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Guild of Fools


From: Joel Polowin
Newsgroups: rec.music.filk,alt.fan.pratchett
Subject: [R] Guild of Fools
Date: Wed, 05 Apr 2000 14:54:20 -0400

This was my entry in the 2000 FilKONtario song contest (theme:"Tricksters"). For those who aren't very familiar with the Guild of Fools in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series, let's just say that it's described as being not a terribly nice environment, and a lot of the Guild members are not terribly socially ept.

Guild of Fools
(Copyright 2000 by Joel Polowin)

My father was funny when he was a boy
They called him the clown of the class
But he had to take up the family business
A shop-keeper's life doesn't leave time for school
He wanted to give me what he'd never had
His own childhood dreams to surpass
My parents saved up all their pennies to give me
A life in which laughter is always the rule
In the Ankh-Morpork Guild of Fools

We're up before dawn to get dressed for the day
The motley and grease-paint go on
Then several hours of juggling drill
Before breakfast, a small bowl of watery gruel
It takes skill and practise to look maladroit
To look like a clumsy buffoon
I've got to stay thin or my big baggy pants
Won't be baggy -- demerits and much ridicule
At the Ankh-Morpork Guild of Fools

There's hours of book-work and study to do
To memorize long lists of puns
And volumes of classical jokes to absorb, 'cause
For each funny task there's the one proper tool
We also spend time on the proper techniques
Of the physical sources of fun:
The boutonniere squirter, the bucket of water,
A well-used joy-buzzer's a gem and a jewel
In the Ankh-Morpork Guild of Fools

Just through the wall I can hear the Assassins
Laughing and telling their unapproved jokes
They think that they're funny, they think that they're happy
We experts just sneer at those amateur folks

So if you've a knack for the fun side of life,
And a humorous dream to fulfill
Come down and sign up for your twelve-year apprenticeship
Give joy to others, and more than that, you'll
Be a master of mirth and a giver of glee
With command of those critical skills
You'll toss off a joke and you'll throw a pie right
And you'll win your acclaim as a Lord of Misrule
In the Ankh-Morpork Guild of Fools

... Get it? "Pie right"? "Fool's guild"?
That's... that's official pun number D-38... <*sigh*>
The Ankh-Morpork Guild of Fools

[Performance note: the rhythm should be a bit lilting, almost waltzlike, but the tone should be a bit melancholy.]

The sheet music for the song is available on my web page at http://www.cyberus.ca/~jpolowin/filkstuf/foolsgld.htm .


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