Bardic Arts

One of the things that immediately caught my interest when I first started poking around the SCA was the area of Bardic Arts. At the very first event I attended, I met a blind harper (guitarist), listened to a quartet sight-read a piece for recorder, and watched a sword dance during the feast. After all these years, I may be conflating my first year in the SCA, but these bits stood out as I continued to play.

Over the years, I’ve wanted to bring my mundane musical talents into the SCA, but never really had a feel for it. My first few attempts at writing songs were greeted with less than swells of enthusiasm, and then I started to drift in and out of the fringe. Some years, my involvement with the SCA didn’t go much farther than attending a weekly fighter practice and schmoozing.

A few years ago, I went from the Army Reserve to the IRR, which meant I had so much more time available. I started playing more regularly with my local group, from attending meetings and events to registering a name and device, to inviting people over for A&S nights and EVEN volunteering to help run a performing arts competition. It was during this time I started writing music and singing with the Ladies pictured above in a group we called “Voices of Attilium.”

When I arrived in the West, I met Mistress Leofwen, who basically pushed and prodded and gave me the external motivation I needed to keep the momentum going with my Bardic attempts. Since then, I’ve started to write more songs and poems, do more research, enter more competitions, get more feedback, and, hopefully, encourage others to do the same.

The songs and poems listed alphabetically here are pieces that I’ve come up with that I’ve enjoyed enough to post for public consumption. For each of these, I’ve posted the full piece on my blog and tagged the category “Bardic Arts.” If you click on the title, it will bring you to the work. Some of them (I’m trying to get better at this) have some basic documentation and maybe a note about how the piece came to be. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to get in touch!

The Bitter Stalks of Time
Bar Form, poetry

Darkwood Shanty
Song (Sea Shanty)

For Jennifer, when I think of her
Villanelle, poetry

The Heart of Darkwood
Lied form, Song

Follow the Flame
Ballad, Song

In Praise of Sir William Ulfsson
Lied form, poetry

The North Star, or, The Privateer’s Compass

My Lady, Mercy

October Lament

The Plains of White Shield

A Priamel, or, A Pithy Warning

Raise Your Banner

Siege of Paris