an Fili Draighean

Inspired by my first impressions of Belfast. Poetic images alongside the visual, which do diverge, captured during my visit. The narrative of the visual acts as an undercurrent to the audio. Experimental Visio-Lingo Poetry. Just coined that term now. So I did.

Ever heard a song that makes you feel like you're on top of a mountain wielding a Claymore? I first heard this song 15 years ago and knew that I must learn it. Although homesickness is a key theme in this song, for me it's all about swords. Sin é.

A look at travelling by foot in the time of the Normans on the tracks of our ancestors. Educational piece for schools.

A good traditional arrangement for this time of year - the approach of Samhain. Like many folk songs, it bares enough imagery to satisfy a beautiful lament for the ancestors and here I have replaced young Dennis and John with Declan and Sean. No doubt they were child fatalities or boys gone to war. A song for the untimely departed too. Blessed be.

Educational piece about back when everyone was an artist. Not just me.

Around the time of Cuchullain, the Ollamh of Ulster dies. Meanwhile, his son studying in Scotland learns about his father's death from the sound of the waves and decides that he is ready to replace his father and must return to Emhain Macha at once. He first meets Bricrew and is tricked into taking an already filled seat by a more than suitable candidate. Bricrew goes to tell the new Ollamh he is usurped by some young upstart. Furious, the Ollamh goes to the Royal Hall to confront the youngster, but upon seeing him decides to approach him with civility and so begins a song into which the young Ollamh must follow protocol.

Another part of the educational project centered on tribal warfare and cattle raids during the Iron Age.

Always said to be Ireland's oldest poem in terms of literature - it is clearly a song whose tune is perhaps lost forever, until such a time it can be fully restored. This may be a vain attempt on my part, but I have not come across anyone singing it on the web. Back to the time when singing could halt a war, as it is said Amerghin achieved when a mighty Druid war was being waged between the Tuatha De Dannann and the Sons of Mil to make the weather wild enough to prevent the Milesians from making landfall.

Narration from the druid about some ancient sacred days. Part of the schools education project for active learning workshops.

In ancient times, people sang more. To each other. Life was a musical! Well, maybe not to go that far, but life was more lyrical. A bard arrives and people want to learn the new song, especially if it had useful or exciting information contained within. Here's what to do when preparing next years hearth. When to cut a tree for firewood and how they burn.


Created 7 months ago.

10 videos


Song archeology and bardic notions from the past to the present. Some ancient poetry is included and educational videos made in Craggaunowen, Co. Clare for school projects.