I am not a filker. However, I do write songs, and have done so regularly since I learned to squeeze out my first few plunky guitar chords, oh, almost twenty years ago. I like to work songs of my own composition into my novels; with Witchy Eye, I did that by writing several of them for chapter headings (each chapter of Witchy Eye is headed by a secondary world document, designed to illuminate somewhat the action of that chapter and chapters following, and also intended to flesh out the reader’s sense of the milieu).
So here’s the heading to Chapter Eleven of Witchy Eye. It’s a “traditional” song about a pair of legendary characters mysteriously associated with the Beastfolk of the Mississippi River, Peter Plowshare and Simon Sword.
Peter Plowshare’s a farming man
King of maize and bean and gourd
Who takes it back whene’er he can?
The rascal, Simon Sword!
Peter Plowshare’s a builder fair
Log and chink and stone and board
Who tears down buildings everywhere?
The villain, Simon Sword!
Peter Plowshare shapes the land
Road and fence and bridge and ford
Who smashes all with a hateful hand?
The reaver, Simon Sword!
P.S. What is filk? This is filk: