The Tree that Wouldn’t Fall

This is one of the few pieces I’ve written on commission. My good friends Angall and Ragi, co-founders of House of the Broken Axe asked me to write this song to explain how their house got its name. This is almost all true. It’s also one of the few songs I’ve written with an original melody. I’m still trying to figure out how to get a recorded copy of it up on this site. Until then, it works perfectly well as a poem.

The Tree that Wouldn’t Fall
aka: The Song of House Broken Axe
by Katherine Ashewode, “The Pocket Bard”
June 2005

Two young bowyers, filled with glee,
went off in search of the perfect tree.
They found one standing in the morning light,
and worked upon it with all their might.

That damned tree, why doesn’t she fall?
If I should stay ‘till my dying day, the tree will be standing tall.

They set upon it with a stout hand-axe,
they took turns giving it sturdy whacks.
But then they stared with strangled chokes,
for the tree was standing but the axe-head broke.


A neighbor lent them another axe,
they set again to their chosen task.
But then they cried, “please God, no more!”,
for this axe broke like the one before.


Then one bowyer raised a shout,
“I’ll fell this tree ‘ere the day is out!”
He pushed and shoved ‘till the trunk had broke,
but it leaned and stuck ‘gainst another oak.


So all you gentles who hear this song,
this to the lesson, it won’t take long:
When you bring your axe to the forest floor,
make sure you’ve brought at least six more!



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