Tuesday, April 5, 2011

More Ballads, and Filking Solomon Kane!

For your edification and entertainment, further examples of balladry.  Remember, a ballad is a narrative told in a series of identical verses.

"Mathy Groves" has been recorded various times; it's one of the famed Child Ballads, which you can buy today in a good cheap edition.  Ralph Stanley's is great, but I am partial to Fairport Convention.

Here's a ballad everyone knows, in one version or another.  "King Kong Kitchie", in variants descended from or related to the "Chubby" Parker recording included in Harry Smith's cheeky and hilariously misnamed Anthology of American Folk Music, is my favorite.  I don't know this guy -- just grabbed the video off YouTube.  His arrangement of it, sometimes playing the refrain after one verse and sometimes after two, slightly obscures the balladness of the piece.

Here's another ballad of mine, "The Gift of Solomon Kane", that is also good filk:

They call me a fanatic that are too faint to judge
I shall not spare a sinner, I bear a holy grudge
From Germany's Black Forest to Africa's broad plain
That's the burden and the gift of Solomon Kane

This world is mirk with evil, it chokes me in my soul
My God has placed me on this path and God will make me whole
With rapier and pistol ball, I'm Satan's earthly bane
That's the burden and the gift of Solomon Kane

My blood brother N'Longa is a mighty juju priest
I've swung this staff of an ancient king 'gainst many an eldritch beast
My footstep's feared in the forest, and in every fallen fane
That's the burden and the gift of Solomon Kane

I was a wild son of Atlantis, on Valusia's bright throne
And a hard, dark-haired Cimmerian, captain and alone
Some day I'll be a Texan, a poet in Cross Plains
That's the burden and the gift of Solomon Kane

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