Introducing Janowyn, an Elven rock-chick…?

Now, being an elven bard, whilst being terribly romantic, can also be a little sad most of the time. This is particularly apparent when you’re playing in a true Tolkienesque environment, because the race of elves seemed to have had more than their fair share of tragedy and doom. For my character Janowyn, all her formal performance art was largely concerned with fateful love affairs with mortals (elves are immortal and mate for life, so this was naturally traumatic and bound to end in heartache) and bloody battles and feuds with various adversaries from received canon.
Luckily in our particular version of the River Kingdom, we had a kind of ‘green room’ tavern where the bards could hang out and practice new material with each other. This was called The Rainbows End and was hugely important to Jano’s character development as, being brought up in a wholly human community for over two hundred years, she sometimes needed to have a few laughs and kick over the traces every now and again. On the forum there was quite a lot of horsing around in these offstage or ‘out of character’ areas, even if we were still technically in character. Some of the roleplay threads could get quite silly and quirky as our characters did things that were totally ‘real world’ – like having a karaoke party for someone’s birthday…
The temptation to take the mickey out of some of the more academic and stuffy canon venues and roleplay re-enactments sometimes became totally wild, so, to show you that being a bard isn’t all about teary-eyed torch songs, here’s an example of a little roleplay fun we had down in Minas Tirith, where Jano’s friend, Miah, a mortal healer in the Houses of Healing, was having a fancy dress birthday party in a local dive. It had a karaoke theme and, as one of Miah’s favourite singers was a lady going by the name of Janus Droplin, Jano decided to do a tribute act set - and this is how she did it!

Being a seasoned performer Jano wasn't too worried, although she hadn't sung a song like this before. In fact, she was quite looking forward to it - very different from elven ballads and laments... She was quite enjoying the outfit too, although the vest was indeed a leetle bit too naughty and she wondered what her beloved would say if he saw her in it... Although maybe he wouldn't mind it too much if it was just them - hmmm, yes that might work... She kept her scruffy long leather patchwork jacket on anyway as she stepped up to the mic and nodded to the musicians. They began and she smiled over at Miah as the intro played and then she was singing, her voice sounding more husky than usual, but somehow raw and vulnerable, coming out strong and passionate and winding itself warmly around the melody...
Another act of online piracy… Here’s the LINK if you need to hear the music - lyrics for Janus Droplin’s Middle Earth version of Take Another Little Piece of My Heart!

Oh, come on, come on, come on, come on!
Didn’t she make you feel like you were the only man – oooo yeah!
When she rolled up nex’ your bed with that big bright house o’ healin’ bed pan!
Honey, you know she did!
An’ ev’ray time she tole ya “Sweets, Ah’m here for ya bed bath scrub!”

An’ Man you KNOW ya loved it - ’cos that Miah she sure can rub!

So tell her to come on, come on, come on, come on an’ TAKE IT!
Take it!
Take another little piece of his heart now, Miah!
Oh! Woah! BREAK IT!

Break another little bit of his heart, yeah, Miah!
Oh, oh, have a
Have another little piece of his heart now, Miah!

She knows she’s got it an’ she’ll make ya feel good!
Oh, yes indeed.

She’s hot on the street! Woah! Looks good
An Miah – deep down in your soul, you know that dress is way too tight!
Never, never, never, never, never, never, can a real man resist the sight
Miah, they just cry all the time!
One look at youse enough to drive all them fine big Guards insane!
An’ when you inspect their shiny blades, they’ll sing for you once again

They’ll sing come on, come on, come on, come on and take it!

Take another little piece of their hearts now, Miah!
Woah, oh - slice ’em!
Slice some more little bits of their hearts off, darlin’!
Oh, woah, have a
Have another little piece of their hearts now, Miah!
You know you got ’em, chile, it all makes ’em feel good.

We need you to come on, come on, come on, come on and TAKE IT!

Take another little piece of our hearts now, Miah!
Oh, oh, break it!
Break another little chunk off our hearts, now darlin’, c'mon now!
Oh, oh, have a
Have another little valve from his heart now, Miah!
He’s got it baaad for ya! An’ you make him feel good!

Take it!
Take it! Take another little piece of their hearts now, Miah!
Woah! Woah! Break it!
Break another little chunk off their hearts, now darlin’, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah,
Oh, woah, HAVE A -
Have another little vein off their hearts now, Miah! HEY!
You know you got ’em, chile, it all makes ’em feel good.

(many liberties taken with Piece of My Heart written by Jerry Ragovy & Bert Burns)

Just to give credit where it's really due - here's the original Janis Joplin version, sung live at Frankfurt in 1969.

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