For decades, Rorik Fredericson of Clan Cambion has been carrying around a goose puppet named Frederic at SCA and Markland events and at science fiction conventions. The puppet, as wielded by Rorik, is startlingly lifelike in its movements. As in: several people have been startled to realize it's a puppet after wondering for several minutes why Rorik was carrying a live goose.
At Pennsic War XXXV, we noticed that the goose was wearing a new decoration. Rorik explained that the goose had received a baronial service award. When he observed that it would be especially nifty if the goose were to win an award of arms, the phrase "armigerous goose" got stuck in my brain.
And it sounded like a tune title. Which I mentioned to Mike.
And Mike agreed, and said we had to write the tune to go with it.
Now the goose has not, as of 2006-08-14, been awarded a grant of
arms, so this tune (or rather its title) is rather premature (and
even presumptuous), but when the Muse
artists must obey. Mike and I sat down in his camp at Pennsic, he
holding a flute and I (barely awake) holding a mandolin, to discover
what sort of tune "The Armigerous Goose" ought to be -- while Emory
patiently transcribed our composition as it emerged, on his laptop
computer. We can only hope that the powers in the Kingdom of
Atlantia someday do see fit to grant arms to Rorik's goose so that
the title of this tune becomes more than hypothetical.
So there is the story. Now here is the tune:
The Armigerous Goose
by Michael Stoddard and D. Glenn Arthur Jr. of The Homespun Ceilidh band
PDF | MIDI | Postscript | ABC (download) | ABC (display on screen) | JPeg | PNG
(Readers familiar with Celtic music will probably have already guessed that where the sheet music contains a sixteenth note followed by a dotted eighth, what is intended is a "Scottish snap". For anyone else however, a bit of explanation may be in order: instead of exactly the timing notated, the timing should be rather more like a thirty-second note followed by a double-dotted eighth ... but not quite that extreme.)
Of course, none of us is using the same music software as any of the others, so in short order we had it on three different computers and a PDA in three different formats -- four if you count the MIDI files. Then I keyed the ABC notation into my cell phone to send it to John (who was not at Pennsic with us) as a handful of text messages -- gotta love living in the XXIst Century, when it's possible to email sheet music home from the middle of a campground via cell phone, even if it does involve abusing the technology a bit. If I make it up to Mystic Mail in the merchants' quarter, I may even get this web page posted before I get home.