The Pegasus Awards

Summer Russell IF


Pegasus Awards

Award Year Category Song
2023 Best Performer  
2022 Best Filk Song The Entwife

Pegasus Nominations

Year Category Song Sample
2023 Best Performer   mp3
2022 Best Writer/Composer  
2021 Best Filk Song Courage Dear Heart  
2021 Best Writer/Composer  

Summer Russell is a lifelong lover of music and poetry, myth and magic, science and nature. She came home to filk much later in life than she might have wished, but she got here as soon as she could.

First, though, she was a little girl with a Casio keyboard, a room full of fairy tales, and designs on the astronaut life. Later she became a bookish dreamer who almost cried in the middle of treble choir when she sang in harmony for the first time. She learned to play the guitar as a teenager and quickly took to songwriting, powerfully influenced by traditional music from the British Isles and by the singers and poets of the folk revival. At the same time, she fell hard for rock 'n' roll, eventually building to the revelation of melodic power metal about elves and wizards. She remains a headbanger at heart to this day.

She found the Society for Creative Anachronism and spent many an enchanted night singing from fire to fire, or sharing in the warmth of the bardic circle that hinted at what was to come. She sang about warrior women before she came of age and put on armor of her own. Later, she had the honor of serving for a year as Premier Bard of the Stellar Kingdom of Ansteorra.

It was with wonder and gratitude that she found her way, at last, to her first OVFF. She found new life there in the wells of inspiration and kindness that never seem to run dry. Since then, she has taken every chance she can to join her friends and kindred spirits in song, whether gathered together in rooms or reaching across great distances to keep the music alive.

In 2018 she was Toastmaster at Consonance, where the community worked a feat of deep magic on her behalf. In 2019 she was Interfilk Guest at FilKONtario, and the meaning of joy and hospitality grew greater still.

Thus encouraged, she continues to write a motley assortment of songs and record them at home, grooving to the rhythm of the ocean she loves.



Representative Work for the 2023 Pegasus Awards

Dance out of Hell (Nada's Song) (mp3)

Words and Music: Copyright ©2022 by Summer Russell
All Rights Reserved
Lyrics posted with permission of the author

For Nada, Queen in her own right.

Sweet was the beat of the heart he held out for me
Blood ruby deep as the first wound of life
Into the wilderness endless I followed
And so he would have me, the dream-master's wife

Smoldering slowly the stars that entranced me
My tongue learned the feel of the fruit that we shared
And danger stole off while desire was feasting
Then found us at dawn in the sun's jealous glare

To stay was to die - but to leave was my doom
So the ice held me down - while the fire consumed

Ten thousand years in a cage
For refusing that poisonous spell
Enough of pleading and rage
Now I'll stand on my feet and I'll dance out of hell

My choice is my own and my pleasure my own
My pride and my joy and my treasure my own
Tell the demon who rose
Tell the angel who fell
But my own voice will lead as I dance out of hell

No man may steal what I carry inside me
No nightmare will drag me through stones of the past
There is no going home, there is no going back
Though I walk in the shards of my palace of glass

There is only the road I will make for myself
So if I am remade it is by my own hand
The wind of the storm I have danced into singing
Will banish the shadow along with the sand

No hunger can break me - no captor can take me
No shackles will bind me - they shatter behind me

Ten thousand years I survived
My strength and my spite served me well
My hatred kept me alive
But now light as a feather I'll dance out of hell

For my choice is my own and my pleasure my own
My pride and my joy and my treasure my own
Tell the demon who rose
Tell the angel who fell
But my own voice will lead as I dance out of hell
As I dance out of hell
As I dance out of hell
As I dance, as I dance,
Dance out of hell


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