Blessed Samhain

‘I am the Shadow Who Calls to Your Soul’

Samhain is a Gaelic festival which commemorates the end of the harvest season and the beginning of the darker half of the year.  Traditionally, it is celebrated from 31st October at sundown to 1st November at sundown because, when people still went by perceived rather than machine time, sunset marked the beginning of the day.

Damh the Bard: Samhain Eve

Close the door, keep out the storm
Far away, far away
Keep the need-fires burning til dawn
Oh, leave my soul

For the cold will come this night
From far away, far away
Frost will fall, and ice will bite
Oh, leave my soul


Oh, leave my soul
Please, pass me by when the evening falls
Oh blessed are we
The Hunter of Souls we shall see
On Samhain Eve


I can hear the Hunter’s hounds
Far away, far away
I will cast the Circle round
Oh, leave my soul

Raven-witch, I feel your breath
Far away, far away
Bringing with you Summer’s death
Oh, leave my soul


Oh, leave my soul
Please, pass me by when the evening falls
Oh blessed are we
The Hunter of Souls we shall see
On Samhain Eve


Sunrise, the tolling bell
Far away, far away
Breaks the Raven-witch’s spell
Oh, blessed are we

The leaves of the Oaken King
Fade away, fade away
Feed the seeds that will come in the Spring
Oh, blessed are we


Oh, blessed are we
Summer will come with the May on the tree
Oh, hail to the Queen,
And under the Sun we shall sing
To call in the Spring


Can you hear me calling you?
Can you hear me calling you?

Can you hear me calling you,
Calling your name in the dark?
I am the Shadow Who Calls to Your Soul.

MUSIC: The Hills They Are Hollow

Good mandolin tune

The girls love this one, and while I suspect Damh the Bard played a bouzouki on this tune a mandolin works very well also.

One friend I used to play music with would ask:  “What gear ya got er in?”

It’s in the key of D.


The Hills They Are Hollow Lyrics

As I walk upon this green land,
This land that love,
I see figures of chalk,
Carved into the hillsides above.
Cerne Abbas a man so proud,
And the Long Man opens wide the gates of his world,
And invites you to step inside.

And the hills they are hollow and home to the Fey,
Who dance on Midsummer’s Eve,
Some people don’t understand when I say,
These are the things I believe.
These are the tings I believe.

There is an old circle of stones,
That stands on the moor,
Every moss-covered face,
Tells the secrets of ancient lore.
The Tors stand as guardians,
Witnesses to the Rites of Nature’s Gods,
Of Darkness and of Light.

Let’s sing of the mystery,
Of Sacred Land,
See the shapes in the corn,
Made by invisible hands,
Secrets of the Pagan Ways,
Lie all around,
Written upon the Earth,
In rock and Sacred Mound!

MUSIC: Ceridwen and Taliesin

This is a favorite dancing song of the three daughters.

By Damh The Bard.

Silver moonlight dances,
From the mist of Tegid’s shore,
A lady looks upon her son,
Like many times before,
A she touches his face,
Fingers wet with the tears falling.
Her daughter stands beside her,
The fairest in the land,
How her son became so cursed,
She cannot understand.
But this mother’s love is a strong,
As her heart is beating,
And she calls to the Earth,
And the Earth hears her calling.

High up in the mountains,
Dinas Afferaon stands tall,
All magic and all mysteries,
Are held within these walls,
So she walks to the door,
As she does the door it opens,
Teach to me the mystery,
Of the Cauldron’s Brew,
Let Utter Darkness give way to light,
And be reborn anew,
Then the Awen will shine,
From the brow of the Eagle of the Sea,
And all will know his name,
From this land to the People of the Sidhe.

The lady sets the cauldron’s fire,
Tended by the hand,
Of Gwion Bach the innocent,
And Morda the blind man,
Who reached out his hand,
Place more wood,
Keep the cauldron boiling.
Then Morda he fell asleep,
Alas he din’t see,
Wood upon wood was added,
The inferno was the key,
To unlock the doors,
Of the Awen’s greatest mystery,
Three drops, burning skin,
And it’s Gwion who gained the power to see.

The cauldron cracks, the poison creeps,
Slowly across the land,
To kill the horses of Garanhir,
by the lakeshore where they stand,
Drinking and not knowing their fate,
As a hare runs fast across the land.
Ceridwen, Ceridwen,
Lady of the Cauldron,
Come see what they have done!
Stolen your Cauldron’s power,
And betrayed your only son!
Eyes wide, lips curl,
Anger on your face!
Change your shape now, Lady!
Be the hound, begin the chase!

I shall be a running hare,
With sorrow and with mickle care,
Then I shall be a greyhound bitch,
And tear you from your skin!
Then I shall be a flying wren,
The King of Birds, the King of Men,
Then I shall be a falcon grey,
And tear you from your skin!
Then I shall be a salmon sleek,
Darting through a shallow creek,
Then I shall be an otter bitch,
And rest you from your skin!
I shall be a grain beneath the sun,
And you will never know which one,
Then I shall be a great black hen,
And take you deep within!

Now you may be forgiven to think,
My tale is over and down,
But nine moons later,
She gave birth to a son,
That she wanted to kill,
But she placed in a coracle on the sea.
Garanhir’s salmon weir,
A catch was guaranteed,
But on this day a baby boy,
Cried out to be freed,
A radiant brow,
Shining bright for all to plainly see.
Taliesin is your name,
The greatest Bard that this land will ever see!

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