linguistic songs

Mark_Mandel at DRAGONSYS.COM Mark_Mandel at DRAGONSYS.COM
Tue Aug 15 14:59:41 UTC 2000

I have made a small collection of linguistic songs, and several of them are
by Cat (Catherine) Faber. You probably haven't heard of her, except perhaps
for Rima, but she's well known in the filk community. (Filk music: genre of
music originating in the culture of science fiction and fantasy.)

One of her songs, "Yogh and Ash and Thorn", is a takeoff (parody, "filk")
of Kipling's "A Tree Song" (whose chorus begins, and whose subject is, "Oak
and Ash and Thorn"), using a tune that I believe is by Leslie Fish (a very
well-known filker). I don't believe Cat's song has been recorded, but I
know I've heard a recording of this setting of Kipling. If anyone is
interested I'll try to hunt it down.

Cat's "Say Again, Tower" depicts the plight of an exploration starship
returning to Earth after a few subjective years and encountering problems
with language change. (Time slows down near the speed of light: many years
may pass on Earth while you experience only a few.) I'm asking her
permission to post the lyrics here. It is on the CD _As Good As Any_ by
Echo's Children, which is the duo of Cat and Callie Hills. I thought it was
available from Random Factors, a filk publisher
(, but it's not listed there;
maybe it's out of print. The only reference I could find through Alta Vista
is .

Also on _As Good As Any_ is "They Spoke With Their Hands", which according
to the insert notes originated with an attempt to describe (by analogy) the
experience of a telepath growing up in a non-telepathic community. This
song is from the point of view of the only hearing person growing up in a
deaf village.

-- Mark

   Mark A. Mandel : Dragon Systems, a Lernout & Hauspie company
          Mark_Mandel at : Senior Linguist
 320 Nevada St., Newton, MA 02460, USA :

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