The Story of The Cauldron Born

album_cauldronThe journey from Spirit of Albion to The Cauldron Born was an intense one.

People often talk of the difficult third album, but my third album was made up of new songs, and re-recordings of songs I had written in the late 1990s, so it wasn’t that difficult at all. It was my fourth album that proved to be the challenging one. If you look at the themes of my first three albums you’ll notice that a lot of the songs are about mythology. With The Cauldron Born I turned my attention inward to the way I felt about my spiritual path, and outward to the wider Pagan community. I had begun to travel and play my songs overseas, so was experiencing various Paganisms, and meeting a lot of people around the world. I’d got my music on iTunes, and had started a blog, a YouTube channel, and joined Twitter and Facebook. I had taken the decision to put all of my effort into my music, to see if it was possible to actually make what I love, my living.

After the album was released I read a review that called it a ‘beautiful rant’. I’m still not sure about that, but at times I can see where that comment came from – I was feeling a lot of frustration with the behaviour of humans, towards the environment and to other species, and you can feel that from the songs. The journey from mythology to what I saw out there resulted in very personal lyrics that I hoped were accessible to others.

The opener, Land, Sky and Sea, had a quieter, more reflective intro. The album didn’t start with a bang, it gently built, and that laid the foundation for the rest of the CD. From there into Green and Grey, one of my most loved, yet most misunderstood songs, into Willow’s Song, The Cauldron Born, On Midwinter’s Day, Only Human, as I look back on that album now I can see why it quickly became my most popular release. I knew it was going to be called The Cauldron Born way before I’d written the title track. Those words held so much magic and reflected how I feel about the journey of the initiate –  from everyday life into the deeper Mysteries – bestowing a Fire in the Head, a flame I’d seen behind the eyes of many Pagans around the world.

It took a long while for the lyrics of the title track to arrive but finally the Awen flowed, and the song was finished. As I listened to the mixed recording it had such a big sound I never thought I’d be able to do it justice live, with just me and a guitar. So for years I didn’t play it at my concerts. Then, at one Artemis Gathering, I had finished my gig, but the audience just wouldn’t let me go unless I played the song. Like I say I’d never performed it live before, so the audience shut the door of the venue and said whatever happened in there, stayed in there. My own audience had given me permission to just have a go. So I did. And man was I wrong! The Cauldron Born has been a staple in my set ever since and I have that audience to thank for that moment.

A few months ago a Pagan Music podcast created a list of their top 30 Pagan albums of all time. Of course it was subjective, as any music list would be, but I was contacted by the organiser to ask for my postal address as they had something to send me. They said that some of my albums had made the list and I was delighted of course. But then an envelope fell though my postbox with a beautifully produced certificate, and as I read it I saw that The Cauldron Born was at number 1! Amazing.

I am very proud of this album. It marked my final shift from amateur to professional, with this album it felt like I had truly found my voice, and for that it will always hold a very dear space in my heart.

9 Comments

  1. Éilis Niamh August 28, 2014 at 5:33 pm - Reply

    Wonderful post. Land, Sky, and Sea is not only one of my favorite songs but a song that marked a turning point on my own journey and has brought me back to the center of things many times. Thank you, and keep shining!

  2. Justis August 28, 2014 at 7:44 pm - Reply

    I love this album, and I cannot listen to the song The Cauldron Born without tears in my eyes. It is like coming home and getting a nice, warm hug! This was absolutely the music I was craving until I found it!

  3. Jayne Southern August 29, 2014 at 5:44 am - Reply

    Great to read about the background of this work. This CD was given to me several years ago by someone I’d just started talking to in a shop! It was the first step on my journey to find and join ODOB. Thank you for this ‘nudge’ Dahm. /|\

  4. Dana August 30, 2014 at 8:29 pm - Reply

    That’s a great achievement and this is one of my favorite pagan albums ever.

  5. Jeremiah Myer August 31, 2014 at 12:18 pm - Reply

    This is the best album of any type! I love It. You put in words and song the music I hear in my heart and soul. Bless you

  6. Laura August 31, 2014 at 4:28 pm - Reply

    I first heard your music via YouTube, and quickly bought ALL your available music on ITunes. I didn’t buy your music in any particular order, so the move from mythology to your personal journey are mixed together.
    I love the stories, and I love how your Druidry has grown as your Soul grows. I remember when you asked if “Almost Human” was too harsh. I admonished you that as a Bard, you were simply fulfilling your responsibilities.
    You.showed me a.door I knew was there, but did not have the courage to enter. And my Druidry has grown right along with you.
    I am, and.will ever be, your friend.
    Laura Capshaw

  7. Debbie from Michigan October 14, 2014 at 7:44 pm - Reply

    Very beautifully said Dave, I remember the first time I heard it and then some years later when you performed at Michigan Pagan Fest it touched our souls and the audience was entranced in your music ; )

  8. sonia August 23, 2016 at 8:59 pm - Reply

    I first came across your music a few years back. It touched me deeply. Still does. In July this year saw you live for the first time. And wow. I would recommend everyone to go. Sounded so professional. And the energy was amazing, both from the music and the audience. A fantastic night! I know there was magic in the air that night. Soon after I joined OBOD. The magic in your music has profound affect on people, awakening something within. The very spirit of the land calls through the notes and chords, the lyrics, and your voice. Thank-you.

  9. Kimberly A Kelsey August 24, 2016 at 12:58 am - Reply

    Cauldron Born was a spiritually pivotal song for me, and the first of yours I heard. It still evokes those same emotions now as it did the first time I heard it. I love everything of yours I’ve heard, but this one will always have a special place. Thank you for sharing your gifts. Be blessed.

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