I am a great fan of medieval music, and as a member of the SCA I get the opportunity to hear it as it once sounded, live on period instruments around a fire.

A few days ago Kamina gave me a CD of someone she once met at an event. I popped it in and gave it a listen.

A song, or rather tale, began with soft music lilting from the speakers, and a voice began to impart a wisdom I will never forget.
I have gone to this Bard (he is, in the truest sense of the word) and obtained permission to impart this wisdom to those who pass through these streets and alleys of the Citadel…

So You Wish to Be A Bard
by: Rathflaed DuNoir
The Black Bard of Meridies, MSoB
mka Stephen R Melvin

So You Wish to be a Bard young one, well listen to my tale,
A tale that's riddled with success, and yet the times that I have failed.
A storyteller tells his tales until the morning light,
Each line and verse the one that you'll remember through the night,
A troubadour will sing his songs to make people laugh or weep,
And feel the feelings he does feel, until they go to sleep,
A musician has the power to make music with his art,
And let his songs reverberate, to touch the mind and heart,
A minstrel must do all these things and do them very well,
But a bard must also do them, and between is hard to tell.
For a minstrel and a bard could be the same in word and voice,
And the difference between the two - a matter of their choice.
A minstrel's job to entertain, a bard's to educate,
To urge the men on for honor and love, and not for malice or hate.
A minstrel will sing only songs that please his audience well,
While a bard must choose most carefully, the tales that he will tell.
For in your words you have the power to make or break a man,
And all his good or evil deeds are yours to praise or damn.
And if the power is not yours, to move the souls of men,
Then call yourself a minstrel and no dishonor do intend,
For when a bard does sing a song, the story they do hear,
And yet the choice is for a minstrel when the song must please the ear.
So entertain young minstrel, or educate young bard,
But either path of either life, you'll find may be too hard.
For when the wind is blowing and the rain comes down in sheets,
'Tis ten more leagues that you must go, to sing for bread and meat.
And when the road is weary and you have no place called home,
Remember that it was your choice, to travel and to roam.
And when you think of lady loves and all the things you lack,
Remember, sir, the one you always carry on your back.
And remember too, this one last thing, ere your journey you begin:
A minstrel does not scream or shout to carry o'er the din.
A bard's not just a storyteller or harper playing long,
A minstrel's job it is to sing, A bard's to be the song.

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