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Roses of the East
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jducoeur
Okay, time to start reflecting on some memories of Pennsic. Let's start with what both objectively and subjectively was the high point: the resolution of my Quest.

For those coming late to the story -- at Coronation, I managed to screw up. Royally. For one brief shining moment, the Coronation ceremony had finished up, pretty much as designed, with no screw-ups that were particularly visible to the audience. It was epic, it was beautiful, it was special. And then I got the Queen's name wrong as we were recessing. So I was put on Quest at First Court, with an assignment to memorize and recite the names of the Queens of the East, in alphabetical order, at Pennsic.

Now truth to tell, *that* wouldn't have been horribly difficult: I'm a Masonic ritualist, used to memorization, and while that's a pretty substantial list, I've done worse. But simply standing in Court and reciting the names like an abashed schoolboy -- well, that just wouldn't be living up to the example set by my Queen. This is The Reign Of Good Schtick, and I had to do my part.

So I spent about two months letting it stew, trying to figure out what the heck I was going to do. Finally, sometime around early June, I came up with a plan that I liked: a contrefait to the tune of Gracca Amorosa. The broad concept is nicely period (I have a book of period broadsides, including a couple specifically to dance tunes that we use), and Gracca is so bloody *syncopated* that it left me with lots of wiggle room in terms of both scansion and rhyme. (Those paying attention will notice that I am wildly inconsistent in the rhyme scheme, but it turns out to work just fine with this rhythm.)

Nonetheless, this left me with a remarkably tense two months writing the thing. The problem was that I kept coming up with lines that I liked for particular Queens, which had to come at particular points in a verse; this resulted in lots of panicked evenings as I racked my brain trying to fit the rest around the structural constraints. In the end, I got the last line written right around land grab. (And rewrote at least one line while we were loading the van.)

The performance wasn't my best: while I'd been memorizing as I composed, I only had about a week to practice the song in its entirety, and it was a bit shaky. Fortunately, one trick of the good comic is pretending that I've stopped for comic effect when the reality is that I'm trying to remember the next line. And it seems to have been well-received -- indeed, better than I'd had any reason to hope, given the number of compliments I got afterwards.

Probably the scariest thing I've done in my entire SCA career, but overall a success, and fun in a terrifying kind of way. As has been requested, I've put the lyrics up on the East Kingdom Wiki. Those are currently unadorned, but I plan to footnote the thing heavily (really, really heavily) sometime soon -- besides the many historical references, there are several lines that are so obscure I wouldn't expect anybody to know what I'm talking about, some of them quite specific to my interactions with the Queens in question...
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Interesting that http://www.eastkingdom.org/kings.html lists Morgan's first two queens as Rowan and Rowen (pronounced Rowain if I remember correctly.

Typo, AFAIK -- the OP lists her as Rowan both times. Don't know about pronunciation: I had remembered otherwise, but it was long enough ago that I could be wrong...

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Oh? While I've heard noises about people putting it on YouTube, I haven't actually come across it myself yet, and would like to. Got a link?

(And thanks...)

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This is almost enough to make me wish I had in fact been at Pennsic, solely for the purposes of witnessing that.

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Duly linked from the wiki page. Thanks for the pointer! (Surprisingly good sound quality, I have to say, but it does confirm that the performance was as shaky as I remembered...)

It was outrageous. And I mean that in the best possible way %^).

When you started, yeah, I expected an alphabetical recitation of the names, period. That alone would have terrified me; I know I never could have done that.

But noooo. When you began, I just couldn't believe it. It was totally over-the-top. Incredible.

You know you're going to have to continue this. Don't you? %^)

I have to say I felt very lucky to be retaining for HRM as you performed this.

You said almost nothing about my fsvorite Eastern Queen ::pout::

Nice job, other than that :-)

Sorry. I had to short-change a lot of them, and really regretted some of those. But the thing barely got done as it was, and still clocked in at a hefty 13 verses...

Is there some way to go through the current member list, find someone whose name begins with Z, and insist that she do everything necessary to become queen? Seems impractical, but still.

Serious (and probably seriously ignorant) question - when a woman wins the crown tournament, will she be styled king or queen?

Queen by Right of Arms. There's precedent, in the person of Duchess Rowan of Ansteorra.

(The real arguments tend to be about such a Queen's consort, and whether he should afterwards be styled a "Laddie of the Rose". Don't know how Hector and Rowan dealt with that...)

Well done. Good intro, that is half the battle. Good material and nice breaks, which helps. Most of improv and comedy lies in the silent spots. Nicely played.

Out of curiosity, was the pitch a touch higher than you intended? Whenever I fail my saving throw versus nerves I tend to start maybe a third higher than I mean to and it sounded a bit strained at points.

But overall, excellent, and damn well written.

Probably a hair high, yes, although I never did really make up my mind in advance. (I had grand ambitions of whipping out a recorder for a starting note, but never got around to it.)

My range is weird: I'm a natural tenor who was originally trained as a bass. Far as I've ever been able to figure, my voice broke when I was about eight, which confused the heck out of my original voice teachers. It was very low by the standards of fourth grade, but never really changed after that, so I spent about five years singing bass before getting a teacher who told me otherwise. So I wind up with a pretty good baritone and a range that is relatively wide *if* I'm in practice, but sometimes less so than I expect. Fortunately, Gracca never really goes high, so it didn't turn into a real problem...

Lovely. The combination of video and lyrics are better than either one singly would be.

And that'll teach you to screw up in court... and them to put you on quest if you do. ;-)

Excellent good fun! Well done.

By the way - I watched this on Youtube. You are now listed with videos of "Guns N Roses." (Gotta love keyword searches.)

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