minstrel: Pennsic Warfarewell

Ed Hopkins Ed.Hopkins at MCI.Com
Thu Apr 24 09:43:00 PDT 1997


A long, long time ago,
I can still remember
How the music used to make me smile,
And I know if I had my chance,
I could make those gentles dance,
And maybe they'd be happy for a while.
But influenza made me shiver.
Ale and mead destroyed my liver.
Drafts that made my nose run
Resulted from a hose-run.
I still remember with a laugh
How disease affected half.
A third got strep, a quarter staph,
The week of Pennsic War.

Now here's the chorus:

  Bye, bye to the Pensic War.  I
  Brought a flagon in my wagon;
  Now my flagon is dry.
  Those good ol' knights are drinkin' whiskey and rye
  Singing, "This'll be the third time I die,
  This'll be the third time I die."

Did you write the Book of Lore?
Do you believe in yearly War?
Do you think it's period?
Now, do you believe that pious monk
Will keep his vow not to get drunk?
Did you get a chance to see the beer he hid?
Well, I know that you're a well-bred wench,
'Cause I heard you say that you love French.
You said you started young
Practicing with that tongue.
I was a lonely Cantabrigian
With a sheaf of papers and a feather pen,
But I knew I missed out again
The week of Pennsic War.

I started singing: [chorus]

Now for twelve years we've had Pennsic War,
And I know what I'm fighting for,
But that's not how it used to seem,
When the Jester sang for the King and Queen,
While accomanied by a tape machine,
In a voice just like a dying scream.
And while the King was looking up
A synonym for "Muddy Pup"
The court was made more strict.
No-one left there was Pict.
Now I'm not sure if this is right,
But here's the reason that I fight:
The maids love ev'ry single night
The week of Pennsic War.

As well as singing, [chorus]

Helter-skelter in the summer swelter,
The Queen didn't like the cards they dealt her:
Eight, Nine, Five, and Four, and Jack.
She took the cards and threw 'em back;
They played again with another pack.
With the Jester in the dungeon in a rack.
Now the half-time aire was played on strings,
Violas, lutes, and other things.
We all got up to dance,
Oh, but we never got the chance,
For the music faltered with a scrape;
The tape machine was eating tape.
Do you recall its crinkled shape
The week of Pennsic War?

It had recorded, [chorus]

There we were all singing rhymes,
A generation lost in time,
With no space left to hold a feast.
So hurry up and move that shield;
We'll set up tables on the battlefield.
Be careful, for the fighting hasn't ceased.
And it was at that point I fear
The food crew lost one volunteer.
Now I don't think it's strange
To shun that target range.
But it was there I saw a lady go
And make three bull's-eyes in a row.
She said, "I love yew," to her beau
The week of Pennsic War.

Her beau was singing, [chorus]

Now all good things must have an end,
And War is surely one of them,
And Peacetime, when it comes, is sad.
But as we mount our caravans
And travel home to distant lands,
We think if all the good times that we had.
By day we held outdoor events.
At night our lives were more intense.
And ev'ry son and daughter
Enjoyed the fun and slaughter.
But the lesson I remember most
Is 'How To Conjugate A Toast':
Vivat, vivant, and vivamos,
The week of Pennsic War.

A rough translation:

  Bye, bye to the Pensic War.  I
  Brought a flagon in my wagon;
  Now my flagon is dry.
  Those good ol' knights are drinkin' whiskey and rye
  Singing, "This'll be the third time I die,
  This'll be the third time I die."

They were singing,

  Bye, bye to the Pensic War.  I
  Brought a flagon in my wagon;
  Now my flagon is dry.
  Those good ol' knights are drinkin' whiskey and rye
  Singing, "This'll be the third time I die."


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