A Couple of My Favorite Sea Shanties

The nautical theme and music of Battle for Azeroth has put me in mind of sea shanties, traditional work songs used on large sailing vessels to coordinate sailors doing big jobs like hauling up the anchor or pumping out the bilge.

Shanties, like other work songs, tend to be rhythmic, repetitive, and easy to sing, which makes them great for singing in the car on long drives or while pottering around doing housework. As the songs of folks who had to live together in cramped quarters for months or years on end, they also often have a sly bit of humor to them to ease the tensions.

Here are a couple of personal favorites:

Roll the Old Chariot Along by The Fool via Jiří Šantora

Skipper Jan Rebeck by John Schomburg Shanty Man via John Locke

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A Round of Dwarf-ish Music

We haven’t talked about music lately. Time to fix it!

One of the new allied races in Battle for Azeroth, the latest World of Warcraft expansion, is Dark Iron Dwarves. (Note: I don’t think there’s much actual info as of yet, but people have been gathering mentions at a Wowhead thread.)

As I’ve mentioned before, female Dwarves are my absolute favorite race / gender combo to play in WoW, so I’m going to want at least one. 🙂 Consequently, my WoW thoughts have revolved heavily enough around Dwarves to push into the real life in the form of music befitting these mountain-dwellers.

Below are some of my current most favorite Dwarf-ish pieces, whether originally something quite different or composed specifically with Dwarves in mind.

An instrumental Nordic folk-based melody:

Dufwa via Hedningarna – Topic on YouTube

A Dwarven melody from a computer game I know nothing about:

The Dwarven Nobles – Dragon Age: Origins Soundtrack via allaboutVGmusic on YouTube

An Icelandic folk song with something to do with a (or more than one?) bigger bird (maybe crows, jackdaws, ravens, rooks, or the like):

Krummavísur – Voces Thules via hahaigotanidea on YouTube

Performed by the group Voces Thules. Wow! Also this next song is by the same group:

Voces Thules – Varizk ér Ok Varizk ér via Vikingskog on YouTube

Commenter EkErilaz added the Icelandic lyrics and an English translation:

“Beware! Beware! For the wind blows high. Blood will rain down on men’s bared bodies. Point and edge will share all men’s inheritance, now that the sword-age cuts sharply upon us.”

To my mind, the lyrics are very reminiscent of Vikings or Anglo-Saxons, but I could also see them applying to a fantasy race in WoW. (After all, the game is called World of Warcraft.)

Another, a very different type of instrumental:

Dwarf Mining Music – Dwarf Mining Town by Brandon Fiechter on YouTube

You can definitely get the mining vibe!

This version of the old Christmas carol “Masters in This Hall” from the album A Feast of Songs by Barry and Beth Hall also reminds me of Dwarves because of the steady rhythm and low key.

A Feast of Songs – Masters in This Hall via supermusic141 on YouTube

The next is a bit special. A music-heavy version of The Lord of the Rings was produced by the Finnish theater company Ryhmäteatteri in 1988 and 1989. Bilbo’s song “I Sit Beside the Fire and Think” from The Fellowship of the Ring, book 2, chapter III (“The Ring Goes South”) was turned into a song for the play, and it’s wonderfully meditative and solemn.

Tulen ääressä istun via Crypticevangelist on YouTube

The lyrics were originally translated into the Finnish version (Taru sormusten herrasta) by Panu Pekkanen; for the play they were slightly modified. The melody was composed by Toni Edelmann and sung by Timo Torikka.

This next piece was made by Simon Swerwer for the 2012 computer game Dwarf Fortress:

Simon Swerwer – The Tankard Basher by Simon Swerwer on YouTube

Awesome!

Lastly, Neil Finn’s “Song of the Lonely Mountain” (the end credits song for Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey) because of the bittersweetness, melancholy, and—just perhaps—glimmer of hope that comes through.

Song of the Lonely Mountain by Neil Finn on YouTube

Anything you’d like to add? Please do!

This post has been edited to correct a typo.

Of Dice and Dragons is an occasional feature about games and gaming.

80s Pop Improved by Fight Scene from Thor: Ragnarok

Incredibly, a fight scene from Thor: Ragnarok kind of goes with an 80s pop track:

Thor Ragnarok – I NEED A HERO!!! FUNNY via Locus on YouTube

The song in the background is “Holding out for a Hero” by Bonnie Tyler. Impressive job matching some of the punches on screen to the music.

Then I made the mistake of looking up the original music video. Oh, boy…!

WTF Is This Cat

Found via N. K. Jemisin on Tumblr.

Image: Confused cat via Meme Binge on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

This post has been edited to correct a typo.

Some things are just too silly not to share!

Finnish Folk Hop Ensemble Tuuletar Lends Wings to Game of Thrones Ad

Alku (‘Beginning’), a piece by the Finnish vocal folk hop ensemble Tuuletar, appears in a Game of Thrones commercial. The band’s website says,

“’Alku’, the opening track from Tuuletar’s debut album “tules maas vedes taivaal” has been sold for the use of one of the most popular tv-series in the whole world, HBO’s Game of Thrones. The song will be heard in the season 7 DVD and Blue-Ray [sic] commercial, which will be broadcasted worldwide. The deal was made together with Finnish record label Bafe’s Factory and ThinkSync Music from London.”

The ThinkSync news page on the sale links to a German-language DVD / Blu-Ray trailer for GoT season 7 on YouTube with Alku in the background:

GAME OF THRONES Staffel 7 – Trailer #2 Deutsch HD German (2017) by Warner Bros. DE

Tuuletar mashes up a cappella, beatboxing and Finnish folk music and poetry into a unique combination. Their debut album, Tules maas vedes taivaal (‘On Fire and Earth, in Water and Sky‘), won the prestigious Emma Award (the Finnish version of a Grammy) for the best ethno album of the year in 2016.

Tuuletar IMG_0510-1024x683

Vocalists Venla Ilona Blom, Sini Koskelainen, Johanna Kyykoski and Piia Säilynoja make up Tuuletar. More videos at YouTube or Tuuletar website.

Congrats, Tuuletar! I first blogged about the band two years ago just before they released their debut record, and am absolutely delighted to see them doing so well. And Alku is so amazing it gives me chills—always a sign of greatness!

Crossposted from the Playfully Grownup Home blog.

Image via Tuuletar

This post has been edited for style.

Out There is an occasional feature highlighting intriguing art, spaces, places, phenomena, flora, and fauna.

Musical Christmas Wishes by Chewbacca & Deep Space Nine

Although the Star Wars and Star Trek fandoms have not always gotten along entirely peacefully, I hope that the two fan videos below show that singing is a pasttime shared across the divide.

Take it away, Chewbacca and the crew of Deep Space Nine.

Silent Night by Chewbacca via How It Should Have Ended

“Merry Wookie Christmas from HISHE and James Covenant! (http://tinyurl.com/jkc9f7l)

The brilliant idea for “Chewbacca Sings Silent Night” was actually created in 1999 by Scott Andersen (story here: http://room34.com/chewbacca/) and since then his audio has been shared many times, often without crediting him. You can download the original at the link above, or better yet support his genius by hiring him for web design at http://room34.com

“With Scott’s “blessing” and in honor of Christmas and Star Wars season, James Covenant (creator of the awesome Star Trek “Make It So” video: https://youtu.be/oiSn2JuDQSc) was inspired to create this new video for our channel to wish you all a very Star Wars Christmas!”

Captain Sisko & the DS9 Ensemble sing “Wonderful Deep Space Nine” by John C. Worsley

“In the grand tradition of Star Trek captains singing holiday standards, for your consideration: ‘Wonderful Deep Space Nine’ sung by Captain Sisko, Major Kira, Constable Odo, Lieutenant Commander Worf, Chief O’Brien, Congenial Barkeep Quark, Plain Simple Garak, and the rest of the Star Trek: DS9 ensemble. Special appearances by Morn, Martok, Moogie, and Vorta Iggy Pop.

Apologies to Berman, Piller, Brooks, Visitor, Farrell, Auberjonois, Siddig, Shimerman, Meaney, Dorn, Robinson, Eisenberg, Lofton, Grodenchik, Alaimo, Biggs, Marshall, Jens, de Boer, Barrett, Sadler, and Combs.”

We’re vacationing for the rest of the year. Until 2018, Happy Merry!

This post has been edited to correct language.

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Star Wars Cantina Music for Piano Four Hands

When you’ve been looking forward to something for a long time, the closer it gets, the harder it is to wait. So, to keep you entertained in this last week before The Last Jedi comes out, here’s a father-son duo playing the classic Mos Eisley cantina music on the piano. Enjoy!

Star Wars Cantina Band by Brian Lockard

Hey, look! We found a thing on the internet! We thought it was cool, and wanted to share it with you.

Flashback Friday: AFR 115: Don’t Die So Close to Me

In the morning, my logic brain was busy blocking the day and arranging my To-Do list, when the art brain suddenly burst out with “Don’t stand– Don’t stand in– Don’t stand in the fire!”

AFR115

The joke comes from Erik’s previous online comic, Away from Reality. AFR is a World of Warcraft fan comic, and this one, number 115, is called “Don’t Die So Close to Me”.

Of course, having been jolted out of my multitasking-while-not-realising-it state, I had to sing the whole thing. Multiple times. 🙂

“Young warrior, the subject of mob abilities.

He’s tanking so badly, he doesn’t even see.

He got too distracted. He full of rage inside.

He should have been moving–

Instead he stood and died.

 

Don’t stand– Don’t stand in– Don’t stand in the fire!

Don’t stand– Don’t stand in– Don’t stand in the fire!”

(The tune is “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” by The Police.)

While my To-Do list probably would be in a better state had I finished it at one go, my day was definitely made. Thank you, art brain. 😀

Image: Away from Reality #115: “Don’t Die So Close to Me” by Erik Jensen

Some things are just too silly not to share!

Wonder Woman Theme Bagpipe / Metal Cover

This irresistible version of the Wonder Woman theme is played on a bagpipe and an electric guitar and backed up by a heavy metal drum track:

Wonder Woman Theme Bagpipe Cover | Metal Version | The Snake Charmer by TheSnakeCharmer

Produced and guitar by Karan Katiyar, bagpipes by Archy J / The Snake Charmer.

I was wondering how on earth it might work, but it did and so, so well: the hair on my arms stood up within the first five seconds—surefire way to know a piece of music is really great!

Hey, look! We found a thing on the internet! We thought it was cool, and wanted to share it with you.

Carnyx

The carnyx was a type of war trumpet used by the peoples known in the ancient Mediterranean as Gauls or Celts. You can see a few depicted at the far right on this panel of the Gundestrup cauldron, which was made in Thrace but ended up in Denmark.

Gundestrup cauldron panel E via Wikimedia (Thracian, curently Nationalmuseet, Copenhagen; 200 BCE-300 CE; silver)
Gundestrup cauldron panel E via Wikimedia (Thracian, curently Nationalmuseet, Copenhagen; 200 BCE-300 CE; silver)

The Greek historian Diodorus of Sicily describes its sound as harsh, but here’s a modern reconstruction to show that they could have been beautiful, too.

Carnyx via luvhousepets

Hey, look! We found a thing on the internet! We thought it was cool, and wanted to share it with you.

Folk-ish Steampunk Music: Abney Park

Steampunk is something I only dabble with from time to time, not a steady favorite. That’s why I wasn’t expecting much when I saw someone recommend a steampunk band called Abney Park, but I nevertheless checked out the video the person linked to. Then I listened to another song. And another. Then life intervened. A couple of days later I noticed myself humming something I didn’t immediately recognize. Eventually I figured out it was “Tribal Nomad,” one of the Abney Park videos I’d seen:

Tribal Nomad | Official Video | Abney Park | Steampunk Post-Apocalyptic Music by abneypark

If it sticks so efficiently, I figured there has to be something to it and poked around more. I don’t think I’ll ever be a fan of their visuals, but the combination of folk plus industrial instruments has really grown on me. Also, Abney Park isn’t stuck with one style but has great variety. For example, “The Clone Factories” has more techno / trance overtones:

The Clone Factories | Abney Park | Wasteland by abneypark

They also have a version of a popular Russian folk song “Katyusha”:

Katyusha – Song from Abney Park’s new album, The Circus At The End Of The World by abneypark

No wonder it seems like Abney Park’s got it down: they’ve been around since 1997 and have almost two dozen albums under their belt. Nice going.

I will definitely adding Abney Park to my playlists!

Found via Nörttitytöt. Thanks for the rec, Mikko!

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