The Legend of Chaucer and the Anchor

By Gary Johanson, WD4NKA


Yours Truly

Have you ever wondered why Johnson always used Viking names, like . . . uh . . . "Viking" and "Thunderbolt" and "Invader" and "Adventurer" and "Valiant"? Ever notice the Norse origin of the "Hammarlund" name? Ever wonder why Nye Viking sports a viking longboat on their logo? What was the connection between the Norsemen and Amateur Radio? Read on . . .

While sifting through some medeival documents, there came to light what appeared to be an appendage to Chaucer's Cantebury Tales, which in the translucency of the vellum upon which it was meticulously inscribed caught my attention. For in this document lies the secrets of a part of Amateur Radio Lore which has hitherto remained unknown, buried beneath piles of ancient IBM punch cards and vintage daisy wheels.

This is the lost story of Chaucer, probably written by somebody like him, who braved the great North Sea to visit the fabled "Norsk Hamfest", which, as legend has it, was the scene of wild and unbridled revelry. To the civilised Englishe mind this was a Barbaric and Pagan ritual, but to our friend Chaucer, or someone like him, it was just one more excuse to spend the weekend with the guys.

As the story unfolds, our hero, brave Chaucer, embarks on a chartered roundship in the company of "bonnie knights" as he braves the great North Sea to land somewhere in Norge, pays the "Old Men" behind the concession cage, and enters into a realm of wanton excitement, coloured lights, and extravagent spending. Our hero confronts the mysterious and heavy contraptions loaded upon groaning tables, bearing mystical names, with prices so high they exceed our hero's ability to pay for the trip home again.

But, being caught up in the frenzie, and ignoring all reason our hero buys up everything in sight and lugs it onto the little roundship, it's captain becoming very concerned they might well sink with the weight.

Alas! Our hero is caught up in a fearful storm at sea, and in spite of the best efforts of the brave English crew, all hands and passengers must abandon ship, and the weight of the "Boxes of Sorceries" drags the doomed little roundship to the bottom of the storm tossed sea.

The effectiveness of the tremendous weight of Chaucer's purchases was not lost upon the Norsemen, as we shall see as we read the Modern Translation of "The Legend of Chaucer and the Anchor", or, "How the Boatanchors got their Names".

The Legend of Chaucer and the Anchor

( Die Nordischer Emfaengerlied )

I
Tales are passed from old to young
when Knights were men, and deeds were done
but yet untold the Legend goes
of Chaucer and his Radios
Brave Chaucer and his Radios

II
Come along my lads, to see
the Bonnie Knights of company
across the sea of Northern Gale
on wooden ships of old we sail
on wooden ships of old we sail

Amidst the Gates are Men of Age
that sit behind the entrance cage
for tribute must we cast in coin
and enter the abode therein
and enter the abode therein

III
For magic are the lights we see
and men exult with voices glee
exchanging all their purse's gold
to carry off what they can hold
to carry off what they can hold

Behold, good man behind thy Board
what sorcery in boxes stored?
that causes thee with brazen face
to charge me an amazing price
to charge me an amazing price

IV
Hallowed names are spoken here
and bid us thence to enter near
the tables, long that bear the Ton
of Valiant and Hammarlund
of Valiant and Hammarlund

The price is all that we retain
to carry us back home again!
Despite fair Logic's inward call
he shoots the wad and buys them ALL
against his better judgement, all.

V
Aboard our mighty ships of wood
we sail again, though understood
the Captain warns "the weight, I think
may cause our wooden boat to sink
may cause our wooden boat to sink"

Down the Mainsail! Haul her in!
O hear the fearful cries of men
that man our good ship through the gail
now weighted down, and cannot sail
now weighted down, and cannot sail

Alas all hands! Amidships we
do try and pull the lifeboat free
Abandon Ship! and all below
to Neptune's resting place doth go
to Neptune's resting place doth go

VI
So to the bottom they did go
all of Chaucer's Radios
though wind and gale their powers cast
the mighty weight did hold them fast
the mighty weight did hold them fast

There was a day when Knights were bold
of whom many ballads told
but to this day the Norsemen chant
and name their Anchors "Valiant"
and name their Anchors "Valiant"

Gary comes from a long line of Swedish and German
storytellers, musicians, and Luftwaffe funkers.