Inspiration

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Inspired by King Rhys and Queen Gwenhwyvar, Sovereigns of Northshield, and presented at Northshield Pennsic court, August 11, 2016, AS LI.

This was my first attempt at writing in a mode (Phrygian).

At War, the kings gather to discuss strategy
Some think queens on the battlefield inspire only
There are kingdoms with sovereigns who in all aspects rule
In collaboration, as my queen and I do

My queen is a warrior – we fight side by side
Our generals respect her fierceness and pride
But none more than I – she is more than my heart
And these words I spoke to her from our reign’s very start

Our next reign, my love, we will win by your arm
I’ll be your inspiration, as you’ve been mine thus far
As the seasons turn, love, we’ll see our kingdom grow
Let the Known World discover what we already know

We are both more than martial – we create and we serve
There’s no one definition that reflects all our work
We find similarities in subjects and kin
And when we achieve unity, as a kingdom, we win

Before we were sovereign, we were partners in all
These crowns alter not the shape of our call
When my queen wins Crown Tournament, nothing will change
We’ll rule with the same fire that unites us today

Our next reign, my love, we will win by your arm
I’ll be your inspiration, as you’ve been mine thus far
As the seasons turn, love, we’ll see our kingdom grow
Let the Known World discover what we already know

Inspiration can be more than an ideal held high
And apart from the people – inspiration unites
What we accomplish together strengthens every bond
And we’ll lead by example – let the Known World respond

Our next reign, my love, we will win by your arm
I’ll be your inspiration, as you’ve been mine thus far
As the seasons turn, love, we’ll see our kingdom grow
Let the Known World discover what we already know

©2016 Robin Lea Fritche

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King’s Daughter, King’s Sister, King’s Mother

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This song is based upon the lives of St. Adela of Normandy (daughter of William the Conqueror and sister of Henry I) and her husband, Stephen II, Count of Blois. Their son, Stephen, succeeded Henry I as King, usurping the right of Henry’s daughter, Matilda. Matilda’s son, Henry II, succeeded Stephen. Just to give you a little context. 😉 Also, details about these two are fuzzy, so I did the best I could!

The King’s daughter, she married me
As was her duty
Fifteen and still blooming, in the flow’r of her youth
Twenty years senior, I
Was heir to my father’s line
And in his name already ruling our lands
The Princess was Countess ere ten years had passed

The King’s sister she was then
Her father had met his end
Our fam’ly grew richer with daughters and sons
The Holy Land called my name
For glory, faith, wealth, and fame
For four years, I led men to die in the sands
I feared the siege fruitless – I returned to France

The King’s sister felt my disgrace
Desired that I save my face
My dear wife, so hon’rable, pious, and wise
I could not bear to shame her so
To Palestine I did go
That Crusade was won ere my comp’ny arrived
I remained for the Battle of Ramla and died

The King’s sister, my Lady
I prayed she forgave me
My last thoughts were for her and the child in her womb
In this strange land, far from home
A life at last worth a poem
My eyes lost the light and I called forth her voice
If only to scold me – lament not my choice

The King’s mother was canonized
Some years after her demise
After many moons ruling all I left behind
My children and my lands
All prospered in her hands
She saw our son crowned ere she went to our Lord
A saint and an angel

King’s daughter
King’s sister
King’s mother

No more

©2016 Robin Lea Fritche

Power

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This song is about the Battle of Hastings and the events that led up to it. The “disturbance in the sky” mentioned in this song is Halley’s Comet, thought by some to be a warning sign regarding the expected succession. It had appeared earlier that year.

The disturbance in the sky portended trouble 
The Confessor left the land without an heir
So much blood was savage-spilled
Between these men who all were kin
Deeper than the bond of blood runs power

In the absence of a clear successor
Harold Godwinson was chosen to be king
His brother Tostig cried dissent
And with Norway’s monarch went
To slaughter Englishmen at Fulford
(Let us sing)

CHO:

In five days more at Stamford Bridge, another battle
Harold’s Saxons triumphed and his foes were slain
With only William left to fight
King Harold marched south with his might
Gathering forces as he went
(Join the refrain)

CHO:

It’s said at 9 a.m. the Hastings battle started
Between two hills, a land blessed well with trees
The English shield wall on high ground
Duke William’s archers did confound
The Normans failed to break through
(Sing with me)

CHO:

When the Normans turned to flee, the English followed
Their arrogance rewarded swiftly when they turned
The English died in the their pursuit
Not once, but twice they thought it truth
Shot through the eye, King Harold died
(What have we learned?)

CHO:

The Conquerer is what we call King William
Who invaded English soil to slay his kin
With untold thousands’ lives he paid
For the throne he won that day
We feel his power yet in our lives
(Sing again)

CHO:

Deeper than the bond of blood runs power

©2015 Robin Lea Fritche 

Matilda, 1140

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The throne is mine
My living brothers are all bastards
The throne is mine
The nobles swore to it twice
If Stephen the Oath-breaker thinks he’s safe, he’s not
For the throne is mine, the throne is mine

At eight years old a queen, I made Germany my home
With twenty thousand silver marks to help Heinrich subdue Rome
The Pope made him Emperor with unwilling hands
In four years, we were wed; in fifteen, Heinrich was dead

My brother, William, five years earlier, King Henry’s chosen heir
Had drowned crossing the channel; too much wine the culprit there
I went home a widow; Father’s new wife bore no sons
And all the nobles fought to be the first to swear I was the one

CHO:

To strengthen our border to the south of Normandy
I must wed the heir to Anjou, my Royal Father had decreed
A fifteen-year-old peacock was never my choice
I’m a woman who has ruled, yet I seem to have to have no voice

After years of estrangement and Father’s maneuvering
The nobles swore again support for my right to succeed the King
I rejoined my husband and bore two healthy sons
Yet Father still refused to give my husband castles he had won

CHO:

I was far away in Anjou when I heard the King was dead
My cousin Stephen seized the treasury, put the crown upon his head
I took the castles denied us, but had to stop to bear a son
By the time I had recovered, Stephen’s treachery was done

I got a foothold in my country; my brother Robert joined my quest
After five years of battle, the pretender we did best
The Lady of England was the title given me
As Stephen rotted in his chains, I proclaimed my sovereignty

CHO:

In two years’ time, my mother, the great Matilda, was betrayed
She fled to safety with her knights, and Stephen once more King was made
But she never gave up and she fought anew for me
And she raised me up a warrior to defeat our enemy

We claimed Normandy as ours and closed in on Stephen’s men
Stephen feared our might, so a treaty we did pen
He remained King until death, as we allowed
Then, after nineteen years of bloodshed, King of England I was crowned

The throne is mine
My mother fought for our birthright
The throne is mine
That is why I shall be known
As Henry FitzEmpress, son of the great Matilda
The throne is mine, the throne is mine
The throne is mine, the throne is mine

©2014 Robin Lea Fritche

I Have to Believe

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I am no maiden waiting for her soldier to return
I am older, though no wiser, and I still have worlds to learn
I spend much of my time alone and I’ve been often spurned

But I have to believe there’s a place for me
There’s a place for me, I have to believe

I am no high-born Lady; in no arts have I been trained
I stumble through each detail and my smiles are sometimes strained
I often don’t know what to say and I feel my lack is plain

But I have to believe there’s a place for me
There’s a place for me, I have to believe

I am no singer worthy of the accolades of all
I can only write my feelings, though my life be very small
The words I choose may not please you; they may not please the Hall

But I have to believe there’s a place for me
There’s a place for me, I have to believe
Yes, I have to believe there’s a place for me
There’s a place for me, I have to believe
I have to believe
I have to believe
I have to believe

©2013 Robin Lea Fritche

Lusche’s Song (Hedge Knight)

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Some would call him King
And deem his justice swift and fair
Some would call him Knight
And proclaim his prowess rare
I might call him Poet
For the words he doles with care
But in truth I call him Love
His love is with me everywhere

“I am but a hedge knight”
Said my lord when we first met
And were he still a simple hedge knight
He’d ensnare me in his net
A hedge knight might have little more
Than honor, some would say
Well, in his heart he’s still that hedge knight
And he honors me every day

My lord is sweet to look upon
My lord is made of smiles
When he is pleased, he radiates
And all the world beguiles
My lord is true and mighty
The strongest fighter on the field
But with me my lord is gentle
And I cannot help but yield

“I am but a hedge knight”
Said my lord when we first met
And were he still a simple hedge knight
He’d ensnare me in his net
A hedge knight might have little more
Than honor, some would say
Well, in his heart he’s still that hedge knight
And he honors me every day

My lord recognizes
All the work his subjects do
His attention might be subtle
But be assured he does see you
He sings for the unsung
And praises with a giving heart
Whether in court or on battlefield
Or ’round the fire after dark

“I am but a hedge knight”
Said my lord when we first met
And were he still a simple hedge knight
He’d ensnare me in his net
A hedge knight might have little more
Than honor, some would say
Well, in his heart he’s still that hedge knight
And he honors me every day

Yes, a hedge knight might have little more
Than honor, some would say
Well, in my heart he’s still that hedge night
And he honors me every day

©2013 Robin Lea Fritche

Let Northshield Be Your Home

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When the night seems an endless void
Of lonely darkness, there is a star
In the icy north, there are hearts so warm
That illuminate lives both close and far

When you feel you don’t belong
There’s a circle filled with song
Let the Griffin pull you close
And let Northshield be your home

When you feel that you need a friend
To take up your charge and stand nobly by
There are fearless knights and dauntless bards
Who in deeds and words will take up your cry

When you feel you don’t belong
There’s a circle filled with song
Let the Griffin pull you close
And let Northshield be your home

When your life mundane starts to fill with pain
There’s a Dream out there you can share
Where you choose your fate and your future’s great
Trust yourself to Northshield’s care

When you feel you don’t belong
There’s a circle filled with song
Let the Griffin pull you close
And let Northshield be your home

When you feel you don’t belong
There’s a circle filled with song
Let the Griffin pull you close
And let Northshield be your home

©2013 Robin Lea Fritche

The Return

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Through the heather, sweet and purple
On the hillside, I shall walk
And my true love, he shall meet me
On the hillside, we shall talk

I have missed the sound of his soft words
How his gentle fingers searched my face
He swore to return in a fortnight
And return he shall, to stay

Sun is shining, it is morning
And my skirts are damp with dew
Any moment I shall see him
My brave soldier, strong and true

I have missed the sound of his sweet song
How his gentle lips brushed my hand
He’s been sent off to fight for king and country
And years may pass in that command

Bells are ringing in the churchyard
I have dreamed of such a sound
But I had not then imagined
To lay my true love in the ground

I shall miss the sound of his soft words
How his gentle fingers searched my face
He swore to return to me someday
And return he has, to stay

©2012 Robin Lea Fritche

Son of a Queen

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A fair, young maiden was I at one time
A fair, young maiden was I
And nightly I dreamed of the son of a queen
Whose eyes were the hue of the sky
The hue of the sky, the hue of the sky

And this fair prince would go riding at dawn
And this fair prince would ride
His silhouette stark ‘gainst the death of the dark
A riotous, splendid sunrise
A splendid sunrise, a splendid sunrise

I told him I loved him each bright afternoon
I told him I loved him each eve
He must not have heard all I spoke ‘neath the moon
Or else not my heart he would reave, he would reave

I wrote him a love song to sing at his court
I wrote him a love song to sing
He spared not a frown as the laughed at my gown
And oh, how his silence did sting
His silence did sting, his silence did sting

I ran from the hall, dashing tears from my eyes
I ran from the hall, dashing tears
I risked one backward glance and tripped over a lance
My inadequacy was so clear
It was so clear, it was so clear

I whispered I loved him right into the ground
I whispered I loved him so well
There were none to hear just how mournful my sound
I felt I could sink into Hell, into Hell

And then his strong hands helped me up to my feet
And then his strong hands helped me up
He gave me a smile that bore no hint of guile
And anew, I knew I was in love
I knew I was in love, I knew I was in love

I told him I loved him with his hands in mine
I told him I loved him again
He looked at me kindly with those eyes so fine
And said that he’d rather be friends, just good friends

A fair, young maiden was I at one time
A fair, young maiden was I
And nightly I dreamed of the son of a queen
Whose eyes were the hire of the sky

©2012 Robin Lea Fritche

Welcome! (And stuff)

Greetings!

I was going to post my newest song to my other blog, but then decided that there might be people who’d like to find my SCA-related song lyrics without having to sift through all the posts about my internship and linguistics.

So here it is.

I have scores of non-SCA songs, but those will have to go someplace else, if I ever manage the ambition. Ha. I’ll let you know.

Toodlumpkins.