She Welcomes You In

This song was written for the Rose Rises II bardic challenge at feast:  To Honour A Friend. The challenge was to either present something (song, poem, story, etc.) done by a friend in honor of that person, or write something about a person you wish to honor.

A little over a year ago, I got a wild hair at work one day and, with nothing to do that evening, decided I wanted to learn something new. Though I had dabbled in the SCA some 20 years ago in college, it didn’t really take and so it was with some surprise that I found myself looking up the local barony to see what it had to offer. As it happened, fletching was on the calendar for that evening. Making arrows sounds fun! I’ll do that. And so I arrived on Jois Corbet’s doorstep at the appointed time. She welcomed me into her home, took me under her wing, and re-introduced me to the known world where I have since made more friends in a shorter span of time than I thought possible.

She welcomes you in
With a kind word
She has a lair
Haven’t your heard?
Her play things
Truth to be told
Are varied and many
A sight to behold
 
(Chorus)
Rejoice, it’s Jois!
Our Lady Kind
Sharing the dream
Hand, heart, and mind
 
She’ll offer you food
She’ll offer you drink
Whatever you need
Including the sink
Her cobbler
If I may be bold
Will disappear long
Before it gets cold
 
(Chorus)
 
She’s driven to learn
With practical bent
The skills of the past
And where they all went
Such wonders!
But take caution please
Or you will find
That you’ve caught this disease
 
(Chorus)
 
She’ll teach you to fletch
She’ll teach you to sew
She’ll teach you to shoot
And teach you to throw
But safely!
So you can grow old
Or she’ll come back for you
When she’s parolled
 
(Chorus)
 
She’s modest and fair
And joyous, too!
Wherever you lead
We’ll follow you
Your service
Is greater than gold
After this Lady
They broke the mold.
 
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Bound To The Bow

I had the good fortune and honor of becoming Jararvellir Archery Champion in June of this year. When I went looking for archery songs and found none, I decided that needed to be remedied. Set to the tune of Bound For To Go - The Jig of Slurs by Michael Greiner, with his kind permission. Presented at the Warriors and Warlords XX bardic circle.

“Bás roimh aitheantas” means “death before recognition” in Gaelic. It began as the personal battle cry of one of our archers and was quickly adopted by the rest of us.

Audio (m4a)

Our loyalty is legend
Our focus is complete
An archer’s eye is keen and clear
Our heart knows no retreat
With wood and horn and sinew
We fashion up our pride
And keep it with a steady hand
Ever at our side
 
(Chorus)
For we’re bound to the bow
Hang a quiver at your side
Loosing arrows far and wide
We’re bound to the bow
And we’re bound to the bow
Guided by the Griffin’s Light
Bás roimh aitheantas! is our cry
We’re bound to the bow
 
From breaking of the dawn
To the gloaming of the eves
We hunt in perfect silence
And stalk our prey with ease
A breath upon the wind
And an arrow finds its mark
Tonight our kinsmen feast on boar
Or deer or hare or… shark!
 
(Chorus)
 
And on the field of battle
O’er all that we can see
With strength and skill we pin our foes
With grim efficiency
And when the Captain calls us
We send a deadly clout
Our arrows fletched in black and gold
To route the bastards out!
 
(Chorus)
 
And we’re bound to the bow
Guided by the Griffin’s Light
Bás roimh aitheantas! is our cry
For we’re bound to
Yes we’re bound to
Ever bound to the bow!
 
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Grandpa S.

I’ve been struggling with how to write this post since Thursday afternoon, when I learned that my father’s father had passed away in his sleep the night before. I wasn’t ready, though I should have been. He’d been in and out of the hospital several times in recent months but, somehow, I thought there would be more time. I will always regret that I wasn’t a better granddaughter to him but am grateful to have been able to see him only a couple of weeks ago and tell him that I loved him. I didn’t get to know him as well as either of us would have liked. He must have had a tough time growing up because he never spoke of his childhood or family from his past. It was as if his life began with Grandma and he often lamented that we lived so far away, wishing his children and grandchildren lived within walking distance so he could see us more than a few times a year.

He was a business owner who practiced affirmative action before it existed. He believed strongly in having at least basic mechanical skills and proudly took me to the hardware store when I moved out on my own to buy me an orange toolbox and a basic set of tools, all of which I still own and use. He was a master napper throughout his life, an endless source of endearing entertainment for the rest of us. He enjoyed gumshoe detective stories and even tried his hand at writing them in his retirement. Grandpa was a man who lived to work, who needed to feel useful to those he loved. If I learned little else from him, I understand that need very deeply and wish I had given him more opportunities to fulfill it.

We used to talk about the work I was doing on the basement, ever so slowly turning it into a more useful space. A couple of years ago he gave me the plans for his workbench when I mentioned I wanted to turn the back end of the basement into a workshop. I hope to build it finally this year, so I will always have a useful space from him, in honor of him.

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