Gorean Songs

Updated: 11-07-01
"The songs of Gor varied from place to place as you will see in the following examples. Some were sung as part of tradition, to tell a story, or played for there beauty and melody. It might be noted that they were never written down, but instead passed from generation to generation and master to apprentice. I might mention, I have never on Gor seen any written music; I do not know if a notation exists; melodies are passed on from father to son, from master to apprentice."

Book 4, Nomads of Gor, page 153

--Blue Sky Song--
"Some of the Tuchuks began to sing the Blue Sky Song, the refrain of which is that thought I die, yet there will be the bosk, the grass and sky."

Book 4, Nomads of Gor, page 263

"...lost in her music, a gentle, slow melody, rather sad. I had heard it sung some two years ago by the bargemen on the Cartius, a tributary of the Bosk, far to the south and west of Ar."

Book 5, Assassins of Gor, page 207 ~¤~

--Caravans of Tor--
"Her fingers touched the six strings, a note at a time, and then a melody, of the caravans of Tor, a song of love."

Book 5, Assassin of Gor, page 264

--Song of Tarl of Bristol and Glorious AAr--
"I sing the siege of Ar, of gleaming Ar.
I sing the spears and walls of Ar, of Glorious Ar.
In the long years past of the siege of the city the siege of Ar of her spires and towers of undaunted Ar, Glorious Ar. I sing.
I sing of dark-haired Talena of the rage of Marlenus Ubar of Ar, Glorious Ar.
And of he I sing whose hair was like a larl from the sun of he who came once to the walls of Ar, Glorious Ar , he called Tarl of Bristol.

And, as the torches burned lower in the wall racks, the singer continued to sing, and sang of gray Pa-Kur, Master of the Assassins, leader of the hordes that feel on Ar after the theft of her Home Stone; and he sang, too, of banners and black helmets, of upraised standards, of the sun flashing on the lifted blades of spears, of high siege towers and deeds, of catapults of Ka-la-na and tem-wood, of the thunder of war tharlarion and the beatings of drums and the roars of trumpets, the clash of arms and the cries of men; and he sang, too, of the love of men for their city, and, foolishly, knowing so little of men, he sang, too, the bravery of men, and their loyalties and their courage; and he sang then, too, of duels; of duels fought even on the walls of Ar herself, even at the great gate; and of tarnsmen locked in duels to the death over the spires of Ar; and yet another duel, one fought on the height of Ar's cylinder of justice, between Pak-Kur, and he, in the song, called Tarl of Bristol."

Book 6, Raiders of Gor, pages 225 - 226

--Archaic Hymns--
"The litany and responses of the congregation were now completed and the initiates, some twenty within the rail, began to sing in archaic Gorean. I could make out little of the wording. There was an accompaniment by sistrums. Portions of the hymn were taken up by four delicated boys, standing outside the white on a raised platform. Their heads were shaved and they wore robes resembling those of the initiates. Choirs of such boys often sang in the great temples. They were young male slaves, purchased by initiates, castrated by civil authorities and, in the monasteries, trained in song. I supposed, to one versed in music, their soprano voices were very beautiful. I did not care much for them. Here in the far north, of course, in Kassau, to have any such boys, properly trained in the archaic hymns, indicated some wealth. I did not think such singers existed even in Lydius."

Book 9, Marauders of Gor, page 33 ~¤~

--The Men of Torvaldsland Sing at the Oaars--
"The men of Torvaldsland began to sing at the oars. The men of Torvaldsland sang with great voices. The men of Torvaldsland singing, the oars lifting and dipping, the serpent of Ivar Forkbeard took its way from the harbor of Kassau."

Book 9, Marauders of Gor, page 54

--Songs of the Red Hunters--
"That drum in one hand of the hunter standing now in the midst of the group was some two and one half feet in diameter. He was now striking on it and singing. I could not make out the song, but it had to do with the mild winds which blow in the summer. These songs, incidentally, are rather like tools or carvings. It is unusual for one man or woman to sing another's songs. One is expected to make up one's own songs. It is expected that every man will be able to make up songs and sing them, just as every man is supposed to be able to carve and hunt. These songs are usually very simple, but some of them are quite beautiful, and some are quite touching. Both men and women sing, of course. Men, interestingly, usually do the carving. The ulo, or woman's knife, with its semicircular blade, customarily fixed in a wooden handle, is not well suited to carving. It is better at cutting meat and slicing sinew. Also, carving ivory and bone requires strength. But women sing as well as men. Sometimes they sing of feasting clothes, and lovers, and their skill in quartering tabuk. Another man now took the drum and began to sing. He sang of a kayak-making song, customarily sung to the leather, wood, and sinew, with which he worked, that it not betray him on the polar sea. A fellow after him sang a sleen song, usually sung on the water, encouraging the sleen to swim to where he might strike them. The next song dealt with a rascal who, supposedly hunting for tabuk, lay down and rubbed his boots on a rock, later returning to his companions with a report of luckless hunting, indicating his worn boots as evidence of his lengthy trekking. From the looks cast about the room I gathered the rascal might even be present. One fellow at least, seemed quite embarrassed. He soon leaped up, however, and sang a song about the first fellow, something about a fellow who could not make good arrows. Two women sang after this, the first about gathering birds' eggs when she was a little girl, and the other about her joy in seeing the face of a relative whom she had not seen in more than two years.

It is rather commendable, I think, that the red hunters make up songs. They are not as critical as many other people. To them it is often more important that one whom they love sings than it is that his song is a good song. If it is a 'true' song, and comes from the heart, they are pleased to hear it. Perhaps then it is a "good song," after all. Songs, even simple ones, are regarded by the red hunters as being precious and rather mysterious. They are pleased that there are songs. As it is said. 'No one knows from where songs come.' "

Book 12, Beasts of Gor, pages 262 - 263

--The Ten Maids of Hammerfest--
"On the Tuka the rowers were singing, lustily. They wore an odd assortment of garbs. Insignia has been torn from clothing. Crests had been ripped from helmets, identificatory devices pried from the convex surfaces of shields. It was not a song of Ar they sang, but a river song, a song of pirates and brawlers, 'The Ten Maids of Hammerfest,' in which is recounted the fates which befell these lovely lasses. I was mildly scandalized that the stout fellows of Ar, soldiers and gentlemen, as Gorean gentlemen go, would even know these lyrics, let alone sing them with such unabashed gusto."

Book 16, Guardsman of Gor, page 93

--Block Melodies--
"The reference to 'block melodies' had to do with certain melodies which are commonly used in slave markets, in the display of the merchandise. Some were apparently developed for the purpose, and others simply utilized for it. Such melodies tend to be sexually stimulating, and powerfully so, both for the merchandise being vended, who must dance to them, and for the buyers."

Book 24, Vagabonds of Gor, page 37

--The Hope of Tina--
"The 'Hope of Tina,' a melody of Cos which would surely be popular with most of the fellows present, on the other hand, was an excellent choice. It was supposedly the expression of the yearning, or hope, of a young girl that she may be so beautiful, and so feminine, and marvelous, that she will prove acceptable as a slave."

Book 24, Vagabonds of Gor, pages 37 - 38

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