Yes, We Have No Exchequer

Tune: "Yes, We Have No Bananas"

It used to be our Barony
Had volunteers galore.
We had wannabes and deputies
And go-fers by the score.
Lately, though, we've lost a few
Officers, it seems,
And now we're finding we've got holes
Where holes should never be...
I'm saying...

Yes, we have no exchequer,
We have no exchequer today.
We've a chirurgeon, a Baron,
and some guy who says
He's a knight from Meridies.
Why won't someone offer
To tend the Baronial coffers?
Yes, we have no exchequer,
We have no exchequer today!

Our last exchequer, bless his heart,
From War did not return.
When last we saw him, we could tell
He'd money yet to burn.
His lady wore a cotehardie
With tippets made of silk,
And he'd a tankard made of gold
To drink his chocolate milk...oh no...

Yes, we have no exchequer,
We have no exchequer today.
We've Lords and we've Ladies,
One Herald too many,
But our bills do not get paid!
Such a situation,
We're in desperation,
For yes, we have no exchequer,
We have no exchequer today!

And so I beg, good gentles here,
Consider what I ask.
You know you want to volunteer
To do this honest task.
We need your help in stepping forth
And offering your time.
For if we do not fill this post
The King will start to whine...Noooo!...

Yes, we have no exchequer,
We have no exchequer, it's true!
We have a brewer, a vintner, a couple of scribes,
And an old used Viscountess too.
We're not really worried,
These things can't be hurried,
Still...YES, we have no exchequer...
We have no exchequer today!

Tune: "Yes, We Have No Bananas", Cohn and Silver, 1923
Lyrics 8/15/00, J. Friedman
LOOSELY inspired by the Barony of Jaravellir's lack of volunteers for key Baronial officer positions


I must confess to a bad habit: I subscribe to other SCA groups' listservs and listen in on their discussions. Recently I signed up for that of the Barony of Jaravellir (Madison, WI). It has quite a low volume of messages, which meant it was suprising when I got an e-mail on the list from the Baroness, stating that the Barony needed volunteers to handle several major Baronial officer positions (I won't go into details; suffice it to say there were three, and they were all essential positions--and they weren't asking for an exchequer).

I have great friends in Jaravellir, and my Shire has a long history with that Barony (don't know if I'm right in recalling that it was once a Canton of Jaravellir). The Baroness is one of the people I most admire in the SCA and really, all in all, I have no problem with Jaravellir. I just found it a little odd that my home shire of 12 people manages to fill all major and most minor officer positions, and a 25-year-old Barony with a long history and a huge roster can't get volunteers for major positions...

Hey, no one said I wasn't opinionated.

For those who might not know, the exchequer (chancellor of the exchequer, technically) is kind of the treasurer of an SCA group; he or she puts his/her name on the bank book, reimburses members for group-related expenses, keeps the books, reports to the Shire, pays bills, and generally makes sure the money situation is okay. Since each group is required to have a reporting exchequer (and for practical reasons, needs one to be able to conduct Shire business and put on the one required event per year), not having one is a pretty serious problem.

P.S.--The Baroness' letter on the listserv was sent about three weeks ago. Friends from Jaravellir did report this weekend that all three positions have had offers from interested folk.


Update on 2/12/01: After consulting with my dad, whose main drinking experience was with his fraternity in college and involved much vomiting, I have changed the line in verse 2 from "...tankard made of gold/to drink his rum and milk" to "...tankard made of gold/to drink his chocolate milk". The first was meant to imply that not only was this guy irresponsible and a thief, he drank too.

Since, in fact, many people drink in the SCA, and since Dad makes this sick shuddering noise when he thinks of alcohol and dairy products together, the ex-exchequer now drinks chocolate milk instead of rum and milk. (I think it still works: he's irresponsible, a thief, and to top it off he drinks something outrageously non-period and also likely to give him dysentery if consumed during a camping event. What a cad!)


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Last modified: 02/12/01