by Maestra Sol la Cantor
Lord Drake Oranwood brings fine musicians and arrangers together, both well-known and lesser known in the world of SCA music, to present his album, Hidden Gold. His lyrics tell enchanting stories. His songs come to life in his collaborations with a master arranger. The themes are familiar to those who write and listen to SCA music, such as changelings, elves, the troubles of kings, drinking and bastards. Several songs on the CD stand out and are worth mentioning on their own.
Drake presented “Lady of the Rose” at an EK King's and Queen's Bardic competition. It chronicles the life of a lady who goes from being a fighter's consort, to becoming a Lady of the Rose and all the joys and responsibilities that come from having been a queen. Its beautiful lyrics allow even those who have not experienced being fought for to identify with the monumental task of being a queen and a Rose.
Hidden Gold is the kind of inspiring song that we can never have enough of in the SCA. It inspires the listeners to find and use their talents. My favorite song on the album is “The Last Plantagenet,” that chronicles (who else) the last Plantagenet king of England, Richard III.
More than the beauty of the words and arrangements is the beauty of what the proceeds of the album will support, early intervention programs for children with special needs. If you enjoy well-performed SCA music on SCA and historical themes, then this may be the album to listen to while you wend you way home from Pennsic.