The SCA birthday song

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The SCA birthday song is an old, but happy tradition. It seems to have fallen out of favour recently (mostly because no-one can remember the words). This song has has several names, such as 'The SCA Birthday Dirge', 'The Barbarian Birthday Song', 'The Viking Birthday Song' etc. and is sung to the tune of 'The Volga Boatmen'. After each "Happy birthday" is sung/chanted, it is followed by a thud or grunt you get if you lift something heavy. This isn't a copyrighted song, and variations run free through the SCA and can be found everywhere. There are loads of variations, but here are several:

The Birthday Dirge

Happy Birthday! thud! Happy Birthday! thud!

  1. Now you've aged another year
    Now you know that Death is near
    Happy Birthday! thud! Happy Birthday! thud!
    1. So you've aged another year
      Now you know that Death is near
  2. Children dying far and near
    They say that cancer's caused by beer
    1. Children dying everywhere
      Women crying in despair
  3. Death, destruction, and despair
    People dying everywhere
    1. Doom and gloom and dark despair
      People dying everywhere!
    2. Doom, destruction, and despair
      Grief and sorrow fill the air
    3. Doom, destruction, and despair
      People dying everywhere
    4. Death and gloom and black despair
      People dying everywhere
    5. Pain destruction and despair
      People dying everywhere
  4. Typhoid, plague and polio
    Coffins lined up in a row
  5. Now that you're the age you are
    Your demise cannot be far
    1. Now you are the age you are
      Your demise cannot be far
    2. When you've reached the age you are
      Your demise cannot be far

Other popular verses:

  1. Black Death has just struck your town
    You yourself feel quite run-down
    1. Pestilence has struck your town
      You yourself feel quite run-down
  2. Birthdays come but once a year
    Marking time as Death draws near
  3. Long ago your hair turned grey
    Now it's falling out, they say
    1. Soon your hair will all turn grey
      Then fall out (or so they say)
  4. So you're 29 again
    Don't tell lies to your good friend
  5. So another year has passed
    Don't look now they're gaining fast!
  6. Fear and gloom and darkness but
    no one found out YOU KNOW WHAT
  7. It's your birthday never fear
    You'll be dead this time next year
  8. You must marry very soon
    Baby's due the next full moon
  9. Were I sitting in your shoes
    I'd go out and sing the blues
  10. Though you're turning 29
    Age to you is like fine wine
  11. Now you've lived another year
    age to you is like stale beer

The Viking/Barbarian Verses:

  1. Burn the castle and storm the keep
    Kill the women, but save/spare the sheep
    1. Hear the women wail and weep
      Kill them all, but save/spare the sheep
    2. May the women wail and weep
      kill them all, but save/spare the sheep
    3. Women wail and men do weep
      kill them all, but save/spare the sheep
  2. Burn, then rape by firelight
    Add _romance_ to life tonight
  3. Indigestion's what you get
    From the enemies you 'et
  4. May the candles on your cake
    Burn like cities in your wake.
    1. May the cities in your wake
      Burn like candles on your cake,
  5. May the children in the street
    Be your barbequeing meat
    1. We love children, yes we do
      Baked or broiled or in a stew
  6. May your deeds with sheep and yaks
    Equal those with sword and axe
    1. May your deeds with sword and axe
      Equal those with sheep and yaks
  7. They stole your sword, your gold, your house
    (They) Took your sheep but not your spouse
  8. This one lesson you must learn
    First you pillage, then you burn
  9. While you eat your birthday stew
    We will loot the town for you.

The SCA Verses:

  1. We brought linen, white as cloud
    Now we'll sit and sew your shroud
  2. You're a period cook, its true
    Ask the beetles in the stew
  3. Your servants steal, your wife's untrue
    Your children plot to murder you

And yet another version: Death destruction and despair, people dying everywhere.

May the Candles on your cake, burn like cities in your wake.

I like children yes I do, baked or boiled or in a stew.

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