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

A cosmic Vashti Bunyan!


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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: 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 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: 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: 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 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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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