I just found this on YouTube. I love stumbling upon videos where people have placed my songs and this one just nails it. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
This year has been the Year of the Gig for me. Almost every weekend you’ll hear the sounds of Spirit of Albion, or Hills they are Hollow echoing through a field, woodland, hall or campsite. It really has been an incredibly exciting ride (and there are more to come too!), but I have been incredibly lazy when it comes to blogging my experiences onto The Bardic Blog.
I look at my fellow Bards like Kevan Manwarring with his Bard on a Bike blog, and the writer Kit Berry on Moongazy Girl, and they are always posting about their travels. I know what my problem has been… Twitter! You see, I’ve found myself ‘micro-blogging’ as the events happen, uploading photos and mini blogs actually from the event, so it feels like I’ve already written about it. But I now intend to fully address this and keep The Bardic Blog readers informed, up to date, and still keep Twittering too!
I think the last concert I wrote about here was the OBOD Summer Gathering in June! Where have I been since then? I played a beautiful Handfasting evening, The Anderida Gorsedd conference in Sussex, Pagancon in Lancashire, Oakleaf camp in Yorkshire, the Artemis Gathering in Oxfordshire, and the Goddess Festival in Canterbury. It’s been an incredibly exciting time.
Since the release of The Cauldron Born things have really shifted up a gear, not just with the gigs, but with emails from people, Facebook fan pages and fanclubs, the DruidCast podcast continues to grow and now has around 10,000 monthly listeners worldwide. Every now and then I have to pinch myself to make sure this isn’t all just a dream. Then I realise it is a dream, my dream of a life of music, and it’s actually happening! And I am so grateful!! I’ve said this before but the major change I’ve noticed at concerts this year has been the audience’s singing. I always encourage an audience to join with me on the choruses of songs, but this year there have been times when I could have just stopped singing, and left the entire song to the audience; verse, bridge, chorus, the lot! Amazing!
In the next few months I’m heading off to play in Prague, Vienna, Scotland, Shropshire, Mercia and Australia, so I’ll be sure to write about what happens here on The Bardic Blog!
In the photos you can see the Hunter’s Moon Morris at the Anderida Gorsedd conference, and the stone circle at Oakleaf camp.
Until next time, peace, and blessed be xxx
Typical isn’t it? I create a songbook with all of the chords and lyrics from my first three albums, and then, within days, release a new album. The chords from The Cauldron Born will be in volume two, but that’s a few years away, and I keep getting people asking for the chords to Land, Sky and Sea. So I’ve had a bit of fun creating a little instructional video for anyone who’d like to have a go playing this song. Enjoy!
Imagine a Cauldron hanging over a fire, it’s in a small room, dark, the air smelling of rich herbs carried on the steam. The contents of the cauldron, bubbling, glimmering red, blue, yellow, shimmering with light, stirred by a youth whose attention is on other far-away things. The cauldron has been bubbling for a year and a day, and finally it is ready. Whoever tastes just three drops will know the secrets of all that ever was, is, and ever will be.
Would you taste from this brew?
Once a young boy did just that and he was hunted down by the Goddess. Shape-shifter was he, and She also, as they ran through the Realms of Earth, Air, Water and Fire, only then was he consumed by the Goddess Herself and reborn as a Bard.
I could never resist, could you?
When I wrote the song Only Human I had just finished watching an Horizon program about feral children. The actions of one of the scientists on the program had left me so angry that I had to find a creative outlet for all of that negative energy, and the song was the result.
I didn’t realise at the time what an effect that song was going to have on others who heard it, but I am now understanding that a lot more. A couple of days ago I was sent a link to a video that Lee, a fan of the song, had been moved to create – I think maybe riding a very similar creative energy that caused the creation of the actual song itself. When I watched it, the video, and music together, work beautifully to increase the potency of the song’s lyrics. I do warn you in advance, it’s not easy viewing.
Only Human – (Damh the Bard)
Isn’t it crazy, isn’t it cruel,
That a man can earn millions from kicking a ball,
While for other countries, we role a dice,
For a little clean water and a bowl of rice,
Politicians and empty promises help lessen our pain,
It’s only human
Isn’t it wonderful, isn’t it right,
There’s nothing as worthless as an animal’s life,
But it helps me feel better, when I feel ill,
I can’t taste the pain in this little pill,
A thousand lives given to live just a few more years,
It’s only human.
Cut down a forest for grass that won’t grow,
To help melt the ice caps, to help melt the snow,
We’ll watch the seas rise with nowhere to go,
It’s only human.
Isn’t is holy, isn’t it good,
That people kill people in the name of their God,
A bomb for a Father, a bullet for a Son,
And a smile for the child that carried the gun,
Only one God can be right when all’s said and done,
It’s only human.
The inspiration for this song came when me and my partner, Cerri, traveled to Dumfries and Galloway to do the Wickerman trail. We had a book that showed the locations used in the original film (not the remake!) and set off to find them. We found the Green Man pub where they filmed Gently Johnny and Willow’s Song, the ruined church, I almost cried when we found the remaining stumps of the burned Wickerman, still on that cliff edge over 30 years later! But is was the cave from which Rowan Morrison is revealed that was the real inspiration for this song.
It is called St Ninian’s Cave, and it’s a long walk from the car park. Through a beautiful Glen and down to the sea. It is said that St Ninian used to walk this very path down to the shore where he simply sat in this cave and listened to the sound of the sea. He said that here he felt closer to God, that he could hear his voice in the sounds of the waves. When we got to the beach I began to understand why.
There are certain places on this Earth where one can feel the presence of the Gods, and this is one of them. I thought about St Ninian, a simple man, searching for a spiritual connection, just like many Pagans. And I sat and listened for the voice, and it was there. It is said that all paths leads to the same Great Centre, and it mattered not to me that he heard this voice as his God, whilst to me it was the voice of the Spirit of Place, it in some way touched us both, and it was beautiful.
I have a great respect for some of those early Christians. The search for God/Great Spirit/Goddess in solitude and peace is something most Pagans can also relate to. I feel I am also on that quest.
Land, Sky and Sea
(Damh the Bard)
You are the rock, and you are the stone,
Rivers your blood, mountains your bone.
You are the Source, of all I’ll ever know,
Forever my Mother, forever my home.
Oh this town is so cold,
Neon magicians they offer the fools their gold.
For there is somewhere I’d rather be,
In your wild places with the Land and the Sky and the Sea
Every step, follows those gone before,
Mystics and Saints, down to the shore,
Echoing waves, and the curlew’s cry,
I call out your name, I hear your reply.
Cynical thoughts, and lies that distort,
All that is true, all that is true,
They disappear, when I feel that you’re near,
When I’m with you, when I’m with you.