of Kilsa was a favorite amongst MacThoy
bards. Read another of her adventures
with the Vikings.
Lament is a libretto written in 1882 by
Gelt. His opera tells of a MacThoy girl, at the tender age of 19, cursed
with a great thirst. She has many adventures of differing
degrees of epic nature culminating in operatic fashion with her tragic
story is based on the life an
the Off-Key, a MacThoy Widow living at the time of William the
Conqueror. One of her adventures-- which is also
corroborated by the Hystorica
Calamitatum-- tells of her thwarting a Viking invasion.
This story has a traditional MacThoy
beginning. It starts at an orgy.--ed
In 1066, the
MacThoy were camped near the coast doing what all
MacThoy do. As
the evening progressed the spent casks were hurled beyond the encampment
Legend has it that the evening's contest was to make the loudest crash
of breaking pottery.
Needless to say, the area around the
camp was encircled with pottery shards and by the wee hours of the morning,
bodies were stacked like snoring cordwood (not to be
confused with mourning wood).
Key, granddaughter of the famed
the Mischief Maker, awakened by Nature's Call, stumbled to the camp
perimeter. Whilst crouched
behind some shrubbery, she spied 1000 Norsemen
picking their way through a veritable minefield of the
husks of spirits past. One can only imagine what she muttered at
this point as she rose to challenge them in their own language. . .
except from the Libretto "Kilsa's Lament." Researchers
suspect that Alabaster based the lead Viking on Harold Hardraada,
King of Norway at the time the tale took place, who was known to
have been in the region with about 17 ships and late returned with
The story was designed for the stage and
scribed phonetically to catch what
Alabaster apparently thought
was cultural flavor. Also included are brief stage
Kilsa: Hey der boys,
vat ya doin in dem dar broken bottles?
Imagine 100 manly Vikings
squealing like 13 year old school girls. (ed.
note: it is debated to this day what exactly caused the them
to squeal. 1) surprise, 2) her voice--said to sound like
Death's scythe on a whet stone, 3) her physical presence, 4)
all of the above.)
of the host): Yumpin Yimminy its a
talking Harry Coo!
Voice from horde: Hey save
dem dar horns for my helmet!
Lars: No friggin Viking
in my outfit is going vear dem damn dings on my bÍt,.
Kilsa: You can vear
me as a hat any day--Hey! Are you dem boys dat ver goin down to
Scotland to vhip up on dose sheep lovers?
Lars: Vat do you
mean, 'ver goin down to'?
Kilsa: Dis here
ain't Pictland, you big oaf. Dis here is Denmark.
Lars: Wat do you
take us for? Minnows? By Thor's favorite hammer, dis is
Kilsa: If dis vere
Pictland ve vould be talking in gaelic not da pure mother
tounge of scandihoovian.
Voice from Crowd:
Don't believe her Lars.
Kilsa: If dis is
Pictland, Vy is da bay full of longboats?
Lars: Doze are our
Kilsa: All of dem?
How many, exactly, did you bring?
1,2,3,... Ve brought a lot of boats!
Voice from Crowd: I
dink dat dere vere a few boots here vhen ve showed up. (There is an uproar of discussion
concerning exactly how many boats were there. )
Kilsa: Hey dere boys, If
dis vere Pictland vould dey know how to play stick ball?"
of a trap): May-bee.
Kilsa: Ahh, but could little old me beat you all in a match?
(Chaos, noise, laughter, tittering,
Lars: No bloody way.
(Sound of agreement from a 100+ men.)
Kilsa: Vell, if'n i
beat you'll at stick ball, vould you believe me den?
Lars: Ya little
Kilsa (picks up a longneck
and prepares to kick some Viking butt.): But wait, vell, if
I teach you all a lesson in stick ball and give you directions
to Pictland, vat do I get out of all dis? (Chorus of cheers and laughter.)
Lars (raises his hands to quiet the
throng): Da voman has a point.
Voice from Crowd
(snidely): I'll give her my axe.
Kilsa: Vat da hell vould i
do vit dat? Chop wood? I'm just a poor country girl vit a
great thirst. (A great discussion among
the host ensues. Kilsa swings the longneck around, does
several prat falls. The throng mentions the word keg
repeatedly.) Kegs? You have
Kegs? How many?
Voice from Crowd:
Lars: No, No, 6, I
think that we brought 6 kegs. (Small scuffle takes
place in the back of the crowd.)
Kilsa: I know my Vikings and they would go raiding vit ... (makes a show of counting the
host.) ...No fewer than, let's say...20 kegs.
Voice from Crowd:
Shit. (Horde falls silent.)
Voice from Crowd:
Hey, Lars, humor the little lady. We can't lose.
afternoon when the MacThoy came back to life a strange and wondrous
sight was beheld.
19 virginal untapped
kegs in a landscape hitherto only containing empty bottles.
Sleeping in the middle of this pile of kegs was Kilsa with a smile
on her face and a half empty keg for a pillow.
section from an Illuminated manuscript
created at the Abbey of Lost Wages.
It depicts Kilsa's encounter with the
And what of the Vikings?
ended up in Denmark where they realized they have been swindled. They marshaled their forces and, on
the pretext of the illegitimacy of Harold Godwinson's claim to the
throne, invaded England. (They could never publicly admit that
a woman who looked like a Harry Coo beat them at stick ball.)
would lead them to another
with Kilsa and ultimately the Battle of Hastings. . .