Samhain - Banking the Fire

by Julia Lane & Fred Gosbee

Released October 2017
Released October 2017
Songs and poetry that explore the Celtic New Year, also known as Samhain or Halloween.
  • 03:50 Open the Door
  • 04:23 Story Lyrics Cailleach Song

    When the year is getting older and the sun begins to pale,

    On the last day of October Cailleach will lift the veil.

    Then the ghosts of our ancestors; spirits that have gone before;

    Sometimes call across the chasm see us through the opening door

    Samhain fires light up the night;

    Help us keep the dark away

    Cailleach's eyes are burning bright

    Brighter than the bonfire's flame

    Now's the time to ask your questions,

    Find out what the future holds.

    While the spirits walk among us

    Many things might be foretold

    Will this be the year I marry?

    What might be my husband's name?

    Many are the divinations

    In the guise of Samhain games


    Soulcake may appeas the spirits

    And the shadows of the dead

    But your mask cannot protect you

    From a truth you've come to dread

    Cailleach just holds the mirror

    Shows things you don't want to know

    What you see you have brought with you.

    Only you can let it go


    Welcome now the gift of darkness

    As the failing sun goes down

    In the quiet nights of winter

    There is wisdom to be found

    Cailleach has stirred the cauldron;

    Cailleach is old and wise

    Listen for her endlaess ballad

    Underneath the winter skies.



  • 02:12 Story Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
  • 03:30 Story Soulin'
  • 03:27 Story Lyrics The Wife at Usher's Well

    There was a knight and a lady bright

    Three little babes had she

    She sent them away to the north country

    For to learn there grammerie


    They hadn't been gone but a very short time

    'Bout three months and a day

    When Death, cruel Death, came riding along

    And he carried those babes away


    And when she heard her babes were dead

    She did mourn, she did weep

    'Till they cam to her one dark midnight

    Saying,"Mother we cannot sleep."


    She set the table. She gave them wine,

    Gave them bread, and gave them meat

    But they were not able to touch a bite.

    "We are dead: we cannot eat."


    "Mother, oh mother, we cannot stay.

    We must go e're break of dawn.

    Your weeping keeps us from our rest

    In our graves where we belong."



  • 03:36 Story All Soul's Night
  • 02:26 Story Lament for Owen Roe
  • 03:28 Story Ettrick
  • 04:00 The Crow in the Sun
  • 03:58 Story The Raven in the Apple Tree
  • 03:33 Story Waiting for the Snow
  • 02:36 A Cold Frosty Morning
  • 03:08 Story Who Knows Where the Time Goes
  • 04:44 Story Turning Towards the Morning
  • 03:34 Story October Winds
  • 04:34 Story Blessing/Going Home
The Celtic New Year, or Samhain (sah-when), is a celebration that occurs midway between the autumnal equinox and the winter solstice and reflects the ancient belief that a cycle begins in darkness as the seed falls into the earth for incubation. Hallowe'en or All Hallows Eve began at dusk the night before.The door to the "otherworld" opens to allow the spirits to visit the living and providing the opportunity to see both past and future. More than a celebration of the fruits of physical labor, it was believed we should show appreciation for our ancestors by reaping the harvest of their wisdom and experience to sustain us through the dark time. These songs and poems help confront and resolve our fear of the shadows.

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Concerts in Brief

  • Dec 8
    Little Brown Church,  Round Pond
  • Dec 14
    Washburn-Norlands Living History Center,  Livermore
  • Dec 14
    Phippsburg United Congregational Church,  Phippsburg
  • Jan 8
    Brunswick UU Church,  Brunswick
  • Mar 16
    Lakewood Manor,  Richmond