What are your favourite songs from the various music traditions of the Empire?
(If you’re new to the game, yes, each nation has its own aspirational musical brief just like it has a costume brief).
This is really really my thing so I’ve got a bit carried away below (sorry/not sorry) but which songs have you sung at Empire that you love? What do you think really carries the spirit of your nation?
I’ve played characters in four nations so I only really know songs from those, but I have soft spots for:
This one appears in both the Freeborn and Highborn musical briefs as that lovely sweet spot where one musical brief springs from the other (the Freeborn brief has roots in the Highborn one but developed separately once the Sisters left and founded their own nation). It’s religious, it’s bouncy and it’s fun.
A proper bit of Highborn plainsong which I love very much and sing whenever I get the opportunity (not as often as I’d like!). A quiet endorsement of the status quo and the smug sense of duty to defending The Way against heresy.
All Come Listen is best sung in a bathhouse in a round (Stream All Come Listen by Laura Hoskison | Listen online for free on SoundCloud). Obviously this is difficult to achieve at Anvil but having done it once at a real bathhouse in Harrogate last year I can attest it’s glorious. It’s still pretty good in a field. Pairs up well with Stream By The Waters Of Catazar by Laura Hoskison | Listen online for free on SoundCloud
I filked this original Shapenote tune and it’s straight out of the brief: robust and fun and I’m pretty proud of it. At the end of the day, there’s no place like home. Stream Chalcis Yonder by Laura Hoskison | Listen online for free on SoundCloud
Sir Isobel is a valiant knight, and this never fails to cheer me up when I break it out. So happy and trips along and Dawnish to the core.
Dawnish heartbreak. I tweaked it from the original because who would ask to be forgotten when one could be remembered in all of one’s glory!
https://www.profounddecisions.co.uk/empire-wiki/Riqueza's_Dream is a Freeborn standard and even has a proper dance that can be taught on the field by the dancing bard herself (for a small fee!).
Stream Lictor Song by Laura Hoskison | Listen online for free on SoundCloud Sing it in a round, quietly and with a lot of energy. It’s creepy and brilliant.
Stream Give Him A Gale by Laura Hoskison | Listen online for free on SoundCloud has the energy I love about the Coast, you can practically see the boat skipping through the waves. Up there with https://www.profounddecisions.co.uk/empire-wiki/Sail_Away_Across_the_Sea as two of my favourites about the sea.
https://www.profounddecisions.co.uk/empire-wiki/Without_You remains one of the songs closest to my heart and I’ll sing it at any time I’m feeling sad and lonely and lost. It’s gorgeous.
https://www.profounddecisions.co.uk/empire-wiki/Mother_Varushka_Goes_to_War Just… yeeaaaahhhh, all dark and Varushkan and I love it. https://www.profounddecisions.co.uk/empire-wiki/Marching_song as well for solidarity.
https://www.profounddecisions.co.uk/empire-wiki/The_Brewer's_Lesson This reminds me, I need to get this song out of my Varushkan song book and start singing this again. A delight to perform and amusing to listen to.
https://www.profounddecisions.co.uk/empire-wiki/Song_to_Keep_the_Dark_Away Has the oom paas in it and you can’t help be caught up in the enthusiasm of it.
https://www.profounddecisions.co.uk/empire-wiki/Feast_of_the_Loom isn’t just a great Empire song, the original is great too and I sing it every year come Hallowe’en.
https://www.profounddecisions.co.uk/empire-wiki/The_Good_Old_Way is my favourite ‘generic Empire standard’. I sing a slightly different version (so sorry if that causes any confusion on the field) but but it’s a solid hymn for anyone to get their teeth into.
Stream Virtue Be My Wings Four Parts by Laura Hoskison | Listen online for free on SoundCloud is a very gentle filk of a modern folk song and speaks powerfully about being a refugee coming home. It was written by Renata about both the Seguran and Reikos refugees, but applies to most of the nations. We have all lost greatly in the history of our Empire.
Stream Good Cake by Laura Hoskison | Listen online for free on SoundCloud The Cake Song went down very well before Renata died, and I still sing it now as a easy-to-join-in fireside song, same as Stream We'll Sing Our Cares Away by Laura Hoskison | Listen online for free on SoundCloud.