minstrel: Black Birds with Bad Attitudes (was three ravens, twa corbies)

Ben Tucker btuck at minstrel.com
Thu Feb 27 16:10:42 PST 1997

>      Twa Corbies, in my opinion, is a sarcastic Nastyization of 
> 	Three Ravens...a filk gone bad...

Na. Twa Corbies is still too upbeat.  For real sarcasm, you have to go to
the Icelandic version:	Krummi svaf i' Kleeta Gja'

My bad translation of which starts:  (I'm not much of a scholar of
Icelandic, anyone who wants to correct my translation or my orthography is
welcome and appreciated -- the orthography is the best I could do in
whitebread ASCII).

Raven sat in cleft of stone
Cold he was, and all alone 
making moan, making moan

 - - - - - 

Krummi Svaf y Kletta gja'
Kaldri vetrar no'ttu a'		
Verd`ur margt ad` meini		
Verd`ur margt ad` meini

Fyrr enn dagur fagur rann
Fred`id` nefid` dregur hann
Undan sto'rum steini
Undan sto'rum steini

A' se'r krummi yfd`i ste'l
Einnig hryndi goggin vel
Flaug u'r fjalla gjo'tum
Flaug u'r fjalla gjo'tum

Li'tir yfir byggd` og bu'
A' b(ae)um fyrr enn vakna hju'
Veifar v(ae)njum skjo'tum
Veifar v(ae)njum skjo'tum

Sa'lad`ur a' sid`u la'
Saud`ur feitur gard`i hja'
Fyrrum fra'r a' velli
Fyrrum fra'r a' velli

Krunk Krunk nafnar komed` he'r
Krunk Krunk  |>vi' oss buin er
Kra's a' ko"ldu svelli
Kra's a' ko"ldu svelli

The bird is hungry and goes out across the ocean where he finds 
a dead sheep (nafnar) floating in the waves.  He says "come to me little
sheep, why are you out here all alone on the cold swell."  Such a meal!
(Of course, in Icelandic poetry, it's almost a capital crime to actually
speak directly, so it is left to the listener to realize that the foul
smelling-white-fuzzy-thing floating abandoned on the waves is really a
drowned sailor).  Yee-hah, that's optimism for ya!

In Northshield, we call these three the "Black Birds with Bad Attitudes"
songs.  It is vaguely possible to sing all three (using the usual Breton
tune-whose-name-I'm-forgetting-at-the-moment for Twa Corbies)
simultaneously in harmony.  It's quite frightening.  Try it sometime.

So whose coming to Bardic Madness?  Wanna try singing it?  During the
Ensemble challenge at lunch time?

Owen Alun, Minstrel ("A Loon")		Ben Tucker btuck at minstrel.com
   Bardic Madness will strike in Jararvellir on March 8, 1997
  	Come and visit Balmy Northshield in Winter.
         Info at: http://www.minstrel.com/b7.html

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