Song of Roland

Music and Words: Mistress Rosalind Jehanne (Dr. Jonna Bernstein)

The fairest flower of chivalry to bloom in all the land,
The noblest of all the knights of Charlemagne.

Was Roland, Roland, King Charles sister's son,
Renowned through all the Frankish lands for battles you have won.
In Council hear you Ganelon make plea to go to war,
To aid the rebel Saracens, against their rightful lords

Roland, Roland, you call this plan ill made,
But nonetheless does Charlemagne agree to send them aid.
Then Ganelon requests for you the post most perilous,
And willingly do you accept, as honor deems you must.

Roland, Roland, the rear guard you command,
With Oliver your loyal friend to stand at your right hand.
But at the Vale of Roncevaux your doom is now anigh,
The Saracens do hold the pass, and will not let you by.

Roland, Roland, you know now you're betrayed,
But in your heart is courage, and your voice is not dismayed.
Face ye now grim battle, take your shields and raise them high,
With honor we have lived our lives with honor we shall die.

Roland, Roland, sound your mighty horn.
Try to call the men back that rode out just yestermorn.
The king has heard you call afar, but Ganelon says nay,
Tis only our young Roland, out hunting on this day.

Roland, Roland, sound your horn again.
Meanwhile the battle rages in the valley and the glen.
Again the King has heard your call. Again the traitor lies,
And none shall come to aid you, since your peril he denies.

Roland, Roland, sound your final blast,
As one by one your men at arms die fighting in the pass.
And last of all is Oliver by swordsmen overthrown,
And you of all the Frankish knights now stand alone.

Roland, Roland, oh black the day you died.
Your comrades slain around you and your sword there by your side.
They found you on a hilltop with your face turned to the foe,
And never has there been a day of such great woe.

Roland, Roland, your name will live in song,
Whenever brave men take up arms to right a grievous wrong.
The fairest flower of chivalry to bloom in all the land,
And the noblest of all the knights of Charlemagne.

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