COLD WIND OVER SARTAR

From: MOB
Date: Thu 21 Nov 1991 - 09:56:33 EET


The scenario "Melisande's Hand" featured in TALES OF THE REACHING MOON issue #4 and will feature (revised and expanded) in the forthcoming RQ release SUN COUNTY. This scenario contains a brief snippet of a song called "Cold Wind Over Sartar", a banned rebel song which one of the NPCs sings to irritate the Lunar governor. Below is the full version of the "Cold Wind Over Sartar", and the original folk song it was adapted from. My good friend John Hughes rewrote the lyrics.

ONLY OUR RIVER Composed by Michael MacConnell (that's Mickie to you, lads!).

Recorded by Planxty and featured on the album A???

Copyr 1984, Polydor 815 229-1

When apples still grow in November

When blossoms still grow from each tree

When leaves are still green in December

It's then that our land will be free.

I wander her hills and her valleys

And still through my sorrow I see

A land that has never known freedom

And only her rivers run free.

I drink to the death of her manhood

Those men who would rather have died

Than to live in the cold chains of bondage

To bring back the rites we're denied.

Where are you know that we need you,

What burns where the flame used to be?

Have you gone like the snows of last winter

And will only our rivers run free.

How sweet is life but we're crying

How mellow the wine but we're dry

How fragrant the rose but it's dying

How gentle the wind but it's ice.

What good is a youth when it's aging

What joy is an eye that can't see

When there's sorrow in sunshine and flowers

And still only our rivers run free.

*ALSO KNOWN AS....*
COLD WIND OVER SARTAR When Aldrya blooms in the darkness

Her blossoms swing light from each tree

When Dragon awakes and spreads fire*

It's then that our land will be free.

I wander her hills and her valleys

And still through my sorrow I see

A land that has never known freedom

And only her rivers run free.

I drink to her sons and her daughters

Those ones who would rather have died

Than to live in the cold chains of bondage

To bring back the rites we're denied.

Where are you know that we need you,

What thunders where storm used to be?

All gone, like the rains of last season

And only our rivers run free.

How sweet is life but we're crying

How mellow the mead but we're dry

How fragrant the grape but it's dying

How gentle the wind but it's ice.

What good is a youth when it's aging

What joy is an eye that can't see

When there's sorrow in stormwind and shower

And still only our rivers run free.

*Undoubtedly a Third Age Hero War prophecy.

Notes:

Silverquill, Grey Sage of the Tower by the Pond at Aldachur, reports that this ballad gained sudden popularity among Orlanthi loyalists after it was sung before the Pavis Governor at a Praxian Harvest Ritual. Her Ally, a particularly vexatious spirit named Aristophanes, claims that the song originated as an Esrolian dirge from the Lesser Darkness. It is a slow, maudlin ballad in a minor key, usually sung late at night when the fire is low and the mead tankards empty. It exhibits that typically Sartarite sentimentality so difficult for outsiders to comprehend.

Silverquill marks it as especially significant because of it is a
*house ballad*, a traditional form normally employed only by
housemothers and teachers of the young - in effect a song for women who had not chosen the warrior's path. It stands in stark contrast to the long, winding boastful sagas more typical of the fighting castes. For Orlanthi warriors to accept such a song as their own marked a seachange in their view of the struggle and the role of the Sartarite resistance. In effect, the warriors simultaneously debased themselves and uplifted the common people by their acceptance of the ballad. They identified their resistance with the land itself, and saw Sartar as belonging to all the people rather than just the warriors and chiefs. The warriors of Orlanth present themselves as mothers of the old/new kingdom yet unborn. It represents a universalisation of the struggle, a call for all to share in Sartar's debasement and freedom.

The popularity of the song had profound effects on the hero plane, where it laid ritual foundations for many of the female and child heroquesters who lived and died for Sartar during the Hero Wars. Helena Truespear, who successfully heroquested to retrieve a part of Sheng Seleris from the keeping of Gorgorma, reported her first liberation after hearing the song sung from the depths of an Ironspike jail compound.

*SO!...

Fighting men of Sartar's stock

would you have some Lunar Cock

Perched upon Orlanthi Rock?

Fly up and teach him manners !



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