Denny Murphy*

(To the tune of "The Maiden's Lament")

Once upon a tourney
In olden Calafia
There was a handsome laddy
Delighting ladys' eyes.

Or so he told us,
Told us, and told us;
Denny, don't you know
That a gentleman's discreet?

Well, every lord a ribbon bears,
A token from his lady.
He pins it nearest to his heart
And shelters it from blows.

But not for Denny
To single out one lady—
You couldn't see his armor
For the favors that he wore!

To take the field for the lists
The heralds call for Denny;
He's flirting with his latest
And hears them not at all.

Oh, Denny Murphy!
Calling Denny Murphy!
He's counting up her fingers,
With a kiss upon each nail.

Now in those days they called three times,
And you would answer smartly;
They did not call you after that,
You forfeited the bout.

Oh, Denny Murphy!
Calling Denny Murphy!
He's searching for a scrap of space
To pin her favor on.

Then suddenly he hears the cry,
They're calling for the final time!
He jams his helmet on his head,
And snatches up his sword.

See Denny Murphy
Sprinting for the eric,
Not a second's time to check
His gear before the fight!

His knees of finest Kirby plate
Have locked up at the field's edge.
He topples like a stricken oak,
No knight hit him so hard.

Poor Denny Murphy,
Face-down Denny Murphy,
His pig-snout bascinet he drove
Into the muddy lawn!

Now shall we help him to his feet?
I think I see him twitching.
Do you suppose his air holes are
All buried in the ground?

Or shall we leave him?
And let the ladies grieve him?
O how could we treat such a
Dashing laddy so?

a.d. V Id. Dec. 2755 (12/8/2002)
*Not his real name, or his SCA name.  If there is, was, or will be a Denny Murphy in the SCA, this is not about him.

Copyright © 2002 by Green Sky Press.  All rights reserved.

This song also appears in my novel The Last-Minute Queen, where it's credited to a fictional character.