VIKING SEDUCTION IN THE #METOO ERA

VIKING SEDUCTION IN THE #METOO ERA

“Now plainly I speak, since both I have seen;
unfaithful is man to maid;
we speak to them fairest when thoughts are falsest
and wile the wisest of hearts.”*

Odin’s words, of course, speak to how men are generally programmed by evolution to flatter as many women into bed as they can, even wise ones.

Considering the gender wars raging at the moment, that’s central to what infuriates women about men in general––playing the wild card of sex. Since I’ve been married for decades, have three grown sons and am no longer in the mating market, I’ll stay mum about how I think this is all going to turn out.

Instead, I’ll just tell The Mead of Poetry as it was handed down and let the chips fall where they may. In this old Viking myth, Odin’s best friend has been murdered and his blood brewed into a magical mead. Toward the end of his long quest to return the mead to Asgard, Odin learns that a beautiful but deadly giantess, Gunlod, guards it inside a mountain.

What does he do? After sneaking inside, he speaks to her “fairest” when his heart is “falsest” and seduces her. He then steals the mead and flees, feeling no remorse at breaking her heart.

I’m not saying that’s honorable, but it’s certainly timeworn male behavior.

Taking whatever lumps I will for it, with guitar in hand, I’ll be telling this controversial tale on Sunday, April 1 at the Riverwalk Café and Music Bar in Nashua, NH, along with another big old Norse myth, Thor Against the Frost Giants. It’s adult imagination entertainment with compelling, movie score-like music that proves once again: there’s nothing new under the sun.

The show is at 7 pm.

Grab your tickets here.

 

*from Hávamál: The Words of Odin the High One

(illustration created by Meaghan Ingram, after seeing this show in Boston)

NUDGING THE SERPENT OF MIDGARD

NUDGING THE SERPENT OF MIDGARD

At the end of a string of failures, Thor’s last chance to prove his strength is by lifting a kitty cat’s paw. Groaning and huffing, he tries, but it barely rises before it slams back to the floor. As the Frost Giants roar with laughter, the god of thunder looks over at Loki, who has lost an eating contest earlier, and is embarrassed, too.

Little do they know they’re both victims of illusory magic, and they are competing against impossible odds, even for Aesir.

At the tale’s surprise ending, the truth emerges. Thor takes solace in his father Odin’s words, which I’ve drawn from the Viking book of etiquette, Hávamál:

When some thane would harm me
in runes on a moist tree’s root,
on his head alone shall light the ills
of the curse that he called upon mine.

Catch the beginning, middle and end of this full-length tale, plus a myth of seduction and vengeance on Sunday, April 1 2018 at 7 p.m. at the Riverwalk Music Bar in Nashua, NH and again on May 26, 2018 at Sunrise Ranch in Loveland, Colorado.

I’ll also include little-known lore while playing my Celtic harp. Lots of amusing character voices animate the tales. Hope to see you there!

PS: by the way, under the giant’s spell, Thor thought he was lifting a kitty cat. Turns out it was the Great Serpent of Midgard, the heaviest thing on earth.

What a Night! Sold out in Cambridge…

What a night I had Sunday evening at Grendel’s Den in Cambridge, MA. ODIN AND THOR BATTLE THE FROST GIANTS, my adult show of Viking myths, was sold out, which was great, of course, but the highlight was when the audience sang with me.

For the second long tale, The Mead of Poetry, I wrote a song that the lonely but deadly giantess, Gunlod, sings in her cave in the heart of a mountain. Her father has commanded her to guard the magical mead, an elixir brewed from Odin’s best friend’s blood. His friend has been murdered for it, and Odin is on a quest to return it to Asgard where it belongs.

As he approaches Gunlod’s cave, he hears

One soul, lost in loneliness/Down in the dark where nobody dares to go

One soul, none will ever see/My father’s will has now imprisoned me

Guard it, he says/Guard it, he says/Guard it. Let no one touch it at all.

I sang this in Gunlod’s voice, but then invited the audience to sing it with me. What a moment! In natural voice I sang, and lo, all those nice people joined in on the haunting tune. The room rang with men’s and women’s voices. They learned it almost immediately. Nice moment, along with all the laughs I heard throughout the two stories.

For New Hampshire audiences, I’ll be reprising this show this coming Sunday, Jan. 21 at 6:00 pm at Schoodacs Coffeehouse in Warner, NH. Intimate setting. Tickets are $15.

The show begins with little-known Viking lore, accompanied by Celtic harp music, then moves to Thor’s Journey to Utgard, a hilarious and magical adventure that Thor and Loki experience with Frost Giants (12-string guitar score), and then The Mead of Poetry (with a second 12-string). It’s fine for older kids, but is essentially an adult show.

So if you’d like to immerse in some adult storytelling, and even learn about the Medieval Climate Optimum and how we got our days of the week, come!

ODIN AND THOR BATTLE THE FROST GIANTS Sunday Jan. 14 at Grendel’s Den in Cambridge MA

Adult storytelling this Sunday night!

Odds Bodkin returns to Grendel’s Den in Cambridge, MA to perform ODIN AND THOR BATTLE THE FROST GIANTS: VIKING MYTHS OF ADVENTURE on Sunday night, January 14th at 5:30 p.m., with seating commencing at 5:00 p.m.

 

Eat and drink adult beverages like a Viking, then hear two epic Viking myths wrapped in little-known lore (Thursday is Thor’s Day; Wednesday is Wotan’s Day). First, a tale of magic and illusion as Thor and Loki journey to the city of their enemies, the Frost Giants. Meet Thor, big, strong, slightly dim and lovable, along with Loki, everything Thor is not. You’ll hear full characterizations for these mythic characters, along with peasants and immense giants. And of course, a full score on 12-string guitar. Then, the long tale of Odin’s search for the blood of his best friend who’s been murdered, his blood brewed into a wisdom-bestowing elixir. Hear another 12-string, along with more music and voices for dwarves, a dangerous, lonely giantess, and Odin himself.

 

Plus little-known Viking lore explained as Odds plays the Celtic harp. Last year, this show sold out, so grab your tickets now! Only a few remain!

 

Adventure, humor and great acoustic music.

 

$15 table seating, $10 at the bar. Get tickets here.

ODIN AND THOR BATTLE THE FROST GIANTS Odds Bodkin show in Cambridge MA Performance

Nowadays, personal storytelling is all the rage. The Moth, NPR’s show where people have a few minutes to recount real events in their lives is one of the healthiest species I’ve seen evolve in the media jungle in a long time. It’s almost always moving and refreshing, like a bird of paradise. It’s totally genuine.

I’m not. At least not in that way. The ancient tales I tell are genuine, of course. And the music’s performed live, on whatever instruments, so it’s genuine, too, I like to think. The character voices are created live and I’m never sure what they’re going to say, so they’re muse-genuine, even if they are dramatic illusions and nothing more. Happy to admit that. Am I genuine? Sure. It’s just that these stories aren’t about me.

Take, for instance, Loki, who I’ll be enacting along with a befuddled Thor, a wicked-crafty Odin Continue reading “ODIN AND THOR BATTLE THE FROST GIANTS Odds Bodkin show in Cambridge MA Performance”