Firefly and the Borderlands?

After watching some Highland Dancing at the Games, Jenn and I went to cook our own lunch at our campsite.  While doing so, we listened to Gie’d Sum Wellie, Scocha’s latest CD.  And this one song came on all about reivers — and pronounced in Scots, this would be the same as reavers.  To further the Firefly connexion, one of the lines of the song is “fire in the engine.”

Are the lads of Scocha fans of Firefly?

I don’t know, but if they are, they’d probably be wondering the same things I am when the first mention of reavers appears.  Later that same day, whilst enjoying Scocha live in the beer tent (and escaping the massive downpour of doom), the band sang the song, explaining that the reivers were raiders in the Anglo-Scots Borders 400 years ago who would mostly steal livestock but also anything of value — if you had fillings, they’d steal the silver right out of your teeth!

Now, not exactly reavers, I’ll grant — they’re not cannibalistic, murderous savages that have lost their humanity.  Nevertheless, both, regardless of spelling, are raiders who dwell in liminal space.  The science fiction reavers live in deep space, out past most of the civilised planets and the long arm of the law.  The historical reivers live in the Borders, some English, some Scottish, raiding on either side of the border whenever and wherever they had need — some as far north as Edinburgh, others as far south as Yorkshire.  It’s a good occupation when you live in the borders of two countries that are frequently at war and on land that’s no good for crops but good for pasturage.

Notably, the founders of Scocha, Iain Scott and David Chapman are themselves from the Borders, hailing from Hawick, which hosts an annual Reivers’ festival.  And Scott, in fact, is a reiver family name — it may not be the most reputable lifestyle, but it’s a living, and reivers make good light cavalry from all that raiding!

Whedon, however, is a family name from the South of England.

Nevertheless, did Joss read up on his history of the borders before making Firefly, or is this homophonic incident an accident?

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