Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Filk U! The wonderful world of geek music!

"Hey, Glork! Haven't seen you since ComiCon 1998! Love the new ears.  You make them yourself?"

"Gee, Doff, thanks for noticing! HISlah, I did make them myself. Heghlu'meH QaQ jajvam!"  

"JIjah....I mean..." Glork begins to back away slowly.

"I'm just teasing you!" Doff claps Glork on the back jovially.  "Where are you off to next? Maybe I'll grab the wife and meet you there!"

Quizzically:  "Nugjatlh?"


"Oh...Well, I am going to see the folk music in Room 222."

"Folk music?" A rather rumpled program is retrieved from the waistband of rather snug uniform pants.  "I wondered if this was a typo.  It says 'Filk music...'"

Superior, snorting laughter.  "Indeed it does.  And yes, it is a typographical error.  But it sounds rather catchy, don't you think?"

Yes, those were actual words in the language of Klingon. No, I did not make them up.  Yes, you may now kiss my toes.

And that was a dramatized rendition of how the word "filk" came to mean sci-fi/fantasy-based folk music.  A typo in a convention program that was to define a genre and give meaning to many a wandering folk artist with an affinity for the weird.  Filk songs can be about anything near to the hearts of sci-fi fans: vampires, kitty cats, computer, dragons, Star Trek, Lovecraft, comics, etc.  If you happen to be a seasoned filker (someone who is a filk singer/songwriter) you may win a Pegasus Award at the Ohio Valley Filk Fest!

I invite you to plumb the depths of my favorite filk tunes.  So, grab your snake and your plumb bob and enjoy!

Oh, and Hab SoSlI' Quch! (But don't tell her I said so...)

1.  My ultimate favorite filk song does not have a Youtube entry, but you sometimes can find a version to listen to here.  Scroll to the bottom of the page for the lyrics. And all you New-Who fans can bask in the glory of the original Doctor! Cecilia Eng's Grandfather Clock.
It is a Dr. Who-based song using the tune of the old folk song My Grandfather's Clock.  This song defines filk in my humble opinion (see there, that's a good geek phrasing, eh?).

2.  As I am told by my own filk-sensei, Michael of the great frozen north, this next one is the most well-known filk song ever in the history of filkology.  The song won Leslie Fish (hmmm, suspiciously Lovecraftian name..) one of those much coveted Pegasus Awards in 2003. She, however, has stated that she wrote the song as a filler for an album and has regretted it ever since.  That's gratitude for ya! Here are her lyrics, and mind you, there are around a bizillion different versions, but I bring you the original! And for you visual types, the Star Trek version of the video!

3. You may skip the video on this one and just listen.  It is only a picture of Elrond superimposed against the Matrix code, and if you need that explained to you, you've come to the wrong place. Heather  Alexander: Freaking the Mundanes.  That tune is, of course, Waltzing Mathilda.

4.  And my personal favorite.  Also because no horror, filk, or ocean themed blog should be without it, The HP Lovecraft Historical Society's heartwarming, seasonal favorite, "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Fishmen."  *Sniffle* May the joy of Dagon be with you this, and every season.

Now that you are armed with the Dr. Scott Refresher Course version of sci-fi music, I bid you to go forth upon the earth and filk!
Lyrics: Cecilia Eng-The Grandfather Clock
 Oh, a grandfather clock just appeared in the hall
and it seems very strange to be sure
And a man has come out of the clock in the hall
and is stating some things quite obscure
He seems mildly deranged and a little bit insane
we can make out his words if we try
He says he's the master and we'll obey,
or we all shall die.
So we did as he said after one of us was dead
shrunken down to a tiny toy doll
And we wake up in fright to hear laughter at night
from the man in the clock in the hall
Oh we don't understand all the orders and commands
why he wants to be king in the sky
But he is the master and we'll obey,
or we all shall die
Now a wooden blue box has appeared in the hall
just across from the grandfather clock
And a man has come out of the box in the hall
and his clothes are a bit of a shock
He seems mildly deranged and a little bit insane
and he holds out a featherless hand
He says he's The Doctor and how are we
as he shakes my hand
Now the man in the clock has stepped into the hall
and is holding The Doctor by force
And they talk as we work, like old friends now estranged
as the project continues on course
They seem mildly deranged and a little bit insane
as they talk of strange worlds in the sky
but the master orders and we obey
or we all shall die
Now a darkness and cold has come into our hall
it seems things have gone terribly sour
for the man from the box and the man from the clock
are both trying to cut off the power
as the darkness creeps out they work hard to shut it out
all their differences now laid aside
how we wish they and their darkness would go away
as we try to hide
At the end of the fight day has won over night
and the master has run to his clock
and the man from the box gives a curse as it fades
and his hand passes right through the lock
He seems mildly deranged and a little bit insane
as he screams at the star studded sky
but he is The Doctor and we'll obey
or we all shall die
But he says we are free and returns to his box
and it fades from our now empty hall
And we sigh with relief and a bit of disbelief
as the last weeks events we recall
And we've put the word out sent our messengers about
no more grandfather clock chimes will ring
they've been chopped up never to run again
o'er a time Lord bring

No comments:

Post a Comment