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Audible Dreams

Years and years ago, when I went to my first con, there was some­thing weird on the schedule—“filk.” I did­n’t get to attend that filk ses­sion, but when I did get a chance to go to one I learned that it’s a genre of music par­tic­u­lar to fan­dom. I was intrigued by what I heard, but did­n’t get a chance to learn much more about it until more recently—thanks to the inter­net. Some of it is beau­ti­ful, more of it is fun­ny, and its appeal is large­ly based on being a sort of big in-joke among peo­ple who are into sci­ence fic­tion and fan­ta­sy. I’m afraid Sam and I are guilty of lead­ing minors into com­mit­ting filk—after we explained filk to our kids this past year, they came up with many Poké­mon filk songs.

I final­ly got to go to one of the month­ly house­filks, this one host­ed by Rob & Kim at the love­ly Nor­cross Filk Palace. Mar­velous fun, good music, great company—what’s not to like? So I’m def­i­nite­ly hop­ing to attend more of these, and am far more moti­vat­ed now to try to get to GaFilk this year. I’d met some of the local filk­ers when I attend­ed a love­ly song cir­cle at Gwen’s house last year, and Michael Lieb­mann of South­ern Fried Filk was kind enough to spend some time mak­ing music with us at Kid­Con 2000. We final­ly host­ed a filk here in July 2000 and plan to do so again in 2001.

Of course, since I’m a rather opin­ion­at­ed per­son, I’ve already devel­oped some strong opin­ions about what I do and don’t like in filk despite my admit­ted­ly lim­it­ed expe­ri­ence with it. I decid­ed the SF&F sec­tion of my web site just would­n’t be com­plete­ly with­out includ­ing info on relat­ed music.

General Sites


  • Dave Rood is a mar­velous­ly tal­ent­ed guy here in Atlanta. I heard him do Nev­er Been to Dune at the first filk I attend­ed and was com­plete­ly hooked. The more I hear, the more I like his stuff.
  • The more I hear of Tom Smith the more I want to hear.
  • They don’t real­ly bill them­selves as filk­ers, but a lot of The Four Bitchin’ Babes songs cer­tain­ly fit right in. I’m Dyslex­ic and LAFF are two of my favorites.
  • To some extent Leslie Fish seems to be filk—everybody else does her songs and she’s cer­tain­ly pro­lif­ic! Grand­ma Went Out With a Bang has been a real hit around our house.
  • I’ve heard that Weird Al Yankovic hates to be called a filk­er, for some reason—but I think every­one has heard at least one of his songs at some point in time, so I want­ed to point out that his songs are pret­ty good exam­ples of filk.
  • Heather Alexan­der
  • Kathy Mar
  • Mer­cedes Lack­ey has done many songs relat­ed to her Valde­mar uni­verse, as well as some unre­lat­ed filk. Appar­ent­ly, when she writes the lyrics and Leslie Fish does the music for a song, it’s called a Leslac—which is also the name of a trou­ble­some bard in Lack­ey’s Tar­ma and Kethry stories—the speak­er, it seems, in Leslac’s Last Lament (per­formed here by Frank Hayes). Feline Amer­i­can Princess is a Leslac, too, and it’s very funny—I just can’t fig­ure out how Lack­ey chan­neled our cat Shel­ley when she wrote it.
  • I first ran across Cyn­thia McQuillin’s fic­tion in the Sword and Sor­cer­ess antholo­gies and MZB’s Fan­ta­sy mag­a­zine. I did­n’t know untli recent­ly that she and her part­ner Dr. Jane Robin­son are accom­plished filk­ers.
  • Bill and Bren­da Sut­ton make mar­velous music togeth­er and singly. Bren­da is also one third of …
  • Three Weird Sis­ters—an eclec­tic trio that also includes Gwen Knighton and Tere­sa Gib­son.
  • Urban Tapes­try
  • Medi­ae­val Babes
  • I fig­ure I would have liked “Rube­nesque” for its lyrics no mat­ter what I thought of the Duras Sis­ters—but I like them. “Ivanova’s Lament” was one of the first filk songs I encoun­tered via Nap­ster, and prompt­ed me to look for more Duras Sis­ters songs and to find their web site.

Filk on Various Subjects

Last updat­ed Decem­ber 21, 2000