Old songs, new words

One of the things I lived in Strom was the number of songs that people made up. Now we have a loadif songs given to us by PD, but I was wondering what people could come up with to fit in Empire.

Just a note - some of the ones on the wiki are in fact ones players have come up with, including (but certainly not limited to!) the various Highguard Chapter Anthems you can look up. :slight_smile:

Yes there are definitely new songs coming from the players in Highguard - some filks, some completely original. The song book that came out at E4 had 34 songs in, roughly half of which came from players. I am also aware of several more works in progress - there will be an addendum to the songbook for E5!

Also, several of the Navarr songs are player submitted (i may even get around to recording one or two eventually)

I’ve got to about, i am amused by the fact that 3 out of the 4 first post on this thread come from current or former Assembly of Pride players :wink:

Hi guys,

who do I need to send these songs to for them to go on the wiki?

Mike

Michael. I’d suggest your National Bard if you have one.

profounddecisions.co.uk/empire-wiki/Bards

*gah. must learn to read sigs.

You’ll be wanting Jamies Wakefield

Speaking for myself - as a Marcher musician:

The songs I sing and am writing are a combination of things composed specially for Empire (both words and music - I’ve been doing this mostly in collaboration with others in my group as its a nice bit of Marcher co-operation) - or songs I’ve done in the past (myself and in collaboration with friends) that is Empire suitable. I don’t tend to put new words to old songs, myself, as I love coming up with tunes. (I’d rather put new tunes to old lyrics!) Some of our tunes are in the Marcher songbook, which also includes a good number of songs to existing folk tunes as well. Some of those have brand new lyrics and with others the lyrics have been adapted to suit Empire. I’ve also been enjoying singing some new songs done specially for a great group in the League, with a friend I’ve been working with for a long time who has a rather lightning facility for bonkers lyrics! The contrast between the two nations is fab!

I’m currently considering making a Dawnish version of “Men of Harlech”

Which version are you filking from?

The Nanuk Rangers (with apologies to Charles Martin and the Connaught Rangers…) youtube.com/watch?v=zla_v-7uEXs

In our army we’re the best
From the north, south east or west
The best of boys are following the drum.
We are mighty hard to beat,
I may say without conceit,
Faith the enemy are welcome when they come.
Be they Jotun, Thule or Druj
Sure it doesn’t matter much,
We’re the boys to get them quickly dashing!
For we’re the Nanuk Rangers,
The lads to face all dangers,
Hakke palle, Hakke palle, keep on slashing!

chorus: You may talk about Navarr boys Your Marches
and Kohan boys Your Cataphracts and Your Free Companies -without the bows!
The girls we drive them crazy, the foe we beat them easy
The Rangers from Semersuaq- yaarrrgh- the land of frozen sea!

T’was Kipczak who said as the barbarians on he led
“Lord Volodny, are them the Rangers do you know?”
Says Volodny, “There’s no mistake, to our heels we’d better take
I think it’s time for you and I to go!”
When the girls all hear their step, it makes their hearts to leap
“Arragh, jewels will ye waste your lives away?”
For they are the Nanuk Rangers, the boys that fear no dangers
And they’re the lads that always take the sway.

Now you won’t get long without the lads who best can scout
The lads that never fear the longest day,
Faith you easily will know, their dashing step will show
Tis the Nanuk boys who always lead the way.
If me words perhaps ye doubt, come and join 'em on a route
I’m thinking you’ll not find it quite a treat;
You’ll see them in the van, you may catch them if you can
Faith you’ll have to travel fast or you’ll be late

Alternatively you could make a Dawnish verion of “Men of Highguard” as that’s already out there :slight_smile:

I’m always wary of existing songs about soliders as they tend to be very male-dominant, female-passive. Sometimes you can easily remedy this by replacing gendered terms with general ones (“Knights” instead of “Men” for Dawn, for instance), but often you get a dichotomy between “those who fight” and “those who don’t” which is problematic in a militaristic setting in which everyone is taught how to fight with a melee weapon as part of their citizenship test.

Effectively the concept of a unit made up entirely of men is very weird in Empire. It’s like saying that only people with blond hair can fight. I had similar problems adapting hymns for Maelstrom; often I found it much better to simply write entirely new words to fit the setting (and branch out from RL religious music for that matter). Writing lyrics whole cloth is certainly “aspirational” (read: bloody hard work) but the payoff is often worth it.

As far as Dawn’s concerned, it’s possible to fit in a relatively passive archetype with the Weavers - especially if you have them anxiously waiting for their champions to come back and tell them what they did with the enchantments the Weavers stuck on said Champions as opposed to anxiously waiting having done nothing particularly useful. Definitely agreed that care should be taken to avoid dropping into assumptions that made sense when the OC songs were written but don’t fit the Empire setting at all.

(My Weaver goes to fights to heal but that’s so I can risk getting into situations where heavily-armoured people can rescue me. :smiley: )

[quote=“Dre”]I’m always wary of existing songs about soliders as they tend to be very male-dominant, female-passive. Sometimes you can easily remedy this by replacing gendered terms with general ones (“Knights” instead of “Men” for Dawn, for instance), but often you get a dichotomy between “those who fight” and “those who don’t” which is problematic in a militaristic setting in which everyone is taught how to fight with a melee weapon as part of their citizenship test.

Effectively the concept of a unit made up entirely of men is very weird in Empire. It’s like saying that only people with blond hair can fight. I had similar problems adapting hymns for Maelstrom; often I found it much better to simply write entirely new words to fit the setting (and branch out from RL religious music for that matter). Writing lyrics whole cloth is certainly “aspirational” (read: bloody hard work) but the payoff is often worth it.[/quote]

That’s the main issue I have with my own, tbh. 19th century regimental songs are fine in the 19th century context, not so much when there are going to be as many girls as boys in the army-and outside of it. Plenty of time to tinker with it over winter though.

its not a 19th century song it was wrote in the medieval and was changed so many times there are lots of versions in the modern period.

I have filked lots of songs about war but they are not all masculine.

I’m going to voice a probably contentious and possibly Elitist note of caution.

Filk is fine stuff, and great for occasions where you are not aiming for High emotion or total immersion.
Goofing off in the Tavern, Quietly singing with your mates in camp Whathaveyou.

However, it does tend to stretch the immersive bubble when an Iconic Modern tune rears its head in the middle of an otherwise Empire Moment.

I found myself Yanked hard into the present at E4 as a bunch of folks marched past my camp singing the Process Workers Song by Great Big Sea. They had some odd words, (Charge Boys Charge?) but all I heard was the tune.

The other thing you are up against is everyones best memory of a modern tune. It doesnt much matter how well you sing a version of Men of Harlech on the field, Everyone listening is going to be mentally comparing you to the the scene in Zulu! and you are going to come up short.

Filk is not bad-wrong-fun, it just needs to be used with caution.

I think that you will find that there are many new songs with new words around. I agree about filking songs, you will never be able to get rid of the original associations, I think that here will be many new songs over the years to come.

Apologies for the Greast Big Sea immersion-breaking moment; it was not me who filked it but it has quickly become about the most-requested song in my repertoire so it gets heard around Dawn a lot. I’m not sure how to fix that, really, other than keep writing new stuff. My hope is that as it’s all about the Jotun it will stop being requested as often now that we (hopefully) won’t be fighting them as much.

As Mark says there are quite a few original songs out there but it’s possible that the ones people want to sing are ones that already sound familiar to them. I’ll keep singing the new stuff and hope that it becomes as familiar!

I have a possible solution for people who like writing or adapting lyrics but don’t like to write or cant write tunes - give me the lyrics but don’t tell me what the original tune you used was - then I’ll come up with a new tune - I love writing new tunes! And if it helps reduce the amount of well known tunes being reused for larp songs, win! (I understand why people do filks - especially if they do it so lots of people can join in as they’ll know the tune - but I also understand how immersion breaking it can be to hear a well known song or even just a song you’ve heard before)