I am the very model of a mediaeval Anglian (LOTR)

(Author: John Osborne, originally posted to rec.arts.books.tolkien in July of 1997)
(Archive: FlyingMoose.org Tolkien archive

Author’s note: I read with delight Chuck Bramlet’s observation on the perfect fit of> Errantry to the tune of I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General and this got me thinking of the possiblity of a Lord of the Rings / “Pirates of Penzance” hybrid… I have visions of Arwen singing Poor Wand’ring One to Aragorn, the Shirrifs singing When the Foeman Bares his Steel, and, perhaps best of all, the Nazgul sweeping up the slopes of
Weathertop bellowing With Cat-like Tread at the tops of their voices!

O. Sharp’s follow-up with the Xena song clinched it. I had to do something.

Theoden sings….

I am the very model of a mediaeval Anglian
The truth of this suffuses every nerve and every ganglion
While some proclaim my folc (1) to be Germanic (miscellaneous)
I am in in fact bewildered by this theory extra-aneous
I’m neither Lombard, Hun or Goth or any of that eastern crowd
We’re Anglo-Saxon to the core although we fight on horses proud
Some seem to think our armour bright could easily be Persian
But it is plain to see that it is mediaeval Mercian

Chorus:

But it is plain to see that it is mediaeval Mercian
But it is plain to see that it is mediaeval Mercian
But it is plain to see that it is mediaeval Merci-Mercian

Theoden…

We are the very model of the pre-Normanic Angelcynn (2)
We show it in the way we dress and in the way our songs are sung
In normal conversation we employ the language Mercian
And when we wish to swear, by heck! we don’t just swear, we cursian (3)
Our poetry’s alliterative – it hardly ever rhymes at all
We gather round mead benches and tell epics in our Saxon hall
In matters of the hearth and hall, the homestead and the open weald
We are the very model of a mediaeval gefeald (4)

Chorus:

They are the very model of a mediaeval gefeald
They are the very model of a mediaeval gefeald
They are the very model of a mediaeval gefe- gefeald

Theoden…

I am the very model of a hlaford (5) straight from Beowulf
We go by names like Fram and Gram and Erkenbrand, Eorl and Wulf
My hall of Meduseld which shines like gold under the sunne (6) hot
Is obviously modelled on King Hrothgar’s home of Heorot
In fact we are not modelled on the Anglians historical
We’re more akin to mediaeval Mercians poetical
But be that as it may I offer up this statement once again
I am the very model of a mediaeval Anglian!

(1) folc OE (pron. FOL-K) = people
(2) Angelcynn OE (pron. AN-GEL-Cuunn) = the English people
(3) cursian OE (pron. KURS-EE-AN) = to curse
(4) gefeald OE (pron. YE-FE-ALD) = domain
(5) hlaford OE (pron. HLA-VORD) = lord
(6) sunne OE (pron. SUUN-NE) = sun

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