Video for a new song – please share!

Some of you might not have heard my single The Sons and Daughters of Robin Hood. I’ve just found this video, complete with lyrics, on YouTube, so here it is!

Considering the current political climate I think this song should be heard far and wide, so feel free to share the link as much as you like!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8DoHLdYrdo

And the live version from the OBOD Summer Gathering!

There is no separation, you are part of me

As I sit here writing this I can look outside and see clear blue skies, the Bluebells are growing, the Daffodils are in flower, and the Willow is budding. Spring is knocking on the door and, as I do every year, I give thanks to the turning seasons we have here in the UK.

I watched the new science program by Professor Brian Cox last night during which he tried to show the life cycle of the Universe. It was an amazing program that illustrated what lots of us already know – that to have life there needs to be change. The Universe is on its own journey through its own seasons and it is only during this time in its existence that life is possible, not just here on Earth but anywhere in the Universe. I found that incredibly inspiring – not just how lucky I am that, of all of the creatures in the Universe I could have been, I am a Human Being, but now that I have even been born at all! In countless years from now the Universe will have passed the point where life is possible. These ideas push my spiritual beliefs and make me look at what that means for the Green Man, for this beautiful and precious Earth. That’s a topic for another blog post in the future though, because what is currently on my mind is not the end of the Universe, but where we are right now, deep in the life of it!

The feeling I have inside at this point of the year is almost indescribable. I am not a fan of the Winter but I am deeply grateful that we have that dark time for without it, there would not be this moment when life is just about to burst back once more. Every year my life has this renewal, a rebirth with the year. I too have retreated into the darkness over the Winter, and like the plants, trees and animals I am a part of this rebirth.

I also watched Countrytracks last night during which the presenter went to a lonely island off the western isles of Scotland. She said, “No one lives here, but there’s lots of wildlife.” I had to laugh as within that comment she illustrated what many humans honestly feel, that they are separate from nature and are not Wildlife. But it is obvious to me when I go outside at this time of year that I am Wildlife – I am feeling the same as the bird, the waking insect, the opening leaf and flower, and it’s wonderful! Even in what appears to many as a ‘mundane’ reality I can encourage this same sense of renewal and leave behind those things I no longer need, knowing that they’ve fed and nourished me (even if sometimes it doesn’t feel that way!) during my dark time, because now is the time for my rebirth. Let’s face it, the energy that feeds plants and trees comes from waste, I’m pretty sure I’m the same too! There is no separation, I am Wildlife, a part of the life of this planet, of this Universe.

So I give thanks for my life, for who I am, where I live, what I have in my life, and the wonders of nature that surround me, and are within me!

A Lyric – That Happily will no longer be Used

Lore says that the ancient Bards could raise welts on the faces of their enemies just by using the magic and power of words. I rarely write political songs but sometimes the energy of the moment just gets to me and a song is the only way I can let off steam. Only Human was one, Pagan Ways and Tomb of the King were another two. I’m so glad that my most recent political song, written about the UK Government’s plans to sell of England’s forests, will now no longer be recorded. Yesterday they announced they are scrapping the idea. I never entirely trust politicians so I’ll be watching closely, but on this occasion common sense and people power have won, and although the other parties are now chasing Cameron down calling out ‘U turn’ etc, I will give him the benefit of the doubt and say thank you.

However…

Just in case they decide that, while we aren’t looking, to implement an equally idiotic forestry scheme, I’ve decided to print the lyrics of the song what would have been flying around the internet. It’s an angry song, because I was angry when it was written. “If you thought that we would do nothing, you’ve misunderstood…”

 

The Sons and Daughters (of Robin Hood) – Damh the Bard

Verse 1:

We all watched you on our TV,

Right Honourable Gentlemen, apparently,

Different voices with only one aim,

To win my vote, to win the game.

People have died to pave the way,

So we can vote come polling day,

X marks the spot that gives us our voice,

But how do you vote when there isn’t a choice?

 

Chorus

If you thought that we would do nothing you’ve misunderstood…

For we are the Sons and Daughters of Robin Hood!

 

Verse 2:

See I remember exclusion zones,

At Solstice time around the Stones,

Poll Tax riots at Trafalgar Square,

The rich they got richer, the poor were stripped bare.

Building new roads with no thought for the land,

And the blood of the Beanfield is still on your hands,

Now drilling off Shetland will do just fine,

And you’re selling off forests like you closed down mines.

 

Chorus

If you thought that we would do nothing you’ve misunderstood…

For we are the Sons and Daughters of Robin Hood!

 

Bridge:

Nothing to see, there’s nothing to see, there’s nothing to see here…

Nothing to see, just look away, there’s nothing to see here…

 

Verse 3:

England’s green and pleasant land,

Is not there to put cash in your hands!

I see your symbol is the English oak tree,

Is that your idea of irony?

Now thousands of eyes will fall upon you,

Each watching closely what you will do,

All are ready to spoil your game,

For the blood of an outlaw flows in our veins!

 

Chorus

If you thought that we would do nothing you’ve misunderstood…

For we are the Sons and Daughters of Robin Hood!

My Red and White Dragon

The young Myrdhin when taken to the doomed tower of King Vortigern saw a vision. He saw that beneath the tower were two dragon eggs out of which hatched one white dragon and one red dragon. There have been many theories as to what this vision might have meant but the most popular is that it describes the oncoming battle between the Britons (the red dragon), and the Saxons (the white dragon). The red dragon is still on the Welsh flag, but the English sadly adopted the George Cross.

For many years it was thought that the English were the descendants of the Anglo-Saxons, a simple dividing line that separated England from Wales, Scotland and Cornwall quite neatly. But some years ago extensive DNA tests revealed that it was not that simple. That a good majority of people living all over England also had within them the genetics of the indigenous Briton, as well as the Saxon and (in some areas) the Viking. This suggested that although there certainly were battles, these battles were not constant over time, and that the Saxons, rather than invading and forcing the indigenous population to the western fringes of the island, actually lived together with the Britons, and obviously found companionship in each other, and gave birth to children of both Briton and Saxon parents.

Therefore I know that within me flows the blood of the red, and the white dragon, and I find that very exciting. I am Briton, and Saxon (and many other things too I’m sure!). I have spent, and will continue to spend, much time with my inner Briton, and right now I can feel the eyes of the white dragon turning its gaze towards me – beginning to stretch its wings. Among the voices of the Horned One, Arianrhod, Blodeuwedd and Taliesin, I also hear strange voices in another language speaking of Woden and Wayland. The Gods of the Briton and the Saxon are not at war within me, they are seeking a better understanding of each other, as they meet in this one body. Who knows what I might hear them say, what they might tell me, but their songs need to be sung too.

The Circus at the Edge of the Forest

Last week the UK’s Charity Commission granted the Druid Network ‘religious charity’ status and since then Druidry has been, once more, in the public eye. Most of the reporting has been extremely positive (apart from one crazy and bigotted attack in the Daily Mail – but, then, I’m not really surprised by that). But the overriding angle of the reporting is that this means that Druidry is now an ‘official’ religion. I’m not sure that’s entirely correct. I think what it actually means is that the Charity Commission has accepted the Druid Network’s definition of what constitutes Druidry ‘as a religion’ for the members of the Druid Network. If another Druid group approached the Commission requesting Charitable status, and their definition of Druidry matched the TDN’s then it will make their job much easier. If, however, it didn’t they would still need to go trough the same process as the TDN to enable their definition, and organisation to become registered. A subtle, but important, difference.

The way the media have reported this event has caused a little turbulence within some Druid groups who cannot fit their practice within the Druidry defined by the Druid Network. To a lot of Druids their practice isn’t a religious one, but more a spiritual way of life, and the definition of the polytheistic Druidry presented just doesn’t sit well. No worries. This definition has not defined ‘Druidry’, it has defined what Druidry is for one group. No one has to adapt to fit this definition, it’s really business as usual. If your Druidry is animistic, atheistic, monotheistic, you won’t find a For Sale sign at your Sacred Grove the next time you go there, all is well. Take deep breath and relax.

Druidry has always been a religion to some, whilst others shy away from that word. Its lack of dogma some find infuriating, whilst for others it is the main attraction of a Nature based spirituality that doesn’t so much offer a Path, but more an endless forest to explore. For me, and many others, that forest is still there, unchanged by the crazy circus that has pitched up in a field close by. It’ll still be the same after it’s moved on, but in the mean time it’s good to see so many new people being made aware of our Old Ways. As Oscar Wilde once said, ‘There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about!’

Congratulations Wayne and Coleen

How can a footballer spend £5,000,000 on their wedding? This just shows that there is enough money, it’s just in the wrong place. How can it be that someone who plays a game, and kicks a football for a living, can earn more money than a surgeon who saves lives?

I saw this on the news this morning (by accident). £50,000 on fireworks, £400,000 for Westlife, and £500,000 for some rapper called Diddy (which was always slang for tits when I was a kid).

In the mean time people are still in trouble in China after the earthquake, are still starving around the world, are still homeless here.

A total spoiled waste of money.

Don’t get me wrong, I wish them well in their married life together, but that kind of excess just sums up so much of what is lousy in this modern world.

No News is Good News – apparently

I’m beginning to wonder if there is something seriously screwed up with the human mindset when it comes to what we call news. I don’t buy a newspaper, and I rarely watch the news on the TV – although I do recall a TV advert that implied that I was just putting my head in the proverbial ostrich hole for choosing to do this. That somehow by ignoring a lot of current affairs I was just in denial. But I tell you, it’s not through lack of trying on my behalf.

I accidentally caught the TV news a couple of days ago, and as I watched I remembered why I didn’t bother with it. The news consisted of people dying, people being murdered, people being abused, the government in turmoil, the strong suggestion of economical meltdown, etc etc. Not one piece of good news from anywhere in the world, not one! Why is that? Is good news not considered newsworthy? Are people more interested in hearing about pain than hearing about others’ successes? I began to wonder what would happen if all of the world’s media took the decision to give half of their time to our current stream of bad news, and also give an equal amount if time to successes, to people actually finding their lost children, to stories of hope. Would it change peoples’ way of looking at life? Or would they in fact crave more of the negative stuff? By watching this everyday does it somehow allow us to think, ‘well, at least my life isn’t as bad as theirs’. I do hope not.