Uncle Llewen

Some years ago I was at a court, almost certainly in Rowany, up the back mucking around with Uncle Tom, aka Llewen the Unruly. We were both old farts, of course, so sitting quietly in court was not what we cool kids did. But one Gui de Bragelonne, now Baron Gui von Oberhausen of Rowany but back then just a fresh-faced collegian, stood up to make a presentation. I’m not sure what it was now, but when he was finished speaking there wasn’t a dry eye in the hall. Llewen leant over to me and sotto voc√©d in his best Darth Vader voice: The Dream is strong in this one.

I’ve always wanted to write a song about that, and this is it. Alienora is responsible for the fact that it’s a filk of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah

[September 2008]

I saw there was a royal court
Where heralds spoke and stewards talked
But I don’t really care what kings are doing.
I stood up back with Uncle Tom
He muttered snark, I played along,
Ignored the king, had fun with Uncle Llewen
Uncle Llewen, Uncle Llewen
Uncle Llewen, Uncle Llewen

When Gui got up with a little speech
I didn’t care to hear him preach —
But something in his tone was worth reviewing:
He spoke of honour, friendship, truth,
His words so wise despite his youth,
And on his lips a smile had Uncle Llewen
Uncle Llewen, Uncle Llewen
Uncle Llewen, Uncle Llewen

Young Gui a simple gift had made
I don’t recall now (memories fade)
Exactly what — but no one there was booing.
I watched him giving his gift away,
I found no snarky thing to say
In a hall beside a glowing Uncle Llewen
Uncle Llewen, Uncle Llewen
Uncle Llewen, Uncle Llewen

He whispered, with his trademark tact,
His judgement on this simple act,
I laughed, but he was right, there’s no undoing:
In deepest voice, he said: “The Dream
Is strong in this one”, eyes agleam
And every word was true from Uncle Llewen
Uncle Llewen, Uncle Llewen
Uncle Llewen, Uncle Llewen
Uncle Llewen, Uncle Llewen
Uncle Llewen, Uncle Llewen