The Cauldron Born – 2008

The Cauldron Born – 2008

Damh’s Fourth CD.

Packed with more rousing anthems, and firm live favourites performed in front of many audiences since the release of Spirit of Albion in 2006; the beautiful duet with vocalist Eala onWillow’s Song; and Damh’s seasonal offering for the Winter Solstice On Midwinter’s Day are just some of the highlights.


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.


Verse 1

You are the rock, and you are the stone,
Rivers your blood, mountains your bone.
You are the Source, of all I’ll ever know,
Forever my Mother, forever my home.


Oh this town is so cold,
Neon magicians they offer the fools their gold.
For there is a place I’d rather be,
In your wild places with the Land and the Sky and the Sea


Verse 2

Every step, follows those gone before,
Mystics and Saints, down to the shore,
Echoing waves, and the curlew’s cry,
A call out your name, and hear your reply.


Verse 3

Cynical thoughts, and lies that distort,
All that is true, all that is true,
They disappear, when I feel that you’re near,
When I’m with you, when I’m with you.

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.


Verse 1

Early one morning, around the first of May,
A man in black came walking, into a woodland glade,
Following the sounds of pipes on this beautiful Spring day,
High on the music that they made.
But what beheld him within that place?
A look of recognition fell across his face,
“Lucifer, oh Lucifer, why do you appear to me?
For I am a man of God, a priest.



I’m no devil I’m Father to the land,
I have lived here since the Earth began,
Neither black nor white,
Priest hear what I say,
I’m green and grey.


Verse 2

The priest said, “Lucifer, Lucifer you lie so well,
I will pray unto my God, go back to the fires of Hell!
You fell from Heaven, and you fell from Grace.
You want dominion over this place.”
The Piper smiled, and to the priest he said,
“I was Lord of Animals, the Wild Hunt I led,
Until your God came here and with his jealous hand,
It was he who wanted dominion over this land.


Verse 3

The priest said, “All evil comes from your hand.”
The Piper said, “If evil is, it lies in the hearts of Man.”
“But you lead us, oh you tempt us, to rape, to steal, to kill!”
The Piper said, “Whatever happened to free will?”
Then the Grove lay empty, the priest told no one.
The blossom lay upon the thorn, the Piper’s tune was done.
And in the sunlit forest, the animals they bowed,
As the Piper lay his Goddess down.

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.


Hey. ooh, who is there?
No one but me my dear
Please come, say how do
The things I’ll give to you
A stroke as gentle as a feather
I’ll catch a rainbow from the sky and tie the ends together


Hey, ooh, I am here
Am I not young and fair?
Please come, say how do
The things that I’ll show to you
Would you have a wondrous sight?
The midday sun, at midnight


Fair maid white and red
Comb you smooth and stroke your head
How a maid can milk a bull,
And every stroke a bucketful.

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…


Verse 1

Sunset, Moonrise,
See how the land is bathed,
In silver hue.
You feel so lonely,
Come with me and let me show,
There are others just like you.


Who feel the powers of Earth, Sea and Sky,
Of Dragon and Faerie and Shades of the night,
Hear the call of our ancestors of blood and bone,
Of womb and tomb, and standing stone..


Lady stir your Cauldron well,
Chant your words and sing your spell,
Deep within the darkened hall,
Hear the Goddess Ceridwen call..


Verse 2

See a man,
Alone on a hill,
His arms raised hugh to the Moon,
Chanting words, a charm, a spell of power,
A Witches Rune.


He calls to the powers of Earth, Sea and Sky,
Of Dragon and Faerie and Shades of the night,
He calls to his ancestors of blood and bone,
Of womb and tomb, and standing stone..


Lady stir your Cauldron well,
Chant your words and sing your spell,
Deep within the darkened hall,
Hear the Goddess Ceridwen call.
Come and taste of the Cauldron’s Brew,
And magic she will give to you,
You will dance in the eye of the storm,
You’re Ceridwen’s Children,
The Cauldron Born!


Verse 3

A charm of silver,
The gypsy said,
When he was just seventeen,
Your future I’ll tell you,
Every thread and turn,
If there to be seen.


She took his hands tracing the lines,
Searching for patterns and looking for signs,
Your life a construction one day you will see,
Through the illusion and into the dream!


Verse 4

So we stand,
On this hill,
Our shadows are cast by the Moon.
Chanting words, a charm, a spell of power,
Our Witches Rune.


We call to the powers of Earth, Sea and Sky,
Of Dragon and Faerie and Shades of the night,
We calls to our ancestors of blood and bone,
Of womb and tomb, and standing stone.

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.


Verse 1

Now that Samhain is over,
And the Sidhe have returned to their home,
The dead have followed the Raven’s song,
And no longer among us they roam.
The wisdom of our ancient past,
Show us how to ride the storm,
For their tombs they swallow the rising sun,
And the Mabon is always reborn.


So come all you people, come and sing with me,
Join our voices, and sing the long nights away,
All over the land, a chorus of voices will sing,
For the rising Sun on Midwinter’s Day.


Verse 2

The land may be barren and lifeless,
The ground may be frozen and hard,
And the rain that fell has now turned to ice,
The Winter is showing her card,
But now the Sun king has rested,
And his eyes have turned to the Earth,
For three days the Sun has been still in the sky,
But the time has now come for his birth.


Verse 3

Some say Jesus was born today,
Some say he is the Mabon,
Some say that he is the Son of God,
And others the Son of the Sun,
Others they listen in the woodland,
For the call of Herne,
Others they hear the clash of swords,
For the Oak King will return!

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 seperates us from the rest of the animal kingdom. No other animal wold have been that cruel!


Isn’t it crazy, isn’t it cruel,
That a man can earn millions from kicking a ball,
While for other countries, we role a dice,
For a little clean water and a bowl of rice,
Politicians and empty promises help lessen our pain,
It’s only human


Isn’t it wonderful, isn’t it right,
There’s nothing as worthless as an animals life,
But it helps me feel better, when I feel ill,
I can’t taste the pain in this little pill,
A thousand lives given to live just a few more years,
It’s only human.


Cut down a forest for grass that won’t grow,
To help melt the ice caps, to help melt the snow,
We’ll watch the seas rise with nowhere to go,
It’s only human.


Isn’t is holy, isn’t it good,
That people kill people in the name of their God,
A bomb for a Father, a bullet for a Son,
And a smile for the child that carried the gun,
Only one God can be right when all’s said and done,
It’s only human.

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 protestors 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…


Beneath a mist-capped mountain,
An oaken forest did grow,
Around and ancient trackway,
that led to the old Barrow.


On a starlit night on the dark of the moon,
A torch lights the funeral pyre,
And the iciness in the tribe’s hearts,
Are warmed by the heat of the fire.
Then the Druids move in with the dawn,
As the circle of people they sing,
And the ashes are gathering together,
And taken to the Tomb of the King.


Then down through history they changed,
And the Sacred Grove it came,
On the night of initiation,
An ordeal of terror and pain,
The warriors stood in the forest,
With the herbs rubbed into their brows,
Then they turned to face the darkness,
Of the old Barrow.


Then down through history they changed,
When a woman cold and bare,
Ran into the darkened forest,
And into the Ancestor’s Lair,
Then men on horseback drew near,
And they looked into the mouth of the hill,
Then they left that bitch, that healer, that Witch,
Until all in the forest was still.


In a Parliament House in London town,
A part of our heritage dies,
The road builder’s plan is blessed by a cheque,
as the blood of the signature dries,
Then the monsters move in with the dawn,
As the circle of people they sing,
And the old oaks are cut from the earth,
As they tear down the Tomb of the King.


As I sit in the silence of my car,
I notice that not much has changed,
More cars just use this road now,
And the traffic jam now has three lanes,
Still my dream takes me back to the time,
When in the circles we sing,
Under a moonlit sky,
To heal the Tomb of the King.


Beneath a mist-capped mountain,
An oaken forest did grow,
Around and ancient trackway,
that led to the old Barrow.

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.


Verse 1

She’s here again my owl, my friend,
I can hear her call.
Her black and wingspread silhouette
Is cast upon my wall.
Her voice an ancient echo,
Of what has gone before.
I climb upon her feathered back,
And through the air we soar,
She takes me to the Ferryman,
Upon a distant shore.


If life’s a symphony,
sing along, sing along.
Each note a harmony
in our song, in our song.


Verse 2

I place a coin into his hands
This voyage to undertake.
So silent I can hear my breath,
His craft, it leaves no wake.
A Lady stands upon the shore
She’s reaching out her hands
Her face as silver as the Moon
I step upon the land,
And tears of joy fall from my eyes,
For now I understand.


Verse 3

She takes me to a distant cave,
With a door of stone.
A place of rest, a silent tomb,
I step inside alone.
And then I see familiar shapes
Of things I’ve known before,
Toys that meant so much to me,
Are scattered on the floor.
And all the things I keep inside,
And try hard to ignore


Verse 4

My first guitar, a long-lost friend,
A time I nearly fell,
And my Grandmother’s music box,
With the tune I knew so well.
Faces of lovers come and gone,
A glass full of tears,
And as I watch they fade away
Back into distant years
All a part of who I am,
My hopes and dreams and fears


Verse 5

I wake to greet a brand new day,
But see what I have found,
A feather and a silver coin,
Are lying on the ground….

Lughnasadh Dance

(Gwydion Pendderwen)


I first heard this song played by my good friends The Dolmen. Then a few years ago I found out that it 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.


Verse 1

Lugh the light of summer bright clothed all in green
Tailtiu his mother true rise up and be seen


At the festival sound the horn, calling the people again
Child of Barleycorn, newly summerborn, ripening like the grain.


Verse 2

The child grew tall from spring to fall he’s off to find a wife
But Balor came to make his claim and swore to take his life

The two did fight from noon ’till night when Lugh did strike him one
And Balor’s eye flew in the sky and there became the sun


Verse 3

Lugh was wed and made his bed with Erin in the north
And there they lay for many a day and soon a child came forth

The child grew tall from spring to fall, Setanta was his name
And then at length by honor’s strength CuChulainn he became

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 theLong Man of Wilmington for a stunt to visually turn him into a woman. Each year our old sites are vandalised 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.


Verse 1

Take a look at your TV screen,
It’s a window bright and clean,
Another wife swapped,
What does it all mean?
Elder Brother you’re never wrong,
Show weak people acting strong,
So I look outside,
To see the green.


Do you dream of drinking from the Grail?
That the truth is held within a tale,
And Arthur sleeps now, ready to return?
Do you know that Jack lives in the Green,
That things are never as they seem,
And life is more than the money that your earn.


Verse 2

Rhiannon rides her horse,
It’s just a tale of course,
An old story,
Of times gone by.
But sit with me on this hill,
See how things become so still,
And who is that Lady,
Riding high?


Verse 3

Spring has come and have you seen,
The Morris dancers on the green?
Just a bit of fun,
To pass the days.
But there is magic in their dance,
The season’s blessed and not by chance,
So I raise my glass,
To our Pagan Ways.