Sunday, November 2, 2008


The Mummers' Dance - Loreena McKennitt

To celebrate Halloween, All Souls Day and Samhain.

When in the Springtime of the year
When the trees are crowned with leaves
When the ash and oak, and the birch and yew
Are dressed in ribbons fair

When owls call the breathless moon
In the blue veil of the night
The shadows of the trees appear
Amidst the lantern light

We've been rambling all the night
And some time of this day
Now returning back again
We bring a garland gay

Who will go down to those shady groves
And summon the shadows there
And tie a ribbon on those sheltering arms
In the Springtime of the year

The songs of birds seem to fill the wood
That when the fiddler plays
All their voices can be heard
Long past their woodland days

We've been rambling all the night
And some time of this day
Now returning back again
We bring a garland gay

And so they linked their hands and danced
Round in circles and in rows
And so the journey of the night descends
When all the shades are gone

"A garland gay we bring you here
And at your door we stand
Here's a sprout well budded out
The work of Our Lord's Hand"

We've been rambling all the night
And some time of this day
Now returning back again
We bring a garland gay

Words and lyrics - Loreena McKennitt

Mummers' plays also known as (mumming) are seasonal folk plays of medieval origins performed by troupes of actors known as 'mummers' or guisers ( or by local names such as rhymers, pace-eggers, soulers, tipteeters, galoshins, guysers and so on ), originally from the British Isles. They are sometimes performed in the street but more usually as house to house visits and in public houses.

Samhain: The term derives itself from the name of the month in the ancient Celtic calendar, in particular the first three nights of November, with the festival marking the end of the Summer season and the end of the harvest. The Gaelic festival became associated with the Catholic 'All Souls Day', and appears to have influenced the secular customs now connected with 'Halloween'. Samhain is also the name of a festival in various currents of neopaganism inspired by Gaelic tradition.
Samhain and an t-Samhain are also the Irish and Scottish Gaelic names of November, respectively.

Reference material : Wikipedia.


foam said...

i like this word ..
mumming, mummers..
mummers that ululate ..
well, at least it sounds as if they ought to.

dianne said...

Did you like the song Foamie my dear friend, I really love it. To me it conjures up many images of mummers dancing and rambling through the woods in the moonlight with lights of flame, gathering flowers for garlands to adorn their hair and ribbons tied on the branches. Gathering woodland flowers for garlands to give to houses from door to door. I'm sure they would 'ululate', they would howl and wail at the moon and maybe lament the passing of another season. ♥ xoxo :)

Robert V. Sobczak said...

Celtic music re-sculpts the landscape of ones soal ... it has such a depth and resonates wide. And adding the words was a good idea, because in the song they almost register as melody, and you have to concentrate to listen.

Anonymous said...

¡¡¡ PAGAN a_narchY 4 ALL !!!

¤ ¤ ¤


The Phosgene Kid said...

I've got one of Loreena McKennitt's older CDs, she has a nice voice and did a great rendition of "The Highwayman"

foam said...

oh, yeah .. i forgot to mention that ..
i do like the song. i think i might find it hard to dislike any of her songs.

dianne said...

Thanks dear Robert , I'm so pleased that you enjoyed the song.
Celtic music does touch the soul it has its own special resonance and this song is one that I love.
I put the words there as Loreena's beautiful voice does become part of the melody and you do have to listen closely. ♥ :) xoxoxo

dianne said...

/t. my dearest, ♥ I do believe in the soul, the beauty of nature that is all around us, I find some beauty and goodness in most people and things that I see, I believe we are all connected, we are all part of a bigger picture 'the Universe'.
I think I would enjoy being a 'mummer' in days of olde, flitting through the woods gathering flowers and with a garland and ribbons in my hair, but then I'm a romantic and dreamer. ♥ xoxox

dianne said...

Hello Phos my dear friend, I have most of her CD's, I really like her rendition of Alfred Noyes poem 'The Highwayman',she has such a beautiful voice.
She has chosen her poems wisely as they lend themselves so well to her music and voice.
As I said a in a post a while back I studied this poem in year 6, English Literature, I really enjoyed it then. ♥ xoxoxo
As you have seen I have just posted 'The Two Trees' by Yeats, have you heard her rendition of 'The Lady of Shalott' by Tennyson, you will enjoy it. I might even post it here one day on my blog as it is becoming a place for me to share my favourite music.♥

dianne said...

Foamie my dear friend, I hoped you would like it. We could dress up as 'mummers' and go rambling through the woods in the moonlight in our muslin finery with garlands in our hair, we could even howl at the moon if you liked. :)

Just at the moment I cant stop singing that song 'Gloomy Sunday' as sung by Diamanda Galás. ♥ :) xoxox

The Mess said...

Bright and nice song!

Must confess I have never heard about mumming or Samhain.. looks like I still got things to learn :)

puerileuwaite said...

Particularly in this election year, I'm not fond of strangers going door to door annoying people for any reason. And nutjobs handing out garlands while howling/wailing would only lead me to further suspect that a meth lab may be located close by.

foam said...

yes, we could go howling at the moon ...
far away from civilization and any pugs who might think we are nutjobs ..

Andrew said...

Dearest Mum,

I just want to wish you a happy birthday for today the 4th of november, I hope you have a fantastic day, lots of love, your son, Andrew

dianne said...

M my dear friend, it is a lovely bright song, I think the melody and her voice are beautiful.

I'm not surprised that you haven't heard of 'mummers' or Samhain, it is all very complicated, there is also Soween the Celtic festival for the first day of Fall/Autumn and Beltane which is the Celtic celebration for May day.I'm sure you have many Scandinavian
traditions that I have not heard of. :)
We all, each and every one of us have so much more to learn.♥ :) xoxoxo

dianne said...

Yes Puggles my love, I guess one cant be too careful these days with all of the nut jobs around and the druggies.
But if I turned up at the door of Casa de Pug, looking very pretty, wearing my sheer muslin gown, my golden tresses falling around my shoulders, a garland of sweet fragrance flowers encircling my head and offering you a garland would you turn me away? ♥ xoxoxo ;)

dianne said...

Yes Foamie my dear friend we could do that,what fun it would be, far away from civilisation but I have a better idea! ;)
We should both turn up at Casa de Pug and sing and dance and howl at the moon outside his window. Lol ♥ :) xoxoxo

dianne said...

Thank you Andrew my darling, it was so sweet of you to remember. ♥ :) xoxoxo

**¤ ¤** said...

ah, it's still the 3rd over here ..
but here goes ..
um hummmmmmm....
happy birhtday to youuuuuuuuuuu...
happy birhtday to youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu...
happy birhtday to you uuuuuuuuuu uuuuuuuuuuuu
happy birhtday to youuuuuuuuu...

oh, i see i can't spell birhtday anymore ..

aaaaaaand manyyyyyyyyyyyyy moooooooooooooore

Jean said...

Today is your birthday, Dianne?
Happy, Happy Birthday!...and wishing you many, many more ♥

puerileuwaite said...

I'm a big fan of "Forrest Gump" (and Dianne) so NO(!), I wouldn't turn you away. However, we'd have to make love on a single bed in my sparse bedroom while I call you "Jenny", just to stay true to the movie. Then I would jog repeatedly across America instead of having a cigarette afterwards.

Corby said...

Happy Birthday!!!

Love the song :-)


Nina said...

Happy birthday to you, MOM!!!!!!!! I hope everyone on my Mom' blog share with her today. All the best for you Mom....;) Love u xxxxxxxxx0

dianne said...

Lol Foamie my dearest, are you practicing for our 'mumming' session when we go and annoy Puggles. :)
Thank you so much for your wishes, I was trying to keep it a secret then my darling son 'let the cat out of the bag' as they say.
I've had a lovely day, saw my family so that's great. ♥ :) xoxoxo

dianne said...

Thank you so much for your wishes dear Jeannie , very sweet of you, gosh another year has flown by,another year older, they sure go quickly.♥ :) xoxoxo

dianne said...

Puggles my love how did Forrest Gump come into this conversation?
If you are going to make love to me I guess I can cope with a single bed and sparse surroundings because I would be there for you, not the decor but you had better be worth it, no pressure.
I guess you can call me Jenny if that makes you happy, its a pretty name, but I dont look like Robyn Wright Penn, I look like me.
I hope you wont be having a cigarette or jogging across America after you have loved me, aren't you supposed to stay with me and cuddle me and I will sing you a love song? I like being cuddled.♥ :) xoxoo

dianne said...

Corby , thank you for your wishes that is very sweet of you.
So pleased you liked the song, I am streaming "Sleepsong" now while I type, it is such a beautiful song. I have found a few other 'Secret Garden' songs that I like too. ♥ :) xoxoxo

dianne said...

Oh Nina my darling girl,you are so sweet, thank you for my birthday wishes...I had a lovely you can see many of my blog friends have stopped by, that's nice.
Mom loves you too. ♥ :) xoxox

foam said...

i dare say that if i go ululating under the pugs window he might succumb to spastic convulsions ..
and not cause he's making /err/ love to you ..
it's cause my singing is so awful.
you're lucky you couldn't hear me.
but i'm glad you had a great day. you should continue partying .. it's only 7 a.m. on the 4th of nov. here in the usa .. and our election day .. finally ..

dianne said...

Foamie my dear,Lol, you crack me up.
He probably thinks ululating is some new kind of wild 'love call or ritual',or something I would scream out in the throes of passion ;)and he would be running for the hills with us both 'ululating', 'mumming' and 'mumbling'at him, (I really like 'm' words, they are so mammalian)especially if I told him that when he had finished with me he had to satisfy you too.I'm a bad girl. :)

The Mess said...

Oooo.. Happy Birthday Dianne :)

dianne said...

Thank you for your wishes M my dear.♥