Ahvdhe Neolth: The Birth Song Tradition / Ritual in Qet | World Anvil

Ahvdhe Neolth: The Birth Song


Now, what verse shall we write this year?
— A Linnh father
  The ahvdhe neolth— literally birth song— is a Linnh tradition where one writes a song by one line each year upon the date of their birth.  

Song of Life

In a sense the ahvdhe neolth is this song of one's life, while there are no strict rules on what the song must be about, it is still considered to be one's story. As the song is started when one is still a child, just learning to speak, it commonly begins with a lighthearted tone. However, as each person develops, grows, and increases in musical talent— they often want to show their development within the song. And so, these songs often have a notable amount of tonal inconsistency.   It is important to note that by "tone" here, we are talking about lyrics first and foremost, followed by mood and emotion. As the instrument Linnh children are most skilled with is typically their voice, instruments are not typically added until later— and may be appended to extant verses if deemed necessary. In fact, the only thing about the song that absolutely cannot change over the years are the lyrics. Even the melody may be adjusted, should it be found painful to the ears— though most try to keep the spirit of the original.   Family and friends may help one write their ahvdhe neolth— but must take a limited role in doing so. They can only offer suggestions, and nudges— rather than outright supplying lyrics or notes. After all, the song is not theirs.  
Why don't you try something more sombre? These lyrics speak of heartbreak— but your melody lifts the spirit.
— A friend
Ahv-duh-hay Nee-ohl-th
The little crab dances o'er the sand,   Mocking the sea from the la~nd.   The little crab loves to swim,   Yet the sea will not let him.   "Do not come near,"   "Or I'll become a sou~p!"   So the little crab jumped in with a whoo~p.   The sea tried to run,   Yet nothing could be done,   For the crab had landed,   At the very bottom.   So he swam,   And swam,   Til no longer could he see,   The visage of the land.   Caught in a storm,   He tried to go back,   Yet the sea could not stop,   Beholden to the wind,   Until the little crab found himself,   Dashed upon a rock.  
— One man's ahvdhe neolth


Many of these songs never actually touch on the story of one's life, some speak of the adventures of fictional characters, some document the lives of their parents or friends, others go over history, and some simply sing about nature. Regardless, it is inevitable for pieces of one's personality to slip through— music is considered by the Linnh to be a window into the soul, and the ahvdhe neolth even more so.  

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Author's Notes

Feedback is very much welcome! Whether on the content, or the formatting! Please, point out typos if you spot any!

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Jul 14, 2020 00:26

Ha, Love the crap song!

Jul 14, 2020 01:03 by Grace Gittel Lewis

You mean crab? Thanks if so, lol!

Jul 14, 2020 01:08

Oh Crap! (correct usage)

Jul 14, 2020 11:35 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

RIP little crab!   I love this tradition - it's so fascinating. What age do children start composing? You said when they are still learning to speak so I would assume 2 or 3. I bet there are some interesting first lines!

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Jul 14, 2020 16:55 by Grace Gittel Lewis

Yup, around 3, when they can actually speak full sentences. And yes, there are absolutely some interesting early lines!

Oct 17, 2020 20:08 by R. Dylon Elder

This is such an awesome tradition. I mean composing a song throughout your life, one that evolves and changes, is just beautiful. I can imagine it being a magnum opus for some, a vital aspect of their life that may well be their legacy. Well done. Also I'll say what the others have said, poor crab.

Oct 17, 2020 23:05 by Grace Gittel Lewis

Yeah, for heroes and cultural icons the songs can become more widely known.

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