'Game of Thrones' and the Hold Steady team for season 3 song -- EXCLUSIVE

holsd-steady-band

Another acclaimed indie rock band has partnered with HBO’s Game of Thrones to create a hit song from the land of Westeros.

Thrones producers have enlisted Brooklyn group the Hold Steady to bring to life a tune from George R.R. Martin’s fantasy saga. The band will perform “The Bear and the Maiden Fair,” with lyrics by Martin (below) and music by the show’s composer Ramin Djawadi. Last year, The National recorded Martin’s ominous “The Rains of Castemere” for season two, while “The Bear and the Maiden Fair” is more like a boisterous tavern song.

“As with the National, we went after one of our favorite bands and were happily surprised when they agreed to do it,” said showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss. “This is one of the most popular songs in Westeros, beloved by nobles and commoners alike, sung at taverns and feasts and etc. We wanted our rendition to be bawdy and a little sloppy — drunken musicians getting up on the table and jamming while the rowdy party continues around them. There was no one better for the job than the Hold Steady, and the song they delivered has been stuck in our heads for the last four weeks.”

“The Bear and the Maiden Fair” is about a bear that goes to the fair and woos a maiden who was hoping for a knight. We are sworn to secrecy in regards to how the song will be used, though it’s not where readers of Martin’s novels might suspect. The Hold Steady will release a 7″ record on April 20 for Record Store Day that will include “The Bear and Maiden Fair” and the song “Criminal Fingers.”

The Hold Steady isn’t the only popular band lending their talent to Thrones this year. Coldplay drummer Will Champion and Snow Patrol lead singer Gary Lightbody have cameos in season three.

Thrones typically uses an orchestral score, but last year producers surprised fans by enlisting The National to play “The Rains of Castemere” over the closing credits of the climactic “Battle of the Blackwater” episode. The tune recounts Lord Tywin Lannister’s crushing victory over the rebellious House Reyne of Castamere (an event that occurs long before the show’s storyline, but is oft-referenced as part of the Lannister family’s history). The song is available on the show’s season two soundtrack.

For those who missed it over the weekend, here’s the extended version of the latest Game of Thrones trailer. Coincidentally, there is a bear (a bear!) in the new preview. And below are Martin’s lyrics to “The Bear and the Maiden Fair.” Just reading these should make you feel like you’re hoisting a stein of ale.

“A bear there was,”
“A bear, A BEAR!
“All black and brown,”
“And covered with hair!

“Oh come they said,”
“Oh come to the fair!”
“The fair? said he,
“But I’m a bear!”
“All black and brown,”
“And covered in hair!”

“And down the road,”
“From here to there,”
“From here!To there!”
“Three boys, a goat,”
“And a dancing bear!”
“They danced and spun,”
“All the way to the fair!”

“Oh! sweet she was,”
“And pure and fair,”
“The maid with honey,”
“In her hair! Her hair,”
“The maid with honey,”
“in her hair!”

The bear smelled the scent,
“On the summer air!”
“The Bear! The Bear!”
“All black and brown,”
“And covered with hair!”
“He smelled the scent,”
“On the summer air,”
“He sniffed and roared,”
“And smelled it there!”
“Honey on the summer air!”

“Oh I’m a maid,”
“And I’m pure and fair,”
“I’ll never dance,”
“With a hairy bear,”
“A bear! A bear!”
“I’ll never dance,”
“With a hairy bear!”

“The bear,the bear!”
“Lifted her high,”
into the air!”
The bear, the bear!”

“I called for a knight!”
“But you’re a bear!”
“A bear! A bear,”
“All black and brown,”
“And cover in hair!”

“She kicked and wailed,”
“The maid so fair,”
“But he licked the honey,”
“From her hair!”
“Her hair! Her hair!”
“He licked the honey,”
“From her hair!”

“Then she sighed and squealed,”
“And kicked the air,”
“She sang: My bear so fair,”
“And off they went,”
“The bear! The bear!”
“And the maiden fair!”

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