Roses of the East Song
by Justin du Coeur, to the tune (more or less) of the dance Gracca Amorosa
Gracious Queen, I strive Your Swift Justice to survive:<br\> With poor doggerel, of the Eastern Queens I'll tell.<br\> Alphabetically, and with scansion slightly free<br\>
- I'll try to say a little, or the name of each at least,<br\>
- From all the noble lineage of the Roses of the East.
- Alethea's a better herald than me, to say the least;<br\>
- 'Cause she can remember the name of the Queen and the Roses of the East
Other Queens subjected to my poor quavering timbre:<br\> Allanda, and Alyson, and next is good Queen Amber.<br\> Heightning Kingdom fame, Anna gave the Tyger's name.<br\>
- Arastorm the Golden gave the rest of them these fiefs,<br\>
- Establishing the Order of the Roses of the East.
Brekke's known for sausages, Brewen's known for thread,<br\> Bronwyn was the first Queen on whose toes this fool did tread.<br\> Caellyn, Caitlin, Carissa and Christence - the C's all said.<br\>
- Diana was the first Queen of the grand Pennsic melee,<br\>
- Like half of her successors in the Roses of the East.
- Fatima was early, but Queen Florence was the lead<br\>
- Of native ladies serving as the Roses of the East.
- I'm grateful to the ladies whose names start with letter G,<br\>
- For simplifying mem'ry of the Roses of the East.
- Katherine as the Signet oversaw the scrolls that please<br\>
- Recipients in courts held by the Roses of the East.
- Good Queen Margaret ordered that Laurels be increased<br\>
- By this poor fool who's singing 'bout the Roses of the East.
Queen Marguerite is both courteous and sweet,<br\> Patroness of Arts and most notable for smarts,<br\> Mighty on the field, she will make the Dragon yield.<br\>
- Now trust me, I'm a Laurel: it's as period as can be<br\>
- To suck up to the Royalty and the Roses of the East.
Marieke is a Tyger, then Maureen and then Maurya,<br\>
Melisande, Morgana, and Morgen are next Sires,<br\>
Moruadh and Nicorlyn and then Queen Olivia.
- Okay, the rhymes are desperate, but I cannot yet decease,<br\>
- From listing all the names of our dear Roses of the East.
- Svava makes up tournies that are full of fun and glee,<br\>
- Honoring the ladies of the Roses of the East.
- Ysabeau and Yseault are the last - there is no Z,<br\>
- When going through the alpha list of Roses of the East.
That's the Eastern list: I hope there's no one that I missed;<br\> Otherwise the pool says you'll demote me to your fool.<br\> I've tried my best, and hope that finishes the quest,<br\>
- I recommend a fact-check with those cleverer than me,<br\>
- And hope I've not offended any Roses of the East.
- I was the first recipient of the Swift and Terrible Justice of Queen Margueritetm, and that's where this song comes from.
I was Royal Herald for Coronation, and that was going beautifully -- it was a work of art that many people had worked on for months, and went very well. But I got distracted at the very end, and while we recessed, I managed to get the Queen's name wrong. My reward was a Quest: memorize the names of the Queens of the East, alphabetically, and recite them at Pennsic.
- It's a little hard to define "the first Queen of the East". Adrienne founded the Kingdom, coming here from the West; Florence was the consort of the victor of the first Eastrealm Crown Tourney (Bruce of Cloves). So I credit them both, distinguishing Florence as the first "native" Queen.
(As an aside: Adrienne's line was the first one written in this song, and I liked it enough that I decided I had to write the rest. I love the fact that she is both historically and alphabetically first.)
- Her Highness has informed me that I (like many people) got the pronunciation of her name wrong. I had it as AY-cat-er-een; it's more correctly eh-CAT-er-een-uh. A rewrite of this line, to scan correctly with the right pronunciation, is in order.
- As of the performance, Their Highnesses had just had their first child.
- There is power in getting to suggest the docket order. The sharp-eyed will see Alethea behind the thrones in the accompanying video; I was able to arrange things so that she would be heralding the business right after this song, just to set this line up properly.
- While I don't think they actually wrote it into law, I credit Anna and Brion as getting the ball rolling on the Tyger of the East, which is closely based on the Lion of Atenveldt and is the only award created in the past 25 years that I entirely approve of. (Extensive philosophical discussion about why available on demand.)
- Corrected:As I understand it, Arastorm was Queen when the Order of the Rose was turned into a patent-bearing, polling order. Feeling that it would be a conflict of interest to likely receive a patent that she had set up, she declined membership in the Order. (I had originally thought she had established the Order in the East, but apparently instead oversaw the transition to it becoming a polling order.)
- In fact, Duchess Brenwen had been inducted into the Laurelate for Embroidery and Such just about half an hour before this song. See "power of docket order".
- No, I'm not going to say exactly how. Suffice it to say, online gossiping is a bad idea, especially when you are young and stupid.
- "Melee" necessarily mispronounced in order to fit the rhyme. Hey, it's a French word, and Englishmen screwing up their French is totally period.
- Duke Cariadoc is famously The King Who Declared War on Himself and Lost, so AFAIK Diana was Queen for Pennsic I.
- Elaina was the first Queen who Caitlin and I really retained for. She instructed us to call her "Mom".
- Elspeth was Baroness Bridge for many years -- indeed, nearly the longest-serving Baron in Eastern history. In the middle of that, Lucan won the Crown for her, giving her County embattlements to use on her hat.
- As I understand it, the Orders of the Terpsichore and Troubadour were initiated by Embla.
- Okay, this verse is totally fluffy. But having noticed that the G's were made up of two pairs of Queens spelled almost identically, one pair pronounced almost the same and the others totally different, I had to work that in.
- At Brandeis University, AKA The Borough of Fenmere, my alma mater. She was the founding Provost; I was something like fifth. I marvel at the concept of ruling the East while trying to keep up a GPA.
- Isabella is commonly known as "the Fifth Force of Nature".
- Duchess Jana has ruled four times, but for the third reign, she changed the spelling of her name to try to convince people to pronounce it correctly. Once I realized that this put her in the list twice, I had to use that.
- The Clerk of the Signet is the office that deals with All Things Scribal. Huge, hellacious task; I have the utmost respect for anybody who can do a good job on it.
- As far as I can remember, Balfar and Luna were the Monarchs who really popularized the idea of Quests. Sitting in the front row of their Courts could be dangerous.
- Countess Mara is a dance Laurel, who taught the art to me and countless other dance teachers. "Sinkapace" is a common period English spelling of "cinq pas" (five step), AKA a Galliard, the definitive dance form of the late sixteenth century.
- This refrain was one of the first bits of the song written. Once I had that, I knew there was no going back.
- Necessarily pronounced "Oh-lih-VYE-uh" to fit the rhyme scheme.
Suffice it to say, this verse was one of the last written, and I was wracking my brain in desperation: I knew who had to fit into it, but was having no luck making it work. Finally, I realized that I could manage it (kinda) if I forced "Maurya" and "Olivia" to rhyme. My apologies to Her Excellency Olivia for the violence to her name.
- Duchess Sedalia served first as EK, then Society Seneschal.
- This was the very last line written, because I was so unsure of myself. I remembered Sirillian and Sebastian as having signed the Treaty with the Kingdom of Acre, but I was quite young and new at the time, so I just wasn't sure whether they were actually the first signers. Eventually, I gave up and acknowledged my uncertainty in the line itself.
As it happens, I got my confirmation through pure synchronicity on the morning of my performance. When I was prepping the scrolls for EK Court, I found that the Acre Treaty had shown up in the Royal Gift tent sometime overnight, delivered so that Their Majesties could affix their signatures to it. So I was able to confirm, mere hours before delivering the song, that Sirillian's name *is* at the top.
- Svava is known both for the Ladies of the Rose Tournaments at Pennsic, as well as the dreadfully funny Whim Tournies that get run at various events. There is nothing quite like T-Rex Arms to remind everyone not to take things too seriously.
- Okay, there are several lessons to be learned in this one:
- Don't try to both autocrat and run kitchen for a major event.
- If you do do both, don't finish cooking the feast, and come shambling out of the kitchen with your bowl of stew.
- And for heaven's sake, if you do come out carrying a bowl of stew, don't trip and pour it on the Countess sitting at your table.
- House Von Halstern was one of the first really major households of the East, a major fighting force in the Kingdom.
- This is particularly acute because of my somewhat excessive stubbornness. I wrote roughly the first third of the song entirely off the top of my head. At that point, I decided it would be cheating to use sources for the rest, so I finished writing the entire song based on my memory of events. But those who know me well are well aware that my memory is sieve-like, selective, and somewhat prone to creative embroidery. So don't take any of this as gospel truth.
- (I wouldn't be a good Silverwing if there weren't lots of footnotes...)