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Bardcore[a] or tavernwave is a musical microgenre that became popular in 2020, consisting of medieval-inspired remakes of popular songs.[2]


Before the term Bardcore was widely known, in December 2017 a medieval version of "Toxicity" by System of a Down was published on YouTube by Algal the Bard. By 2020, it had achieved a few million views.[3]

The Guardian dates the origin of bardcore as a distinct trend to 20 April 2020, during the COVID-19 lockdown, when 27-year-old German YouTuber Cornelius Link released "Astronomia (Medieval Style)". The track is a remake of Tony Igy's 2010 electronic dance track "Astronomia", which had gained widespread attention as the soundtrack to the coffin dance meme.[2][b]

Link followed this a few weeks later with a medieval-style instrumental version of Foster the People's "Pumped Up Kicks", which Canadian YouTuber[5] Hildegard von Blingin' (a play on the name of the medieval composer Hildegard von Bingen)[6] then re-released with an added vocal track using a medieval-style adaptation of the original lyrics. By the end of June, both versions had reached 4 million views.[2] Hildegard von Blingin' has also covered Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance", Radiohead's "Creep", Dolly Parton's "Jolene", Lana Del Rey's "Summertime Sadness" and Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know", changing the rhythm and lyrics to fit the genre.[5]

Wu Tang Clan endorsed Bardcore artist 'Beedle the Bardcore' by reposting his cover of their track C.R.E.A.M on their official YouTube channel.[7]

The trend was joined by other YouTubers, including Latvian band Auļi, Graywyck, Constantine Bard and Samus Ordicus.[2] Elmira Tanatarova in i-D suggests bardcore "carries with it the weight of years of memes made about the medieval era, and the bleak darkness of that time period that appeals to Gen Z's existential humour."[8] The artwork for bardcore songs are frequently medieval representations of the song being covered, often in the style of the Bayeux Tapestry or illuminated manuscripts.

In October 2020, Scott Mills featured tracks by prominent Bardcore artists Beedle The Bardcore, Hildegard Von Blingin', and Stantough (covered Harry Styles' "Watermelon Sugar") on his prime time BBC Radio 1 show.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Referring to a bard,[1] a professional storyteller or musician in medieval Gaelic and British culture.
  2. ^ The term "bardcore" spiked in Google searches in June 2020.[4]


  1. ^ Yalcinkaya, Gunseli (2020-06-23). "Prithee! Bardcore is the medieval music trend taking over YouTube". Dazed. Archived from the original on 2020-07-07. Retrieved 2020-07-07.
  2. ^ a b c d "Never mind the ballads! How bardcore took over pop music". The Guardian. 2020-06-24. Archived from the original on 2020-07-03. Retrieved 2020-07-07.
  3. ^ "An Incredible Medieval Cover of System of a Down's 'Toxicity' Performed on Traditional Instruments". Laughing Squid. 7 July 2020.
  4. ^ Claire Bracken (12 May 2021). "What in heaven is Bardcore and why dost thou love it?".
  5. ^ a b Romain, Lindsey (2020-07-14). "Medieval Cover of "Jolene" Is a Bardcore Banger". Nerdist Industries. Archived from the original on 2020-07-16. Retrieved 2020-07-22.
  6. ^ "Q&A Time! Talking Bardcore & Roleplaying with Hildegard von Blingin". Beasts of War Ltd. 2020-06-30. Archived from the original on 2020-07-07. Retrieved 2020-07-22.
  7. ^ "Wu Tang Clan Official YouTube Channel". Retrieved 2020-12-11.
  8. ^ Tanatarova, Elmira (2020-06-23). "Exploring Bardcore: YouTube's obsession with medieval covers of Lady Gaga". i-D. Vice Media. Archived from the original on 2020-07-17. Retrieved 2020-07-22.
  9. ^ "Radio 1's Scott Mills Daily Podcast". Retrieved 2020-12-11.