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Pagan Songs

DigiTrad:
ALLSOULS NIGHT
LORD OF THE DANCE (PAGAN)
O, SAVE US FROM FAUX PAGANS (Or, Observations at a Renaissance Faire)


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Jack Blandiver 17 Feb 09 - 05:25 AM
Jack Blandiver 16 Feb 09 - 05:27 AM
Jack Blandiver 15 Feb 09 - 05:33 AM
Sleepy Rosie 15 Feb 09 - 05:29 AM
wyrdolafr 14 Feb 09 - 06:10 PM
Sleepy Rosie 14 Feb 09 - 12:25 PM
Nickhere 13 Feb 09 - 07:47 PM
Sleepy Rosie 13 Feb 09 - 03:21 PM
Jack Campin 08 Feb 09 - 07:59 AM
Darowyn 08 Feb 09 - 05:11 AM
Jack Blandiver 08 Feb 09 - 04:43 AM
Jack Blandiver 29 Jan 09 - 04:14 AM
GUEST,Samarobrin 28 Jan 09 - 10:59 PM
Jack Campin 23 Jan 09 - 07:02 AM
Jack Blandiver 23 Jan 09 - 04:37 AM
GUEST,Samarobrin 23 Jan 09 - 12:35 AM
Jack Campin 22 Jan 09 - 05:45 AM
Jack Campin 21 Jan 09 - 01:23 PM
Jack Blandiver 21 Jan 09 - 12:19 PM
Sleepy Rosie 21 Jan 09 - 11:25 AM
Sleepy Rosie 21 Jan 09 - 11:01 AM
Jack Blandiver 21 Jan 09 - 08:12 AM
Jack Campin 20 Jan 09 - 08:30 PM
Jack Campin 20 Jan 09 - 08:11 PM
Sleepy Rosie 20 Jan 09 - 11:40 AM
Sleepy Rosie 20 Jan 09 - 11:14 AM
Sleepy Rosie 20 Jan 09 - 10:02 AM
Jack Blandiver 20 Jan 09 - 09:58 AM
Sleepy Rosie 20 Jan 09 - 09:11 AM
Sleepy Rosie 20 Jan 09 - 09:06 AM
Sleepy Rosie 20 Jan 09 - 08:44 AM
Jack Blandiver 20 Jan 09 - 08:15 AM
Sleepy Rosie 20 Jan 09 - 07:36 AM
Leadfingers 20 Jan 09 - 07:07 AM
Stu 20 Jan 09 - 07:01 AM
Jack Blandiver 20 Jan 09 - 05:32 AM
Sleepy Rosie 20 Jan 09 - 04:56 AM
Jack Campin 19 Jan 09 - 02:21 PM
Sleepy Rosie 19 Jan 09 - 12:24 PM
Jack Blandiver 19 Jan 09 - 12:13 PM
Jack Blandiver 19 Jan 09 - 12:04 PM
Sleepy Rosie 19 Jan 09 - 11:49 AM
Jack Campin 19 Jan 09 - 11:40 AM
Sleepy Rosie 19 Jan 09 - 11:25 AM
Stu 19 Jan 09 - 07:18 AM
Jack Blandiver 19 Jan 09 - 06:43 AM
Jack Campin 18 Jan 09 - 08:25 PM
Sleepy Rosie 18 Jan 09 - 06:38 PM
Jack Campin 18 Jan 09 - 06:22 PM
Sleepy Rosie 18 Jan 09 - 03:45 PM
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Subject: RE: Pagan Songs
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 17 Feb 09 - 05:25 AM

And again, from another thread but entirely relevant here:

From Origins: Logs to Burn.

For our version (see www.myspace.com/venereumarvum - song #3 on the player) we took the verses from the footnote on page 169 of The White Goddess by Robert Graves*, of which he says A charming though emasculated version of the same poem [the Irish Ossianic Song of the Forest Trees to be found in Standish O' Grady's translation in E.M.Hull's Poem Book of the Gael] is to be found on Dartmoor. Fortunately, the whole text of Poem Book of the Gael (1913) is on-line Here, from which I've extracted the poem to save you the bother of wading through the somewhat unwieldy document (however so rewarding such wading can be!).   

SONG OF THE FOREST TREES

O MAN that for Fergus of the feasts dost kindle fire,
Whether afloat or ashore burn not the king of woods.

Monarch of Innisfail's forests the woodbine is, whom
none may hold captive ;
No feeble sovereign's effort is it to hug all tough trees
in his embrace.

The pliant woodbine if thou burn, wailings for mis-
fortune will abound,
Dire extremity at weapons' points or drowning in great
waves will follow.

Burn not the precious apple-tree of spreading and low-
sweeping bough ;
Tree ever decked in bloom of white, against whose fair
head all men put forth the hand.

The surly blackthorn is a wanderer, a wood that the
artificer burns not ;
Throughout his body, though it be scanty, birds in their flocks warble.

The noble willow burn not, a tree sacred to poems ;
Within his bloom bees are a-sucking, all love the little
cage.

The graceful tree with the berries, the wizard's tree, the
rowan, burn ;
But spare the limber tree ; burn not the slender hazel.

Dark is the colour of the ash ; timber that makes the
wheels to go ;
Rods he furnishes for horsemen's hands, his form turns
battle into flight.

Tenterhook among woods the spiteful briar is, burn him
that is so keen and green ;
He cuts, he flays the foot, him that would advance he
forcibly drags backward.

Fiercest heat-giver of all timber is green oak, from him
none may escape unhurt ;
By partiality for him the head is set on aching, and by
his acrid embers the eye is made sore.

Alder, very battle-witch of all woods, tree that is hottest
in the fight
Undoubtedly burn at thy discretion both the alder and
whitethorn.

Holly, burn it green ; holly, burn it dry ;
Of all trees whatsoever the critically best is holly.
Elder that hath tough bark, tree that in truth hurts
sore;
Him that furnishes horses to the armies from the sidh
burn so that he be charred.

The birch as well, if he be laid low, promises abiding fortune ;
Burn up most sure and certainly the stalks that bear the
constant pods.

Suffer, if it so please thee, the russet aspen to come head-
long down ;
Burn, be it late or early, the tree with the palsied branch.

Patriarch of long-lasting woods is the yew, sacred to
feasts, as is well-known ;
Of him now build ye dark-red vats of goodly size.

Ferdedh, thou faithful one, wouldst thou but do my
behest :
To thy soul as to thy body, O man, 'twould work advantage.


Translation: Standish Hayes O'Grady

_____


* These are the same words (& the same source) as used by Robin Williamson on the album A Glint at the Kindling, albeit without the Sirs. I've always understood the chorus to be a later addition (by Johnny Collins?). There is no traditional melody for this song - we wrote the one we use, although we couldn't get away from Robin's Sirs. I might add that the Digitrad lyrics given Here are Robin Williamson's adaptation; the chorus here is Robin's. Maybe this should be made clear?

This thread has lots of deleted spam following this last message, so the thread is closed for now. If you need to post, contact any moderator to reopen it. ---mudelf


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Subject: RE: Pagan Songs
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 16 Feb 09 - 05:27 AM

Just found this in relation to another thread, but it has its place here too:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWOnJCxHnEA


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Subject: RE: Pagan Songs
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 15 Feb 09 - 05:33 AM

Our maid can milk a bull

That's actually the traditional bit - from Who's the Fool Now?, which puts a different spin on things...


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Subject: RE: Pagan Songs
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 15 Feb 09 - 05:29 AM

Willows Song (along with Gently Johnny off the same soundtrack), was possibly the first 'folk song' I learned to sing a few months back.

Apart from the euphemistic line which goes:
'Our maid can milk a bull' - which puts me in mind of classic fertility cult imagery.

The most intesting line by far is the one which runs:
'Would you have a wondrous sight, The Midday Sun at Midnight.'

And while I know little enough about occult symbolism, I know the Midnight Sun, is an image used in certain circles.
Though what it means, I haven't a clue.

Irrespective of all that, can't see me wanting to sing Willows Song ever again, I've just heard it too many damned times!


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Subject: RE: Pagan Songs
From: wyrdolafr
Date: 14 Feb 09 - 06:10 PM

Nickhere wrote: "Anyway, bit of thread drift there, getting back to the thread, there are some rather interesting songs available as a CD soundtrack to 'Wickerman' which though no doubt they are not 'authentic' whatever 'authentic' means here, are worth listening to anyway."

As unlikely as it sounds, The Mock Turtles (Manchester band who did fairly well in the early 1990s) did a great cover of 'The Willow Song' from 'The Wickerman' soundtrack. For some reason, it was a song covered by a few Manchester bands around the time.

I saw frontman Martin Coogan (brother of comedian Steve Coogan) do some absolutely amazing acoustic performances in the late 1980s. Despite the very lightweight vocals on the more well-known material like 'Can You Dig It?', the guy has/had a fantastically powerful voice that easily filled a theatre without a microphone on a couple of occasions. Unfortunately, his 'folky' side isn't very well represented on any of the Mock Turtle recordings - which was a real shame, in my opinion.

'Fionnula' is another great folky track they did, even if it's not as impressively 'big' on record as it was live.


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Subject: RE: Pagan Songs
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 14 Feb 09 - 12:25 PM

Thanks for the Owly Song IB. Managed to miss that until just now.
Love the line that runs approximately "many faced Goddess, how wonderful you are [...] but I just wish that you'd stay the same, for a while..."

Every mans plea.

I guess that'll be why they are supposed to provide ceremonial offerings of Chocolate once upon a ritual year.
Me? I'm with Inanna on the boyfriend front...


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Subject: RE: Pagan Songs
From: Nickhere
Date: 13 Feb 09 - 07:47 PM

Piers Plowman - I spose you've come across the Goliards, with their bawdy pub-songs dating mainly from the 12th and perhaps 13th century? For a sample listen to some of the stuff from Naxos, for years they have been producing high quality low cost recordings of medieval and antique music.


One I'd recommend is "Carmna Burana" (not the opera by Orff, but the name given to a manuscript collection of songs and musical notation discovered at the monastery of Beuren in Germany. Orff based his rather different opera on this). There have been lots of groups 'interpreting' medieval music since the 60s, and the results are amazing to listen to.

Carmina Burana - medieval version

Another label worth looking out for is Helios, they have an excellent collection of ethereal courtly love songs from the time of the court of Eleanor of Acquaitane that'll knock your socks off -

Courtly Love Songs


These groups have researched their subject as carefully as they can and have done all possible o make the musical experience as authentic to what is presumed to be the medieval version.

There has been a lot of debate in recent years on whether or not these modern recreations of medieval music are actually authentic or not. See for example "Medievale o neomedievale?" in "Medioevo" Sept 2007, No.9 (128) 2007, p.82 -88 (pub. by DeAgostini Periodici srl, via Giovanni da Verrazano, 15 - 28100, Novara, Italy)

But this obsession with authenticity may be a more modern phenomenon since troubadors, as I understand it, didn't have 'given' versions of songs and they all interpreted them as they saw fit. Occasionally the audiences insisted on them being changed also. Maybe the idea of the 'original / authentic' version has arrived with the era of sound recordings?

Anyway, bit of thread drift there, getting back to the thread, there are some rather interesting songs available as a CD soundtrack to 'Wickerman' which though no doubt they are not 'authentic' whatever 'authentic' means here, are worth listening to anyway.


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Subject: RE: Pagan Songs
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 13 Feb 09 - 03:21 PM

Now That's What I Call PaganMusic!

Anyone know anything about this lady's work?
Freya Aswynn

I'm curious enough (having been exposed a little to Skaldr before) to have ordered this: Songs of Yggdrasil: Shamanic Chants from the Northern Mysteries

PS folks, cheers for all contributions to this thread, I'm still working my way slowly through some of the earlier suggestions...


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Subject: RE: Pagan Songs
From: Jack Campin
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 07:59 AM

And another leaf tune, from Romania. I have no information about it. I wonder if it's the same kind of leaf and with the same sort of tradition behind it as the Turkish example I posted about on 22 Jan?

Florica Mazgoi plays 'De Codru', 1952


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Subject: RE: Pagan Songs
From: Darowyn
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 05:11 AM

I reviewed an album by Damh the Bard yesterday, and I liked it.
The songs are deliberately Pagan, relying mostly on The Mabinogion for source material.
It is a lot more entertaining than many "pagan" writers produce.
It is worth a listen.
Cheers
Dave


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Subject: RE: Pagan Songs
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 08 Feb 09 - 04:43 AM

Just a thought:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGEa--QVxUo


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Subject: RE: Pagan Songs
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 29 Jan 09 - 04:14 AM

Things undreamed of in Heaven and Earth leap to mind, Horatio!

But there are still more things in philosophy, for which we must be thankful!


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Subject: RE: Pagan Songs
From: GUEST,Samarobrin
Date: 28 Jan 09 - 10:59 PM

Jack Campin -18million years it may be, but this is as a mere second in eternity. We neither live nor hear on a timescale long enough to be aware of it. Things undreamed of in Heaven and Earth leap to mind, Horatio!
                   Hmm- must write a song about this.

                                                    nirboramaS


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Subject: RE: Pagan Songs
From: Jack Campin
Date: 23 Jan 09 - 07:02 AM

The rim of a Black Hole hums, so scientists say. The pitch of this hum is 57 octaves below middle C !

By my calculation that works out at a vibration of one cycle per 18 million years.

I don't think so.


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Subject: RE: Pagan Songs
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 23 Jan 09 - 04:37 AM

A cosmic Vashti Bunyan!


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Subject: RE: Pagan Songs
From: GUEST,Samarobrin
Date: 23 Jan 09 - 12:35 AM

The rim of a Black Hole hums, so scientists say. The pitch of this hum is 57 octaves below middle C !

                  If you want to hear 5 New Age songs go to myspace.com/aliendreamuk

                                                      Samarobrin


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Subject: RE: Pagan Songs
From: Jack Campin
Date: 22 Jan 09 - 05:45 AM

Another one I forgot to mention. In Picken's "Folk Music Instruments of Turkey", he mentions a village in southern Anatolia which has a tradition of leading funeral processions with a particular elegiac melody played on two leaves buzzed between the lips. (Nowhere else in Turkey, and probably nowhere else in the entire Islamic world, uses instrumental music of any kind at funerals). The villagers never play the tune at any other time, nor are the leaves ever used for other musical purposes.

Turns out that something like that is described in ancient Greek sources, and the tree whose leaves are used was associated with death and mourning in Greek paganism.

Maybe the tune's changed a bit, but the tradition has survived through 1000 years of Christianity and 800 years of Islam.


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Subject: RE: Pagan Songs
From: Jack Campin
Date: 21 Jan 09 - 01:23 PM

As opposed to the procedure imagined by the Church of the Subgenius (I think), The Opening of the Third Nostril.


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Subject: RE: Pagan Songs
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 21 Jan 09 - 12:19 PM

Tertius Auris is derived from Third Ear, as in the Third Ear Band, whose music remains a crucial inspiration. These guys were playing music for the Druids on Glastonbury Tor in 1970 & providing the soundtrack for Polanski's Macbeth a few years later. For a flavour:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NP0Y6rQBIk


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Subject: RE: Pagan Songs
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 21 Jan 09 - 11:25 AM

And is that a French restaurant style homage to the famed Ketamin induced "K Hole" there?

K of course being pretty pertinant as a kinda 'modern flying ointment.'


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Subject: RE: Pagan Songs
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 21 Jan 09 - 11:01 AM

Don't find the length of that challenging in any way. Interesting sound collage, like a teeming forest floor at the start. Never heard the term 'tertius auris' before, akin to the 'third eye' or e.e.cummings "the ears of my ears are open"? So you're presumably describing a kind of vocalisation of the ancestors, through the channel of a song which has travelled many years of voices...

Further to ethnogens and possible native pre-Christian remnants of Shamanism (as described in the so-called Witches 'nocturnal flight', and the herbs which may or may not have been utilised to induce this experience), I found this quite an interesting little volume, with rather tender artwork by Barbara Brouegel: Elizabeth Procter, Mary Sanford George Jacobs.
Plants of the Gods is also very interesting. As IMO is anything by those authors.


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Subject: RE: Pagan Songs
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 21 Jan 09 - 08:12 AM

From another thread:

A couple of years back I immersed myself in the studio to record an extended ensemble version of King Henry / Child 32 bookended by ambience recorded in the medieval Chapter House of York Minster a few days earlier. The ensemble (Eleanor's Visceral Tomb) comprises Crwth, Doromb (Hungarian Jews Harp), Clarinet, Indian Harmonium, Flowler Calls, Animal Bells and Frame Drum. Clocking in at a hefty 17.45 I dare this stretches the listening attention of even the most dedicated Sedayne fan, but it remains a personal favourite which I like to give away free as a MP3 for those who feel such a thing might be an enrichment to their lives and / or their appreciation of a particularly No-Age approach to the tertius auris of traditional balladry.

Here it is anyway, gratis, as a secure download via YouSendIt:

King Henry / Child #32 / Eleanor's Visceral Tomb, July 2007

To which I might add, with respect of topics already touched upon above, that at the heart of this piece is a notion that certain aspects of Indo-European medieval modality might be found lurking in traditional song, there to be filtered out by means of a more mediumistic approach for which the term tertius auris seems entirely apt; No-Age likewise...


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Subject: RE: Pagan Songs
From: Jack Campin
Date: 20 Jan 09 - 08:30 PM

While we're on the subject this is one of my most prized books:

1967 NIMH Symposium on Ethnopharmacologic Search for Psychoactive Drugs

I've had mine for 20 years, it's not as expensive now as I expected.


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Subject: RE: Pagan Songs
From: Jack Campin
Date: 20 Jan 09 - 08:11 PM

Re Kutavicius: it may be relevant that Lithuania was the last major pagan state in Europe. In the late Middle Ages it was one of the most significant powers in the continent, controlling most of Poland and the Ukraine and dealing as an equal with the Khanate of the Golden Horde based in Crimea. Not exactly fluffy bunnies - they seem to have been into public human sacrifice. They were only beaten by a long and murderous military campaign by the Teutonic Knights on one side and Ottoman expansion on the other.

Litrhuania also has one of the smallest linguistic minorities in the world, the Livonians, whose music seems extremely archaic ("runic" chants covering a very narrow range - Sibelius used some of them as motifs).

Glasgow "City of Culture" invited Lepo Sumera, the Lithuanian composer who was (a sinecure job I think) Minister of Culture in Lithuania at the time, to spend some time in Glasgow writing community-based compositions involving schoolkids. One of his other pieces played at the same concert made some pretty blatant allusions to Lucy-in-the-Sky-with-Diamonds-type Sixties Western psychedelia. So I asked him in the question time whether he was deliberately invoking drug references and if so how that went down with the Lithuanian power elite. He acted rather embarrassed and tried to dismiss it as fluke. I would probably have done better to pin him down over the wine and nibbles and ask if he'd compared Scottish and Lithuanian magic mushrooms.


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Subject: RE: Pagan Songs
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 20 Jan 09 - 11:40 AM

"it just makes me want to smoke again..."

In which case IB, I suggest you don't Listen to This Advice or Consider These Options or Read This Book

All of which Bearheart - as you're watching this thread - I suggest you *do* do... :-) The Pendell is just great btw. Though more of a personal poetic exploration than a 'how to' manual.


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Subject: RE: Pagan Songs
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 20 Jan 09 - 11:14 AM

A song for the sexy Vodou Loa of love and sensuality Erzulie Fuckin' gorgeous!

Another for Papa Ghede Tricksterish Loa of death and ressurection.

And a third, for the Serpent Loa Dumballah Wedo Bringer of fertility and rain. Just beautiful.

And mysteriously not a "La la la" to be heard...


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Subject: RE: Pagan Songs
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 20 Jan 09 - 10:02 AM

Oh this is just top...

The "La la laa laaalaa" bit has to the best: Wiccan Song Either that or the key changes.

And this one too: Another Wiccan Song Oddly the "La la llaaalalla lla" bit moved me to 'tears' agian! Either that, or the powerful shamanic drumming.

I better leave this poor thread to rest in peace for a while. It's probably traumatised..


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Subject: RE: Pagan Songs
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 20 Jan 09 - 09:58 AM

Thanks for the Plant Spirit Song - though it just makes me want to smoke again...

Check out the K-Space page!


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Subject: RE: Pagan Songs
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 20 Jan 09 - 09:11 AM

This I posted elsewhere. But find so beautiful, think it deserves a reprise here: Shamans Plant Spirit Song


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Subject: RE: Pagan Songs
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 20 Jan 09 - 09:06 AM

Though I do still genuinely really like it, nonetheless... Velvet Green

I think that this album is somewhat 'sterile', and while I like it and find it pleasing listening, fails to truly compell your attention or evoke any 'archaic mystery' - in the same way that modern Pagan songs don't. Meaning it could work rather well work as the soundtrack to Robin of Sherwood and I can see plump 'ladies' in faux velvet mediaeval costume 'expressively' dancing around like Pans-People on early TotP to it. Great little party album though, especially if you're tanked on Merrydown!


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Subject: RE: Pagan Songs
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 20 Jan 09 - 08:44 AM

"I much preferred his guttural mozzarella-choked crooning to the nasal whine he'd developed by SFTW. Each to their own however,"

I ditto that. My "sense of humour" (cough..) often doesn't carry well, and I'll be as irreverent about those things I find wonderful, as those which I find irredeemably shite.* 'My God' is of course fantastic, 'Witches Promise' likewise. And I own and love all the Tull albums you earlier referred to - and they all kick the arse of SftW... IMO



* I also tend to fail to include appropriate emoticons like this: ;-)
Which I no doubt aughta do. As well as learning to spell simple words correctly... And learning the occult art of the semi-colon. Somewhat amazing I've survived on the erudite Mudcat this long!


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Subject: RE: Pagan Songs
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 20 Jan 09 - 08:15 AM

I actually like Songs from the Wood

And so you should. I'm all too aware that I'm treading on dangerous ground in casting doubts on SFTW, but I was raised on Jethro Tull, with those early albums forming not the soundtrack to my childhood but also shaping my folkish sensibilities. The cultural landscaping of 1977 notwithstanding, the disappointment of SFTW lay as much in the twee faux-folkery as it did in the loss of Ian Anderson's voice - I much preferred his guttural mozzarella-choked crooning to the nasal whine he'd developed by SFTW. Each to their own however, but the epitome of Tull Folk has to be Witches Promise (this one from French TV 1970!) - and have you ever seen This I wonder??


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Subject: RE: Pagan Songs
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 20 Jan 09 - 07:36 AM

"I actually like Songs from the Wood" So do I. But then not everything we like has gotta be great. I also like Marillion. And not a lot of people would confess to that!

Boormans Excalabur is iconic. Also love his heavily romanticised Emerald Forest. And talking of Pagan Song, almost links back into the thread with the Frogs Singing up the Rain.

Pans Labyrinth is a wonderful little film, as is The Devil's Backbone. But Magical Realism just touches that numinous place where the imaginal bleeds into reality creating doors in the imagination through which the magical and a sense of the sacred can enter in.

And I think it's that exact liminal space which is ironically lacking in those modern Pagan Songs I've heard. Except for that first time, in the early hours of a May Day morning whilst sitting upon the wetly saturated grass of a Blossoming Apple Orchard... A classically liminal space indeed, and one in which by rights, if I were a Pagan with a capital P, I'd have been on my back a la IB's Jently Johnny posted below. Which is gorgeous btw!


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Subject: RE: Pagan Songs
From: Leadfingers
Date: 20 Jan 09 - 07:07 AM

100


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Subject: RE: Pagan Songs
From: Stu
Date: 20 Jan 09 - 07:01 AM

I actually like Songs from the Wood and some of the later albums, although I must admit by Under Wraps I was losing interest . . . until I saw them around the time of Crest of a Knave and was back under the spell. They were entertaining, musically excellent, self-deprecating and utterly enjoyable.

As for films, obviously Pan's Labyrinth draws heavily on European pagan influences and it's depiction of the faun is wonderful, in my view an excellent film.

I've always had a soft spot for John Boorman's Excaliber which is an admittedly flawed work but captures a certain spirit of the legend (even though it's based on the Mallory version). Something in it seems inherently pagan to me.


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Subject: RE: Pagan Songs
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 20 Jan 09 - 05:32 AM

For a free secure download MP3 of my Wicker Man tribute (via YouSendIt) click below:

https://www.yousendit.com/download/WnBTRm96RndvQnNLSkE9PQ

This is two versions Gently Johnny sung to the traditional Northumbrian melody, bookending Part 32 of Song of Myself from Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass - as in the film, though not quite...


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Subject: RE: Pagan Songs
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 20 Jan 09 - 04:56 AM

This has been and remains such an intriquing thread leading into multiple tangents from the various posters who have offered - via suggestions and examples cited - differing perspectives of their own reading of the OP term 'pagan song'. I'm left with an exploded view of what it may potentially mean or imply, one which I hope meaningfully coalesces itself via some form of creative endevour and expression...

Last night this dream where a terribly mild mannered oriental gentleman showed me the way to sing my song.

***

First I was shown a Crow circling overhead. And told to be still and observe. Then I was shown a Worm burrowing deep underground. And told to be still and observe. Then a Stone. Just sitting there. Obviously just being a stone. I was supposed to learn and understand by example. Amd implicit in these examples he was giving me was the instruction to spend time each day, meditating on Nature. And learning (remembering) by example or osmosis maybe how to be 'Me', and how to live my own right life. As yet another facet of this intricate but perfectly balanced and inter-related super-organsism that is the Earth.

The impressions that arose from his 'teaching' were not expressed so-much in words but in images and feelings: The bird lives where it's heart loves. And so too the worm. It lives where it loves. None of these things misunderstands itself or is confused about it's place in the scheme of things, or how to live it's own right life. It does not strive for answers from beyond or outside itself. The answer is at it's own heart. (Very simple stuff. But the primary message was for me to come to Know this directly and discover it experientially through periods of fully immersed contemplation of the natural world around me, rather than superficially or intellectually.)

In the middle of this dream, I had the realisation that Song itself connected me to my hearts desire, song led me to what my heart loves. That being an uncorrupted/unconfused 'primordial' state of truly being Me.

***

I'm not exactly how this dream fits into this thread, though I feel it does somewhat. It also reminded me of that piece of Whitman IB posted elswhere, which is used in Lord Summmerisle's soliliquy in the Wicker Man. Which is wonderful, but rather than looking it up again, I think this more pertinant in this context:

I CELEBRATE myself, and sing myself,        
And what I assume you shall assume,        
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.        
I loaf and invite my soul,        
I lean and loaf at my ease observing a spear of summer grass.               5

My tongue, every atom of my blood, formed from this soil, this air,        
Born here of parents born here from parents the same, and their parents the same,        
I, now thirty-seven years old in perfect health begin,        
Hoping to cease not till death.        

Creeds and schools in abeyance,               10
Retiring back awhile sufficed at what they are, but never forgotten,        
I harbor for good or bad, I permit to speak at every hazard,        
Nature without check with original energy.

And for good measure "Britt Eckland", singing of herself and of desire, and in the process giving poor virginal Edward Woodward a terribly hard time Willows Song


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Subject: RE: Pagan Songs
From: Jack Campin
Date: 19 Jan 09 - 02:21 PM

It occurred to me that there is one mega-huge not-at-all-Christianized pagan festival which is very well documented and features lots of music: the "Honouring the Sea" festival in Brazil for the African sea goddess Yemanjá. But the structure seems pretty anarchic, there's no specific music for it - play whatever the hell you like.

Starts in a couple of weeks if Rosie wants to start looking round the bucket shops.


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Subject: RE: Pagan Songs
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 19 Jan 09 - 12:24 PM

"Never did get Songs from the Wood I must confess."

Well that'll probably be because it's actually a bit pants!

Boyfriend reckons Ian Anderson there sounds like he's eating a hot pizza and got some molten mozzerella stuck to the roof of his mouth. But yeah, I think most people gave up after Tull stopped being any good. Pity the same couldn't be said for Genesis....


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Subject: RE: Pagan Songs
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 19 Jan 09 - 12:13 PM

The Wicker Man Thread (in two parts - 2006 & revived in 2008 when it gets interesting...)


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Subject: RE: Pagan Songs
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 19 Jan 09 - 12:04 PM

Just reading Pagels the other night actually (The Gnostic Gospels) & we were on about The Wicker Man a few months back too - though which thread it was I couldn't say - I'll have a browse... Never did get Songs from the Wood I must confess. They get my vote from the rootsy r&b of This Was to the genuinely folksy Stand Up, & the darkly tinged introspections of Benefit; bits of Aqualung, and most of Living in the Past and the mighty Thick as a Brick, after which I gave up.

This sums it up quite perfectly, musically, theologically, or something: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dh0woT7NkKI

Lose the flute solo though; if it's genuine Shamanic woodwind you're looking for (played by a genuine Shaman): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-uRnvMwD6jM

Why is there no music like that anymore??


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Subject: RE: Pagan Songs
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 19 Jan 09 - 11:49 AM

Thanks for Paradjanov Not a name I've heard before. Wiki say's his influences include Tarkovsky and Pasolini - looks interesting.


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Subject: RE: Pagan Songs
From: Jack Campin
Date: 19 Jan 09 - 11:40 AM

Another film I'm told has a lot of pagan content is Paradjanov's "Shadows of our Forgotten Ancestors" - there are a few clips from it on YouTube.


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Subject: RE: Pagan Songs
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 19 Jan 09 - 11:25 AM

Saw a guy in a second hand bookshop coming over all feverish at his purchase of "the very rare!" Elaine Pagels 'The Origin of Satan' the other day. Just like a scene from The Ninth Gate.

Rather like the origonal Wicker Man soundtrack. Also rather like the origonal Wicker Man for that matter. There are some fabulous scenes, one of the kitchy best being the classic 'Willows Song' bum-slapping scene. Which no self-respecting Wiccan girly should be without.

And I also have something of an embarassing soft-spot for that particular Tull album...


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Subject: RE: Pagan Songs
From: Stu
Date: 19 Jan 09 - 07:18 AM

On a more poppy note, The Waterboys exhibited some pagan tendencies on Dream Harder, with The Glastonbury Song and The Return of Pan always striking me as being paganish in approach. Of course this isn't unknown in pop and rock music; Stairway to Heaven includes some pagan imagery and other Zep songs doff their cap towards pagan/folkloric influences.

Jethro Tull also seem to skirt the dark green heart of paganism sometimes, and songs like Jack in the Green, Songs from the Wood and the mighty Heavy Horses all seem to be include pagan themes.

The Quiet Village clip was superb, and the mention of Sigur Ros put one or two other artists in mind you might want to check out of you like expansive and more leftfield music.

Tod Dockstader's Aerial #1 and #2 albums are a particular favourite and the compositions are based around the ethereal and quite spooky noises he picks up on his short wave radio. If short-wave spookery get's you going then check out The Conet Project for some decidedly unsettling listening.

Chris Watson is a freelance sound recordist who works extensively for the BBC and has produced a remarkable album of his field recordings called Steeping into the Dark which features the sounds of storm systems over Inverness-shire, a rookery in Northumberland and the sound of a river in the Maasai Mara at dawn. Stephen Vitiello works in a similar vein but uses a variety of novel techniques to create his music but by far my favourite is his recording created in the World Trade Centre using microphones affixed to the windows and structure of the building, and it is an incredible listening experience.

Whilst not pagan, I've mentioned The Ghost Orchid before on Mudcat, but these recordings of EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena, or recordings of dead people) are certainly worth a listen late at night in the dark and the album can now be downloaded from iTunes.

Then there's the Wicker Man soundtrack (original rather than the execrable Nick Cave version) . . .


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Subject: RE: Pagan Songs
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 19 Jan 09 - 06:43 AM

And gamelan in general is a Hindu aristocratic art form a long way removed from paganism.

I'm given to understand gamelan still has a folk life & lore of its own, as far from any orthodoxy as the Bon Shamanism that still persists in Tibetan Buddhism. The exterior influences are an essential part of the process, though it's a two way thing, as testified by Debussy's reaction to Javanese Gamelan during the 1889 Paris Universal Exposition. I've got recordings of Sumatran village ensembles mixing gamelan instruments with old military brass left behind from colonial days. In any case I was thinking of Pagan more in terms of the Exotic, which might take us from the Icelandic lithophones of Sigur Ros to something even more remote... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJK2LwD_nEY


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Subject: RE: Pagan Songs
From: Jack Campin
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 08:25 PM

Something like that.

BTW, gamelan kebyar is a pretty recent form, influenced by jazz from the 1920s. And gamelan in general is a Hindu aristocratic art form a long way removed from paganism. On the other hand, the ketjak dance is unmistakably animistic - the story that goes with it is from the Ramayana, but that's been retrofitted on top of a performance which is similar to a voodoo trance ritual, presumably aimed at getting you possessed by monkey spirits.

Ketjak dance clip

I've got that on an old Nonesuch LP, I think. Not much like Loreena McKennit.

(I mistyped "money spirits" - maybe somebody in Wall Street or Canary Wharf is this moment conducting a private ritual to extract Bernard Madoff's juju).


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Subject: RE: Pagan Songs
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 06:38 PM

Very intresting Jack C. Thanks for that.

But why did 'he' attribute the apparently inconvenient augmented fourth, to the Devil - could such a term then be used then, without a dangerously antinomian meaning?

Did he simply mean "the pain-in-the-arse in musica"?


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Subject: RE: Pagan Songs
From: Jack Campin
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 06:22 PM

Weren't there some emotionally unsettling semi-tones which were forbad by the Medieaval Church as belonging to the Devil...?

You're thinking of the augmented fourth, labelled "diabolus in musica" by somebody in the late Renaissance who was having problems fitting it into his theory. It wasn't commonly used in the Middle Ages but there was no prohibition on it, ever.


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Subject: RE: Pagan Songs
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 03:45 PM

Sigur Ross is stunningly beautiful.
And what a fab rustical glockenspiel!

Thanks for forcing me to watch Portillo. But I do agree with his take on Catholicism. What the Christian Church might have been without the politically motivated usurpation of the fascinatingly compelling image of Jesus 'THE Christ', is something one can only imagine.

This also encourages me to think that some (at least) of the current neo-Pagan resurgance is *perhaps* Shamanic/Gnostic in essence or impulse. Both Shamanism and Gnositicism arise for me, out of the individuals own striving to experientially Know their own unique sacred universe. And thus are intrinsically anarchic and anti-authoritarian in nature.


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