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Bardic Arts

The Saga of Torvald the Doomed
(Tune: Scotland the Brave)
by
Kellyn Firesinger

Forth strode the warrior skald, the war horn to arms had called him,
Bravely with sword and shield he entered the fray,
Bard of Cynagua he, yet skilled in all chivalry, and
So Torvald Torgarson his foemen would slay.

   CHORUS
   But Torvald he has a weird, one greatly to be feared,
   Though none knoweth why thus his threads the Norns have loomed
   Painful and strange the ways his foe mutilates and slays him --
   Some may escape their fate, but Torvald is doomed!

A new sport has Torvald found -- itís head surfing on the ground.
You charge downhill on pine needles till you canít stop.
Then, tripping upon a root, you swan-dive on your barbute
And slide till your nose hangs oíer a thirty-foot drop.

   CHORUS

Your chin strap can do you in as, sacrificing self for kin,
You rush on the shield wall with your ultimate breath.
Lying on your slain foes, your helmet begins to close,
Your knight steps upon your chest and chokes you to death.

   CHORUS

Help me to understand, just how you can wound a hand
With Kinslayer basket hilt and gauntlet beneath?
The stroke goes around and through, it slices thumb and wedges to
The hilt, where it pins you fast and earns you a wreath.

   CHORUS

The sword across the lower back, the arm broke in fighter practice,
Knockout by pike bounced off anotherís shield and head --
Gee, such a lucky lad, our Torvaldís weird is sizzling mad
ďWhat havenít we tried yet, and why isnít he DEAD?Ē

   CHORUS

The An Tir war was worst of all as, backing to the castle wall
Through enemy lines, five pikemen hard on the chase,
A lady knight piking low doomed Torvald with lucky blow
To lie with a pack of ice in intimate embrace.

   CHORUS

Oh, Torvald he never learns, to win October Crown he yearned
But Felix, his chieftain, promptly knocked him out cold.
Sirens did loudly wail, his helmet went to Armor Jail,
And I thank Odin, I thank Thor, that Iím NOT a skald!

   CHORUS

Torvald, alas! no more will lead us in song or war, for
In a green wood as he was fighting one day
Lo! a wild unicorn impaled him upon its horn and
Bore him, still singing swan-like, far, far away!

   CHORUS
   Oh, Torvald he has a weird, one greatly to be feared,
   Though none knoweth why thus his threads the Norns have loomed
   Painful and strange the ways his foe mutilates and slays him --
   Some may escape their fate, but TORVALD IS DOOMED!


"Over the years (gad how many!?!) I have gained a reputation for getting hurt while fighting at SCA events. Let me say that the rep is not totally unearned. However, the legend has long since outgrown the reality. But I also have to admit that the various injuries do make good song fodder.

"A couple of years ago while sitting around telling "No S#*T there I was stories" I failed to notice a certain Nameless Bard, whose initials are Kellyn Firesinger, sitting in the background taking notes. I also failed to notice just how many requests there were from the others at the fire about all the different ways I have been hurt (I mean really ask a skald to tell stories and you'll be there all night).

"I always said that as any lucky(?) Norseman I simply had a Wyrd. My weird was that I would get hurt. But it could never be the same injury twice, and couldn't be a permanent or crippling injury. Then lo and behold at Purg when Hauoc and Etaine were stepping down, as I arrived at the Royal Pavillion before court, there was the Nameless Bard singing this song ..." -- Torvald Torgarson


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