New Lyric – Branwen’s Lament

I was ‘noodling’ on my guitar and found a sequence of notes that I knew were going somewhere but couldn’t quite find my way into their meaning. I played them to Cerri and we both agreed that it sounded like a lullaby. But then in one of those special moments when the Gods just open their mouths and whisper into our ears Cerri said, “It’s Branwen’s tale.” We sat in silence for a while as it sank in, and both of us found our eyes welling with tears.

Branwen’s story from the Mabinogion is one of the saddest tales we have within the mythology of the British Isles and I felt I had to give her voice the respect and honour she deserved, but sadly did not receive in life.

I wrote these lyrics yesterday and just played the song to Cerri. I didn’t make it all of the way through without tears.

Branwen, White Raven, I offer you this song,  so you know that the Bards still tell your story.

So mote it be.

Branwen’s Lament – Damh the Bard

(Branwen sings)

Dearest Brother hold me here,

Safe in your embrace,

For I feel, death is near,

Her breath upon my face,

Across the Irish sea, you came to rescue me,

Leading an army to avenge my shame,

Two islands torn apart, like my broken heart,

From your army just seven remain.

(Bran Sings)

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 feel I’m dying poison in my veins,

But for you my dear Sister I’d do it again.

(Branwen Sings)

I can hear as I close my eyes,

The screams of my young Son,

Cast into the burning fire,

By Efnysien,

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.

(Bran sings)

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 over the sea,

And while it remains this land will be free.


  1. Ross March 6, 2012 at 1:08 pm - Reply

    Absolutely beautiful lyrics ….. Just reading them is making me well up.

  2. Nimue Brown March 6, 2012 at 1:10 pm - Reply

    lump in throat here.

  3. Jhenah Telyndru March 6, 2012 at 1:31 pm - Reply

    Simply beautiful. I cannot wait to hear you sing it. You have honored Her, to be sure.

  4. Andrea March 6, 2012 at 2:08 pm - Reply

    Absolutely lovely lyrics, and definitely Inspired.

  5. Jemmy Farmer March 6, 2012 at 2:55 pm - Reply

    Apart from the lyrics being beautiful I have to thank you for the wonderful image in the words ‘noodling on my guitar’

    Love and light


  6. thistleinavalon March 6, 2012 at 5:05 pm - Reply

    Gorgeous lyrics and emotion. Nice to see someone focusing on this brother and sister.

  7. Jill March 6, 2012 at 5:26 pm - Reply

    absolutely beautiful – so touching.

  8. Autumn Hazelhewn March 6, 2012 at 5:28 pm - Reply

    Amazing. The saddest, though one of my favourite stories as well.

  9. Heddwen March 6, 2012 at 5:41 pm - Reply

    Lovely, Dave. Love the lyrics, very touching

  10. Tyler March 7, 2012 at 1:34 am - Reply

    Simple, sad, beautiful. I can hardly wait to hear it.

  11. Deb Shaw March 8, 2012 at 8:09 am - Reply

    Made me cry.

  12. forfedha March 8, 2012 at 9:40 am - Reply

    Me too. Beautiful

  13. Jeremy Poitin March 9, 2012 at 8:42 am - Reply

    You truly are a great Bard, Damh.

  14. Sheila March 10, 2012 at 3:22 pm - Reply

    Beautiful, I can’t wait to hear you singing it.
    Really touching story.

  15. […] Bedd Branwen (pic: Damh the Bard) […]

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