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The Filk of Joe Hill [Nov. 19th, 2016|12:42 am]

On November 19th 1915, Joe Hill was murdered by the State of Utah for the crime of filking.

This one was written October 4th, based on Joe Hill's 1913 song What We Want, set to the tune Rainbow from 1908 by Percy Wenrich (note: a so-called Indian Song). I had never heard the tune or the song before patoadam sent me a copy of John McCutcheon's CD "Joe Hill's Last Will", for which I am very thankful. The song was meant as a celebration of what I and others wanted to achieve with Worldcon 75.

Then, just a few days later, filkerdave and Worldcon 75 had their huge falling out.

Needless to say, my feelings towards this song are very conflicted right now. I know it can need quite a bit more polishing, but at the same time it's hard for me to get back to it.

We want the reader and the writer and the cosplayer…Collapse )

My previously posted Joe Hill filks: 2014, 2015
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Robothund [Oct. 31st, 2016|09:55 pm]

I have a low-key long-term project to write filks in as many big-name fandoms as I can. One of the larger missing pieces had been Doctor Who, but during dinner I hit upon a good idea: singing about K-9 instead of the Doctor, and basing it on Änglahund by Hasse "Kvinnaböske" Andersson (YouTube; there is an English version, "Angel Buddy" too, but it's not as good).

Får man ta hunden med sej i sin TARDISCollapse )
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LunCon [Oct. 25th, 2016|11:51 pm]
[Tags|, ]

Another con report filk, this one from LunCon 2016 (or perhaps the more fanhistorically correct LunCon 4). Since the con was held in Sweden and everyone present at least understands Swedish, this one is in Swedish too.

It is based on another Bellman song, Fredmans epistel 3, often known by its opening line "Fader Berg i hornet stöter" (YouTube). The tune is a menuet, possibly with substantial changes made by Bellman himself. The original song describes a very wet party, ending with the singer/narrator passing out. LunCon, on the other hand, was held in the local IOGT locale, and the only drugs served were coffee and egoboo.

Til en och hvar av FridornaCollapse )

People well-versed in Swedish fan history will be able to find a minor mistake in the song.
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Brinn du stora gasklot där [Oct. 12th, 2016|10:55 pm]

A short Swedish filk, ttto "Blinka lilla stjärna" ("Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star"). Its opening line is stolen from one of the staff at Upptech, a science centre that my daughter visited some years ago with school. I never got a handle on how to continue the song, until I saw English Chris Malme's filk of the song. It inspired me to get the following combo of borrowed and translated material:

Brinn du stora gasklot där
nu så vet jag vad du är
luftens refraktion den gör
stjärnan blinkar och förför
men planeten som är när
för mitt öga stadig är

(This is the second filk by Chris that I have translated to Swedish. The first one was Rymden är stor.)
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Sam J Lundwall and Visor i vår tid [Oct. 5th, 2016|12:26 pm]

A year ago, I wrote A History of Swedish Filk. Since then I've gathered some new material. Thanks to an interlibrary loan I received a copy of a 32-page booklet with the lyrics and notes of Sam J Lundwall's record Visor i vår tid from 1965 or 1966[1] (I haven't found the record itself, but there are some copies around).

The record contains 14 songs. Four of them have science fiction or fantasy elements.

"Visa till mor" ("Song to mother") is sung to the robot mother of an IVF child, born and raised in a reproductive factory.

"Monstret från planeten Mars" ("The monster from the planet Mars") tells the story of a monster from Mars, who arrives on Earth to spread havoc, but is enslaved and expropriated by the movie industry to appear in B-movies.

"Möte i rymden" ("Encounter in space") tells the story of two old friends meeting at a space station, and one of them telling the story about his (mis)adventures in space, encountering monsters, a girl made out of nitroglycerine, and drifting in a crippled ship in space. It is clearly inspired by Evert Taube's song "Möte i monsunen" (which I myself have filked), but uses an original melody.

"Häxan" ("The witch") tells the story of a witch burning. The catch - the priest is the Devil and leads the villagers dancing out to their doom.

Of the rest of the songs, many feels like they should fit very well into filk circles, telling stories on mundane events and topics but in a way that match very well with the fannish and filking mindset. I can eg easily see Swedish SCA members singing "Tre små munkar" ("Three little monks").

[1] The SMDB database lists a 1965 date, but every other source I've found says 1966.
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Grokking E Pluribus Hugo [Aug. 28th, 2016|04:29 pm]
Right now I see a bit of pushback against the newly ratified E Pluribus Hugo rules (see eg Jed Hartman and Rachael Acks). In part this is because the test runs on prior Hugo nominations didn't yield as good results as some may have hoped for, another might be that many fans do not feel they can exactly understand how EPH works. FPTP may be unfair, but it's simple to understand.

At its core, E Pluribus Hugo isn't about selecting the works with the most "support". It's more about selecting the set of works that generates the most voter happiness, where happiness is defined as "getting a work onto the final ballot". I think this framing has gone missing from the discussion.

But in order to help with understanding, no, grokking how EPH works, here is my manually run example. To show how this is done, here is my (hardly random) example set of ballots, with 15 ballots, each with four nominations, and the goal is to reduce the 26 nominees to four finalists. Four of the ballots are also showing very similar taste (due to being on a slate or for some other reason).

I recommend keeping a set of the WSFS agenda from Midamericon 2 at hand, since I'm going to refer to the rules there.

Initial set of ballotsCollapse )

Per the old FPTP rules for Hugo nomination, A, B, C, and J would be the nominees. Lets see what happens when we start using EPH.

Running EPHCollapse )

The final ballot from running EPH would thus be:

A, J, K, L, and M

All the nominators but poor 11 and 12 (or 13%) will have at least one of their nominated works on the ballot, and the slate (numbering 4 out of 15, or about 27%) have one work on the final ballot.

We can compare this with the FPTP system, which would have yielded the following ballot:

A, B, C, J

Here ballots 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15 (40%!) would have had no impact at all on the final ballot.

NotesCollapse )
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Brobusters [Aug. 5th, 2016|11:28 pm]

Some filks just have to be written at once when you come up with the idea. Here's Brobusters, ttto the Ghostbusters theme song. Free to any good home, since I'm pretty sure I can't do it well.

BrobustersCollapse )

(Yes, I did like the new Ghostbusters.)
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Fighting Agaku [Jul. 22nd, 2016|02:06 pm]

This is another filk in need of further polishing, it's in sort of singable state, especially if I get a backing track, but I sure would like the words to flow better in the verses.

For some while I have thought about basing a filk upon "Bohus bataljon", a merry Swedish march from 1940 with a great and fun text. (YouTube as song; Instrumental YouTube with the I17 military band.) While checking my bookshelf for more books to possibly write filks about I found Grunts by Mary Gentle, and I knew I had found the perfect match.

The choruses are usually sung twice with a whistle part between each repetition.

They were fighting AgakuCollapse )


The zoological improbabilities are all directly from the original song. "On Canaan's happy shore" is a line from the song that lent its melody to "John Brown's Body", that lent its melody to a Swedish drinking song that is referenced in the same spot in the original text.
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Den klassiska framtid är vår… [Jul. 15th, 2016|03:03 pm]

My fellow Swedish fan and sometime filker Rolf Strömgren posted the line "Den klassiska framtid är vår" when commenting on some 1950's-like speculation on future transportation published today. It immediately connected with my filking brain, as the fourth line of the classic Swedish student song (YouTube). It is also frequently parodied in Sweden.

Sjungom framtiden åter idag,
låtom oss fröjdas åt dåtidens vår!
Än äro hjärtat för atomen svag,
och den klassiska framtid är vår.
Inga bilar än
flyga högt över oss,
hoppet är vår vän,
vi dess löften tro,
när vi försöker besöka den stund,
där den eviga framtidstron gro,
där den eviga framtidstron gro!
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Two late silly filks [Jul. 10th, 2016|04:54 pm]

Two rather silly filks inspired by reading Phoenix Ascendant by Ryk Spoor.

First one is rather silly, to the tune of the theme song from Pinky and the Brain. It also contains some spoilers for the books, but nothing major (especially if you have read the previous parts closely). It's probably rather nonsensical if you haven't read at least one of the books.

They"re Aran and TobimarCollapse )

The other one is even more silly, and based on Blitzkrieg Bop by The Ramones. I cannot vouch for its singability either. For an introduction to Poplock, see my earlier filk about him: Demon, Dragon, Phoenix, Toad.

The Poplock BounceCollapse )
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A Swedish take on Finncon 2016 [Jul. 7th, 2016|10:27 pm]

I have long thought about going to a Finncon, but various factors have always been in the way. At Swecon last year in Linköping, Marianna Leikomaa sat beside me in the bar lobby on Saturday evening, and said that if I got to Finncon next year (ie this year), I'd need to get in touch with programming. "They're sitting right there", pointing to the couple in the chairs beside me. You can hardly make the hint any broader.

The Finncons run...Collapse )
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Fia starta Malmöfandom [Jun. 26th, 2016|06:17 pm]

At the recent Swecon, the recipient of the Alvar award was Fia Karlsson. I mentioned this, together with a short presentation of Fia in the con fanzine. However, I missed to mention her role in starting one of the more active Swedish fan groupings of late, and her thing for dill-flavoured potato chips.

So to rectify that, I had write a filk. It's based on, probably to no-one's surprise, a Bellman song: Fredmans sång 41, more commonly known by its opening line "Joachim uti Babylon", in turn based on the biblical story of Daniel.

Here's a YouTube, performed by none other than Povel Ramel, one of the most influential entertainers and artists in Sweden after World War Two. The jazz accompaniment cites lots of other Bellman songs.

Fia starta Malmöfandom
Hjälpte ock Lundafandom tu
||: Dillchips tag nu :||
Väl dessa smakom!
Vår Fia blev en genom populär fan,
Dillchipsen snart lika många fans vann
||: Våran Fia :||
För vår Fandom brann.

Så är sakens sammanhang,
Med Alvarn vi Fia belöna,
||: Fandoms böna :||
Har nu dubbel rang.
Klinga med glasen, lät oss lefva väl!
Bygga vår fandom med båd hjerta och själ.
||: Och tag dillchips :||
Utan fejd och gräl.
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Come Forth Thou Fandom's Ghod [Jun. 23rd, 2016|06:41 pm]

Finally finished (as much as they can ever be) one of my more long-running filk projects: "Come Forth Thou Fandom's Ghod", based on Carl Michael Bellman's Fredmans sång 32: Afton-Qväde, more commonly known by its opening line "Träd fram du Nattens Gud". (YouTube, one of many.)

Come forth Thou Fandom"s Ghod, the Mundane pain to lessen,Collapse )

For those interested, you can find Martin Best's rendition of Paul Britten Austin's translation of Bellman's original text on YouTube.

Thanks to jophan and thnidu for linguistic advice and comments!
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Fantastika och Swecon 2016 [Jun. 22nd, 2016|06:53 am]

Årets Swecon - Fantastika 2016 i Dieselverkstaden i Sickla - är tillända. Jag har skrivit gott om kongressrapporter på sistone och tidigare, både som arrangör (sällan) och som vanlig medlem (ofta). Men på den här kongressen var jag redaktör för kongressens nyhetsfanzine.

Som vanlig medlem…Collapse )
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Two Swedish Filks [Apr. 15th, 2016|11:50 pm]

I haven't been as productive lately as I've been earlier, but now and then something new comes.

First we have a quickly improvised filk, "Det var neos på conen". Due to demands from Swedish fans, it's already up on the filkarchive server, since the original song is quite obscure and still very simple.

Det var neos på conenCollapse )

(Basically, there are neos/paper/bheer at the con when we arrived, but they are SMOFs/fanzine/empty when we leave.)

The other one has been simmering for quite awhile, but I didn't sit down to write it until today. It picks up episodes and scenes from the Battle of the Pelennor Fields in The Return of the King by JRR Tolkien, and sets them to the tune of Fredmans sång nr 64, "Fjäriln vingad syns på Haga" by Carl Michael Bellman (YouTube). Whole swathes of the staves made by Théoden och Éomer (in Swedish translation) are included, as well as some lines from the original song.

It's even more bizarre than it sounds like.

Nazgûl"n vingad syns vid GondorCollapse )

ETA: A YouTube with the original in English translation, translated by Paul Britten Austin, and sung by Martin Best.
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Jag är en liten sf-fan [Mar. 26th, 2016|06:32 pm]

I have a couple of ideas for long and ambitious filks lying around, but then thette walked by me and talked about the Swedish children's song "Jag är en liten undulat" ("I'm a small budgerigar", YouTube). That led to the following:

Jag är en liten sf-fan
som läser lite minsann
för dom jag bor hos
för dom jag bor hos
dom läser inte
Dom ser på film varenda dag
men det vill jag inte ha
för jag vill hellre
ja mycket hellre
läsa Heinlein och Russ

The melody is taken from "Med en liten tulipan" (text Sven Paddock, melody Jules Sylvain). Note that the version in the YouTube is in Norwegian – it's a popular song there as well.
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Det där är då ingen måne (filk) [Mar. 23rd, 2016|06:24 pm]

One of the songs I've eyed almost since I started filking actively is Ted and Kenneth Gärdestad's song Jag vill ha en egen måne ("I want a moon of my own", YouTube), a song about lost love with a title that screams science fiction.

The direct inspiration was putting Obi-Wan Kenobi's classic quote "That's no moon… it's a space station!" from Star Wars in Swedish translation into the first opening lines of the chorus.

Det där är då ingen måneCollapse )
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A Ballad of the Interfilk Musicians [Mar. 19th, 2016|03:18 pm]

A legendary Swedish poem and ballad is Frans G Bengtsson's En ballad om franske kungens spelmän ("A Ballad of the French King's Musicians") from 1923. Bengtsson himself described it as "scholarly but incomprehensible", which I guess has contributed to its popularity. According to tradition, it was written on a bet to include the word "transsubstantiate" in a poem.

The poem turned popular enough that it has two different melodies written for it: one by Gunnar Turesson (YouTube) and one by Per-Martin Hamberg, made famous by Karin Juel. I try to sing it to Hamberg's melody, though nowadays Turesson's melody is the most commonly used, and is the one I first heard. Apart from that, Evert Taube wrote his own parody of the ballad in En ballad om Frans G. Bengtssons spelmän (YouTube), with yet another melody, and I've incorporated references to his song as well.

A Ballad of the Interfilk MusiciansCollapse )
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(no subject) [Feb. 16th, 2016|09:09 pm]
Every time I've sung "Acts of Creation" by catsittingstill at Nyfiket, I've left the place without the lyrics, since some other performer there has fallen in love with the song.
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Nyfiket, redux [Feb. 2nd, 2016|09:21 pm]

I hadn't been at Nyfiket since Christmas and the trip to the USA, but last Tuesday I went back there. Hulda opted to stay home with thette, but as soon as I was to pay for my soup the guy manning the counter asked me if I had any more Joe Hill songs to sing. I had to tell him no, since I did Martin Q Larson's "Jag vill bo i rymden" and Nils Ferlin's "En valsmelodi" instead. A kid there that Hulda had played with there earlier also asked for her.

This week Hulda and I had a quick dinner at home before heading out again. After they had rigged the scene I opened with "Rymden är stor" (my translation of Chris Malme's "Space Is Big"), and Hulda immediately joined me on scene to do the actions. Then "Jag vill bo i rymden" again, since it had become a favourite of Hulda's friend. I rounded out the theme of the night with "Satellitsången". And just a minor flub in "Jag vill bo i rymden"!

Another singer (with guitar) had come along, so he went up and did three songs as well after me. And Hulda checked my songbook on the train home and wanted to sing "Ditt hem är fandom" as we walked from the station. She's starting to turn into quite the fan.

Note for next week: get to the library in Huskvarna and borrow their copy of Joe Hills sånger.
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