THE OLD STANDING STONES – FIRST VERSE

THE OLD STANDING STONES (Both Versions)

Last week I sat down and wrote a song that I had originally intended for my Bard (his name is Larmageon and he is Welsh) to sing in one of my novels, the Basilegate. As a sort of a lament, and a dirge. It was supposed to be a rather dark song about a myth of a submerged city off the coast of Ireland that rises every so often at midnight on Samhain and the city is populated by ancient dead warriors. It was a symbolic dirge of a supposedly lost song that the Bard then used to analogously lament what had happened to his friends. That is the first version of the song/poem you see below.

Thereafter I looked at the song and said to myself, “This really is close to an Irish/Welsh real myth and I should rewrite this song as a real world song or poem.” So I did using real Irish/Celt/Welsh place and symbolic names. That version, the second version, came out to be much brighter and more upbeat, but the tempo is changed slightly. By the way after the less well known Gaelic names or terms I included, in parentheses, the more original pronunciations, and their meanings.
I like both versions but the first is a far more generalized version written for an English audience and specifically for my book. The second version is really more of a throwback Irish mythological song.

So that being said, which do you like best?

Or do you think I should keep and use, perhaps for different purposes, both versions? Or does one version strike you as good and the other bad? Let me know what you think and anyone is welcome to comment.
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THE OLD STANDING STONES (version 1)

The old standing stones
Where the ghosts all still roam
Below the Seas of Sarsa
Submerged neath the Mere
They all still come here
To haunt the tides of Current
The walls in the waves
The moon long enslaved
Both shine so like the Danaan
The People long passed
The present now past
Upon the Road of Waters
Formorian chants
Who sings of the chance
That tombs are remade Towers?
The barrows below
The streams that bestowed
The last Great Ship of Showern
To the old standing stones
Still guarding the road
Beneath the flood of Faran

Oh can you still hear
The chants and the cheers
When Chulainn took the Island?
And do you still dance
Or sing the Romance
Of the last men still left standing?

Submerged neath the waves
Deep waters their graves
The Green-men go a’feasting
The blue in their blood
The tides and the flood
Their numbers all decreasing
The stars brightly gleam
The moon often seen
To kiss the Ring of Rona
Yet still can you hear
If the night is all clear
The Lost Hope of Ilona
So tell me of old
Of the place far below
Of the dark halls deeply downing
Where the old standing stones
Still guard the last road
To the Hall of Sorrow’s Drowning…

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THE OLD STANDING STONES (version 2)

The old standing stones
Where the ghosts all still roam
Below the Seas of Saorla (Say-la – the noble queen)
Submerged neath the Mere
They all still come here
To haunt the tides of Cara (meaning, the friend)
The walls in the waves
The moon long enslaved
Both shine so like the Danaan

The People long past
The present now passed
Upon the Road of Una (Oo-nah, or Wony, meaning unity, or lamb)
Formorian chants
Who sings of the chance
That the tombs are to be Towers?

The barrows below
The streams that bestowed
The last Great Ship of Tara (tower, or crag)
To the old standing stones
Still guarding the road
Beneath the flood of Fallan (grandchild, or grandchild of the chieftain)

Oh can you still hear
The chants and the cheers
When Chulainn took the Island?
And do you still dance
Or sing the Romance
Of the last men still left standing?

Submerged neath the seas
Their limbs now at ease
The Gweneth men go feasting (Gweneth – fair or river men)
The blue in their blood
The tides and the flood
Their hall a loudly singing
The stars brightly gleam
The moon often seen
To kiss the Ring of Roise (roh-suh – a rose)
Yet still can you hear
If the night is all clear
The Last Hope of Isleena (Ish-leena – vision, the foretelling)
So tell me of old
Of the place far below
Of the dark halls deeply moaning
Where the old standing stones
Still abide all alone
In the Hall of Sorrow’s Gloaming…

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THE REUNION AND THE REGULATOR

Had a great time today at the Adair family reunion. Learned a lot of historical family information about my ancestors who had fought in the Revolution, the Civil War, and the pre-immigration eras in Ireland and Scotland.

Heard a very interesting recounting of a tale about a pre-Revolutionary Frontier’s Fort one of my ancestors fought at that Indians and white men dressed as Indians tried to ambush to start an uprising. Unfortunately for the attackers the Fort was hosting a fully armed militia garrison that one of my ancestors was serving in. So the attempted ambush turned into a trap for them.

Learned some about the name variations (Adare/Adair) and their exact ancient meanings, and the various counties in Ireland where the family had arisen.

I did not know this until today but I had already invented an Alexander Adair as a Scots-Irish for the main character, who is based upon my great-grandfather John Augustus Adair. However there really was an Alexander Adair. Though at that period of time he might have been Alexander Adare. Also my family immigrated in through the port of Charles Towne (Charleston) and I had long suspected that but today I heard it definitely verified.

A lot of this material will make superb background for my pre-Revolutionary era Frontier’s novel, the Regulator.

The event described above, about the attempted uprising and the Fort attack will make a great scene in the novel. I already have a superb scene where the main character discovers a burned out and partially ruined old Spanish fort (an expedition of Spaniards who had come north from Florida into the Upstate of South Carolina, built a very small frontier’s church, but had been driven off and killed by Indians – the only thing that had survived was the church because the Indians had been spooked by it) and has to camp and hole up there one night in order to avoid attack by a gang of criminals he is tracking.

So these kinds of Real World historical events are fuel for the bonfire.

They also made my wife sing at the Reunion. They always make my wife sing.

AILEEN AROON

I rewrote the old song Aileen Aroon (something I will do on occasion) to create my own particular lyrical version. I followed the traditional arrangement (in meter, cadence, and rhythm) up to a point and then modified that arrangement to create this version. The lyrics vary rather widely from the older and more traditional versions.

Experiments like this make me a better poet and songwriter.

AILEEN AROON

When your fair heart
Arose – a Rose
Beauty by youth
Enclosed – reposed
Where our first love did stem
No loss could ever dim
Hopeless would not condemn,
Aileen Aroon

What of your face – your eyes – to I?
Lost in this place – your sighs – to I?
Is it your voice I hear,
Whispers I held so dear
Where is our ancient cheer?
Aileen Aroon

This day is passed
Aileen Aroon
Our secrets at last
Aileen Aroon
Love had her better way
Our hearts so long astray
What now can either say?
Aileen Aroon

I know a valley fair
Aileen Aroon
She once led me there
Aileen Aroon

Deep in that valley’s shade
Long slept my restless maid,
Her heart by love unmade
Aileen Aroon!

Where is the moon?
Aileen Aroon
Does it come soon?
Aileen Aroon

Lost in this fading light
Grows a forever night,
One that is never bright
Aileen Aroon

Oh, what a waiting maid
Heavy the sorrow made
When you to I abade
Aileen Aroon!

Who in their song – so weeps – so sweet?
Whoever’s strong – does seek – is meek
Dear are your charms to me
Deep as the churning sea
Longing in constancy
Aileen Aroon!

Were you never due
Aileen Aroon
The fault lies not with you
Aileen Aroon
I left my only heart unmade
Lost then to my gentle maid
Who now gives any aid –
Aileen Aroon?

Youth must to time – decay – away
Time must to you – this way – give way
Yet still my heart is true
Suffers no loss of you,
When will this night be through?
Aileen Aroon…