Medieval Girl

Something inside me relaxed in gratitude and comfort yesterday at brunch when Steven turned to me and asked, “In what century do you think you should have been born?”

Isn’t it wonderful when your friends know things about you that are so integral that you miss the forest for the trees until someone says something? I got all warm and fuzzy inside.

I said, “I don’t know. Medieval times. What year was that?”

I checked Wikipedia. Pope Gregory started our calendar on February 24 in 1582. No wonder I didn’t know what year it was!  We didn’t use those years. Somebody was just about to change our whole concept of time!

Wikipedia also says that medieval times date from the 5th to the 16th century. I’m kinda part of the latter period there, I think. I didn’t read it all. That’s about the period of kings, queens, courts and . . . courtesans!!!

How’s that for a Valentine’s Day thought?

I love castles and the idea of dungeons and lots of things.

I love men with hair down to the middle of their backs and leather lace up boots and knives at their hips, wearing billowing poet’s shirts and speaking with British or Celtic accents. Pirate types, too. Think Johnny Depp in “Pirates of the Carribean.” And gypsies!

They melt me into a puddle.

I know a little more than just the romantic version. I know a little about living without plumbing and heating with a woodstove. Not much, but I lived a year at 9000 feet. After 3 nights at 18 degrees, I could keep the fire going all night. Necessity being a mother, and all of that.

I sometimes describe myself as a cross between a courtesan and a tavern wench. Courtesans were generally educated. If you have never seen the movie, “Dangerous Beauty,” I highly recommend it. If you’re female and love sex and giving men their fantasies, take your tissues, you will need them. “Princess Bride” is another one.

Turns out that the woman sitting next to me at brunch, someone who had not been there before, loves “Dangerous Beauty,” too. We made a date to have dinner and chat about our common interests.

Here is the Wikipedia entry on courtesans, with a note that “the neutrality of this article is disputed.”  Ha, I’ll bet.

“A courtesan of mid-16th century usage referred to a high-class prostitute or mistress, especially one associated with rich, powerful, or upper-class men who provided luxuries and status in exchange for her services. In Renaissance Europe, courtesans played an important role in upper-class society, sometimes taking the place of wives at social functions.[citation needed] As it was customary during this time for royal couples to lead separate lives—commonly marrying simply to preserve bloodlines and to secure political alliances—men would often seek sexual gratification and companionship from a courtesan. There have been a few isolated cases of courtesans providing services to wealthy females, however.[citation needed] Courtesans usually enjoyed more freedoms than was typical of women at the time. For example, they were financially stable and independent. Being in control of their own resources meant that they did not need to rely on their spouses or male relatives to survive, as was the case for the majority of women.”

So, the Medieval period is first, then there was the Renaissance, followed by the Protestant Reformation.

You lose me at the Renaissance. I am a little out of my depth and preferences by then. You get a little too intellectual and stiff there. That’s fine for those with 1500 different interests and talents, but that’s not me. And I prefer not to put Decartes before the horse.

The Protestant Reformation was sort of kind of a step forward, in my opinion, from straight Catholicism. At least people were starting to think for themselves a little more, but it is nothing compared to the ideas that Christ actually taught, as far as I can tell.

Christ taught us to “seek ye first the Kingdom of Heaven.” And then he told us where to look, “the Kingdom of Heaven is WITHIN.” Not in a book, not with a guru, not in a church, not in an organization… INSIDE.

Yeah, I have some affinity for that time, too. Mary Magdalene is my patron saint. She is indeed a saint in the Episcopal church.

I really love the castles. Can I have mine with heat and running water?

This prompts many people to ask if I am a member of SCA, the Society for Creative Anachronism. The answer is “no.” Oh, I might fit in with one group or another. I’ve gone to an event or two. I’d love to learn the dances. But for some reason it isn’t quite the fit I’m after. I don’t want to play at it, dress up in period garb and go to SCA events, really. Oh, I might with the right person.

And yes, I’ve been to a few Renaissance Festivals in a couple of states. (No pun intended.) They’re alright. I’m not a fan of large groups of people I do not know doing a multitude of different colorful things. (This aversion keeps me from Burning Man, too, since that’s often another question I am asked. That and the desert and the heat. No thanks!)

One of my favorite albums as a child was Oscar Brand’s “Bawdy Songs and Backroom Ballads, Volume III.” I had it memorized by the time I was 13 or 14.

Try this one:

She’ll Do It Again  

And for a sheep-skin, she’ll do it, she’ll do it,
And for a sheep-skin, she’ll do it again,
And for a cow’s horn, she’ll do it all morn,
And merrily turn, and do it again.

Among our young lasses is Muirland Meg,
She’ll beg you to do it she’ll beg and she’ll beg,
At thirteen her maidenhead flew to the gate,
And thedoor of thecage it is wide open yet

Her kettle-black eyes want to tickle you through,
Her lips seem to say it, “Kiss me, please do,”
The curls and the links of her bonny black hair
Would put you in mind that the lassie has mair.

An armful of love is her bosom sae plump,
A span of delight is her middle and rump,
A taper white leg, and a stomach in style,
And a fiddle nearby you can play for a while.

For love’s her delight, and kissing’s her treasure,
She’ll stick at no price and she’ll give you good measure,
So take her warm hand, mon, or better, her leg,
And sing of the praises of Muirland Meg.

 Here are the lyrics to one of my favorites, “Kafoozalem.” The tune is “London Bridge,” basically. I found 2 spellings and several versions worse, or better, depending upon your taste, than this one, but this is the one I learned as a child.

You can find the rest of them on this link:

http://www.google.com/musicl?lid=HdS1NX2xxcB&aid=Hpg2T_mzPSI

Chorus:

Hi ho Kafoozalem, the harlot of Jerusalem
Prostitute of ill repute
Daughter of the Baba.

Come listen to my tale of woe
It happened many years ago
When women rarely answered no
Way down in old Jerusalem.

(Chorus)

Kafoozalem was a wily witch
A horny whore, a brazen bitch
She caused all the lips to twitch
That liveth in Jerusalem.

(Chorus)

There was a prince both lean and tall
Whose manly arts made all to fall
His victims lined the Wailing Wall
That standeth in Jerusalem.

(Chorus)

One night returnin’ from a spree
His customary leer had he
Looked down the road and chanced to see
That horny wench Kafoozalem.

(Chorus)

With artful eye and cunning look
She led him to a shady nook
And to her bounteous bosom took
The pride of all Jerusalem.

(Chorus)

But he was too abrupt, alas
And so he made a hasty pass
That knocked Kafoozalem to the grass
That grows in old Jerusalem.

(Chorus)

But Kafoozalem was overgassed
She arched her back and loosed a blast
That sent him flying far and fast
Sailin’ o’er Jerusalem.

(Chorus)

And when the moon is bright and red
A flying form sails overhead
Still raining curses on the bed
Of that brazen bitch Kafoozalem.

(Chorus)

I also loved “Dynamo Hum,” by Frank Zappa, and dozens of others similar to these. 

That may be another blog, for another day.

Goodnight, boys and girls. 

Love,

Stacy (aka Anastacia)

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2 Responses to “Medieval Girl”

  1. Wonderland Says:

    Cute. I liked it.

  2. GW Hogg Says:

    That was fun to read. Nice to see there are others with fond memories of listening to Oscar Brand records. Such fun needs to be passed down to ones children.
    GW

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