Friday, 2 May 2008

WFRP: The Foggy Dew

There are many ballads that stir the hearts and souls of the Empire's folk and fighters. One such is the newly composed The Foggy Dew, which was written after Reikland troops rallied to defend Altdorf from a vicious Chaos incursion during the Storm of Chaos. Most of the troops were killed, but the attack on the capital was stopped. Those who returned were hailed as heroes, but they had paid a terrible price and are still haunted by their ordeals. So The Foggy Dew is a lament for their great sacrifice.
As down the glen one Sigmar's morn to a city fair rode I
There Armed lines of marching men in squadrons passed me by
No fife did hum nor battle drum did sound it's dread tatoo
But the Hammer's bell o'er the Reik-river swell rang out through the foggy dew

Right proudly high over Altdorf Town they flung out the flag of war
'Twas better to die 'neath our Sigmar's sky than at Khypris or Barak Varr
And from the burghs of Reikland hills strong men came hurrying through
While the Blood God's Huns, with their long range guns sailed in through the foggy dew

So the bravest fell, and the requiem bell rang mournfully and clear
For those who died that Sigmar-tide in the springing of the year
And the world did gaze, in deep amaze, at those fearless men, but few
Who bore the fight that freedom's light might shine through the foggy dew

Ah, back through the glen I rode again and my heart with grief was sore
For I parted then with valiant men whom I never shall see more
But to and fro in my dreams I go and I kneel and pray for you,
For slavery fled, O glorious dead, When you fell in the foggy dew.
The song references the giant bell in the Great Cathedral of Sigmar, and two famous battle sites in the Badlands; Khypris and Barak Varr. The Blood God's Huns were a Chaos Mercenary regiment, infamous for using the Hochland Long Rifle in combat.

Adolphus Altdorfer
Bezahltag, Sommerzeit 2, 2523 IC

The song I have adapted is of course The Foggy Dew. I have changed the meaning of some verses to fit the Old World and the sometimes more simple conflicts that are played out in this fictitious world. My favourite version of the original is sung by Alan Stivell together with Shane MacGowan, but the Chieftains with Sinead O'Connor also perform a powerful version. The first time I remember hearing the melody though, was with Black 47 in their "Livin' in America (11 Years On)" from the album Fire of Freedom. I will return to the Irish tradition when adapting more songs in the future.


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