A Candle in the Dust...
This a blog about a bloke called Damh the Bard.
First, a glossary...
Damh: (pronounced "darv") is an old British word for Stag.
Bard: a singer, storyteller / playwright, wordsmith. It has also come to mean someone who has made a commitment to Druidry.
Druidry: hanging about outside.
Damh was given the name David by his parents and still answers to Dave.
I think I'm right in saying that Damh is like a stage name with a bit more oomph - it has special meaning to Dave and reminds him of a particular commitment /relationship / way of being, like the title "Reverend" reminds a vicar that he represents more than just his own interests.
I first met Damh at a camp near the Welsh border. We drank, ate cake, sang songs and laughed well into the wee hours and kind of knew we'd like to see each other again. Since then, every year for a dozen or so years, we've hung about outdoors round fires singing, drinking and eating cake.
Now, to me, Shakespeare is The Bard. If yer going to go calling yourself "the Bard", you ought to have a blooming good reason. Well, it turns out that being a bard, is not only vocational (and you get good, bad and indifferent bards - i.e. Joe the Plumber) it's about a certain philosophical standpoint.
Damh doesn't just write love songs (though he does) he doesn't just entertain (though he does) Damh's songs invite, giving the listener permission to use the imagination - that's a rare gift amongst a people to whom logic, functionality and reason are touted as the only tools in town worth trusting.
During the time I've known him, Damh has consistently worked really hard, recording nine albums and performing his songs all over the world to audiences who love both his music and his cheeky, blokey personality.
An evening with Damh is a bit like a night down the pub with one of your mates - that mate is Bottom from a Midsummer Night's Dream, only he remembers everything and just had to write a few songs about it.
He's certainly a man between worlds - he works two days a week in an office doing admin. That office happens to be the HQ for the world's most popular correspondence course in Druidry.
He has just spent a year in the world of Britain's oldest written mythology - The Mabinogion - a collection of tales from that portion of our land the English call strange (Wales means strangers in Old English). Born in Cornwall, Dave is no stranger to the weird and wonderful world of the Celt.
His latest offering is an easy invitation to come and make friends of the myths that have shaped our lives for thousands of years.
Y Mabinogi - The First Branch is ubiquitously available online.
Damh's website is www.paganmusic.co.uk