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Author Topic: The Dance on the High Bridge  (Read 3882 times)
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Shabakuk Zeborius Anfang
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« on: 30 October 2010, 08:51:38 »

The Dance on the High Bridge

(Categorization: Poems and Songs / Miscellaneous Poems)


… Picture Suggestion: High Bridge, from the Marcogg Entry

”The Dance on the High Bridge” is a song popular among the street urchins and poorer folk of the Manthrian capital Marcogg. It refers to the famous High Bridge, the uppermost of the many bridges that cross the Mashdai River as it cascades down the rocky slopes on which Marcogg is built. As it connects the Great Temple of Nehtor with the Thane’s Palace, the bridge is used daily by a wide variety of people from all trades and classes.

The song probably started its life as a lighthearted ditty, to be sung while crossing the bridge. Wanderers of a fearful disposition could avail themselves of the song to help them forget, while setting foot on the narrow stone construction, how far they would fall if the bridge crashed, how wild were the waters beneath, and how sharp the rocks.

The last four verses, however, likely represent late additions to the song. They are thought to refer to Skeijorn Herrhal Marmarsek, also known as Skeijorn Purse-pincher, an unpopular mayor of the 13th century, who was infamous for the harsh punishments he dealt subjects who were unable to pay their taxes.



Will you cross Mashdai,
And keep your feet dry?
If your heart seeks romance
take the High Bridge and dance.
Falalala Falala La.

Comes a boy up the road,
his back bent from his load.
To the High Bridge he strides,
leaps and hops to the other side.
Falalala Falala La.

And a young girl walks by,
hears the rushing Mashdai.
Lifts her arms, shakes her hips,
dances, bounces and skips.
Falalala Falala La.

And two sinkels drive up
with their carts full of stuff.
But their horses don’t fret,
Bow and dance a duet.
Falalala Falala La.

And the barncat, the sneak,
Comes the fuzzle to seek.
But she ain’t got a chance,
on the bridge she must dance.
Falalala Falala La.

And the mayor, hear, hear,
leaves his seat and prances near.
Even he can’t resist,
gets his legs in a twist.
Falalala Falala La.

O people, praise your lord –
and throw him overboard!
Let him dream his wet dream
as he drifts down the stream.
Falalala Falala La.

Marcogg folk, young and old,
gather round, brave and bold.
And they dance and they wave
to their mayor, the knave.
Falalala Falala La.

Will you cross Mashdai
And keep your feet dry?
Though your lords look askance:
Take the High Bridge and dance!
Falalala Falala La.
« Last Edit: 19 November 2010, 23:46:14 by Artimidor Federkiel » Logged

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Bard Judith
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« Reply #1 on: 30 October 2010, 09:09:06 »

Shaba, your muse has been active this weekend - perhaps sleeping in has done her good?  This (as the incantation I just finished reading) is witty, well-written, and yet has an authentic flavour of the folk (not over-written or condescending).  I particularly like your glosses.    Bravo!
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Shabakuk Zeborius Anfang
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« Reply #2 on: 30 October 2010, 22:20:06 »

Thanks, Judith! I'm glad you like the poems. Do feel free to critique, though, if you are so inclined. I know the verses are far from perfect, and am still considering changing a word or phrase here and there. Writing prose in one's non-native language is already difficult. But it's nothing compared to writing poetry!

Anyway, I posted the two poems because I was beginning to miss the pleasant tingle that I always feel when discussing my contributions on this wonderful board. As my muse has mainly roamed in Santhworld's Nepris during the last two months, most of her work remains hidden from public view for now. I sympathize with Arti, actually, who has been in that situation for far longer than I.

« Last Edit: 31 October 2010, 21:43:56 by Shabakuk Zeborius Anfang » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: 31 October 2010, 17:43:34 »

Er.... English is NOT your native tongue?  As an ESL teacher, I thought I'd become quite adept at spotting those little 'tells' which give such details about personal literary ability away...   Let me say, then, that I am even more impressed, given the plethora of native speakers who can't put together an articulate, expressive, or even adequate sentence.   Not only do you have the bones and muscle of the language, you have clothed your prose (and poetry) with your own distinct style, something which only competent writers (in whatever language) achieve.   I curtsy deeply to you.   And an aura point.
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Shabakuk Zeborius Anfang
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« Reply #4 on: 31 October 2010, 21:43:21 »

You're too kind, masterbard.  heart

(My first language is German. But I've lived in London for the past eight years; it would be worrying if that hadn't helped my English.)
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Azhira Styralias
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« Reply #5 on: 01 November 2010, 21:38:42 »

Let me say, then, that I am even more impressed, given the plethora of native speakers who can't put together an articulate, expressive, or even adequate sentence. 


I blame the American school system...less than adequate in some cases...at least for me buck
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« Reply #6 on: 03 November 2010, 05:02:13 »

Aura +1 from my as well, Shabakuk! Aside from the fact that your poems are very well written, you also don't just put a Santharian label on them but really integrate them in folklore and give them a historical perspective. That's how Santharian poems should look like, so to me the combination of your writing style and weaving it into the world is just perfect!  thumbup
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Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels
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« Reply #7 on: 08 November 2010, 05:25:13 »

Great song! 

Mashdai=Main?  grin
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Shabakuk Zeborius Anfang
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« Reply #8 on: 08 November 2010, 07:24:34 »

What a fool I was when I thought that I could hide my influences from such a scholar of folklore as Talia. Yep, if the author of "Es fuehrt ueber den Main" was still eligible for royalties, I'd be dragged to court for plagiarism.

Talia, as a matter of interest: Do you know the version of 'Es fuehrt ueber den Main' where the king ends up being thrown into the river? I always wondered when & where that particular verse originated, and suspect it to be a modern addition.
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Athviaro Shyu-eck-Silfayr
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« Reply #9 on: 08 November 2010, 07:38:25 »

Wha-wha-what! Shaba is not English? *Bows so low he falls through the floor* Rare for people to have such eloquence in their own language...in that of a foreign nation, mythical! Aura for that revelation, all your contributions are seen in a new light - and because I love the song grin
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Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels
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« Reply #10 on: 08 November 2010, 16:18:06 »

Oh Shaba, I'm not as knowing as you think! *laughs*

There was a song in my mind which I could not remember, but today I did, and it was 'Sur le Pont d'Avignon'. But when I googled, the Main version was one of the first links.

Wiki tells me, that:
Quote
Es führt über den Main eine Brücke von Stein, ein alter Volksliedtext, 1952 ergänzt und vertont von Felicitas Kukuck (1914–2001). Es ist das bekannteste Lied der Komponistin.

Did you think of that addition?

I just found that nice little film, enjoy!

http://www.ariane-film.de/entertainment/show/es-fuehrt-ueber-den-main/film.html

As this is an old melody it should be free to use, maybe Gean could play it and Judy sing along?  :D
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Shabakuk Zeborius Anfang
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« Reply #11 on: 09 November 2010, 04:05:13 »

Talia - Oh, and there was I thinking that the tune was traditional.

The text used by the beautifully named Felicitas Kukuck is not the one I knew. I haven't found the verses I remember, even though I've searched the whole world wide web! Mayhap I dreamed them.

And thanks for the film. The original song has a rather serious meaning, actually: the bridge symbolizes the transition from life to death. Not in Marcogg, though - there, it's a subversive anthem!


Athviaro: ah, too much praise.   :)

I have to say that I'm worried about Santharia: the art of reading team pages appears to be in decline!
« Last Edit: 09 November 2010, 04:07:54 by Shabakuk Zeborius Anfang » Logged

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Artimidor Federkiel
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« Reply #12 on: 09 November 2010, 04:16:20 »

Interesting, didn't know about that one.  rolleyes

While Shabakuk's name suggests that he must have known someone named as aptly as "Felicitas Kukuck", the Santharian version is still very unique and enjoyable in its own right - and if he didn't know Felicitas Kukuck this clearly tells us that they're of the same spirit! :D
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Shabakuk Zeborius Anfang
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« Reply #13 on: 09 November 2010, 04:23:06 »

Thanks, Sage - although I do admit that this song is more of a free translation of a German original into Tharian, rather than an original creation of mine.

(Etherus' Delight, on the other hand, is genuinely my own work, whatever that says about me.)
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« Reply #14 on: 09 November 2010, 05:05:23 »

Quote
The original song has a rather serious meaning, actually: the bridge symbolizes the transition from life to death.

I read that, yes, it is a 'Todentanz'  - death dance??, dance macabre?.

Btw, do we have those already? I'm not sure.
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