Forum: Prospective Challenges

Discussing: Drinking Songs Challenge

Drinking Songs Challenge

While I've been working on my most recent story, it occurred to me how much you can tell about about a culture from their drinking songs.

Many Middle-earth cultures drank alcohol. Sam, for example, said good-bye to Frodo's beer-bottles and had "misgiving and a deep regret for [missing] the best beer in the Eastfarthing" (FotR:"A Shortcut to Mushrooms"). Rory Brandybuck received several bottles of Old Winyards, and "quite forgave Bilbo, and voted him a capital fellow after the first bottle." (FotR:"A Long-Expected Party")

But it's not just hobbits we're talking about! The dwarves all called for ale in "An Unexpected Party". Elrond gave Gandalf miruvuor, a warming liquor, and Thranduil liked Dorwinion wine. And surely I'm not the only to think that possibly not all Entdraughts were non-alcoholic? (Imagine it... an Ent drinking song... that could be interesting.)

And what of the Orcs, the Haradrim? You've got all kinds of interesting drink possibilities from Harad. And Corsairs... you know they had drinking songs.

The point is, there's lots of cultures all through Middle-earth (and beyond, of course), and many of them drank. But what sort of drinking songs would they sing? We have models for many of these cultures in Tolkien's works, but except for hobbits no actual drinking songs.

This challenge could go two ways. Either, quite simply, write a drinking song. Or write a story around one (or several) drinking songs, but you have to include at least some of the drinking song in the story.

To get us started I've included some of my own efforts. These will probably work their way into my "Best Brew" fic, but as those chapters are still with beta, I wanted to give you some examples. See Marta's Drinking Songs, in HASA General. There's one each from the Hobbits, the Dwarves of Erebor, Dol Amroth, and Gondor.

I submit these as examples, just to get the creative juices going. You're not by any means restricted to these cultures (or this time-period). And yes, I'll definitely be entering, if this becomes a challenge.

So what do you think? Do we have four vic-- *cough* er, four volunteers?

Cheers,
Marta

 

 

Re: Drinking Songs Challenge

Marta, I am not volunteering, but I wanted to mention that Tehta already has a great one for the warriors of Gondolin in chapter 2 of her story 'Flawed and Fair'. I think you should ahem... donate one of your fanged pets to her.

How can you possibly resist Tehta's version of their drinking song:

Our arrows are flying,
Our swords brightly glowing.
The Orcs are all dying!
Their black blood is flowing!
O! tril-lil-lil-lolly,
To slay orcs is jolly!
Ha! Ha!


(Sorry, Tehta, for pointing Marta in your direction, but it's too good not to be in the challenge.)

Lyllyn

 

 

Re: Drinking Songs Challenge

How can you possibly resist the Tehta's version of their drinking song:


*snork* Now, that is funny. Now where did I put the rag to clean the juice off my monitor?

(Sorry, Tehta, for pointing Marta in your direction, but it's too good not to be in the challenge.)


Tehta, if you're reading this would you be interesting in submitting? I originally said drinking songs because that's what I've been writing, but we don't necessarily limit ourselves to that. My feeling is there's a lot of poetry out there that's epic or more formal in nature, but in real life there's at least one light song for every bit of "high" poetry out there.

Like I said I've got some ready-made songs to enter, and if Tehta's up for entering her verse, that's two. And Liz, what about the hobbit drinking song about Will Whitfoot you wrote for "Best Brew"? That's your work, so I won't be entering it.

And Lyllyn, I know you're not volunterring, but how can you say no to something along the lines of:

Old king witch comes to the hills
With eyes that pierce and breath that chills.
Down in the gorge he built him a forge
Near the hills of iron and lead
Spear-head! Fear! dread!
Stronger blades with which to kill
Foul Rhudaur till they're dead.

Can't you just see the men of Angmar singing that as they go?

Not that I'm suggesting you write it or anything. Us nuzgul-purveyors must stick together.

Marta

 

 

Re: Drinking Songs Challenge

Oh I love Tehta's song - fabulous!

And yes, I would happily enter my Will Whitfoot song (I noticed you hadn't tried to claim credit for it, Marta ) - and maybe a few more Gondorian ballads for Faramir to sing (now you've convinced me what a lovely voice he has).

Cheers, Liz

 

 

Re: Drinking Songs Challenge

And yes, I would happily enter my Will Whitfoot song (I noticed you hadn't tried to claim credit for it, Marta )


Well, it's not mine to take credit for!

(Note to people not named Liz, Lady Aranel, or Gwynnyd: When I was writing songs for my fic, I came up with the idea of a hobbit drinking song about Will Whitfoot but the song itself wasn't quite right (putting it mildly), so Liz kindly hashed out a song and is letting me use it. I suggested a few changes, but it's still essentially her song. That's why I didn't feel right claiming it as my own.)

maybe a few more Gondorian ballads for Faramir to sing (now you've convinced me what a lovely voice he has).


Indeed. Like the sound of bells pealing over the sea? I wonder if red-haired Faramir sings that way.

Marta

 

 

Re: Drinking Songs Challenge

Marta, you are evil. evil.

Not that I'm suggesting you write it or anything.

That one didn't attack, but something else did. It's not finished yet - a few verses are giving me problems, but a sample verse or two:

Drink when day is done to the steward's son,
The Captain-General bold,
To defend the small he gave his all,
and his deeds will long be told.

For the noble Pip we'll take a sip
of the ale that's Gondor's pride,
Then drink to the fame of Merry's name,
when he stood at the Sheild-maid's side.

I would see this as a song many, many years after the event, probably a generation or two.

Lyllyn

 

 

Re: Drinking Songs Challenge

maybe a few more Gondorian ballads for Faramir to sing (now you've convinced me what a lovely voice he has).


Indeed. Like the sound of bells pealing over the sea? I wonder if red-haired Faramir sings that way.

Undoubtedly . Wasn't it silver bells at that?

PS Nice song Lyllyn - can't wait to see the rest

 

 

Re: Drinking Songs Challenge

Marta, you are evil. evil.

Yes, this would be more evil than you convincing me to codify all the quotes concerning Hobbits from over a thousand pages of Tolkien... how, exactly?

That one [about WiKi] didn't attack, but something else did. It's not finished yet - a few verses are giving me problems, but a sample verse or two:

So that gives us three posibly, four if Tehta's in... Anyone else?

Marta

 

 

Re: Drinking Songs Challenge

For those of you not privy to my beta discussions, I originally described Faramir's voice thusly:

The steward's speaking voice was smooth and rich, reminiscent of a certain wizard as some had noticed, but his singing voice betrayed his Elven heritage. Like silver bells pealing across the sea far to the south, Faramir's song filled the room.


Yes, that would be MarySue!Faramir, and I knew it, but still I wrote it. Obviously it's been toned down significantly -- though Liz is still entitled to joke about it. It was a line completely unworthy of Faramir, though I still like the mental image.

And, Lyllyn, I forgot to comment -- the song is very nice. Can't wait to see it as well.

Marta

 

 

Re: Drinking Songs Challenge

The song ::sob:: is posted. Some of the verses are a bit rough, any suggestions welcome!

lyllyn

 

 

Re: Drinking Songs Challenge

Yes, that would be MarySue!Faramir, and I knew it, but still I wrote it. Obviously it's been toned down significantly -- though Liz is still entitled to joke about it. It was a line completely unworthy of Faramir, though I still like the mental image.


I actually thought you put it in to test whether I was paying attention or if I was so obsessed with Faramir I would let something so MarySueish past

Hmm, when did this thread turn into washing our dirty beta linen in public?

 

 

Re: Drinking Songs Challenge

Hmm, when did this thread turn into washing our dirty beta linen in public?

I'm sorry, I think that was my problem for bringing it up. Easy enough to happen when it was inspired by another piece.

To drag this back on-topic, do we want this to be drinking songs or just silly songs in general? I think most light songs could work as a drinking song, but is anyone thinking of a song that they don't think would qualify?

Cheers,
Marta

 

 

Re: Drinking Songs Challenge

Marta - don't apologise, it's your dirty beta linen, not mine!

And back on topic - unless anyone has strong objections, I think it should be specifically drinking songs or fics about drinking songs, since attiitudes to drink can reveal a lot about a culture (oh dear, I've got my sociology hat on again, haven't I?)

Cheers, Liz

Edit Oops, forgot to say that I think Lyllyn's song is terrific! (I'll take another look tomorrow and see if I do have any suggestions for changes, but I didn't notice many raw spots!)

 

 

Re: Drinking Songs Challenge

Fine. I'm in. Now I just need to find a few more elf-songs to spoof...

Edit:

How about Beren's song for Luthien?

Farewell sweet earth and northern sky,
For ever blest, since here did lie
And here with lissom limbs did run
Beneath the Moon, beneath the Sun,
Luthien Tinuviel,
More fair than mortal tongue can tell.

Though all to ruin fell the world
And were dissolved and backward hurled
Unmade into the old abyss,
Yet were its making good, for this---
The dusk, the dawn, the earth, the sea---
That Luthien for a time should be.


I am not sure of the meter of "Luthien Tinuviel", or even of the number of syllables, but here is a first attempt:

Stretched on the ground, I watch the sky,
Happily drunk, here now I lie.
For down my throat tonight did run
A precious brew, bright as the Sun.
Sweet mead, liquid gold
Stronger than mortal head can hold.

Though all to ruin fell the world
and were dissolved and backward hurled
unmade into the old abyss,
yet were its making good, for this-
the dusk, the dawn, the earth, the sea-
that strong mead for a time should be.


Alternatively, one could rewrite verse two to describe a hangover...

You are all evil. I just got bitten by a very, very nasty Nuzgul.



 

 

Re: Drinking Songs Challenge

Liz...

don't apologise, it's your dirty beta linen, not mine!

Yes, but it's not my forum. Speaking of, we broke a thousand posts on this forum with this thread! Go us! *Passes round the Dorwinion*

And back on topic - unless anyone has strong objections, I think it should be specifically drinking songs or fics about drinking songs, since attitudes to drink can reveal a lot about a culture (oh dear, I've got my sociology hat on again, haven't I?)

Is it ever off?

That was my thought, about the drinking fics. Plus, people on HA have expressed interest in more specific challenges, so I'd like to limit it to drinking songs.

Tehta...
Fine. I'm in. Now I just need to find a few more elf-songs to spoof...

How about A Elbereth Gilthoniel? Is that spoofable? I've always wanted to try. (Note: Am not volunteering to try. Just expressing interest.)

Though, now that I suggested an ent drinking song in my original post, I'm strangely tempted to try it. I wonder what in the world Ents would sing about in their drinking songs. *Marta gets vision of Quickbeam staggering around down by the Entwade*

Where did I get this muse? Can I possibly trade it in for one with less of an outlandish imagination?

Marta

 

 

Re: Drinking Songs Challenge

Just to recap. We now have four vict-- er, sorry, volunteers.

Marta
Liz
Lyllyn
Tehta

I think we can get five entries for this thing if anyone's planning on multiple entries? I would be very happy to split my four drinking songs into separate entries.

And do we want to keep this just drinking songs, or should we include stories centred around drinking songs? That might be less intimidating for people less comfortable with verse. If so, I have one fic finished and should have another finished relatively soon.

Also, challenges normally run for three months, but drinking songs seem to be fun, quick, and easy. Do we still want the full three months? Cut it to half (6 weeks)? Shorter or longer than that?

Thanks,
Marta

 

 

Re: Drinking Songs Challenge

For those who are unacquainted with Chathol-lin's "Song Fight at the Swan and Cygnet Saloon", you must read it. Now. You will laugh til you cry. And then I suggest a collective hunting down and roping in of the aforementioned author because the world needs more poetry and song like this.

 

 

Re: Drinking Songs Challenge

You will laugh til you cry.

Agreed!

I also think since this one can be so quick and short, it should be mentioned on the HA list, as well.

Lyllyn

 

 

Re: Drinking Songs Challenge

And we have a fifth. Though that seems the wrong way to phrase this (or maybe the right way) for this challenge.

Someone has contacted me off-list and would like to write a vignette for this challenge involving a drinking song, but it will also have a story attached. She wishes to remain anonymous for the time being. And she wants the full normal three-month deadline. Is that all right with everyone?

If no one complains, then I will have a description and deadline posted tonight to make sure everyone's cool with it.

Thanks,
Marta

 

 

Re: Drinking Songs Challenge

If no one complains, then I will have a description and deadline posted tonight to make sure everyone's cool with it.

Complain, why should we complain about getting another vict...entrant.
As for the anonymity, good idea, I wish I'd thought of it first. Hmm...

Lyllyn

 

 

Re: Drinking Songs Challenge

Complain, why should we complain about getting another vict...entrant.

My feelings exactly. And I might have pulled rank, as I now have a most persistent plot bunny for another story focusing on the singing of a drinking song. Not supposed to work that way!

As for the anonymity, good idea, I wish I'd thought of it first. Hmm...

Of course, dearest Lyllyn, if you have another entry...

Marta

 

 

Re: Drinking Songs Challenge

Proposed description for the challenge; anyone with suggestions please speak up.

Title: I'll Drink to That
Deadline: 25 May 2004
Description:

Whatever the culture, every race in Middle-earth drank alcohol. Sam lamented missing "the best beer in the Eastfarthing," Beregond and Pippin received ale as part of their rations, Elrond gave Gandalf a bottle of miruvuor on leaving Rivendell, Thorin and his company of dwarves all asked Bilbo for ale, and on the march from Amôn Hen to Isengard the orcs gave Merry and Pippin a liquor.

And when people drink together, drinking songs are rarely far off. What sorts of drinking songs would the hobbits sing at the Green Dragon, and how would it differ from the songs sang under Erebôr or under Mirkwood's eves? Either write a drinking song characteristic of a certain culture, or write a story featuring a drinking song, including at least some of the lyrics.

Bottoms up!

 

 

Re: Drinking Songs Challenge

The challenge is now up. Please feel free to continue discussing the challenge here.

 

 

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