More Bujold Filk - Part 5

These pages contain various filk songs relating to the work of Lois McMaster Bujold.

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Count Vorvlaceslav (a Winterfair carol)
by Eric Oppen & Mark A. Mandel
Ttto: "Good King Wenceslas" (trad.)

Count Vorvlaceslav looked out
from his mighty tower
At the snowy fields about,
deep in winter's power.
All was well despite the cold;
harvest had been good.
Then he spied a hillman old,
gath'ring fallen wood.

"Armsman, is that fellow lost?
Why does he draw nigh here?
Out in such a bitter frost,
has he come to spy here?"
"He was sorely wounded, lord,
your* borderlands defending.
Firewood* he cannot afford,
he has nought for spending."

"Bread and wine and meat and fuel
we shall carry to him.
He has served me well and true,
no less now is due him."
Count and Armsman, forth they went
through the frozen valley,
Minds and hearts on duty bent
in their twilight sally.

"Colder grows the night, my lord,
and the wind blows stronger.
Now it pierces like a sword,
I can go no longer."
"Walk behind me, liegeman true,
facing in its teeth,
Where my footprints breaking through
show the ground beneath."

Sheltered at his master's back
from the winter's storming,
'Neath his feet he felt the track
like a hearthstone warming.
Man and master, hearken both,
listen, liege and lord:
Loyalty to plighted troth
brings its own reward.
*"Your" is on an upbeat, between the lines, as it were. Pronounce "firewood" as just two syllables.

© 2001 Eric Oppen & Mark A. Mandel

Enrique's Lament
by Mark A. Mandel
Ttto: "Little Buttercup", Gilbert & Sullivan, from "H.M.S. Pinafore"
(based on A Civil Campaign by Lois McMaster Bujold)

They all hate my butterbugs,
Dear little butterbugs,
Though I could never tell why;
But still you're such lovely bugs,
Poor little butterbugs,
Sweet little babies of mine.

Without hesitation you eat vegetation
Or Earth-biological waste,
And turn it to butter, which after you utter it,
Humans can season to taste.

I've cultures galore of intestinal flora
To tailor, arrange, and combine.
Disaccharide schemes that I see in my dreams
Can be breeding next evening by nine.

Then try of my butterbugs,
Dear little butterbugs;
Come, there's no need to be shy.
So taste my bug butter,
This lovely bug butter,
That's made by my butterbugs; try!

© 2000 Mark A. Mandel

Kareen's Team Koudelka Marching Song
by Pouncer
Ttto: G&S's "Titwillow"

In the ballroom and garden he marched us around,
we Koudelkas, Koudelkas, Koudelkas,
From laundry to attic we marched up and down,
we Koudelkas, Koudelkas, Koudelkas.
He cried "Right Face!" and "Left Face!",
"About Face!" and "Halt!"
and made scathing corrections to each little fault,
Then he carolled "Sound Off!" and responding, we called:

We stamped with our feet as we marched and we yelled
we Koudelkas, Koudelkas, Koudelkas.
and our warm perspiration lent an ungirlish smell
to Koudelkas, Koudelkas, Koudelkas.
But no sighing nor sobbing nor giggling we made
we marched to his cadence and did just as he bade
And our echoes rang back, and but slowly did fade.
> Koudelkas!
Koudelkas... <

Now I'm sure just as sure as I'm sure that my name
is Koudelka, Koudelka, Koudelka
That a four-year-old girl had no fun at the game
cry'n Koudelkas, Koudelkas, Koudelkas
But a teen-aged boy's callous; I was eas'ly led;
though I'd rather been practicing judo instead
If today Miles said, "FALL IN";
I'd reply as I once said:


© 2001 Pouncer

Marching Koudelkas
by Eric Oppen, Kirsten Edwards, Ros Sharpe & Catherine O'Shea
Ttto: Waltzing Matilda
This was a joint effort on the Lois Bujold Mailing list in July 2001, started by Susan Profit due to a dream and the ball started rolling from there.

Once a jolly mutant, babysat four little girls
Under the roof of Vorkosigan House [1]
And he asked as his thoughts turn'd to footwork and to martial twirls
Who'll come a marching, Koudelkas, with me?

Marching, Koudelkas, marching, Koudelkas,
You'll come a-marching, Koudelkas, with me.
And he asked as Elena sat and watched them curiously [2]
Who'll come a marching, Koudelkas, with me?

First there came Delia, stepping out with verve and vim
Followed by Martya, not daring to veer,
And the third in the file was Olivia looking neat and trim.
Little Kareen was the one in the rear.

Marching, Koudelkas, marching, Koudelkas,
You'll come a-marching, Koudelkas, with me
And they marched from the ballroom, out to the Coolibah tree [3]
You'll come a-marching, Koudelkas, with me...

Along came Vorpatril to visit the Vorkosigans
Up jumped the mutant and grabbed him with glee:
"You're just the person to lead them in formation -
You'll come a marching Koudelkas with me!"

"Marching Koudelkas, marching Koudelkas,
You'll come a marching Koudelkas with me!"
And he grinned as young Ivan disclaimed responsibility [4]
"You'll come a marching Koudelkas with me."

Up rode Piotr, mounted on his thoroughbred,
Down came the armsmen, one, two, three,
"Why are you teaching girls the art of soldiery?"
"You'll not be marching, Koudelkas, with me."

"Marching Koudelkas, marching Koudelkas,
You'll not be marching, Koudelkas, with me."
And he scowled as young Ivan bystanded assiduously [5]
"You'll not be marching, Koudelkas, with me."

Up leapt Elena, jumpshipped far from Barrayar
"You'll never catch me back here!" said she
And her voice may be heard, as she trains her mercenaries.
"You come a marching, Dendarii, with me."

"Marching Dendarii, marching Dendarii,
You come a marching, Dendarii, with me."
And her voice may be heard, but never more on Barrayar
"You come a-marching, Dendarii, with me..."

[1] well, if you must have rhyme, how about 'For the Vorkosigan family'? But 'under the roof' works better with the original words.
[2] Elena emphasis on second syllable.
[3] The Coolibah tree (pronounced CooLIbah, of course) is a native Barrayaran plant to which Miles is not allergic. Of course.
[4] Ivan pronounced with emphasis on I. It scans the same as the chorus we all sang (incorrectly, but quite easily) in primary school 'and he sang, and he watched, and he waited ti'll the billy boiled '. It is well known, of course, the swagman's name is Andy .
[5] I know, bystanded isn't a word but I want Ivan to bystand! It scans by giving both syllables of Ivan the same length as scowled (Ivan = 'watched and'; bystanded = 'waited 'til'; assiduously {3rd and 4th syllables run together} = 'the billy boiled' in original chorus). If this twisting of English is too painful, substitute, the following muttered aside from Piotr: ("Next he'll be wanting girls to join the military").

© 2001 Team Koudelka

My Grandfather's Life
by Jim Parish
Ttto: "My Grandfather's Clock"

My grandfather's life is a tale you must hear
If you'd know the Vorkosigan soul.
For he strove all his life to defend what we hold dear
And to keep the Imperium whole.
He was born in the years when our long-lost kin drew near,
And he grew as our new hope unfurled;
But it stopped dead when the Cetagandan lord
Turned the ghem loose to conquer our world!

Ninety years without slumbering (Hup, two, three, four!)
His deeds beyond numbering (Hup, two, three, four!)
We'll not see ever his like again
Since the old man died!

The Emperor said, "I can lend you no aid;
You must fight on your own if you can."
My grandfather spoke: "In the mountains," he said,
"We will fight to the very last man."
Twenty years he brought woe to the Cetagandan foe,
And their campsites he filled with their dead,
'Til they took ship, never to come again
'Til the ghem-lords fled!


When the fighting was done, Gran'da brought home a bride -
An Imperial Princess he wed.
Then the day came at last when the old Emperor died,
And Prince Yuri arose in his stead.
Yuri's fears grew apace - soon he struck at all his race,
Tore three lives from my grandfather's home;
Gran'da swore, then, he'd be Emperor no more -
Drove him from his throne!


Though he struggled and grieved, Gran'da held his head high,
And his son brought him sorrow and pride;
But he gave Gran'da joy that their name would not die,
When he brought home an outworlder bride!
"I'll not have it," he swore, when a mutie son she bore,
But for years still he stood by my side;
And I'll not see ever his like again,
Since the old man died!

[BTW, I envision this as being sung by Miles to Ekaterin. Now, if someone can come up with a song for her, to the tune of "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot", we might have a nice duet...]

© 2001 Jim Parish

We're a Mercenary Crew
by Jim Parish
Ttto: "King of the Road", by Roger Miller

Soldiers and ships for rent;
All your troubles we'll prevent.
Rescue's our specialty -
We'll set your folks at liberty!
Blockades we'll hold for you,
Hostage situations too.
We're a mercenary crew -
The Dendarii fleet!

We'll stop your civil war,
Save you from Dagoola IV,
Shut down a rebel cell,
We'll get you your new ships as well!
We can stall an invasion fleet,
Or mess up someone's payroll sheet.
We're a mercenary crew -
The Dendarii fleet!

We've got a superstar midget,
With tricks up his sleeve,
And a seven-foot werewolf
You just won't believe.
We'll do it stark naked,
If that's what it takes -
We'll surely do our best
To retrieve our mistakes! We've got

Soldiers and ships for rent;
All your troubles we'll prevent.
Rescue's our specialty -
We'll set your folks at liberty!
Blockades we'll hold for you,
Hostage situations too.
We're a mercenary crew -
The Dendarii fleet!

© 2001 Jim Parish

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All filks © 2000-2001 the original authors.

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Last updated: June 8th 2002
Originally Uploaded: August 22nd 2001