minstrel: Re: Need some critique

J. Michael Shew jshewkc at pei.edu
Fri Jan 10 13:12:48 PST 1997

On Fri, 10 Jan 1997, Katherine Penney wrote:

> Text item: 
>      Hi.
>      Are you attempting to recreate a specific style/period?

	Not really.  In this case the structure is more SCA Modern, unlike
most of my work.  That's why I asked for commentary.  I don't do a lot of
serious Modern stuff.

>      This lyric structure and subject appear to be quite modern.
	The lyric, perhaps.  The subject is old, according to my research.
The Christianization of Ireland was peacable, for the most part.  But
there was quite a bit of "peer" pressure, resulting in isolated pockets of
the old religions holding on for long periods of time.

>      I do not understand the motivation behind the last verse, surely 
>      Christ is as perennial as Bridgit...
	I agree.  But the viewpoint I was to assume in this commission was
that of the pagan.  Therefore the use of the term "dying God" in some of
the old writings.  The followers of one religion will hardly credit that
much power to the diety of another.  I could be wrong, but most of the
reading I have done refers to Christ's death, his "morality" (i.e. the
White Christ,) et al.  But none written by non-Christian writers of the
time accredit his continued existance as a living form.

>      Someone could just have easily written
>      There in the cities   In the cathedrals
>      They sing for the Christ   who is coming again 
>      But here in the meadow   We mind her fire
>      And mourn the time    When our people were slain
	True.  I had a similar verse in mind.  But the smaller number of
refferences I could find that mention wholsale slaughter of non-Christians
in the country of Ireland at that time made the line I had, ("recalling
the time  Our mothers had died") somwhat too suggestable that I was trying
to rewrite history.
	The concept of the commission came about when the lady who wanted
this song heard "Loki's song" and knowing that I am mundanely Christian,
was amazed that I could write compellingly about a diety that I not only
do not worship for real, but have some difficulty believing the modern
concepts about him.
	She asked me to write a song praising Bridgit, using the same
style.  Loki's song is definitely SCA Modern, with some old Norse
structure and reffers to a mass of researched stories I found about the
god.  I was stumped with Bridgit.  She seemed to have been quite popular
for a time, but few authoritative texts survive on the subject.
	(For those of you who will probably falme me for this, I reject
most "New Age" publications for the same reason I reject most modern
Christian publications.  They are always influenced by the time period in
which they are written.  For example, see how often Loki is given an
almost Lucifer role in modern "Norse" beliefs!   It's not the fault of
modern writers.  They were raised on "authoritative texts" written by
historians with a Christian axe to grind, and the existance of a "devil"
figure had to be present in any belief system according to them.
	Okay, I have my flame retardant tunic on, let fly...)

	Thanks for the 0.02 cents worth, though.  I hope my rant didn't
harm you.  I just like to give change.

    Mikal the Ram; an annoying Bard of no redeeming qualities
__________________________(jshewkc at pei.edu)________________________________
        That he is bright, let no man boast
        But take good heed of his tounge
        The silent sage , will seldom need grief
        They are honored here in the hall
        A friend more faithful, you will never find
        Than a shrewd head on your shoulders
                        The Hamaval  (translation mine)

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