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[personal profile] measured_words
Dear Jukebox Operator:

Thank you very much for writing something for me. I want to say first of all that if you have a strong idea about what you want to write, please feel free to run with it! I have tried to give some general ideas of things that I think might be cool for the stories, but for the most part I'm pretty open to interpretations. I'm okay with any rating, I don't have any real squicks or triggers. I like things that are scary and creepy and straight up horrific, but I also like things that a cute or funny or fluffy (though I'm not sure if any of the songs I picked really lean that way). I don't need happy endings, but I do enjoy them. If you have different ideas though, lemme have 'em! I like character introspection, I like world building, I like plot. I like porn, but I prefer plot to go with it I don't know if any of these really lend themselves to porn, but if you think differently, lemme have it! Really, go wild! I'm pretty easy to please! Also, I am super into the idea of crossovers between any of the songs I'm requesting - I think some of them could go together pretty interestingly, so if there's an idea that strikes you along those lines please have at.

I am really excited for this fest, possibly more than is rational. I have a longstanding love of folk music and other forms of ballads and song-stories, and I like thinking about what we don't know as much as what we do. The canons we have to work with here are mostly pretty loose, and I'm excited to see where people go with them. I recognize that this is a lot closer to original fic than most fandom-fests, and I appreciate that it can be harder to make things up whole cloth, so really, thank you! Write what you want, what inspires you, and hopefully what is below has some good ideas if you're feeling lost!

It you are a podficer or a podfic team - I'm super excited, as this is the first time I've requested podfic for an exchange, and I think the rules this year are really interesting! I think writing a story you know is destined for an aural medium is a cool challenge, and I know the recording of a podfic can be pretty challenging itself, so major props for offering! In this case, since the canon is also aural I think it is an especially interesting pairing! I am a big fan of podcasted/podficed short fiction, but I don't know if I can give any specific likes/dislikes /o\

I am requesting Fanfic or Podfic for all requests (but treats in any media would be a delight).

On to the specifics!

Bold Marauder - Sharon Knight (Song)

I will sour the winds on high, I will soil the river
I will burn the grain in the field, I will be your mother
I will go to ravage and kill, I will go to plunder
I will take a fury to wife, and I will be your father

I think what I really find fascinating about this is the relationships laid out in the song - there are a lot of them! This song could very easily be a metaphor for colonialism, and I think that you could build an interesting story out of looking at a relationship of individuals and using those kind of theme, or any of the literal imagery used - a war party who has captured local people to use as guides, the leader of a band of rebels destroying their lands to undermine invaders, a mixed heritage family a few generations after an invasion dealing with cultural tensions or maybe new unrest or just skeletons in the family closet (learning grandma was actually a captured war bride, that sort of thing). But you could also totally scrap all that and write about an actual vicious outlaw, someone who has become a (living?) legend, or is a tall tale, or a collection of short tales about such a figure... Or they could be all that in some kind of supernatural force? There are lots of different ways you could go here, and any of them would be really interesting to me!

Burn Witch Burn - Ego Likeness (Song)

Speak your mind and deny all the things
That you have done
You are guilty
You are found guilty of every crime
Under the sun

And the jury of my peers
Has yet to learn my name
And the congregation of your fear
Refuses me my name
Say my name
Say my name

So, there are at least two voices in the song - the accused and the accuser. They clearly have very Different Perspectives about the accused's actions, so.... what happened? What does the accused want her accusers to believe in? I think from context that the accused is pretty clearly supposed to be female... But the accuser(s) is(/are) more ambiguous. Is this Woman Against the Patriarchy, where 'witch' is code for 'women claiming any kind of power for herself'? Or is it Woman Against The Matriarchy, in a society where women are the ones who have all the power, and her subversion has some other meaning? Or some other kind of social structure? Either way, she seems pretty intent of trying to get them to face up to some kind of hypocrisy, and I am curious about what it is! The Queen whose necklace she cursed isn't present at this trial, but she's the only authority mentioned. What made her a target? What kind of curse? And why? Or is that a lie? And if so - whose lie and to what purpose? Is this a cover up/set up? Is the necklace itself significant? Or maybe I was wrong and the queen is there - because she is the accused, which opens up a whole bunch of other things to think about. Is that why they won't say her name, or is it something else? I have a lot of questions, basically, and I think the song could be used for some interesting world building and exploration... Plus witches!

Eli - Bosnian Rainbows (Song)

I've been so cruel, mother of mine
I've been so cruel to you
So, why do you smile at me?
I've been away for as long as snow
I've been missing for years
So, why do you smile at me?

(lyrics are posted below the video)

I think the song suggests is own prompts pretty well really - what have they been up to, and what *are* they smiling about? Despite being a mother and son, it doesn't seem that that have a very friendly relationship. It seems more to me like or or both have a knife behind their backs during this encounter... The son, at least, admits to having been cruel, but is it just his absence or something more? Who are they, and what has happened to and between them? I wanna know! Also - the son is described interestingly (your eyes are black and white) - what does this mean? Its is a metaphor for how he sees things? Are they human? Did he start out human, and has he perhaps changed? Are they really who they say they are, or who the other thinks they are? Feel free to take this as dark as you desire.

Mama Loi, Papa Loi - Exuma (Song)

I'll spit my spit,
In your spit.
Then let seven snakes,
Come up from the pit.
I'll stand under this mango tree.
Till you come, come to me.

This is a song by a Bahamian group from the 70's. This is a song about Obeah, a Caribbean spiritual practice informed by African traditions. The artist has a bunch of other songs about it, claiming to be an Obeah man - a practitioner who creates potions and amulets to summon and control the spirits. And of course... make zombies. Not the flesh eating brainless kind, but the semi-dead who are enslaved to perform service to the living. I love this song, I'm fascinated by it, and I would kill to see a story spun from it. Tell me about the ritual, or the people behind it, or what the purposes are for the zombies - or something from the perspective of a zombie? Or tell me about the Loi themselves - what do they want, or get out of these interactions? Tell me about the people who come to the Obeah Man, what they want, what they expect, what they think that is wrong, or right, about this form of magic.

Murder in the Red Barn - Tom Waits (Song)

Now the ravens nest in the rotted roof of Chenoweth's old place
And no one's asking Cal about that scar upon his face
'Cause there's nothin' strange about an axe with bloodstains in the barn
There's always some killin' you got to do around the farm

There are so many stories hinted at here - or maybe they are all part of the same? I'm not sure! Tell me! You don't even have to tell me "what really happened" (if there was anything), just tell me the rumours, the gossip, the suspicion. Tell me about how the community turned against itself, or how they shared a secret, or tell me about the outsider trying to put together the pieces from the hints and construct some comprehensible truth. Tell me about the barn. Tell me what people say 50 years later. Tell me about ghosts!

The First Kiss - Zombina and the Skeletones (Song)

I have a confession for you,
My love passed on long ago,
When the world was black & white and i was oh-so young,
Now i'm obliged to take from you what i need to stay strong.
I have a confession for you,
All i love has gone,

The first kiss cuts deeper than the rest,
It's a shame, but it's just the way it is.
The first kiss cuts deeper than the rest,
I will never breathe again.

Sooo.... Vampires :D I am curious about this vampire - she's still clearly pretty hung up on the past! Tell me about what she's doing now, how she is going on about her unlife? Is this a spiel she gives often, or is the subject special somehow, despite her saying they won't be her last? Will her expectations be met? Her perspective on her situation is interesting - she seems to still be waiting for death, or at least some kind of end to her loveless life... Is she still not over her sire, or in her current form is she just incapable of feeling love (and maybe other real emotions?)? Did she do the same to whoever she is singing to here? The song gives a lot to sink ones teeth into (sorry I couldn't resist), so give me your vampires :D

Well Below the Valley - Sharon Knight (Song)

If you be a man of noble fame
You'll tell to me the father o' them
At the well below the valley o
Green grows the lily o
Right among the bushes o

There's two of them by your Uncle Dan
Another two by your brother John
At the well below the valley o
Another two by your Father dear
If you hold true the stories you hear
At the well below the valley o

So.... there a lot of things going on here, in terms of figuring out how the events played out that resulted in the woman having kids by so many different family members, and then murdering the resulting kids... assuming the stories *are* true. But I think what I am actually most interested in is the relationship between the woman and the 'gentleman'. Why is she at the well, and why does she give him water? Did they know each other already? Is she sort of guiding him through piecing who she is or just forcing him to admit that he knows? What kinds of assumptions are being made here? Why does his nobility have anything to do with it? He seems to think she is damned, while she thinks her crimes are forgivable... Is she already dead and in purgatory, and is a ghost haunting the well, maybe? The song suggests the gentleman was just passing by, but was he? Did he seek her out for some reason? He accepted water from her at the beginning of the song - if he knew who she was already, why would he take it? And if he didn't, what are his feelings on it now? If there are other aspects that interest you about the song and characters, please show me those! As a side note, I nommed this version of the song as it is the one I know, but if you know another version I'd be curious of how things might play out differently too.

Where Evil Grows - The Poppy Family (Song)

Evil grows in the dark
Where the sun it never shines
Evil grows in cracks and holes
And lives in people's minds

This is another one where I'm curious about the relationship between the singer and the person he is singing to. What kind of evil is the person they are singing to (and I'm not married to any particular genders here)? Is it some kind of worldly evil, seducing them into betraying their ideals or people close to them? or is is some kind of of supernatural infection? Or are they not *actually* evil, but they are into something that the narrator can't accept for some reason, whether it is actually bad or just subjectively so? The narrator's suggestion that they couldn't control the subject is interesting - I can think of some interesting ways to play around with that - is this from the perspective of someone abusive where they think that the subject is 'making' them do bad things because of their own 'bad' behaviour merits it? Or does the subject have, I don't know, some kind of psychic infection that can be controlled with drugs or magic or rituals that the narrator is just not good enough, or committed enough, to pull off? What is going to happen to them now that the narrator has accepted, if not embraced, the evil inside them? As I said in one of my other requests, please feel to take this somewhere dark, if that is your inclination.
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