The Cauldron Born by Damh the Bard
Tthis has been a major success for Damh. Packed with rousing pagan anthems, and firm live favourites performed in front of many audiences; the beautiful duet with vocalist Eala on Willow's Song; and Damh's seasonal offering for the Winter Solstice On Midwinter's Day are just some of the highlights.
Dahm's comments on each of the songs:
Land, Sky and Sea - The ancient Celtic peoples seemed to have revered three elements instead of the usual four found in the Western Magical tradition - these being Land, Sky and Sea. I'm sure that fire would have featured somewhere because we know that they also revered the Sun. But here's a song that speaks of the Wild Places, and my connection to them.
Green and Grey - I pictured a zealous preacher, walking through the woods at Beltane, following the sound of a piper. In the woods he met the Pagan Horned God, and I wondered what they would say to each other. This song is the result.
Willow's Song - This song was made famous in the film The Wickerman. Like a lot of the songs used in the film it was adapted from a traditional song. I've always wanted to record this, but couldn't bring myself to sing it on my own - it's meant to be sung by a female - but then I thought, what about a duet? Add the trancy slow drums and you have a VERY sexy song, nice.
The Cauldron Born - Pagans are special. There's no doubt about it. There is a light in their eyes, as if they know something that rest of the world doesn't. But if asked they probably wouldn't be able to put it into words. But look at the old initiatory Celtic tales and you'll get a clue - the Cauldron Born, the poets knew...
On Midwinter's Day - Millions of Xmas songs are played all over the world at that time of year. I wanted to write a song that anyone could play during their Winter Solstice celebrations. It's great to have deep, meaningful songs, but it's also important to just have fun. I think there are elements in this song that do both.
Only Human - I saw a program on the TV about feral children. During the show a scientist wanted to do an experiment to discover what it is that makes us human, that gives us our humanity. So he experimented on two baby chimps. One he gave love, affection, attention; the other was denied all of this, and went quite mad. As I watched it I got more and more angry. He had shown exactly what makes us human, what separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom. No other animal would have been that cruel!
Tomb of the King - This was the very first Pagan song I wrote back in 1997. I went to a Druid ceremony that was held around an ancient oak tree that was being threatened by the Newbury bypass. The dedication of the road protesters really moved me, so I wrote this song when I got home. The road was built in the end, but the Middle Oak was spared the chainsaw, it still lives, in the middle of a roundabout...
Imramma (A Soul Quest) - This is a very personal song, written when I was going through a particularly hard time. There is an ancient Celtic tradition called an Imramma - it is a Soul Journey. We can see it in the poem about Bran, Son of Febal, in the Spoils of Annwn, and many other Celtic poems and tales. This tells of my own journey.
Lughnasadh Dance - A few years ago I found out that this song was written by an American Bard called Gwydion back in the 1980s. He was one of the first recorded Pagan musicians. Sadly Gwydion Pendderwen died in the late 80s, but his songs still live on, so this is my tribute to him, and his legacy.
Pagan Ways - In the Summer of 2007 I had a direct run in with modern popular culture when the Trinny and Suzanna show organised a stunt where 100 women, dressed in white plastic suits, climbed all over the Long Man of Wilmington for a stunt to visually turn him into a woman. Each year our old sites are vandalized and damaged and many local Sussex people thought that this was a bad image to show to 7,000,000 viewers so we protested against the event. When I returned home, this song appeared.