Hidden beneath the British Isles

This is mainly for those outside the British Isles, with us having had a lot of American music of late. The first number could not be anything but English in its approach:

The second and third are sometimes called Celtic but what they mean is pagan/satanic, which was the human sacrifice culture before the advent of Christianity.

The Wicker Man presented the Christian in the worst possible light as a mad fanatic and the pagans as some sort of good – presumably locking up humans in a cage and burning them to death is not fanatical. Anyone know of another world religion like that?

Yep, same origin. You’d feel safe with these crazies coming at you?

Anyhow, the music is nice from a safe distance:

Most unusual version of this, with only two of the verses:

Here are the Loreena McKennitt words:

My love said to me my mother won’t mind
And me father won’t slight you for your lack of kind*
Then she stepped away from me and this she did say
It will not be long love ’til our wedding day.

She stepped away from me and she moved through the fair
And fondly I watched her move here and move there
And she went her way homeward with one star awake
As the swans in the evening move over the lake**.

The people were saying no two e’er were wed
But one has a sorrow that never was said
And she smiled as she passed me with her goods and her gear
And that was the last that I saw of my dear.

I dreamed it last night that my true love came in
So softly she entered, her feet made no din
She came close beside me and this she did say
It will not be long love till our wedding day.

* kind – sort of people, species
** swans – how do they move? They glide, do they not?

Except that she’s changed the words from the Irish original, which went:

My young love said to me, “My mother won’t mind,
And my father won’t slight you for your lack of kind.”
And she laid her hand on me and this she did say,
“Oh, it will not be long, love, till our wedding day.”

And she went away from me and moved through the fair,
And fondly I watched her move here and move there.
And then she went homeward, just one star awake
Like the swan in the evening moves over the lake.

Last night she came to me, my dead love came in,
So softly she came that her feet made no din.
And she laid her hand on me and this she did say,
“Oh, it will not be long, love, till our wedding day.”

For the thick among us or those in denial, if she doesn’t walk but glides, she doesn’t step away but moves, if she glides like a swan, if she comes to him dead – for what purpose would you say that is?

And he did not dream it, she actually came to him in the original.

Which leads to the obvious question – why did Loreena McKennitt and other well known singers feel the need to change the words? Why those particular, critical words?

Let me ask another – why did revised versions of the New Testament change Ephesians 6:12 from a clear sense of spiritual wickedness to that of bad mortals who rule us?

Sandy Denny [English, not Celtic], sings the original below, the words unhidden:

Which raises certain questions about the subterfuge of the Celts or in particular, the Irish. And which political leader is well known for his Fenian sympathies?

Now, rather than let this go, I listened to other versions and if the Celts/occultists did it, e.g. Van Morrison or the occult groups like B Tribe, they changed the words. In B Tribe’s case, they even omitted the final verse altogether and thus avoided the unpleasantness.

But English singers use the Irish original – interesting, eh? And you can always tell the difference – English music lacks the deep emotion, the pathos, even the beauty which weaves a spell around you, it’s far more matter-of-fact, you could say it’s more masculine. The Celtic music though has so many female exponents, because they have the sense of emotion and pathos. Of course there are many Irish males who sing but look at the plethora of Celtic girl groups and singers.

I’m waiting for someone to come at me about the Mummers’ Dance – this is Wiki on the Loreena McKennitt version:

“The Mummers’ Dance,” a hit song from the album The Book of Secrets by Loreena McKennitt, refers to a springtime traditional mummers’ play as performed in Ireland.

And lastly, my family are half English, half Irish – what a mess, these mixed marriages.

This post was for those outside these isles who might not know of our history but underneath the so-called “united” kingdom name are two quite opposed tribes, spiritually and thus our eternal internal warfare.

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10 comments for “Hidden beneath the British Isles

  1. woodsy42
    August 15, 2018 at 21:32

    Odd coincidence – I spent last weekend at the Cropredy Festival, Fairport’s annual get together in a field! Yes – they are still going strong!
    You can’t beat the slow burn of Richard Thompson’s guitar work in A Sailor’s Life.
    But here, just for comparison, is a ‘slow burn’ version of She Moves Through the Fair from a little known band called Trees, which dates from a similar period to Fairport’s Sailor’s Life.

    • August 15, 2018 at 21:43

      Brilliant – now that uses the original Irish words, so I’m now going to explore who Trees are – are they English or Celtic, are they occult or worldly/straight, which Fairport always were?

      Now, before I explore that, I’ll take a guess that they’re English. The style is far more in that sea-shanty, matter-of-fact tradition which I can’t define fully as I’ve only been thinking about it this evening.

      But I’d say it’s not modern Celtic.


      Wiki calls them British but they look English to me. Now I’m not saying there are not English pagans, there certainly are, Morris dancing is that, so theoretically, if the test is the occult or arcane, then surely English singers with the word heathen associated with them:

      “Celia Humphris continued with Trees’ second lineup, and subsequently went on to become a sought-after voice artist providing vocals for Dodson and Fogg, a folk-rock project released in 2012, and as guest vocalist on Galley Beggar’s 2017 album Heathen Hymns …”

      … would sing the occult version of the Celts. Nope, the English bands and singers sing the original or Sandy Denny version.


      • woodsy42
        August 15, 2018 at 22:52

        Pleased to have given you something to think about 🙂
        So maybe I can make some observation on your comments that English Music is less emotional & more masculine (to paraphrase). I think you are correct when it comes to the gender(ish) difference, Celtic probably has much more emotive and expressive vocals in ballad songs. However in faster songs and dance I would suggest English rooted music often has a far more intricate, complex and expressive rhythm. So you get some ridiculous time signatures and timing changes to fit Morris Dances, and that effect is also there not just in English country dance music but is also noticable in much English folk music. By comparison Celtic and Scottish country dance is often very bland in its rhythm (which has been reduced to its lowest common denomiator in US country music which supposedly developed from music taken to the US by Scottish and Irish immigrants). Interestingly I find Bretton folk music seems rhythmically more similar to English than Irish, but could that be the Norman influence?
        N.B. I don’t pretend to be an expert, just a folk music listener.

  2. dearieme
    August 15, 2018 at 23:13

    For Christians to complain about burning people alive is a bit bloody rich.

    As for the religion of the Druids, precious little is known. If anyone had written anything insightful about it the medieval Christians would doubtless have burnt it anyway.

    • August 15, 2018 at 23:46

      I was beginning to despair of you not coming in to bash Christians but thank goodness you kept your end up.

  3. dearieme
    August 15, 2018 at 23:15

    I once read a chap who argued that Irish folk music came largely from the English folk music of Cromwell’s discharged soldiers. Maybe he was teasing. But it would explain why Irish music tends to be more of a dirge than Scots music.

  4. Kevin B
    August 16, 2018 at 13:31

    I always thought ‘kind’ meant cattle in this context?

    i.e. daddy won’t mind that you don’t have the bride price.

    But on further checking I see that kine is cattle. Hmm.

    • August 16, 2018 at 14:26

      Yes, I saw that explanation too and to be fair, it was an oral tradition handed down, not written until recent times.

      While the kine makes perfect sense if she were just a mortal maiden, it doesn’t if she were a ghost or even a demon – we can’t even dismiss the Lilith of legend [pagans would say history] or at least the British Isles version of that. And don’t forget Morgana and Merlin.

      Looking at the Irish original first written for singing by John McCormack, she moves, moved or went, her motion was like a swan across the lake. Then she returned to him and even “my dead love” doesn’t presuppose any tragedy, in fact he was delighted, as was Janet with Tam Lin. It’s not an unheard of thing in folklore.

      While in the post I do seem categorical about it, I certainly wasn’t coming into it – the general feeling many seem to have is that it’s a ghost story. Janet in Tam Lin is clearly mortal, Tam Lin not, but in this one – they’re cagey.

      The “dead” is a bit of a giveaway though. Perhaps the English feel more at ease making her a ghost or demon [CofE] while the Irish, being Catholic, are less so.

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