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There is this rather amazing subgenre of filk called “Bardcore“. It’s the reframing of popular songs in a medieval performance style. The artists are Hildegard von Blingin, who specializes in Bardcore (her name is a play on the name of the Hildegard von Bingen, the 11th century German composer) and Whitney Avalon, who does mainly filk mashups and whose songs are already plentiful on SCIFI.radio.

Today’s presentation is Holding Out for a Hero, first sung by its author Bonnie Tyler, for the soundtrack of the film Footloose. Since then it’s appeared in a bunch of TV shows and movies, for our purposes most notably in Shrek 2, not once, but twice: first in the body of the film, sung by Jennifer Saunders, and again in the end credits as a strange sort of techno version, sung by Frou Frou.

The animation is, frankly, inspired. It steals unabashedly from the style notebook of Terry Gilliam, while matching the serene aesthetic of the vocals. The lyrics are a bit different from the original, though. In this version, the women decide to become the heroes they need instead of waiting for some big strong galoot to show up and solve all their problems for them. For these women, life is definitely not a spectator sport.

Here is Hildegard Von Blingin’s statement about the music video:

My friends, I am so excited to share this collaboration with you. It’s been many months in the making, and I couldn’t be prouder of this team. Thank you to Whitney for scheming up this whole endeavour, and to Ana and Ignatz at OOF Animation for bringing our vision to life! A special thanks as well to Whitney’s wonderful patrons, whose support made this a reality.

Credits

New Lyrics, Producer, Singer: Whitney Avalon
New Lyrics, Producer, Music Track, Singer: Hildegard von Blingin’
Animation: OOF Animation (Ana Stefaniak & Ignatz Johnson Higham) https://www.oofanimation.co.uk/
Executive Assistant: Caroline Sharp

Lyrics

[HILDEGARD] Whither have the worthy gone, oh, where is fair Gawain?
Where is gallant Galahad to take the bridle rein?
[WHITNEY] Is there not a white knight upon a fiery steed?
Late at night I toss and turn and I dream of what I need

[H] I need a hero
I shall hold out for a hero ’til the end of the night
I pray he be hale,
Wingèd of heel
And newly return’d from the fight
[W] I need a hero
I shall hold out for a hero ’til the morning light
He must be assur’d
E’er true to his word
With a wit that will thrill and excite
Thrill and excite

Erelong at the witching hour within my reverie
Somewhere just beyond the veil someone reacheth out for me
[H] Racing on a courser and clad in gleaming mail
I shall answer none but he who bringeth me the grail

[W] Aaah, I need a hero
I shall hold out for a hero ’til the end of the night
Could I but afford
My very own sword
I would not require his might
[H] I need a hero
I shall hold out for a hero ’til the morning light
By god was he blessed
E’er true to his quest
A man of whom Chaucer will write

[W] Up where the dragons glide near heaven above
Out on a storm-tossed odyssey
Verily doth a saintly champion ride toward me
[H] Through the wind, and the chill, and the rain
The plague, and the flood
I can feel his approach like a fire in my blood

[BOTH] I need a hero
I shall hold out for a hero ‘til the end of the night
I pray he be hale,
Wingèd of heel
And newly return’d from the fight
I need a hero
I shall hold out for a hero ‘til the morning light
A knight, not a pawn
A true paragon
With armor and eyes shining bright
I need a hero

-30-

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