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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

The Witcher season 2 has another song that deserves to go viral

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After debuting in The Witcher season 1, Toss a Coin to Your Witcher became a viral sensation. There were rather a lot of cover versions, and it was made into a level in VR rhythm game Beat Saber. A gold medal-winning sharpshooter and noted Witcher fan was welcomed home with a Russian version of it. It’s no surprise that The Witcher season 2 gives noted bard and Geralt BFF Jaskier a couple of new songs to sing. (Spoilers below.)

When Jaskier is reintroduced, he’s wearing a hat and fronting a band, having completed his transformation from a lowly bard being pelted with vegetables to the Continent’s first rock star. As he sings Burn Butcher Burn to the delight of a full tavern, it becomes clear that even though he’s famous and the ladies love him, Jaskier’s still not happy. A certain witcher broke his heart back in season 1 and inspired a song so popular he has to relive the agony every time he performs. Jaskier: basically the Taylor Swift of the Witcher universe.

Catchy though it may be, Burn Butcher Burn isn’t the song that deserves to go viral. Instead I’m making a case for the song Jaskier sings in a prison cell later on in the series. Just like Oscar Wilde, Jaskier is inspired by imprisonment to write his real masterpiece, which is called Whoreson Prison Blues. The song he torments his guard with, performed with a pair of spoons and three mice as his backing band, is the one I’ve got stuck in my head after marathonning all eight episodes. 

You can hear a full studio version on the official soundtrack, but I prefer the original as it appears in the show. The acoustic demo, unplugged, as it was meant to be. It is, as they definitely do not say in the Northern Kingdoms, a banger.

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