story Archaeology

Exploring stories in the landscape

Robin Williamson: Five Denials on Merlin’s Grave

Robin Williamson

released 1997

When I was putting together my audio-article on story telling, I mentioned that I owed a debt of honour to the musician, story teller Robin Williamson. I also mentioned that I once owned an entire vinyl collection of Incredible String Band albums! (that was in another country and besides …..)

I haven’t listened to them for years but tracks like ‘October Song‘, The ‘Dancing of the Lord of Weir‘,  and ‘Seasons they Change‘, yes, especially that one stays with me.

I saw them many times but, later, after they went their own ways continued to follow Robin’s work as a story teller. I think the last time I saw him perform was in the old chapel at Markree castle, near Sligo. Funny enough I have given a story telling evening there myself now.

I was always a story teller but it was after hearing Five Denials on Merlin’s Grave that set my feet on the path to living in Ireland,  exploring and experiencing the Land, not just the stories.  Back in 2000, I was fortunate enough to be able to light the spark that gave rise to Moytura 2000  when we re-enacted the battle and where the story was told, in its entirety, by a gathering of tellers.  Someone once told me that Robin. who inspired me to search for the story, had considered its location to be mythological . But this is Ireland and the stories lie held in its landscape. I am so glad his poetry sent me searching

I thought I might share the track with any listeners not familiar with it.



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