Beowulf Adaptation. My final project for University of Saskatchewan, ENG 402.3 “Wordhord Onleac: EPIC STORY BEOWULF.”

When given the chance to creatively express yourself for a final project using your passions and combined with everything you’ve learned this year, what else can you do besides make an Old English rap adaptation? I’m sure the 62 plays it’s received is my professor showing other students the possibilities are endless! Here’s what he had to say about it:

This is excellent. The refrain motif works beautifully, with the repeated “Whaat” working perfectly with the music to punctuate the narrative. I think I was most impressed with the very punchy translation: the half line phrases, each one carrying the story on, works for both rap and for Beowulf. You found a new genre here I think! And – don’t tell Baba – but I much prefer your rap Beowulf to his. I also appreciate the materials you attach; makes it very easy to figure out how you got where you did with it.

*the materials

 

 

LYRICS

*Direct submission. YOU KNOW RAP ALWAYS HAS TO BE WRITTEN WITH CAPS LOCK ON.

BEOWULF PRELUDE – FOUNDER AND RISE OF THE DANISH HOUSE

 

OH ISH LOOK WHO JUST ENTERED THE MEAD HALL

STRAIGHT OUT OF SCEDELAND

SIPPIN’ ON THAT HONEY DRANK

HERE TO UNLEASH THAT WORD HOARD

A CRAZY BERSERKER

NAMED SIGURD THE BEAT SLAYER

 

HWAET WE GARDENA     WHAAAT

 

RENOWNED GLORY    WHAAAT

EPIC STORY        WHAAAT

 

YO HEED THESE HEROIC HAPPENINGS

OF THE WELL KNOWN KINGS

THE BEARERS OF RINGS.

 

WARRIORS FROM DAYS LONG GONE

MIGHTIER THAN GENGHIS KHAN

ON TEAM BRAWN SLAYING EVERYONE

 

ACTIONS SO UNREAL

SCEF’S SON SCYLD

TERROR WIELDING

MANY MEN OF MANY NATIONS SEAL

 

HE STARTED FROM THE BOTTOM

LIFE DESTITUTE WROUGHT WITH PROBLEMS

THE CONSOLATION OF EXPERIENCE

WOULD AID IN HIS PERSEVERANCE

IN TIME HONOUR PROSPERED HIGH

ALL THE NEIGHBOURS WERE NIGH

FROM ALONG THE WHALE ROAD

HOARDS OF TRIBUTE FLOWED

 

THAT WAS A GOOD KING         WHAAAT

 

AFTERWARDS GOD SENT TO COMFORT THE PEOPLE

PERCEIVING GREAT DISTRESS, SENT A SON, THE SEQUEL.

BECAUSE THE LORDLESS SUFFER, THE GLORY RULER–

THE LORD OF LIFE GAVE WORDLY HONOUR TO THE FUTURE.

HIS GLORY, IN SCEDELAND, WAS WIDE SPREAD

RENOWNED, DUBBED BEOWULF

OF SCYLDS FAMILIAL THREAD

 

AS YOUNG MEN SHOULD

WITHOUT QUESTION

TO REMAIN IN FATHERS PROTECTION

WITH PRAISEWORTHY ACTIONS BRING ABOUT GOOD

AND GIFTS BOTH RICH AND SPLENDID

 

STRAIGHT COMITATUS TIL THE END

WHEN WAR CAME THEY INTEND TO DEFEND

AND EVEN IN HIS OLD AGE THEY REMAINED WITH THEIR FRIEND

 

AT HIS DESTINED TIME SCYLD DEPARTED

IN THE LORDS PROTECTION HIS VIGOROUS JOURNEY STARTED.

 

HIS DEAR COMPANIONS CARRIED TO THE SEA

AS SCYLD HAD COMMANDED HIMSELF TO BE

AT THE HARBOUR THE FRIENDS OF THE DANES

GAZE UPON THE ICE COVERED SHIP IN PAIN

 

IN THE BOSOM OF THE RING PROWED VESSEL

TREASURE MULTITUDES HIGHER THAN A CASTLE

BY THE MAST THE RENOWNED KING

FROM DISTANT PLACES MANY PRECIOUS THINGS

MOUNDED WAR WEAPONS AND BATTLE BLING

ON A FAR TRIP ALL THESE THINGS ONE MUST BRING.

 

SCYLD EXITED AS HE ENTERED

ALONE OVER THE WAVES

ALLOWING THE SEA TO BEAR THE GOLDEN STANDARD.

 

WARRIORS UNDER THE HEAVENS UNABLE TO SAY TRULY

WHO RECEIVED THE CARGO FULL BEAUTY.

 

HERE ENDETH THE PROLOGUE REGARDING THE FOUNDER AND RISE OF THE DANISH HOUSE.

WORD, TO GRENDEL’S MOTHER.

SIGURD OUT.

 

THANKS FOR STOPPING BY!

I couldn’t have made this adaptation without the help of my boyfriend (EDIT: turned husband), my brother (the mixmaster) as well as some lovelies at the University of Saskatchewan (in the Department of English & Digital Research Centre)!

I’d love to know what sorts of crazy and innovative projects did you take on in college or university? And what did you think of my adaptation?

Photo Credit: Emaze

 

     

 

xo

-KL

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