Spirit of Albion – 2006

Spirit of Albion – 2006


Damh’s third CD. The title track is another rousing Pagan anthem, and firm live favourite, the beautiful duet with vocalist Eala on Morrighan, and the haunting ballad about the changing seasons The Wheel are just some of the highlights.

Spirit of Albion

I wrote this song after an encouter with a Welsh nationalist. I love this island – from the Glen’s of the Highlands, to the moors of the West Country, from the fens of East Anglia, to the mountains of Snowdonia – I see them all as parts of my home. I don’t prefess to own any of it, if anything, the land owns me.


Verse 1

An isle so fair, a isle so green,
Known by many names.
Feel the pulse, the pulse of the land,
The blood boils within your veins.
Someone go down to the Holy Well and raise the Spirits there!
Lay a feather on a stone, with a flame, and a lock of hair.



The Crane, the wolf, the bear and the boar,
No longer dwell upon these shores,
You say that the Goddess and God have gone,
Well I tell you they live on!
For in the cities and hills,
And in circles of stone,
The voices of the Old Ways,
The Spirit of Albion is calling you home!


Verse 2

From Manwydden’s crashing sea,
To the moor and the Highland Glen.
From the Faerie Hills, home of the Sidhe,
To the veins of the Broad and the Fen.
Someone go down to the Holy Trees of Oak and Ash and Thorn!
Utter a charm in the verse of three,
Till the Summer King is born!


Verse 3

Ride the white horses carved into the hills,
Walk to the Hanging Stones.
Bow to the might of Cerne Abbass’ height,
Feel the peace in the Ancestors’ homes.
Someone go down to Wilmington where the Giant guards the way!
Step into the Otherworld, into the womb, where centuries pass like a day!

Taliesin’s Song

Taliesin was/is such an inspiration of mine, especially when I first began to explore the Path of the Bard. I imagined sitting in the old King’s moot hall, as the Great Bard stepped in, shook his Silver Branch, and began to tell his stories.


Verse 1

I was in the court of kings,
I saw great halls and countless gems,
T’was where I heard Taliesin sing,
Of the love of women
and the deeds of men.
The Awen’s light filled his eyes,
A fire burned within his head,
As he sang of times long past and cried,
For Merlin, Arthur and Galahad.


Manwydden, Cerridwen,
The Old Ones let us sing to them,
Arianrhod, Bran and Bel.
Blodeuwedd, Cealleach,
The Old Gods they are coming back.
Listen people to the tales I tell.


Verse 2

I have been a crashing wave,
A stallion across the sea,
And I have been a rutting stag,
And I hold Albion’s destiny.
The Cauldron deep in Annwn’s mist,
With Blackthorn staff I travelled there,
And Arthur whom fate did kiss,
The Seven Castles we did dare!


Verse 3

I have seen the plants and trees,
Great Oak the Ash and sacred Thorn,
Bring Annwn’s Host to its knees,
And suffer mighty Gwydion’s scorn.
But still the fight could not be won,
Until they guessed the giant’s name,
Ravens and Alder on his shield,
“By the branch you bare, Bran is your name!”

When I Become the Moon

(Eliza Gilkyson)

I first heard this song on the original Barddas compilation of modern Bardic music from the Order of Bards Ovates and Druids. It was one of the songs that proved to me that it was possible to write and play, Pagan songs that evoked the magic and mystery of the Path. I feel very honoured that Eliza has given me permission to record the song on my CD.


I remember yesterday, when I become the moon
When all the stars came out to play, we danced away the gloom
Circled ’round the ring of stones before they fell in ruin
I can hear our voices still, when I become the moon


High Diana ruled the wood, traces still remain
Shared the wisdom and the herb, shared the joy and pain
Echoes of life’s passion play still haunt the bride and groom
But they’ll be wed again someday, when I become the moon


Soldiers of the holy war, holy greed command
Claimed the Earth and all her shores, stole Diana’s land
But in my heart there lingers still the dark of her perfume
I drink the earthy wine until I become the moon


All that’s left is history, and Diana’s blood and bone
Fragments of a mystery, her story is our own
But undercover of the stars her secret is exhumed
I bow before her beauty now, and I….become….the moon.

The Wheel

This song is a love song between the God and Goddess. It tells of the God’s birth, their meeting, their love within the Greenwood, and his death, at her hands, in the cornfields. But he waits in the earth for her to return, and together they will rule in the Otherworld, until his rebirth in the Spring.


As the sunrise on the shortest day my crying greets the dawn.
Tears of dew form on the web as I am reborn.
Feel new life spring from the Earth,
As the Mother of All Life gives birth.
Though I am a child I will soon become a man.


Feel the warmth upon your skin, sense the animal inside.
As every creature on the land, feels the rising tide.
The natural rhythms of the land,
As the Goddess takes my hand,
Into the Forest Green with the Horned Man.


The waves of corn have turned to gold my time is drawing near.
I see my Lady smile at me inside I feel no fear.
As She raises the scythe above Her head.
Blood spills on the Earth as I fall dead,
In the Otherworld I guard Her throne ’til She returns

Noon of the Solstice

This was the second Pagan song I ever wrote. It was the time of the Summer Solstice, and I was walking my dog through a local woods at Ditchling Common. The day was bright, and I began to hum a tune, then the chorus just appeared from out of the blue, quickly followed by the verses. Dedicated to Old Horny himself.


Verse 1

In times long past lived a Man of green,
And his footsteps brought life wherever he’d been.
In the deepest wildwood was the place he was seen,
And the people did love and protect him.
And they saw his face change with the turn of the Wheel of the Seasons,
They heard his voice sing.


I’m the Horned God,
I’m the face in the trees,
I’m the breath of the wind that rustles the leaves,
I’m the Green Man in the wildwood I roam,
Cernunnos, I’m Pan and I’m Herne.


Verse 2

I shall be as the Dark Holly King,
Darkness and cold in my cloak I will bring,
And on Winter’s nights to me you will sing,
Till the air around me starts changing,
And on the noon of the solstice I’ll give up my crown,
To the Light and the Mighty Oak King.


Verse 3

All Summer long I shall rule just and fair,
Bring your crops to fruit with the light that I share,
With fire and water, from earth into air,
But the Wheel it keeps steadily turning.
And on the noon of the Solstice I’ll give up my crown,
To the cold and the Dark Holly King.


Verse 4

T’is now modern times and the Summer is here,
The Winter has gone and the air it is clear,
On a fine day I walked through a woods I live near,
When a battle I spied through a clearing,
Two giants of leaves, one light and one dark,
Even now the Wheel it is turning!


So there She is, looking at what we do to each other, in the name of religion, in the name of land, in the name of politics, and She shakes her head, not needing to take us yet, but we keep on coming, in ones, twos, and then by the thousand….


Verse 1

Fingers of mist caress soldiers and fallen kings,
A field lies silent as an old crow spreads her wings


What do you see?
What do you see?
Cast your veil over the Sun.


Verse 2

I have washed the blood away and each will take your turn,
Another life given to me when will you ever learn?


Bridge 1
And the will of man,
Lies heavy on the land,
Until you change your plan,
I’ll be ready.


Verse 3

Night is falling but it’s the noon of the day,
A flight of Ravens here to carry our souls away.


Bridge 2
I am the Phantom Queen,
And everything you’ve been,
And everything you’ve killed,
And all the blood you’ve spilled,
All the bullets and the guns,
All the Fathers and the Sons,
Lying dead in the streets,
Children crying at their feet,
Is this the world you want?
Look, the sun is fading away….

Save Me

Three people, all losing hope in their lives, but the Universe listens when we ask….


Verse 1

The young boy sat in his room,
Drawing circles on a page,
Endless spirals in the gloom,
His Mother said, “Just act your age!”
But his mind still dreams of Fairyland
Of magic and mystery,
Why does no one seem to understand,
Or see what he sees.


Save me, save me, won’t somebody save me (repeat)


Verse 2

Mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?
The girl she was before,
The girl she can barely recall,
Or the old woman at her shoulder,
With sadness in her eyes,
Will she be her when she’s older?
She hangs her head and cries.


But the light in your eyes says darling,
It’ll be okay,
Your life is there waiting for you,
And you need to say is….


Verse 3

An old photograph,
Of a girl he once knew,
She called yesterday,
What is he going to do?
He’ll take the glass slipper,
Through hill and vale,
And happy ever after,
Will end the Fairy tale.

Oak, Broom and Meadowsweet

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.


Verse 1

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!”


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.


Verse 2

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.


Verse 3

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!

The Sun and the Rose

Verse 1

Look at the Sun, see how he shines,
Lighting up every part of our lives,
Calling the life, out from the dark,
Climbing up higher into the light,
I wonder if he, feels like me,
A Sun in the sky all alone,
Sending out rays, rays of light,
But never finding his way back home.


Oh, where are you in the dark?
Oh, from shadows you call me
But I, I cannot see you!


Where is the love, where does it shine?
I look at the world, and nothing I find!
On a mountain I stand, calling your name,
I reach out my hand, will you do the same?


Verse 2

Look at the rose, the flower of love,
With petals as soft as a lover’s touch,
So warm and so sweet, you breathe in her scent,
Oh but make sure you don’t breathe in too much,
For beneath the flowers lies the thorn,
Ready to tare your skin,
But the love it calls, and surrender you fall,
And the flower enfolds you within.


Isis Unveiled

There was no denying it, for the first time in many years I was being visited by a Goddess from another land. Isis had always been a Goddess who had inspired me, but I had never written a song for her until this time. I had just bought a new mandola and was ‘noodling’ around with it, just playing around with notes, when this middle-eastern style riff came from out of nowhere. I continued playing, and it was like it had a life of its own, moving into a very nice key change – the Awen was flowing, and a song was on the way….


I put the mandolin down, and went to one of my altars to collect my figure of Isis – she is standing, one winged-arm outstretched, the other pointing to the ground. I placed her in on the table in front of me, and continued to play the tune. Before long the words were flowing, and her story was being told – from the game that formed her, to the reconstruction of Osiris, I saw a shadow formed by the light of the full moon, and within that shadow I watched as Set emerged from the darkness. I saw a coffin, floating down the nile, I saw her tears of joy falling onto the desert sand, bringing new live from the barren soil.

I was exhausted when it was done, but also very much at peace – a story told, a Goddess honoured.


Verse 1

Play the game create the time,
With every move and line,
Jackal God against the Moon,
And the game will be over soon.
Can you hear the Earth sighing?
As he turns towards the sky,
The time of Ra is ending,
And the Sun begins to die.


Can you feel it changing?
Can you see her in the night?
Can you feel it changing?


Verse 2

Sky and Earth they are as one,
Conceive daughter and sons,
Sister, lover, Goddess, Queen,
Mother to every living being,
Your light creates a shadow,
As you show your face unveiled,
Your brother Set betrays you,
There’s a coffin on the Nile.


Verse 3

Fourteen pieces to the wind,
To all parts of the land,
Scattered widely she will find,
And make a lover from her hands,
The rain, her tears of gladness,
Fall to the fertile ground,
And Set caught in his madness,
To the desert he is bound.

The Winter King

Just as it says, this song came to me whilst standing on the cliffs of Boscastle in Cornwall, overlooking the mighty Atlantic, feeling its power as the roar echoed around the cliffs. Within that sound you could almost hear a voice, telling the story of the Once and Future King.


Verse 1

Facing the west to a distant land,
Gazing out to the sea,
Standing on Cornwall’s rocky shore,
The crashing waves far below me,
I heard a woman calling my name,
Her voice the voice of a friend,
And she said, “Now hear me, I’m Morgan le Fey,
Let me tell you a story with no end.”


Verse 2

The life of a man, the life of a King,
The love for a Queen,
Pendragon of Britain,
Sovereign of the Land,
The mightiest warrior ever seen.
The Magic Sword in his hand,
Like lightning, cut through the air.
A gift of the Goddess,
Lady of the Lake,
To Valiant Arthur, the Bear.


Verse 3

In the heart of Dumnonia stands a tower,
An Isle on a sea of glass.
Where Merlin planned the Old Gods of the Land,
Would return to Britain at last.
Twelve of the Thirteen Treasures were there,
Clyddno Eiddin’s Cauldron the quest,
On Prydwen they sailed,
Into the Otherworld,
None but seven returned from the west.


Verse 4

Facing the west to a distant land gazing over the sea,
Standing on Cornwall’s rocky shore,
The Crashing waves far below me,
I see a ship disappear in the mist,
That shines like silver and bronze,
Carrying the body of the Wounded King,
To be healed in Avalon.