Digital Tradition Mirror

The Minstrel

The Minstrel
(Graham and Eileen Pratt)

I sang my song at Hastings' battle
To praise the deeds of Charlemagne.
I sang of Arthur and of Roland,
So man remembers their great fame.
I sang to rouse a sinking nation,
That king and man might never yield.
But when the battle cry was over,
We all lay dead on Hastings' field.

I sang my song to conquer loved ones.
I sold my voice to him who paid,
To sing his lady gentle love songs,
To lend his passion subtler shades.
And when my silver-throated praises
At last did melt her heart of stone,
They paid me and they both departed,
And left me there to sing alone.

I sang my song at fair and market,
A song much bawdier than before.
Amongst the pigs the geese and the cattle,
I sought to please the crowd once more.
I sang to win applause and favour,
Songs of the cuckold and the whore.
And though I gladly took their money,
I missed the songs I'd sung before.

I sang my song at times of anger.
I found new purpose in my rhymes.
At kings and queens, I'd point the finger,
And bid them see the nation's crimes.
How bitterly did I condemn them,
All those who bled the poor oppressed,
But the time was not yet ripe for changes,
And I hung at Tyburn with the rest.

My eyes are tired. My voice grows weary.
My aging memory's nearly gone.
I've sung my song for the lord and lady.
I've sung it for the common ones.
Until there's no more [songs] for singing,
Until we reach the stories' end,
I'll always find the strength within me
To rise and sing my song again.


Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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