I Was Only A Bard

As a result of a bardic challenge issued between Master Dafydd and I, I produced a filked history of my persona’s late father, Eric of Tobar Mhuire, and sang it, back when I was Eric. It’s to the tune of I Was Only Nineteen, by Redgum.

[Easter 1996]

Mum and Dad and Angus saw me passing out, the day I tried a kilt on
(It was a cold day for a dress)
The local Elders were a grumpy lot, it was me who drew their wrath
I played the bagpipes, very badly I confess.

And snowfall lined the dirt tracks as I watched sheep in the yard
The shearing was a marathon, their wool was frozen hard.
And there’s me, with a sharp stick, up at midnight standing guard
God help me, I was only a bard.

From Scotland to the continent I quickly made my way
I’d been in and out of trouble singing songs
Cos I put a few scots noses out, and I thought I’d sieze the day
Back on Mull, my own career would not be long.

And can you tell me, Dafydd, why I’m feathered and I’m tarred?
And why the Guild of Music Makers took away my card?
And why do all these cavaliers keep telling me en guarde?
God help me, I was only a bard.

The priesthood, my vocation, any step could be the path to mortal sin,
It was a war within your kilt
But I didn’t let them catch me and I had some lusty fun,
Till I had to leave, to stop blood being split.

Because someone told her father! And the lord in question swore
He’d catch the bleeding novice who had made his girl a whore!
I could have told him, save your breath, she’s done all this before
God help me, it was time to move some more.

But I can still be Frankish, drinking vino in the summer hall
With a hundred Saxon slavegirls dancing round
And I can still be Frankish, singing smutty songs in Latin
With the local counts unconscious on the ground.

And the celtic legends didn’t mention feasting, food and filk,
And the stories were of saintly souls, as dull as watered milk
I learned some things in Frankish lands I couldn’t disregard
God help me, I was only a bard.

And can you tell me, Dafydd, why I’m feathered and I’m tarred?
And why the channel crossing left me permanently scarred?
And why do all these cavaliers keep telling me en guarde?
God help me, I was only a bard.