It always seems it was one of the songs Petiron had sent on ahead, but she couldn't have written it before the event happened. Maybe she wrote it down that night or something. I haven't read it in a while, but I've read it several times, I think you're right!
However, it's not the only mistake. I noticed when rereading one of the books last summer that one dragon name was switched for another for a couple of chapters, it was really weird.
It's been a while since I re-read Dragonsong, but wasn't it the new harper who wrote it down? Now where did I put my copy....
Maybe she timed and wrote it.
How would Elgion write it down? He'd never have heard it because Menolly was barred from any sort of music.
On page 31 of Dragonsinger (my copy: corgi edition 1984) Robinton mentions the Fire Lizard Song being unfinished, Menolly herself wonders about this because she only jotted it down but nowhere can I find a reference to her doing this.
In Dragonsinger it is mentioned she wrote it in the little hall (where the children are taught), and she did to some 'tuning' there, but at the sight of the fire lizards mating, not the salvation of the eggs. Maybe McCaffrey got that mixed up.
If the song was unfinished, then she would have added the verses about the eggs later when she finished it, and thus the book sequence would be correct.
The whole song is about saving the eggs. Besides Master Robinton was the one to polish it, but that was only phrasing, not content. I guess, I must just come to terms with McCaffrey being faulty. As you mentioned at the top of this discussion; there are other mistakes. But I still enjoy reading the books :-)
If I ever started writing and published as many books as she has, I'd have to hire a team of people to help me keep my details straight :) I've read em' a million times and listened to the audiobook version a million times and love them still.
When did she write the song?
I've just reread Dragonsong for the umpteenth time, and discovered something I've never noticed before: Menolly has no time to write the Firelizardsong. She must have written it before leaving Half Circle Hold, because the song is known when she arrived at Harper Hall in Dragonsinger. But: She saved the eggs the day before the day she leaves, and at no time is it written that she has time to sit and write it down. I can't believe I haven't seen it before! McCaffrey made a mistake!
I thought for sure that Menolly wrote that song after she first saw them... Or at least most of it. I guess she did goof up! It's still a good song, though.
There does appear to be a unspecified exact point when Menolly wrote the Fire Lizard song which is on the opening page of Dragonsinger. In Dragonsinger on p 23. Robinton apologizes to her for tightening the fire lizard song she clearly had not yet finished writing - having only jotted down the tune and the words, which Harper Elgion had forwarded to him. After all one of his tasks was to find Petiron's lost apprentice. In Dragonsong, Menolly sees the Fire Lizards mating in the skies - pp.22-3, and asks old harper Petiron about them. After her father's beating her for "tuning," she rescues the eggs from the high tides, placing them in the cave's mouth -p.51, 53-6 and mentions the last tune she'd made up, being about the fire lizards-p. 52. After returning from from the rescue is when she must have created the Fire Lizard song and jotted it down. When she runs away from Half Circle Hold she manages to force herself into the same cave to save herself from Thread and impresses the 9 fire lizards trying to keep them from flying into threadfall. There she makes her set of multiple pipes and plays and sings with the fire lizards as they grow. It is sometime later, while she is seeking non-fishy smelling oil for their hides that she is caught out and rescued trying to outrun Thread-p109, and taken to Benden Weyr at the end of Dragonsong. Each chapter starts with a poem or song, and Ch. 11 of Dragonsinger begins with the first stanza of Menolly's Fire Lizard Song - the Chapter in which she and T'gellan bring back the clutch of 31 eggs.
All during her time in the caves, Masterharper Robinton is trying to discover who old harper Petiron's young songwriter is. Pertiron never said the problem was that she was a girl. p.43,46. The new Half Circle Hold Harper, Elgion, suspects it is Menolly after her brother says she has gone missing -p. 94, and he remembers an over-tall girl fleeing the hall one night-p.79, 102. He hears pipes in the caves when sailing with Alemi-p. 101, and he forwarded the waxed tablets of other songs found among the old harper's things, including, presumably, The Fire lizard Song. -p.95, to Masterharper Robinton which is how Robinton says he got it on Dragonsinger, - p23.
So yes, there does appear to be a slight anomaly in the timeline for the writing of the song, but
It's a whole new world! Anne McGaffrey opened up a new community to me with this, the first of at least 25 other books of Pern.
I read this book every year as I enjoy it that much.
can't say what's already been said... but it's awesome!
I wish I could talk to her hide-bound father, though... "There's more to life than fishing!" Menolly is a gifted girl who deserves appreciation and the chance to follow her dreams.
I loved Anne McCaffrey Pern series when I was a teenager.
Dragonsong is the first of the three original Harper Hall Trilogy; Dragonsong, Dragonsinger and Dragondrums. It fits in the midst of Dragonflight, dragon quest , and The White Dragon, the first three Dragon Riders of Pern series, of which it is a part. The Harper Hall series would now include Masterharper as well making it no longer the trilogy it originally was. All the Pern books are part of the series Dragon Riders of Pern. The original Harper Hall series, each with teen protagonists and shorter in length than Dragonflight and Dragonquest (with its more adult themes) are ideal for embarking Young Adult readers into the delights of Pern.