Bardcore: Where have you been all my life?
There’s a new genre of music evolving on YouTube these days. It’s called Bardcore (or Medieval Style), and I am HERE for it! Bardcore is the soundtrack I didn’t know I needed as a historian and genealogist, I spend many days and nights steeped in the past, lost amongst the long (and sometimes not so long) dead trying to piece together their lives and connect them through the ages to the now.
Connected to both the present and the past as I am, hearing Progressive Rock (an occasional Hard Rock), Grunge, and modern Popular songs played out on harpsichord, lute-guitar, the bass notes thudding on hand drums and sometimes accompanied by the hammered dulcimer, melodies singing out on tin whistles makes perfect sense to me. Listening to this music, my inner band geek squeals in excitement and my nerdy heart soars.
The user names of the talented individuals who have pioneered this new and exciting genre may be lost in favor of their ‘real’ names one day, but for now I salute them. Graywyk, Cornelius Link, Algal the Bard, Constantine, Hildegard von Blingin’, Samus Ordicus and a host of others are joining the genre it seems daily now. Some of my favorites are those who have adapted the lyrics to a medieval (ish) style as well. Hildegard von Blingin’ has a cover of “Pumped up Kicks” by Foster the People that retains the catchy tune of the original song, but beseeches the “bully-rooks with your buskin boots” to “outrun my bow” of yew. And councils the rooks further to run “faster than mine arrow.” If you love music and are unapologetically nerdy, head over to YouTube, search “Bardcore” and fall into the past with a bit of anachronistic good humor. You won’t be sorry that you did! I’m off to the 1800s now, but I’m taking System of a Down’s “Toxicity” (Medieval version by Algal the Bard) with me!
If you are a fan of re-enactment sites and living history museums like Sturbridge Village or Colonial Williamsburg Foundation then you have likely seen the goods produced by Townsends (formerly Jas Townsend & Son) a manufacturer and retailer of reproduction 18th and early 19th Century clothing, cookware, and accessories. Not only do Townsend’s proprietors provide material for re-enactors, they walk the walk and are re-enactors themselves producing YouTube videos on everything from era-specific carpentry, camping and, my personal favorite, cooking. Billed as “a channel dedicated to exploring the 18th century lifestyle”, Townsends features proprietor Jonathan Townsend cooking recipes from both American and European cookbooks. Cooking both in a reproduction kitchen as well as campfire-side, Townsend prepares both long-gone recipes like Swanky & Gruit, Bison Soup and Corn & Eel Succotash along with those that are still familiar today like chocolate cream pie, fried chicken and pancakes. Clearly a skilled cook who enjoys the history of the dishes he prepares, the videos are both entertaining and educational. Lovers of the foodways of the Colonies and the Early Republic will enjoy this channel with can be found below.