AN: This topic was suggested by Sam to aid with my writers’ block…if you don’t like it, blame her. Or Myra, my laptop. The buck doesn’t even slow down here.
Friends, citizens…America. I come to you with a problem that we must solve NOW. If we do not guard this aspect of our culture, we can never get it back. We are on the cusp of losing something vital to the survival of culture, of life, of poofy hats and lutes.
That’s right. I’m talking about the decline of the traveling minstrel. The wandering bard. Le troubadour. When was the last time you saw a man walking down the street, strumming his lute and singing a chanson de geste?
I imagine it was a while ago.
We all have fond memories of Allan-a-Dale, the folk-singing troubadour chicken from Disney’s Robin Hood. Now, Allan-a-Dale’s human brethren are on the brink of extinction. The death of the minstrel indicates a larger death of culture within our commercialized and overfed American society. These days, street musicians don’t even go anywhere; they just stand there and wait for the money to come to them. Way to support the poor dietary habits of the American middle class there, guys. I mean, a chanson de geste simply isn’t the same if it’s not accompanied by a jaunty gait. Where are people’s standards nowadays?
And for that matter, who is writing minstrel songs based on current events nowadays? And before you ask, Bilyl Joel did not write “We Didn’t Start the Fire” to be played on a lute while he strolled through the Village with Brinkley, so that one doesn’t count. Take this for an example: Obama gets elected in 2008 – MAJOR event, not merely on a national scale – and where, I ask, were the strolling players singing “The Ode of the Caucus” and “Oo-de-lally, Golly What an Election”? Oh, right, NOWHERE, that’s where. Simply because we no longer live in hovels and eat roasted pig on a spit, it does not mean that we can’t appreciate a good chanson de geste.
Do not let this cultural standard remain what is has become today – a sideshow attraction at Renaissance faires, stuck somewhere between the people dressed like Elves and the roast turkey leg booth. Demand the return of the strolling troubadour. Wouldn’t it be great to have a minstrel to wander around singing songs of triumph during exam week? Or to entertain you with dirty songs while you’re in line at the DMV?
On a side note, the return of troubadours would bring us one step closer to my ultimate, diabolical scheme, which is to turn the country into America! The Musical. Think of it as a bonus.
We can do this, America! Remember the Day the Music Died? Well, we can create the Day the Music Resurrected Itself in Zombie Form for our children and their children!
Oooh, zombie minstrels…hey, if certain unnamed authors can make a killing out of annoying undead teenagers, then surely this idea will make me richer than Oprah.