On Midwinter’s Day

We had the most beautiful Winter Solstice ritual up at the Long Man of Wilmington yesterday with the Anderida Gorsedd. The whole area was shrouded in mist until the ritual began, then it settled into the valley and left us, on the Gorsedd hill, standing on an island in the mist. It was so gentle, with the chldren giving out the mistletoe to the 87 people who turned up to welcome the Mabon. It inspired a song.

On Midwinter’s Day by Damh the Bard

Verse 1:

Now that Samhain is over,

And the Sidhe have returned to their home,

The dead have followed the Raven’s song,

And no longer among us they roam.

The wisdom of our ancient past,

Show us how to ride the storm,

For their tombs they swallow the rising sun,

And the Mabon is always reborn.

Chorus:

So come all you people, come and sing with me,

Join our voices, and sing the long nights away,

All over the land, a chorus of voices will sing,

For the rising Sun on Midwinter’s Day.

Verse 2:

The land may be barren and lifeless,

The ground may be frozen and hard,

And the rain that fell has now turned to ice,

The Winter is showing her card,

But now the Sun king has rested,

And his eyes have turned to the Earth,

For three days the Sun has been still in the sky,

But the time has now come for his birth.

Verse 3:

Some say Jesus was born today,

Some say he is the Mabon,

Some say that he is the Son of God,

And others the Son of the Sun,

Others they listen in the woodland,

For the call of Herne,

Others they hear the clash of swords,

For the Oak King will return!

Looking forward to recording it next week!

A Candle for Alban Arthan

The Winter Solstice and approaching New Year are a great time to look back over the last 12 months, and what an candle.jpegamazing year it’s been. Last year I decided that I would close my bushcraft school and concentrate entirely on my music. It’s been a lifelong dream of mine to be a professional musician, in fact when the teachers used to look at me very concerned about my school work, I used to say, “Don’t worry, I’m going to be a musician, it’ll be fine.” Well, it might have taken me a little longer than I thought but finally it looks like that child’s dream has come true.

So to look back at 2007, I’ve made lots of new friends, had my website redesigned, started my regular e-newsletter and the subscriber list is growing daily, I’ve got onto iTunes, started a podcast, got a new recording studio set up, started this blog, set up a YouTube channel, bought a banjo (oh yes, I did!), played some of the most enjoyable concerts of my life. The camps were beautiful, and the conferences equally so. Cerri, my partner, started to produce her artwork on t shirts, it really has been quite a creative year!

So what of 2008. Well, it looks like this is the year of the concert. I already have almost twice as many gigs booked as 2007, and they keep on coming. Also, I’ll be organising my first home concert tour too – how exciting! But there’s more… After this new CD is released, my plan is to immediately begin recording a folk album made up of my favourite traditional folk songs that have a spiritual/esoteric edge. I’ve also got nearly enough live material recorded to release a live CD – it’s going to be busy, but marvelous!

So here’s to 2007, thank you for all of your gifts and challenges. And to 2008, may you bring your own magic, yet to come!