minstrel: Earthworms Through the Ages

Fred (Flieg) Hollander flieg at garnet.Berkeley.EDU
Thu Apr 24 00:03:48 PDT 1997

Flieg here --

At 02:10 PM 4/23/97 -0400, Ed Hopkins wrote:
>Pendar interprets, in part,
>> [...] Take for example a very popular SCA song "Worms of the Earth".
>> [...] I have examined the lyrics and determined that the singer is trying
>> to get the audience to conspire with him to overthrow the local feudal
>> lord:
>> [...]
>> "Well, they've beat us before" (goes without saying)
>> "And they'll beat us again" (if we don't DO anything)
>> "But we'll drink from their helmets tonight." (This is an attempt to get 
>> the audience to visualize the glory of an uprising.)
>> The first three verses are all in the past tense. They relate a series of 
>> injustices that the speaker is trying to use to get his audience upset.
>> He then relates how when the lord came to demand more taxes they killed 
>> him, and the whole mood of the song, as well as the tense, changes.
>> When performed properly (at least in my opinion) this song should have 
>> the audience hollering and applauding loudly and screaming "I want to 
>> kill something!" instead of sitting there depressed staring into the fire.
>This is an interpretation that had not occurred to me.
>It's always seemed to me that "we" would be drinking from
>their helms after "they" had gotten themselves killed
>fighting against _other_ "lions of might" over who gets to
>own the worms.  That is, that the purpose of the song was to
>simply to make the listeners indifferent to the causes of
>ruling class.
>-- Alfredo

   Hmmmm.... That makes three reasonable interpretations; since my
interpretation is more along the lines of:
   "Well we're scum and the lord demanded more taxes and it was just
too much and so we rose up and killed him and took the castle. But that
was yesterday and we're seriously gonna get nuked tomorrow. 
   "But meanwhile we have one small triumph to look on before we die."
   (But the end result _is_ we're dead.)

   I.e. I saw it as the sort of fatalistic take what good you can out of 
the situation sort of song. Niether rabble-rousing, nor distant.

   Shows what a _good_ song can do.

   *   *   *    Frederick of Holland, MSCA, OP, etc.
  *** *** ***   flieg at garnet.berkeley.edu
  (((Flieg Hollander, Chemistry Dept., U.C. Berkeley)))
 ====================== Old Used Duke  =====================
 [All subjects of the Crown are equal under its protection.]

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