In the last post, I talked about creating a new poetry form for Edmund and Kateryn’s Kingdom Augmentation. But that was not actually the first text that William and Isolde had asked me to create. Instead, way back in February and March, when we started discussing awards and coronation scripts, the first thing they asked me to do was to write a scroll text for Colin O’Flannery, who we all called Flan.
William and Flan have been friends for decades, but I didn’t really know much about him, which is something I have come to regret after the reign. So when I was asked to create the Court Barony text for him, I had to do some digging.
If there’s one thing Fairhaven people — especially William — like to do, it’s tell stories. And were there ever a zillion stories about Flan! The stories tended to drop into three categories:
- Holy crap, look what Flan made me do
- And then I said to myself, what I need is Flan and a folding chair
- Flan is the best guy I know, and here’s something astounding he’s done for me.
I decided to have the scroll tell of Flan as a stand-up guy, who will never leave you behind, will always make you laugh, and will never suffer fools. He does the work no one wants to do, whether that’s take out the trash, dig a ditch, or dig a ditch to take out that trash, if you know what I mean. Flan isn’t a spot-light kind of guy, but does he ever deserve the word fame. It is, essentially, a boast for a man who will probably never sit a throne, but certainly deserves all the celebration he got.
I took the best of these stories, and fit them into a basic Irish epic poetry format (rhymed couplets in 12-syllable-ish lines), and then was lucky enough to read the thing to Colin and the entire audience in court. And, I’m happy to say, His Flancellency, lord of the Flancakes… was utterly gobsmacked. He just never saw it coming.
Since the days of Comar, who led the Dragon band
A squire of his was Cu-Colin-Flan, always well at hand
Doing things in quiet, some buried and some carried
Cu-Colin-Flan is champion-lad of what is necessary.
He’ll take care of that which no one sees is wrong
Never asking or expecting to be praised in song
Except that praise which also raises up his friends
With them he knows his path will always happily wend
When his brother needed help to face the ancient dead
Cu-Colin-Flan stood right beside him when others would have fled
He knows every joke or riddle put to sphinx or raven
And if you’re strong and right and true, with him you will have haven
No strategist or diplomat, his strong back is his tool
But even he has refused to suffer calmly any fool
For in a reign so long ago, Cu-Colin-Flan was working
With a sycophant seeking acclaim, but the flap-dragon was shirking
The fawning laggard saw Cu-Colin-Flan speaking with the queen
Upon this very link he seized, venting all his spleen
For now the goatish varlot thought he’d be recognized for sure
If only he could Cu-Colin-Flan’s true friendship be assured
So Cu-Colin-Flan approached on an errand for Queen dear
And the prating apple-john said “Ah, you’ve got the Queen’s Ear!”
But at the sycophant’s sly words did Cu-Colin-Flan take umbrage
“Nae true,” he said, “ye git, awa, I’ve only got her luggage!”
And so for this truth speaking of Cu-Colin-Flan, our friend
And for his loyalty and service, which will never end
Hear these Our words now, sung out strong by our Herald clarion
Before these nobles all, Cu-Colin-Flan, do We make you Court Baron!