Saturday, 13 March 2010

The Bone Flute in the Woods

Another Morgander folksong. We apologize for the inconvenience. This one is sung fast and lustily, to a tune that sort of reminds me of the similarly bawdy The Widow of Westmoreland's Daughter.

Do not mess with the fairies, for they are quick to anger, and about as subtle as a Delgonian clambake.

The Bone Flute in the Woods

The soldier met the fairy maid, a-strolling all alone.
She said that she was sent to learn to play the flute o'bone.
"No better bone than mine," quoth he, "you'll find beneath the trees,
And gladly I will teach you how to play it on your knees!"
She played it up, she played it down, she played it hard and long,
Until she made the soldier sing the chorus to her song.
"Oh such a pretty flute to toot, I never found before,
So meet me here on Sunday next, and teach me all the more!"

A tick a tack, a swoosh the skirt, a Tommy-go-round-the-tree,
You never go out on Sunday, if you don’t go out with me!

So when he met his fairy next, she gambolled and was glad.
She said she'd love to take him home to meet her dear old dad.
"No worse a word than this," quoth he, "you'll ever tell to me,
So hush your mouth, and spread your wings, and keep me company!"
So she's stripped his shirt, and she's stripped his skin, and she's stripped him blood from bowel,
And she's played upon his marrowbone to make his spirit howl.
"Oh such a pretty bone to blow, a fairy never knew,
So walk the woods next Sunday, boys, for my granny will want one too!"

A tick a tack, a swoosh the skirt, a Tommy-go-round-the-tree,
You never go out on Sunday, if you don’t go out with me!

The origin is somewhere along the middle or lower courses of the Allwater, lying west of Golden Kate's Alland and answering loosely to the English Midlands. They're pretty much blank spaces in my current maps, decorated with the odd "Here be no dragons" and pictures of dangerous cheeses.


  1. Ooh, nice! (dangerous cheeses? like a 7lb Double Gloucester?)

  2. Thanks! Yes, very much like that. The Health and Safety crowd certainly seem to think so. They forget that military defences are supposed to be dangerous, and that they are not supposed to be abandoned due to alleged excesses of gawkers.

    There is, at present, very little point in attempting to invade Gloucestershire, when pitchfork-wielding militia will be descending from every hill, upon lines ready-broken by the onrush of 70 mph dairy wheels just ahead of them. Should the milksops and the secret agents of the Grand Duke of Luxembourg continue to block the yeomanry's traditional exercises, evil will come to old England because of it!

    The degree to which the like hold true in Morgander, is a matter I have yet to explore.


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