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On November 19th 1915, Joe Hill was murdered by the State of Utah for the crime of filking.

This one was written October 4th, based on Joe Hill's 1913 song What We Want, set to the tune Rainbow from 1908 by Percy Wenrich (note: a so-called Indian Song). I had never heard the tune or the song before [livejournal.com profile] patoadam sent me a copy of John McCutcheon's CD "Joe Hill's Last Will", for which I am very thankful. The song was meant as a celebration of what I and others wanted to achieve with Worldcon 75.

Then, just a few days later, [livejournal.com profile] filkerdave and Worldcon 75 had their huge falling out.

Needless to say, my feelings towards this song are very conflicted right now. I know it can need quite a bit more polishing, but at the same time it's hard for me to get back to it.

We want the reader and the writer and the cosplayer… )

My previously posted Joe Hill filks: 2014, 2015


Oct. 31st, 2016 09:55 pm
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I have a low-key long-term project to write filks in as many big-name fandoms as I can. One of the larger missing pieces had been Doctor Who, but during dinner I hit upon a good idea: singing about K-9 instead of the Doctor, and basing it on Änglahund by Hasse "Kvinnaböske" Andersson (YouTube; there is an English version, "Angel Buddy" too, but it's not as good).

Får man ta hunden med sej i sin TARDIS )


Oct. 25th, 2016 11:51 pm
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Another con report filk, this one from LunCon 2016 (or perhaps the more fanhistorically correct LunCon 4). Since the con was held in Sweden and everyone present at least understands Swedish, this one is in Swedish too.

It is based on another Bellman song, Fredmans epistel 3, often known by its opening line "Fader Berg i hornet stöter" (YouTube). The tune is a menuet, possibly with substantial changes made by Bellman himself. The original song describes a very wet party, ending with the singer/narrator passing out. LunCon, on the other hand, was held in the local IOGT locale, and the only drugs served were coffee and egoboo.

Til en och hvar av Fridorna )

People well-versed in Swedish fan history will be able to find a minor mistake in the song.
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A short Swedish filk, ttto "Blinka lilla stjärna" ("Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star"). Its opening line is stolen from one of the staff at Upptech, a science centre that my daughter visited some years ago with school. I never got a handle on how to continue the song, until I saw English Chris Malme's filk of the song. It inspired me to get the following combo of borrowed and translated material:

Brinn du stora gasklot där
nu så vet jag vad du är
luftens refraktion den gör
stjärnan blinkar och förför
men planeten som är när
för mitt öga stadig är

(This is the second filk by Chris that I have translated to Swedish. The first one was Rymden är stor.)


Aug. 5th, 2016 11:28 pm
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Some filks just have to be written at once when you come up with the idea. Here's Brobusters, ttto the Ghostbusters theme song. Free to any good home, since I'm pretty sure I can't do it well.

Brobusters )

(Yes, I did like the new Ghostbusters.)
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This is another filk in need of further polishing, it's in sort of singable state, especially if I get a backing track, but I sure would like the words to flow better in the verses.

For some while I have thought about basing a filk upon "Bohus bataljon", a merry Swedish march from 1940 with a great and fun text. (YouTube as song; Instrumental YouTube with the I17 military band.) While checking my bookshelf for more books to possibly write filks about I found Grunts by Mary Gentle, and I knew I had found the perfect match.

The choruses are usually sung twice with a whistle part between each repetition.

They were fighting Agaku )


The zoological improbabilities are all directly from the original song. "On Canaan's happy shore" is a line from the song that lent its melody to "John Brown's Body", that lent its melody to a Swedish drinking song that is referenced in the same spot in the original text.
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My fellow Swedish fan and sometime filker Rolf Strömgren posted the line "Den klassiska framtid är vår" when commenting on some 1950's-like speculation on future transportation published today. It immediately connected with my filking brain, as the fourth line of the classic Swedish student song (YouTube). It is also frequently parodied in Sweden.

Sjungom framtiden åter idag,
låtom oss fröjdas åt dåtidens vår!
Än äro hjärtat för atomen svag,
och den klassiska framtid är vår.
Inga bilar än
flyga högt över oss,
hoppet är vår vän,
vi dess löften tro,
när vi försöker besöka den stund,
där den eviga framtidstron gro,
där den eviga framtidstron gro!
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Two rather silly filks inspired by reading Phoenix Ascendant by Ryk Spoor.

First one is rather silly, to the tune of the theme song from Pinky and the Brain. It also contains some spoilers for the books, but nothing major (especially if you have read the previous parts closely). It's probably rather nonsensical if you haven't read at least one of the books.

They're Aran and Tobimar )

The other one is even more silly, and based on Blitzkrieg Bop by The Ramones. I cannot vouch for its singability either. For an introduction to Poplock, see my earlier filk about him: Demon, Dragon, Phoenix, Toad.

The Poplock Bounce )
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At the recent Swecon, the recipient of the Alvar award was Fia Karlsson. I mentioned this, together with a short presentation of Fia in the con fanzine. However, I missed to mention her role in starting one of the more active Swedish fan groupings of late, and her thing for dill-flavoured potato chips.

So to rectify that, I had write a filk. It's based on, probably to no-one's surprise, a Bellman song: Fredmans sång 41, more commonly known by its opening line "Joachim uti Babylon", in turn based on the biblical story of Daniel.

Here's a YouTube, performed by none other than Povel Ramel, one of the most influential entertainers and artists in Sweden after World War Two. The jazz accompaniment cites lots of other Bellman songs.

Fia starta Malmöfandom
Hjälpte ock Lundafandom tu
||: Dillchips tag nu :||
Väl dessa smakom!
Vår Fia blev en genom populär fan,
Dillchipsen snart lika många fans vann
||: Våran Fia :||
För vår Fandom brann.

Så är sakens sammanhang,
Med Alvarn vi Fia belöna,
||: Fandoms böna :||
Har nu dubbel rang.
Klinga med glasen, lät oss lefva väl!
Bygga vår fandom med båd hjerta och själ.
||: Och tag dillchips :||
Utan fejd och gräl.
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Finally finished (as much as they can ever be) one of my more long-running filk projects: "Come Forth Thou Fandom's Ghod", based on Carl Michael Bellman's Fredmans sång 32: Afton-Qväde, more commonly known by its opening line "Träd fram du Nattens Gud". (YouTube, one of many.)

Come forth Thou Fandom's Ghod, the Mundane pain to lessen, )

For those interested, you can find Martin Best's rendition of Paul Britten Austin's translation of Bellman's original text on YouTube.

Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] jophan and [livejournal.com profile] thnidu for linguistic advice and comments!
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I haven't been as productive lately as I've been earlier, but now and then something new comes.

First we have a quickly improvised filk, "Det var neos på conen". Due to demands from Swedish fans, it's already up on the filkarchive server, since the original song is quite obscure and still very simple.

Det var neos på conen )

(Basically, there are neos/paper/bheer at the con when we arrived, but they are SMOFs/fanzine/empty when we leave.)

The other one has been simmering for quite awhile, but I didn't sit down to write it until today. It picks up episodes and scenes from the Battle of the Pelennor Fields in The Return of the King by JRR Tolkien, and sets them to the tune of Fredmans sång nr 64, "Fjäriln vingad syns på Haga" by Carl Michael Bellman (YouTube). Whole swathes of the staves made by Théoden och Éomer (in Swedish translation) are included, as well as some lines from the original song.

It's even more bizarre than it sounds like.

Nazgûl'n vingad syns vid Gondor )

ETA: A YouTube with the original in English translation, translated by Paul Britten Austin, and sung by Martin Best.
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I have a couple of ideas for long and ambitious filks lying around, but then [livejournal.com profile] thette walked by me and talked about the Swedish children's song "Jag är en liten undulat" ("I'm a small budgerigar", YouTube). That led to the following:

Jag är en liten sf-fan
som läser lite minsann
för dom jag bor hos
för dom jag bor hos
dom läser inte
Dom ser på film varenda dag
men det vill jag inte ha
för jag vill hellre
ja mycket hellre
läsa Heinlein och Russ

The melody is taken from "Med en liten tulipan" (text Sven Paddock, melody Jules Sylvain). Note that the version in the YouTube is in Norwegian – it's a popular song there as well.
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One of the songs I've eyed almost since I started filking actively is Ted and Kenneth Gärdestad's song Jag vill ha en egen måne ("I want a moon of my own", YouTube), a song about lost love with a title that screams science fiction.

The direct inspiration was putting Obi-Wan Kenobi's classic quote "That's no moon… it's a space station!" from Star Wars in Swedish translation into the first opening lines of the chorus.

Det där är då ingen måne )
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A legendary Swedish poem and ballad is Frans G Bengtsson's En ballad om franske kungens spelmän ("A Ballad of the French King's Musicians") from 1923. Bengtsson himself described it as "scholarly but incomprehensible", which I guess has contributed to its popularity. According to tradition, it was written on a bet to include the word "transsubstantiate" in a poem.

The poem turned popular enough that it has two different melodies written for it: one by Gunnar Turesson (YouTube) and one by Per-Martin Hamberg, made famous by Karin Juel. I try to sing it to Hamberg's melody, though nowadays Turesson's melody is the most commonly used, and is the one I first heard. Apart from that, Evert Taube wrote his own parody of the ballad in En ballad om Frans G. Bengtssons spelmän (YouTube), with yet another melody, and I've incorporated references to his song as well.

A Ballad of the Interfilk Musicians )
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Ever since I've discovered Terence Chua's marvelous ABBA-Cthulhu filks I've nurtured a plan to write something similar, especially since my previous idea turned out to be unworkable. Here it is, to the tune of ABBA's Chiquitita.

Cthulhu )

Note that you have to sing Cthulhu using four syllables, but I don't view that as a trouble, given that Cthulhu's proper name is supposed to be unpronouncable anyway. Comments are of course welcome. I had completed this a while ago, but held off posting due to not being sure of some of the scansion, but I might as well open it up for critique and improvements.
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A while back, the Swedish TV show Så mycket bättre sent an episode centered on Jenny Berggren of Ace of Base. One of the songs that were re-worked there was The Sign, and it made me really listen to the lyrics of the song. Then I heard the phrase "Don't bite the sun", matching the rhythm of the song. Indeed, I found the song's theme and mood fits Tanith Lee's story very well.

For anyone interested in doing this one, I believe Lisa Nilsson's mostly acoustic version (in Swedish) can be a good alternative approach to the song's melody.

Don't Bite the Sun )
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Back in 1990, the Swedish sf fan Martin Q Larsson formed a band: Matandarnas Transgalaktiska HipHopKapell. The band had one of their first performances at a Swedish con, but then sf fandom and the band turned onto different paths.

One of their songs were Jag vill bo i rymden ("I wanna live in space"), with an intro presented as an "old polska from space". A week ago, I got a nugget of inspiration and made a translation to English.

Space Craft )

Martin has gone on to a successful career as composer and musician. He has made available original notes as well as an arrangement for choir.
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Today, it is exactly one hundred years since Joe Hill was murdered by the state of Utah, to some degree for the crime of filking. Salt Lake Tribune has a wonderful site documenting the events.

So last year I filked his songs "The Rebel Girl" and "It's a Long Way Down to the Soup Line". This year, I have written some new filks, and also found some old filk, based on songs written by Joe Hill.

Back in 1981, the Swedish fan, translator, and author Gunnar Gällmo was angry at Swedish sf publisher and author Sam J Lundwall due to crappy pay, so he wrote a song, first published in the fanzine Fanytt (edited by Swedish BNF Ahrvid Engholm). It's based on "Svarta präster", the Swedish translation of Joe Hill's most famous song, "The Preacher and the Slave" (which is itself based on "In the Sweet Bye and Bye").

Plankstek )

(I've done a few minor changes for better singability compared to Gunnar's first version.)

Of course, "The Preacher and the Slave" is an excellent song, so Kate Gladstone wrote a fabolous set of new lyrics for it as well, called "Brand Name Bullies". Lyrics and recording can be found on the FilkArchive. The good thing about these is that I can skip filking that song with a clear conscience.

Instead I have filked Joe Hill's "There Is Power in a Union", based on the old spiritual "There Is Power in the Blood".

There Is Power in a Fandom )

But once I started to explore Joe Hill's songs again, I found another great idea for a fan-topical song, this time in celebration of our own brand of community-focused and -run cons. It's based on Hill's "Nearer My Job to Thee", based on "Nearer, My God, to Thee".

Nearer My Con to Thee )

Feel free to replace Swecon with the name of another con that's important to you. "Kollektinbug" goes back to the old fan classic The Enchanted Duplicator. No insult intended to cosplayers, who I often have found to the wonderful people, but they tend to value other types of events and interaction than I do.

I do have a third Joe Hill filk, though this came about when I talked about the planets with my daughter, and decided to write a song about the planets. I wanted to write a reasonably short one, but when digging up for melodies I hit on Joe Hill's "The Tramp", based on the American Civil War Song "Tramp! Tramp! Tramp!", and ended up writing a far too long song.

Planetsången )

It has proved to be quite the hit in my family, though I'm not that happy with the two last verses—they are a bit overlapping. I can recommend not singing every single chorus, unless one wants a pizza song.
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A week ago, [livejournal.com profile] quadrivium wrote a post about her preparations for GAFilk. Now, Swedish is a highly melodic language, so I have a tendency to see or discover rhythms in words or phrases. In this case, the phrase matched the rhythm of the opening words of Smålandssången: "Röd lyser stugan bak hängbjörkens slöja" ("red shines the cabin behind the veil of the birch").

"Smålandssången" is one of the songs that were written in the late 19th and early 20th century as provincial hymns. Most of them are (mercifully) forgotten today, but they and other patriotic songs from that period have proven to be a good source for filking.

GAFilk Is Coming and Mary Is Smiling )

(Regular readers might remember that I've used "Smålandssången" once before, but in Swedish: Marssången.)
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One of Bellman's songs that I've kept an eye on for filking for a while now is Fredmans Sång 7: Till Kärleken och Bacchus (Youtube). It is also probably the greatest example of Bellman as a Dirty Old Man. Once I realised what should go together with Roscoe, the song was quite easily enfilked.

Note: the Bellman site I use for texts appears to have database trouble right now; the notes and the comments are available, but not the actual lyrics. I hope it gets resolved soon.

Sf och Roscoe )





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