this.
Thank you. Your torn agonies and your sweet enjoyments were felt by all 
in that pavilion. Your burden was heavy and I had great sympathy for 
your numerous plights. Each performer offered a banquet of vocal 
delights and I couldn't help but feel that your task to decide a victor 
was a harsh labor. I noted your sacrifice of time and your commitment 
to each performer and I shall remember it.

To Eleanor,
I can never hope to fill your bodice (C'mon, I had to mention it at 
some point).
I also will never be the Premier Bard that you were. I can only be the 
Premier Bard that I can be. Some may enjoy what I can do with the 
title, but the Kingdom is a little less vibrant with your retirement. I 
look forward to the colors on your shoulders again some day. Well done, 

To my fellow performers.
When we dream of ages past, a certain cast of archetypes parade before 
our eyes. We see knights and kings, maidens and queens, wise men and 
peasant folk... and we see minstrels. We know the classic medieval 
orator, the skald, the poet, the bard, the gleeman, the jester.
  I saw them all at Eisteddfod. You completely captured the heart of 
what we hope for, each in your own particular way. Your work was true 
to history, your words were filled with passion, your timing was 
married to the audience's reactions, your choices were the caliber of 
Saturday I learned that the greatest title one can achieve as a 
performer is not the title of Kingdom Bard but the honor of being able 
to point at all of you and say "I am counted among their company."
I will strive to keep your interests and your concerns in my mind as I 
travel the Kingdom throughout the coming year.

To answer a few questions, yes, "Sean o' the Pines" was composed right 
there. I'm constantly practicing my ad lib, so I decided to put my 
money where my mouth is. Responding as a young boy was therapeutic for 
me, and I enjoyed doing it. I was stressed.
  As for three encounters with Sean, Sean as lone protector and symbolic 
foliage on graves... pure folkloric robbery. Common symbols and themes, 
so I grabbed 'em and used 'em. I had fun telling the story, and I may 
make it part of my regular rotation.
"Bells" is the only song I've ever written both the tune and the lyrics 
for. I've had a few requests for the words, but as the tune is original 
and I can't write musical notation, recordings or memorization is my 
best bet for sharing it. For those that asked, I'm honored. Thank you.
"Anthem of the Arms" may have a familiar melody to some of you. It's a 
French 13th century carol, commonly called "March of the Kings" or 
"March of the Three Kings". I'll be posting the lyrics for "Anthem of 
the Arms" in an upcoming Black Star, and will try to have copies at 
Coronation as well. Here's hoping it earns a place among the themes of 
the Kingdom (fingers crossed).

It should be an interesting year. I look forward to performing with all 
of you as the seasons turn.

~HL Finnacan Dub (pronounced Finnegan Duff)

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