Friday, November 19, 2010

Brobdingnagian Bards: Brobdingnagian Fairy Tales

I was first introduced to the Brobdingnagian Bards with their song "Happily Ever After," in which a princess saves herself from a dragon and dismisses the vain knight who's come to rescue her, all in a lilting, jolly tune.

In days that have long since passed,
There lived a beautiful mahogany lass.
An unmarried and virtuous princess, alas,
She was brave, strong and bold.

Tra la di di hidey ho
Di hidey hey, di hidey ho
Tra la di di hidey ho
Happily ever after.

One morning while riding no guard around,
Armed with sword should trouble abound,
She heard the most horrible sound,
And her nose burned of sulfur.

The sky it darkened, gave her horse a fright.
A dragon swooped as black as night,
Grabbed the princess then out of sight.
Her horse ran frightened home.

The king cried, "All knights be sworn!
Kill the dragon with your swords.
Return me daughter for this reward,
That you may marry her."

The bravest knight in all the realm,
Young, handsome and vain as well
Declared the maid his holy grail
And rode off to rescue her.

The knight he climbed up rugged heights
Snagged a run in his pristine tights
At cavern's shaft, he saw no lights
And heard no sound inside.

The knight called the dragon out.
But only a lady's voice came back.
"I killed the dragon!," the lady shout.
And stepped into the sun.

The princess dressed in scraps of cloth,
Her mahogany hair was all burned off.
A muddy face, the vain knight scoffed,
"Can you clean be for we go?"

The princess still in clothes undone,
Told the knight, "I work alone."
The knight rode lone into the setting sun.
And the princess was happy thereafter.

The Bards note says that the song is based loosely on The Paperbag Princess. In whatever case, it's a lovely little ditty.

So when I looked into it farther, I found that it was on their collection, Brobdingnagian Fairy Tales.

The Bards feature a rather simple sound, reminiscent of what you'd find in a castle hall or tavern in days of yore. And these days, as well, as they mainly played various cons and festivals. (They are no longer together, it looks like, although their music is available as CDs or downloads on amazon and cdbaby.) With simple tunes on recorder, autoharp, and mandolin as a counterpart to Marc Gunn's rich, playful voice, this album makes me want to open an old style tavern with a big hearth, heavy wooden tables, ale, and music. I think it will transport you there, as well.

Brobdingnagian Fairy Tales features fairy tale adaptations and spoofs, along with riffs on Star Wars, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and other pop culture fun. I hope you'll check them out.

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