Branwen’s Lament

(Damh the Bard)

Branwen’s story from the Mabinogion is one of the saddest tales ever told. It is heart breaking, but one day as I was playing around with my guitar this haunting melody came to me. I played it to Cerri and we both agreed it was Branwen’s tale waiting to be told. There seem to be no redeeming qualities to this story. It’s a classic trajedy, but ‘her story will forever be told’.

Dearest brother hold me here,
Safe in your embrace,
For I feel, death is near,
Her breath upon my face,
Cross the Irish Sea,
You came to rescue me,
Leading an army to avenge my pain,
Two islands torn apart,
Like my broken heart,
From your army just seven remain.

Sister I heard you calling to me,
O’er the Irish sea,
I brought a war to those foreign shores,
For to set you free,
Now I am dying poison in my veins,
But for you dear sister I’d do it again.
I’d do it again.

I can hear as I close my eyes,
The screams of my young son,
Cast into the burning fire,
By Efnisien.
After death I’ll find peace,
All of my pain will cease,
Brother you are my dearest friend,
Now I will welcome death,
I will draw my last breath,
And this raven will fly again.

Lay her body within the earth,
In this four-cornered tomb,
So her spirit will know rebirth,
From our Mother’s womb.
And though you lie in the earth so cold,
Know that your story will forever be told.
Bury my head facing the sea,
And while it remains this land will be free,
This land will be free.