Aliens in This World

An ordinary Catholic and a science fiction and fantasy fan.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

A Russian Arthurian Filk

"Gvinivera" (Guenevere) is a song by the well-known Russian filker Skady (L. Smerkovich). She seems to have put out about five albums, including her newest one, Doors (available from Kazan filk publisher Fangorn Audio). Anyway, I don't know if I've always missed her poem Bryn Merddin, which contains the lyrics to "Gvinivera", or if the poem just wasn't up on Arda-na-Kulichkah yet; but now that I've found said lyrics, I'm finally able to understand the Russian filk video I downloaded so long ago. Since the song suits my mood, I did a translation.

The music video in question is still available from Fangorn Video's Palantir (video download) page. I believe the song was recorded in 1999 by Linwen (E. Sovnik) by the Fangorn folks; she also reads a brief explanatory prologue. If you can't read Russian well enough to find it on the page (no shame, that), the download URL is here. 14.6 MB. But do visit the site and check out the charming videos from Russian conventions and outdoor live-action roleplaying events. They've got gorgeous scenery and fun fannish people galore. (Filkers shouldn't miss the excerpt from the Russian filk opera "Templar" (Tampl').)

Lyrics and Music: Skadi (L. Smerkovich)
Performed by Linven? (E. Sovnik?), Kazan, 1999
Unauthorized translation: Maureen O'Brien, 12/16/03

Camelot is unyielding and resistant,
Britannia's turned as powerful as her laws...
But what has caused this caring that's so persistent
That you can never pull free from ruling's claws?
And everyone, from beggar to cavalier-a,
Knows who has brought these sorrows down upon you --
The beautiful Queen Guenevere-a,
The beautiful Queen Guenevere-a,
The beautiful Queen Guenevere-a,
Beautiful...but to King Arthur, not true.

So strong and numerous, they come for fighting;
Against the Saxons, warbands'll follow you.
But who's this who beside you's fought like lightning,
But now won't even raise his eyes into view?
The champion, the flow'r of knighthood, hero
And old friend who more close than your kin became...
But the queen, ah, she loves Bedivere-o,
But the queen, ah, she loves Bedivere-o,
But the queen, ah, she loves Bedivere-o,
And I doubt if anyone's to blame.

You go on campaign far away from your kingdom,
To kill the Goths and thus serve the Holy Dove.
You go away and give them both their freedom;
Why, I suppose that that is what is called love.
In spite of holy goals, you're still out there sinning,
So why should you feel guilty about this thing?
Oh, tell me now, clearsighted seer Merlin,
And answer me indeed, court prophet Merlin,
I ask, knowing the answer, o wise Merlin --
Who on earth is this unlucky king?


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