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Bardic Circle Featuring...
(words & music by traditional, arranged by Brocc)
One morning as I rambled among the springing thyme,
I overheard a young woman converse with Reynardine.
Her hair was black and her eyes were blue, her lips as red as wine,
And he smiled as he looked upon her, did this sly bold Reynardine.
She said, 'Young man, be civil, my company forsake,
For it's to my good opinion I fear you are a rake.'
'Oh no, my dear, I am no rake brought up in Venus' train.
But I'm searching for concealment all on the lonesome plain.'
Her rosy cheeks and her ruby lips they lost their bloom so fine,
And she fainted into his arms there all on the mountain high.
He kissed her once and he kissed her twice till she came to again,
And at that she kindly asked him, 'Pray tell to me your name.'
'Well, if by chance you look for me, perhaps you'll not me find,
I'll be in my green castle, enquire for Reynardine.'
Sun and dark she followed him, his teeth so bright did shine.
And he led her over the mountain, did that sly bold Reynardine.
copyright 2011 Brocc
(by traditional, arranged by Brocc)
Audience Count: 25,019
I've known and loved this song for many years. Here in Britain we don't have wolves, and haven't for some time - but we DO have foxes, and they're very vivid in the mythology of our land.
The story of Reynardine is one of the shapeshifter, the trickster. Its development is interesting, as the song started life as a ballad of an Irish robber, its roots lost in the mists of time, but it's gradually taken on a supernatural dimension. It tells the story of an encounter between a young woman and a seductively foxy character she meets while out walking on the mountain, and the transformation she experiences.
My partner came up with the main riff and it developed first into a duo piece, and then expanded into a Brocc number.
The song (in our version) plays with the boundaries between the mundane and the supernatural, the literal and the metaphysical. Sometimes he seems to be a fox, sometimes he's a man. Is he just fox-like? Or actually shapeshifting? Why does she faint - has she literally 'fallen under his spell'? After he kisses her, she's certainly entranced by him when she awakes. Some say that 'kiss' is a euphemism ...
The song conveys all the ambiguity of the trickster - their charm, their amorality, their dangerous nature.
Shortly after recording this song, I was fortunate to come across the work of a young artist named Jack Cole, who specialised in fox/human characters. He kindly gave me permission to use some of his artwork to illustrate a Youtube video I made, and even drew a special picture to include. (It's the one where they're seated on the grass.)
If you follow the link to www.brocc.org you can see the video on the Gallery page.
Recorded: PipeDream Studio, England
Guests/Players: The members of Brocc
Technical Notes: Instruments: Voice, octave mandola, recorders, hurdy-gurdy, bass guitar
Artist Profile: Brocc is a six-piece pagan band based in Wales and the West of England. Their first album, 13 Moons, has just been released, and Reynardine is one of the tracks on it. If you'd like to see the video, follow the link to the Brocc website and you'll find it on the Gallery page.
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