An Anthem for St Ives Medieval Faire, or, It Raineth Everie Daye

When that I was and a little tiny boy,
With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
A foolish thing was but a toy,
For the rain it raineth every day.

But when I came to man’s estate,
With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
‘Gainst knaves and thieves men shut their gate,
For the rain it raineth every day.

But when I came, alas! to wive,
With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
By swaggering could I never thrive,
For the rain it raineth every day.

But when I came unto my beds,
With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
With toss-pots still had drunken heads,
For the rain it raineth every day.

A great while ago the world begun,
With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
But that’s all one, our play is done,
And we’ll strive to please you every day.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) , from Twelfth Night, or, What You Will Act V.

(also known as The Anthem)

From Macquarie to Gundaroo
From Odinfest to Morrisset too…

We must be strong and brave
The Mediæval Movement we’ve got to save
If the SCA plot suck-ceeds (ih! ih!)
They’ll destroy reality….

They ponce about in fancy dress
And suck up to the Baroness
They think that life’s a game of D&D…


They fool around with wooden sticks
They think they’re cool, but THEY’RE JUST PR*CKS!
They can’t accept that swords are made from steel…


They hit each other with rattan canes
And pulverise their stupid brains
They’ve never read a work of history…


(…and they did!)

© Andy Sinclair
Traditional, Orig. Macquarie Hackers (Tune: Starblazers)

Truly the Song of Songs! Where is the true re-enactor whose heart does not swell at the sound of its immortal strains? Where is the SCA dick-dog who does not cringe (or laugh) as their dirty (Lycra™) laundry is aired?

Originally written by the Macquarie Hackers, the University-based Mediaeval group whose members went on to form the core of the Routiers, this has to be one of the most well-known songs in the re-enactment scene. The second line originally said “From Odinfest to Maldon too”, but after the Routier’s historic victory at Morrissett, the name of that immortal battleground was substituted as being… how shall we say … more appropriate?

(tune: “O Tannenbaum” or “Oh Christmas Tree”)

O Magdeburg, O Magdeburg
We saw your burning towers
O Magdeburg, O Magdeburg
The fires burnt for hours
The people ther died by the score
Hundreds then, and thousands more
O Magdeburg, O Magdeburg
Your people are no more…

O Magdeburg, O Magdeburg
We saw your people burning
O Magdeburg, O Magdeburg
Our stomachs were a-churning
The screams of death, they rent the air
A carnage caused by Routiers
O Magdeburg, O Magdeburg
I’m glad that I was there!

(Commercial Verse)
That time has passed, but have no fear
New Magdeburg is rising
The tavern here is full of beer
And many people dicing
So come along, and have good cheer
A dollar fifty for a beer
O Magdeburg, O Magdeburg
Your spirit lives on here!

©1991 Dick Dog Music
by Sarge and Spike of the Routiers

This one was actually written (well, scrawled down on one of Helmut’s tissues) during a quiet moment at the New Magdeberg Tavern at the 1991 Convention. Sarge was in fine form that day, and we even wrote a commercial verse to attract the punters.

(to the tune of “I am Woman”)

WARNING: This song is not for the faint of heart!!

I am Routier, hear me roar
‘Cause I’m just too foul to ignore
And I bear the scars of Thirty Years of War;
I’ve got gout in me legs
And my teeth are blackened pegs,
But I’ll always find some comfort at the keg.

Oh, yes! I’m a thug, and I’m paid to dish out pain,
And yes, I’ll pay the price, but look how much I’ve gained,
If I’m paid to, I will do anything…
I am tough! (Tough!)
I am invincible (Invincible!)
I am Routier!

And When cannon’s mouths do roar,
And Imperial eagles soar,
Above the swaying mass of fighting men,
Then you’ll find me at the back
Of a furious attack,
Marching with my ashen pike on high;

Oh, yes! I am brave, but it’s courage brewed in beer
Yes! After a few jugs, I know there’s nought to fear,
If I’m drunk enough, I will fight anyone…
I am drunk! (Drunk!)
I am invincible! (Invincible!)
I am Routier!

And when the battle’s won
And the foe is on the run,
Then it’s time for all good soldiers to have fun….
Then I’ll get among the sluts
In the baggage trains and huts
And vent my lust between a young girl’s legs;

Oh, Yes! I am Gross, but it’s grossness born of need,
And yes! I’ll pay the price when my penis starts to bleed.
When I’m lustful, I will f*ck anything!
I am lewd! (Lewd!)
I’ve got syphilis! (Syphilis!)
I am Routier…….

©1989 Pierre La Bosche

One of the most well-known Routier songs, this may well be Pierre’s finest effort. It is as thoroughly disgusting to listen to as it is fun to sing, and is known as far and wide as the Routiers themselves are known. If we had a companie song, this would be it. Halleluleuh!

Being an catch with subtle humour wasted on no-one, Not even the boneheaded.

Here are the words of the catch, a simple song intended to be sung in rounds by drunken make-merry types, often with humourous intent. It was once sung by a certain Swedish Cultural Ensemble at the XAMC bardic competition to rapturous applause, appreciation and much appropriate mirth and joy. It probably would have won if not for the fact that the ensemble contained two of the judges who, in truth, contributed much of its talent, and thus disqualified itself.

When Celia was learning on the Spinnet to play,
her Tutor stood by her to show her
to show her
to show her, to show her the way.

She shook not the note, which anger’d him much,
and made him cry “Zounds!
’tis a long prick,
a long prick,
a long prick’d note you touch,”

Surprised was the Lady to hear him complain,
and said it and said and said,
I will shake it
I will shake it when I come to’t again.

A catch, a simple song intended to be sung in rounds by drunken make-merry types, this one to be sung in a four Voice round, for as many times as will.

‘Tis Women makes us Love,
‘Tis Love that makes us sad,
‘Tis sadness makes us Drink,
And Drinking makes us Mad.

Robert Monro, a Scottish soldier quoted this song in an account of the German campaigns written in 1637. The tune existed at least by 1624.

Soldiers with swords in hands, to the walls coming
Horsemen about the streets, riding and running
Sentinels on the walls, arm, arm, a-crying
Petards against the ports, wild fire a-flying
When Cannons are roaring
and bullets are flying
He that would honour win
must not fear dying!
Trumpets on turrets high, these are a-sounding
Drums beating out aloud, echoes resounding
Alarm bells in each place, they are a-ringing
Women with stones in laps, to the walls bringing.
When Cannons are roaring, etc.
Captains in open fields, on their foes rushing
Gentlemen second them, with their pikes pushing
Engineers in the trench, earth, earth uprearing
Gunpowder in the mines, pagans upblowing
When Cannons are roaring, etc.
Portcullis in the ports, they are down-letting
Berghers come flocking by, too their hands setting
Ladders against the walls, they are uprearing
Women great timber logs, to the walls bearing
When Cannons are roaring, etc.

Of all the fair birds that e’er I did see
The owl is the fairest in her degree,
For all the day long she sits in a tree
And when night comes, away flies she.

To-wit, To-woo, to whom drinks now,
My song is well sung, I’ll make thee a vow
And knave is he who drinketh now…

Nose.. Nose… Nose… Nose…
And what gave ye that jolly red nose?
Cinnamon and ginger, nutmeg and cloves
And that gave me this jolly red nose.

Traditional 17th Century drinking song

How stands the glass around?
For shame ye take no care me boys
How stands the glass around?
Let mirth and wine abound.

The trumpet sounds…
The colours they are flying, boys
To fight, kill or wound.
May we still be found,
Content with our hard fare me boys
On the cold, cold ground.

Why soldiers why?
Should we be melancholy, boys?
Why soldiers why?
Whose lot is but to die…

Well, sighing’s fine,
But here drink on, me jolly boys
Tis you, he or I,
Cold, hot, wet or dry,
We’re always bound to follow, boys
And scorn to fly.

Oh, tis but in vain!
I mean not to afright ye boys.
Oh, tis but in vain!
For soldiers to complain.
Should next campaign
Send us to Him who made us, boys
We’re free from pain.
But should we remain,
A bottle and kind landlady
Cures all again…

Traditional 17th Century soldiers’ song

An authentic 17th Century soldiers’ song, resurrected by Mr Hande just in time for the 93 Convention. Somewhat mournful, it is chillingly real in its mention of the “cold, cold ground”, and the eternal optimism of the soldier, insomuch as, should they survive, a few basic comforts will make them feel well again.

(To the Tune of Cuckolds All A-row)

Know this, my Brethren, Heaven is clear, and all the clowds are gone,
The righteous men shall flourish now, good dayes are comming on;
Come then my Brethren and be glad, and eke rejoyce with me,
Lawn sleeves and Rochets shall go down, and hey then up go we.

Wee’l break the Windows which the Whore of Babylon hath painted,
And when the Popish Saints are down, then Burrow shal be Sainted;
There’s neither Crosse nor Crucifix shall stand for men to see,
Romes trash and trumpery shall go down, and hey then up go we.

What ere the Popish hands have built, our Hammer shall undoe,
Wee’l break their Pipes, and burn their Copes, and pull down Churches too:
Wee’l exercise within the Groves, and teach beneath a Tree,
Wee’l make a Pulpit of a Cask, and hey then up go we.

Wee’l down with all the Versities, where Learning is profest,
Because they practice and maintain the language of the Beast;
Wee’l drive the Doctors out of doors, and parts what ere they be;
Wee’l cry all Arts and Learning down and hey then up go we.

Wee’l down with Deans and Prebends too, and I rejoyce to tell ye
How that we will eat Pigs our fill, and Capon by the belly;
Wee’l burn the Fathers Learned Books, and Make the School-men flee;
Wee’l down with all that smells of wit, and hey then up go we.

If once the Antichristian crew be crushed and overthrown,
Wee’l teach the Nobles how to stoop, and keep the Gentry down:
Good manners have an ill report, and turns to pride we see,
Wee’l therefore cry good manners down, and hey then up go we.

The name of Lords shall be abhorr’d, for every man’s a Brother,
No reason why in Church and State one man should rule another,
But when the Change of Government shall set our fingers free,
Wee’l make the wanton Sisters stoop, and hey then up go we.

What though the King and Parliament do not accord together,
We have more cause to be content, this is our Sun-shine weather;
For if that reason should take place, and they should once agree,
Who would be in a Round-heads case? And hey then up go we.

What should we do then in this case, let’s put it to a venture,
If that we hold out seven years space, wee’l sue out our indenture.
A time may come to make us rue, and time may set us free,
Except the Gallows claim his due, and hey then up go we.

Directly from Rump Songs, also known as An Exact Collection of ye Choicest Poems & Songs Relating to the Late Times & Continued
by the Most Eminent Witts from A1639 to 1661 (Published 1662)

Many thanks to Lisa Pearson, a 17th Century Re-enactor in the USA, for this info.
Reputed to actually be a Cavaliers’ song (the opposite of what you might think from the lyrics), it is very satirical in nature. They’re taking the piss out of the Levellers and other such malcontents.