Kavalier Calm's Crowdsource Inspiration

I'm KC, The People's Bard. I write songs and poems inspired by the people I meet on the internet. Ask, and I’ll write something for you.
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  • When Billy at the Geeks n Gamers blog suggested I write a song for Cortana from the Halo series, I excitedly began researching one of the most celebrated characters of the past decade. I polled my followers for what the song should be about, and almost everyone suggested focusing on the relationship between Cortana and Master Chief. My song answers those suggestions, but in an attempt to be current, I decided not to focus on their relationship from the existing games, and instead looked to the future. There is a ton of speculation right now that Cortana will fall victim to rampancy in the upcoming Halo 4, based on signs from previous installments in the series and a particularly angry moment in the trailer shown recently at E3. I thought it would be fun to build upon this speculation and see if I could write a song that foreshadowed a new, dangerous relationship between Cortana and Master Chief. On the face of it, I’m just a boy singing about a difficult, know-it-all girl. But my lyrics are built upon the Halo universe; for example, I quote Cortana and the Cortana Letters (remember those?) several times. Because the writing is so excellent in the Halo series, I was able to craft some real poetry. The girl in question is just how I imagine a rampant Cortana would be: so intoxicated by her own knowledge that she jeopardizes the mission and forgets how she feels for MC. I guess we’ll see if my song was right when Halo 4 comes out. A big part of me hopes I’m not; I want Cortana to avoid the terrible fate of a smart AI and live forever. I dedicate this song to Billy for his great suggestion and to these bloggers who contributed directly by answering my poll—thechief0, pokeopa, probablyadragon, and huhwhatnow—or indirectly through inspirational Halo content: f***yeahalo, f***-that-halo-guy, tehgriz, this-is-spartan-117, halounsc, h4news, and wake-me-when-you-need-me. Free downloads of this song are here, and you can stream it on YouTube here. In the lyrics below, I have bolded all references to the Halo series; do you understand them all? Enjoy, friends! — Kavalier Calm

         Cortana’s Halo

    Numbers and letters show on your flesh
    when you’re going to talk down to me.
    You’re thinking so hard that your lungs
    forget to breathe.

    And I may not be a master,
    and I may not be a chief,
    but to say you deserve a halo
    seems like a bit of a reach.

    You like to flaunt your intelligence,
    but I think it’s the artificial kind.
    Your heart is clogged up by all you know;
    you’re run by your robot mind.

    You can’t live in your mother’s shadow;
    you’re on the doctor’s clock.
    Remember when the game is over,
    the king and the pawn go in the same box.

    You tell me there’s a blurred line
    between godhood and insanity.
    My guilty spark doesn’t know which side you’re on,
    but I wish you were human just like me.

    Can we make a covenant, can we agree,
    to stop the flood, to stop the fighting?
    You picked me, I’m the one you chose, from a world of men.
    I’ll be your Spartan, I’ll fight your war; just don’t treat me like the rest.

    What do you know about Cortana from Halo?

    On a suggestion from Billy over at the Geeks n Gamers blog, my next #gaming song will be about the lovely AI, Cortana, from the Halo series. I’m polling all you gamers out there to see what I should include in the song. Please answer this post with your favorite Cortana quotes, comments on her relationship with Master Chief, ideas on the song’s focal topic, etc. Any nuggets you can give me, as true Halo fans, will go a long way in writing this song. I’ll give a shout out to you in my audio post if I use your input. Thanks in advance for playing along! — Kavalier Calm

    The red ring of death. This song is for anyone who’s experienced this tragedy. I was crushed the first time it happened to me; sure, it’s not too difficult to get a new Xbox 360, but I built a relationship with that specific piece of hardware. I was sad to retire it. This song could be about a lover; but Xbox players will enjoy the metaphors. For listeners who don’t intuitively recognize subtle emotional satire, this is a joke—just like the emotional intensity in my zombie apocalypse love song. I hope everyone enjoys it; I’m slowly rounding out my album of songs for gamers, geeks, and other nerds. I dedicate this tune to these awesome Xbox/gaming blogs; I’ll bet these bloggers understand the sadness in this song: girlsonxbox, x-360, brogamer, geeksngamers, pwnlove, gamefreaks, and dotcore. Free downloads of this song are available here, and you can listen to it on YouTube here. — Kavalier

         The Red Ring of Death

    You used to respond when I pushed your buttons;
    you’d hum and get hot,
    and we’d play for hours, on the bed, on the couch,
    from dusk ‘til dawn.
    We’ve been on an adventure or two:
    Angel, I rode your Halo through space;
    and we lived a fairytale, a Fable;
    you were my Lady Grey.

    But all at once, you put up a wall:
    a red ring of silence—the death of our love.

    And I thought we could save the world;
    in fact, we did a dozen times.
    But now you won’t respond to me;
    who will stop the Locust Horde?
    You committed Grand Theft—
    Auto-matically stealing my heart—
    when you went cold to my touch;
    oh, you can’t refurbish such hurt.


    Now I’m heartless and homeless,
    looking for a new box to settle in.
    I’ll trade in your memories, pawn all your stuff,
    and find love again.

    Was struggling to find inspiration via Tumblr this week. So, I tapped into a constant source of inspiration: my lady. This song is for her and anyone in the blogosphere that cares to listen.


    Your hair is more brown than mine,
    and your skin is more soft.
    And your eyes have more light
    even in the dead of night.

    And your body is so divine,
    I wish I was made in your image sometimes.
    And I’m not sure what perfect is,
    but I know you’re closer than I’ll ever be.

    Your lips are more full,
    and your freckles wear their chaos well.
    You speak just above a whisper,
    so everyone bends and aches to hear your words.


    Maybe that pretty curve to your neck
    is from the weight of that halo on your head.
    And you seem to glide right across the ground,
    dancing to music no one else hears.


    Darlin’, you’re so divine to me.
    Sometimes it’s like you fell from the sky
    right into my arms.