And now, as they used to say on Monty Python’s Flying Circus, for something completely different.

There’s a bit of a YouTube phenomenon at the moment in which musicians make covers of popular songs in a (quasi) medieval style. Some of it’s quite fun, so I thought I’d share some of my favourites with you this week. As they also used to say a lot on 60s TV (at least in my part of the world), normal service will be resumed shortly.

Most of the covers aren’t terribly different from the original, because the performers have used a synthesizer to play what is more or less the same music and rhythms in a medievalish style. Others, the ones I prefer, have been arranged sympathetically and are recorded by musicians on medieval-sounding instruments in a fairly medieval style.

I’m not terribly familiar with modern popular music. There hasn’t been much that has appealed to me since the Beatles split up, so I hope you’ll forgive my idiosyncratic tastes, but these seemed to be good examples of the genre.

You can see from the number of views how popular some of these videos are. That’s not entirely surprising, since we’re living through a twenty-first century version of the Black Death, albeit with, so far, less death. Whilst concept itself is fairly light-hearted, the music produced isn’t always.

We’ll start with my favourite, and it’s not just because she plays the recorder and sings. Hildegard von Blingin’s videos are made by someone who knows a bit about the Middle Ages and is a good musician. If you listen to nothing else in this post, give this one a go, because it’s definitely worth it.

This next one is worth watching for the video, especially the last few seconds.

It’s the vocals and the lyrics on this one that I like.

This is a fun, but creepy, version of Thriller.

Finally, if you’re still here.

April Munday is the author of the Soldiers of Fortune and Regency Spies series of novels, as well as standalone novels set in the fourteenth century.

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Filed under Black Death

23 responses to “Bardcore

  1. This is fabulous. Though I agree that the song with real instruments are much better than the synthesizer. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh my God (I dont say OMG lightly!) this is brilliant April!My new listening addiction…also the title..Bardcore šŸ˜€ šŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The first and last videos are unavailable on my end, but the others are fantastic!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow! I didn’t know about Bardcore before I read your post, Aoril. Thanks for introducing me to this genre. It has a lot of appeal to me, as a Medieval reenactor and musician (Renaissance lute, Medieval plucked psaltery, and Medieval harp). I definitely hear a hurdy-gurdy being played in “Jolene.” And I love her nom de plume, Hildegard von Blingen. Hilarious! šŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Whoopsie! Reminds me to stay outta caves! šŸ˜µ

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Whoopsie! Reminds me to stay outta caves!


  7. These are fun. I’ve been seeing quite a few recently – they come through on my Facebook feed, but “Jolene” has been the best, so far.
    Different genre, but in the 70s I had a soft spot for Steeleye Span and their folk rock versions of traditional songs.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Finally got round to these (they won’t play on my old ipad), just fab, especially like Jolene and Walk like an Egyptian funny as!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Medieval Music | A Writer's Perspective

  10. I’ve never come across this – it’s brilliant! And aren’t there some clever people out there?!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: Two Offerings | A Writer's Perspective

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