minstrel: Who's afraid of the big bad filk?

B.Zantingh(aka Bernadette) bzantingh at bulkley.net
Mon Mar 13 19:37:34 PST 2000

 Thank you, kind sir, for your gentle reply to this thread.  As a newcomer
to the SCA, I was beginning to develop a deep concern that there was an
unwritten set of rules and regulations regarding Bardic circles.  It does
seem that there are many strong opinions amongst the musical populace of our
Society.  The last thing I would want to do is cause offence through any
personal musical choice.  How I would know what was considered "appropriate"
or "inappropriate"?  Your posting has explained it in such a clear way and I
feel that I now have a better understanding regarding the "rules" (for lack
of a better word).  Common sense, consideration and respect for my fellow
musicians should stand me in good stead.  Again, I extend my gratitude.


----- Original Message -----
From: John LaTorre <jlatorre at midtown.net>
To: <minstrel at pbm.com>
Sent: Monday, March 13, 2000 11:55 AM
Subject: Re: minstrel: Who's afraid of the big bad filk?

> In the course of following this thread, one thing has struck me. Are we
> sight here, just a wee bit, of courtesy and gentility?
> If a bard approaches a bardic and hears period stuff and nothing else, is
it too
> much to expect of him or her to ask if filk is appropriate there? If the
> given with politeness and respect, is "no," is it too much to expect that
the bard
> take the answer with good grace and equal politeness and respect?
> And most of the people I've talked to who object to filk are really
objecting to a
> spirited* rendition of "B-B-Bard to the Bone" drowning out their harp and
> session three campsites away.
> Filk is fun. Filk is also (I think) an important tool for acclimatizing
> who haven't sung anything in public since their Scout days. Filk is
appropriate in
> some bardics, but not all bardics, and not all the time. The key here, as
in so
> much of SCA life, is to respect the diversity that one finds at an event.
> campsite works hard to provide as close to a "period" experience as
> while another does not. As long as we don't confuse the standards of the
> campsites, or assume that what holds at one bardic also holds at the other
one, or
> (blackest sin of all) imposes the standards of one on the other, then
where is the
> problem?
> At one of my first events, a gentle at our bardic circle most politely
asked if he
> could sing a "quiet, gentle, little filk." We agreed, and he crooned:
> "Yesterdaaaay
> All the Normans seemed so far away
> Now it looks as though they're here to stay..."
> It made the event for me. "Gee," I thought. "If I'd heard that in eighth
> World History, I might actually have remembered what happened in 1066."
> *In the alcoholic sense, as well
> --
> John LaTorre (Johann von Drachenfels)
> "Always do right. It will gratify some people & astonish the rest."
> --Mark Twain

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