These Hands (Ducere)

A few years ago, I asked an established bard in Northshield if anyone had ever written a musical triptych about the kingdom motto, “Ducere, Ministrare, Illuminare.” (To serve, to teach, to light the way.) Surprisingly, though there are a number of single songs about the motto as a whole, the answer was no. Someone should really do that, I remarked, maybe I will. I was only half serious about it though, and quickly set the thought aside.

The SCA is many things: a concentration of history nerds and enthusiasts of arts martial and artistic, a bunch of over-educated thinkers and dreamers and doers in funny clothes, a safe space for societal misfits, a welcoming and fiercely loyal chosen family. My people.

September 2016 marked an historical event in the SCA with the ascension of the first same gender monarchs to the Northshield thrones. One of the core ideals held by many in the SCA is that you can be anything. The structure of the ruling body hasn’t really supported that ideal, however, because the throne is won by heavy armored combat. If you aren’t a heavy fighter, then your only hope of becoming a king or queen is as the consort to the winner. And, while a woman has always had the right to win the crown in her own right, it has thus far happened exactly once. On November 10, 1990 in Ansteorra, Duchess Rowan Beatrice von Kampfer bested her husband, Duke Hector Philip Martel, who had previously fought and won for her twice. Further, until very recently, the language of the SCA rules explicitly called for a king and a queen to sit on the thrones. Obviously, this structure has left a lot of potentially amazing rulers out of the running. So, the realization of another step closer to true equality at this coronation was a big deal.

And I was inspired.


In the early mist of morning, the dreamers sleep entwined
The rooster cries a warning, the sun is soon to shine
And melt away a vision fey, dreamers rise and start the day
To serve for Northshield’s honor, Ducere

With these hands, which till the field and sow
These hands provide so it will grow
And these hands, they serve to bring to birth
This beautiful dream upon the earth

My voice, it speaks to power with breath and teeth and tongue
And by it marks the hour, each truth that I have sung
To manifest a future blessed with love in all we do
Together we can make this vision true


In our youth we dreamt of freedom, we toiled to make it true
Our knowledge, strength, and wisdom expanding as we grew
We made a place with joy and grace, where all are welcome home
And lead the way to set the dream in stone


As we look into the future, think what more can we do
To keep the dream and nurture our young to dream anew
To lead the way into the fray, dreamers rise and start the day
To serve for Northshield’s honor, Ducere