New Lyric – Living Traditions

It feels absolutely right to post this latest lyric from my new album on the day after bonfire night.

Stepping outside under the moon last night, hearing the fireworks, tasting the smoke in the air, in an atmosphere of chaos was as amazing as ever. Our bonfire night is very Samhain. Some don’t like it, and I get the contradictory ethics of a country full of bonfires and a care for the Earth.

To me bonfire night is about more than Guy Fawkes. In fact I wonder if it was ever just about that. I live near the county town of Lewes and last night this normally reserved middle-class town swelled in numbers by thousands as it held its annual bonfire night. It’s quite something as the video shows.

Lewes Bonfire

These living traditions are important. The Wassail, Morris dancing the dawn at Beltane, the Abbots Bromley horn Dance, the Bacup Coconut Men, the Mari Llwyd, there are strange traditions all over Albion, and this song celebrates them.

Hope you enjoy the words!

Abbots Bromley Horn Dance

Bacup Coconutters

The Mari Lwyd

Living Traditions – Damh the Bard

On a winter’s night,

Bathed in starlight,

We’ll sing our Wassail prayer,

Some toast and good beer,

Raised in good cheer,

To apple and to pear,

Our guns will inspire,

The fruit of desire,

And ale we will share,

Ale we will share.


And the snow is falling,

And Her Cloak in laying all over the land.


On the 1st of May,

At the break of day,

Summer is born,

We’ll dance a Morris tune,

With the setting of the Moon,

And we will greet the dawn,

The Winter we dispel,

With the sound of Morris bell,

So pass the drinking horn,

Pass the drinking horn.


And the Sun is rising,

The Green Man growing all over the land.


As night it falls down,

On quiet county towns,

It’s hard to believe,

Torches they are raised,

And the bonfires blaze,

This November eve,

The Pope we defy,

As fire fills the sky.

The prayers they decree,

Forgotten, never be.


And the fires are burning,

And the sky is blazing all over the land.

12 responses to “New Lyric – Living Traditions”

  1. Ahhh – thank you so much for this post! I’m looking forward to your new album! These videos brought a lump to my throat and tear to my eye, here in Ontario this is something my heart and soul miss greatly. xxx

    • Take some of our traditions now, adding your own touched. In 3 generations they’ll be your traditions also brought from the old country and adapted for yours, in effect an unbroken line.

  2. Fantastic, thanks. I was born of elderly parents and often got them to tell me tales of their younger days and things they did. And every now and then they’d relate to festivals like May day that perhaps were only done that way in this locale. If anyone has any elderly relatives or ones that can remember what elderly relatives said about traditions they should write then down and treasure them, they may be the only reference to a time long past.Then pass this on to the next generation.

  3. Love it and looking forward to hearing the finished art.
    As a person that goes up to Chanctonbury at Beltane for Sunrise and a member of Mythago Morris this hits the note.

  4. Lovely stuff, and I hope the final version is full steam ahead pleasure.

    It’s great to see these traditions going so strongly now, because for a long time we were expecting them to die out, but I think people are beginning to understand what a loss that would be.

    I’d never seen the Mari Llwd before and it made so nostalgic for the great Welsh choirs, even the crowds for rugby internationals at Cardiff Arms Park.

  5. There are more “seasonal celebrations” around the UK than many might imagine. If you’re interested in finding one local to you, a good place to start is Doc Rowe’s archive website (

    I think many in the UK still have a need to let their “inner pagan” out from time to time – even if they don’t know they’ve got one!

  6. I just loved those vidoes of all your celebrations, i just loved the horn dance! You are so lucky to live in a country where old traditions live! I feel such a connection to it all. I just wish my ancestors never left europe. Seeing that spoke to me & i felt as if i had seen it before, even tho i never have. What beautiful country & beautiful traditions. The UK is so rich in history, what a beautiful & truely touching traditions you all have.
    Blessed be

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