Song of the Celts - The Wolfe Tones

The Wolfe Tones are an Irish band that incorporate elements of Irish traditional music in their songs.

Their name is taken from the Irish patriot Theobald Wolfe Tone, one of the leaders of the Irish Rebellion of 1798. The band date back to 1963 with performers Brian Warfield, Derek Warfield, Noel Nagle later joined by Tommy Byrne.

The Wolfe Tones continue to tour with a band comprising Brian Warfield, Noel Nagle and Tommy Byrne.

The Celtic patriotic song 'Song of the Celts' is sung notably by the Wolfe Tones. It points to the unity amongst Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Manx, Breton and Cornish ethnic peoples and regarded by many as an unofficial anthem of the Celtic people.

Cornish In The Landscape

Everyone must now be aware that there is much more visible Cornish language in the landscape than there was a few years ago.  Thousands of street name-plates have been installed since 2008, with many more to come, and it’s evident in many other ways, too.  While there may be a few grumbles, the general reaction to this has been extremely positive.  Incidentally, bilingual street signs cost no more than a single-language replacement, due to the laser-printing technique, and the use of an expert research panel of volunteers.

Eye Witness Account - Beware the Frenzy of the Fairy Ring - Limerick Residents Wary

Fairies

In its current newsletter, The Fairy Investigation Society has proffered an eye witness account of a Fairy Ring. The Fairy Investigation Society was founded in 1927 and was active until World War II, lapsed for a period of time and was again active from the 1950s until again falling dormant in the 1990s. The Society, whose membership roll once included Walt Disney and Hugh Dowding, the hero of the Battle of Britain, was comprised of “Fairy Believers” according to the group’s website. 

In 2013 the Society was again launched but in a departure from its long history now welcomes anyone with an interest in “Fairy Lore” rather than a belief in Fairies.

Brigid - Celtic Goddess To Christian Saint - The Feast of Imbolg

During the period of Christian conversion of Ireland in the 4th and 5th centuries, it was the strategy of monastic scholars to ensure an easy transition from Celtic to Christian belief. The disciples of Saint Patrick successfully deceived the Celts into thinking that the new faith of Rome was a mere extension of their traditional religion.

Christian missionaries incorporated elements of the peoples veneration of the Celtic Gods into Christian doctrine. The often used example of this religious shift is the fate of Brigid. Brigid was deftly transformed from a daughter of ‘The Dagda’ of the Tuatha Dé Danann into the Saint of the same name. In the early tales of the Christian Saint, Brigid is portrayed as the daughter of a Druidical household before her embrace of the new religion. The Druids were the priests of the pagan Celtic religion but were also akin to today’s upper middle classes: “The Druids were the professionals of pre Christian Celtic society. They comprised all the professions – doctors, lawyers, teachers, philosophers, ambassadors...(and priests of the Celtic Faith)” (Ellis). Thus with her conversion to Christianity, Brigid abandons the Celtic Gods and their priests, the Druids. To reinforce this transition the early church adopted the feast day of the Celtic Goddess Brigid, or Imbolg, to the feast day of the Christian saint.

Ker Ys (Breton: Kêr-Is)

In the Celtic mythology of Brittany Ker Ys (Breton: Kêr-Is) was a City lost under the sea. The City was said to have been built by Gradlon, legendary 5th century King associated with the area of Cornouaille in Brittany. King Gradlon was said to be a great warrior and was engaged in warfare against lands in the far north. He had many ships which he used to conduct his attacks. Although successful his sailors became tired of fighting and decided to return home leaving Gradlon alone in the north. It was then that Gradlon met the magician and Queen of the North, Malgven.

Impressed by his prowess as a warrior, she persuaded Gradlon to join her in killing her husband, the King of the North. The pair then took Morvarc'h, Malgven’s magical black horse, who is described as being able to ride on the sea and breathed fire from his nostrils, One version say’s that they caught up with the fleet of boats carrying Gradlon’s sailors, but that a storm separated them from the main fleet. Another says that the fleet scattered out of fear of the site of Morvarc'h. The result of either was that Gradlon and Malgven were adrift for many months. On the long journey Malgven gave birth to their daughter, Dahut. In some versions of the story Malgven died during childbirth. In others, she did not die but decided to return to her own land having established that Gradlon loved and cared for the child. She asked Gradlon to drop her off on an island and told him that Dahut would always have Malgven’s face to remind him of her.

Auld Lang Syne - The Song That Welcomes New Year

'Auld Lang Syne' is the song traditionally sung at midnight  on New Year’s Eve. Known as Hogmanay in Scotland the name is derived from a Goidelic Celtic linguistic root.

Robert Burns

The song is a Scottish poem by Robert Burns, also known as Robbie or Rabbie Burns (25 January 1759 – 12 July 1796) Scotland’s national poet. It is set to the music of a traditional Scottish folk tune.

Robert Burns was born in the village of Alloway (Scottish Gaelic: Allmhaigh) in South Ayrshire (Scottish Gaelic: Siorrachd Inbhir Àir a Deas). He died at the age of 37 and his Mausoleum is at St Michael’s churchyard in Dumfries (Scottish Gaelic: Dùn Phris). The cottage in which he was born is now the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum.

 

Bliahdhna Mhath Ùr (Happy New Year)

Sláinte Mhaith  (Good Health)!

Giants Causeway - the stepping-stones created by an Irish giant

Giants Causeway (Irish: Clochán an Aifir or Clochán na bhFomhórach) is a remarkable and beautiful place that is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a nature reserve. Located on the northern coast of County Antrim (Irish: Contae Aontroma) in the northeast of Ireland (Irish: Éire). The area is made up of about 40,000 interlocked basalt columns resulting from a volcanic eruption some 60 million years ago. The majority of the columns are hexagonal, but others have a different number of sides.

The Norwegian Princess who controlled Skye’s strait of Kyle Akin

Lochalsh

Loch Alsh is a sea inlet between Skye (Scottish Gaelic: An t-Eilean Sgitheanach) in the Inner Hebrides (Scottish Gaelic: Na h-Eileanan a-staigh) and the Northwest Highlands of Scotland. The strait of Kyle Akin is a narrow stretch of water at the entrance of the loch with the village of Kyleakin (Caol Àcain) on the Skye side and opposite on the northwest Scottish mainland is the town of Kyle of Lochalsh (Caol Loch Aillse). The strait takes its name from Acain, which derives from the name Haakon after King Haakon IV of Norway. It was here that King Haakon IV of Norway, supported by Gaelic forces from the Western Isles, anchored his fleet prior to engaging in battle with the Scottish King Alexander III, at Largs in 1263 AD.

Roche Rock, Roche, Kernow

The settlement of Roche sits on a prominent ridge on the northern edge of the St Austell Downs, close to the headwaters of the Fal River, Cornwall’s longest river. The area appears to contain a large number of local springs, river sources and holy wells, as well as a supposedly magical pool near Roche Rock, itself a striking rocky pinnacle of tourmalinised granite, and a geological Site of Special Scientific Interest.

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