Oak, Broom and Meadowsweet

(Damh the Bard)

This is the first song in my Blodeuwedd trilogy, and was the first song I wrote around a Celtic myth. It has already had a wonderful life – being used as the basis for a large Beltane ceremony in the New Forest, and now sung by many in honour of the Spring Queen.

Gather ’round people let me spin you a tale,
Of a Mother’s anger and a curse doomed to fail.
Arianrhod’s baby whom she did disown,
And Gwydion stole him to raise as his own.
Well the boy he grew to be strong and brave,
But his Mother cursed him not to be given a name.
When he cast a stone where a Wren it did land,
She said, “The Young Lion has a Steady Hand!”

(Chorus)
Call the May, Call the May,
Call the May, Call the May,
Gather ’round people and call in the May.
Call the May, Call the May,
Call the May, Call the May,
Gather ’round people and call in the May.

So she laid upon him a new destiny,
“You shall never have any weapons unless given by me”.
Then a phantom army by Gwydion’s charms,
Forced Arianrhod to give Llew his arms.
Then in rage and torment she laid down this curse,
“You shall never marry a woman of the race of the Earth”.
So Gwydion and Math planned to foil her hate,
And with the herbs of the forest they twisted his fate.

So they gathered from the forest,
from the Grove where they meet,
Flowers of Oak, Broom and Meadowsweet.
And uttering upon them a Verse of Power,
A figure began to form from the flowers.
Oh rise, and wake, fairest Lady of Spring!
Come and be wed to the Forest King!
Flower-face is your name oh Blodeuwedd,
You carry life within your breath!

Come Oak, broom and meadowsweet,
Come Oak, broom and meadowsweet,
Come Oak, broom and meadowsweet,
Come hawthorn, come May!
Come Oak, broom and meadowsweet,
Come Oak, broom and meadowsweet,
Come Oak, broom and meadowsweet,
Come Blodeuwedd, come wake!