Discussion:
History of the Barbarian Birthday Dirge
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Gary McGath
2017-11-19 23:07:48 UTC
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In my research for _Yesterday's Songs Transformed_, I went hunting for
the origins of the Barbarian Birthday Dirge. The most definitive
explanation I can find is this one:

http://eldwin.loveshade.org/music/scabirthdaysong3.html


“The Mongolian Birthday song [above], ala Caid, was actually
created at this tourney. I had heard a snippet of a song as
rendered by Duke James Grayhelm. When I asked for more, he had
said that was all there was or all he knew. I took it back to
Caid (Robear du Bois and I had been "researching" Mongol
dancing – the Mongol Stomp I believe it was called), and
introduced the song snippet to the populace at this event and
hosted a contest to come up with new verses. At day's end, we
retained the original verse and accepted three more. It became
a Caiden standard at all subsequent birthday celebration. While
the song has been wildly accepted, no one seems to want to do
the stomp. (It's a somewhat physically painful dance, go
figure.) “Sung to a "Russian" style dirge (I think you'll know
the "tune" I mean.)”

– Martin the Temperate

It's plausible. The song almost certainly originated in the SCA. Gabriel
Helou maintained a FAQ on the song at one time, but said only that "the
origins are shrouded in mystery."

A web search reveals that Duke James Greyhelm or Grayhelm had an
illustrious career in the SCA, I can't find any recent references to
him, so he might not be active in it any more. His mundane name doesn't
turn up in anything I've found.

If anyone can add to this information, please let me know.
--
Gary McGath http://www.mcgath.com
Lee Gold XP
2017-11-20 00:36:54 UTC
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Post by Gary McGath
In my research for _Yesterday's Songs Transformed_, I went hunting for
the origins of the Barbarian Birthday Dirge. The most definitive
http://eldwin.loveshade.org/music/scabirthdaysong3.html
    “The Mongolian Birthday song [above], ala Caid, was actually
    created at this tourney. I had heard a snippet of a song as
    rendered by Duke James Grayhelm. When I asked for more, he had
    said that was all there was or all he knew. I took it back to
    Caid (Robear du Bois and I had been "researching" Mongol
    dancing – the Mongol Stomp I believe it was called), and
    introduced the song snippet to the populace at this event and
    hosted a contest to come up with new verses. At day's end, we
    retained the original verse and accepted three more. It became
    a Caiden standard at all subsequent birthday celebration. While
    the song has been wildly accepted, no one seems to want to do
    the stomp. (It's a somewhat physically painful dance, go
    figure.) “Sung to a "Russian" style dirge (I think you'll know
    the "tune" I mean.)”
    – Martin the Temperate
It's plausible. The song almost certainly originated in the SCA. Gabriel
Helou maintained a FAQ on the song at one time, but said only that "the
origins are shrouded in mystery."
A web search reveals that Duke James Greyhelm or Grayhelm had an
illustrious career in the SCA, I can't find any recent references to
him, so he might not be active in it any more. His mundane name doesn't
turn up in anything I've found.
If anyone can add to this information, please let me know.
http://history.westkingdom.org/AHP/WhereAreThey.htm (1980)
James Greyhelm - Jim Earley - “I’m living in a rented 80 acre estate on
the Applegate River near Grants Pass, Oregon. I teach Physics and
Astronomy at the Hidden Valley High School in Murphy. I also coach the
fencing squad.
https://sites.google.com/a/threerivers.k12.or.us/hv-athletics/ but I
don't see any fencing.
and
https://sites.google.com/a/threerivers.k12.or.us/hidden-valley-high-school/classrooms
doesn't show Earley.

--Lee Gold
Gary McGath
2017-11-20 01:29:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lee Gold XP
http://history.westkingdom.org/AHP/WhereAreThey.htm (1980)
James Greyhelm - Jim Earley - “I’m living in a rented 80 acre estate on
the Applegate River near Grants Pass, Oregon. I teach Physics and
Astronomy at the Hidden Valley High School in Murphy. I also coach the
fencing squad.
https://sites.google.com/a/threerivers.k12.or.us/hv-athletics/ but I
don't see any fencing.
and
https://sites.google.com/a/threerivers.k12.or.us/hidden-valley-high-school/classrooms
doesn't show Earley.
Thanks.

The song migrated into the Boy Scouts at some point, and they added
their own verses.

http://www.boyscouttrail.com/content/song/happy_birthday_ugh-618.asp
--
Gary McGath http://www.mcgath.com
Lee Gold XP
2017-11-20 00:42:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gary McGath
A web search reveals that Duke James Greyhelm or Grayhelm had an
illustrious career in the SCA, I can't find any recent references to
him, so he might not be active in it any more. His mundane name doesn't
turn up in anything I've found.
If anyone can add to this information, please let me know.
https://www.ratemyteachers.com/james-earley/1125536-t
Earley / Greyhelm was teaching at Hidden Valley High School in 2005-6.

--Lee
Gary McGath
2017-11-20 01:38:55 UTC
Permalink
On a related subject, I've found three different people credited with
starting "Real Old-Time Religion." According to one version, Gordon
Dickson wrote some verses, Arlo Guthrie and Pete Seeger recorded them
without knowing the source, and they later identified Dickson as the
author and paid him royalties.

Joe Bethancourt, quoting John Boardman, said, it was either from a "Lady
Cybele" or from "Victor Anderson, the blind shaman of San Leandro."

The Dickson story isn't mutually exclusive with the others. He may have
added verses after Cybele or Anderson started it, and Seeger and Guthrie
could have picked up his verses.

I have no way right now to tell whether zero, one, or more of those
stories are true.
--
Gary McGath http://www.mcgath.com
Kate Gladstone
2017-11-20 15:03:27 UTC
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I’m curious ... how DOES one do the Mongol Stomp?
Rich Brown
2017-11-21 13:17:57 UTC
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Post by Kate Gladstone
I’m curious ... how DOES one do the Mongol Stomp?
Very very carefully.




Sorry, I had to. Oh, here's my hat. I'll leave now.
Gary McGath
2017-11-21 16:12:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rich Brown
Post by Kate Gladstone
I’m curious ... how DOES one do the Mongol Stomp?
Very very carefully.
No Mongol worthy of the Horde would be careful when stomping!
--
Gary McGath http://www.mcgath.com
X-Lydia
2017-11-23 17:22:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kate Gladstone
I’m curious ... how DOES one do the Mongol Stomp?
On one's defeated enemies, or parts thereof?

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