Friday, March 12, 2010

A Little Musical Interlude, in Keeping with the Season

Not having the luxury of that much free time, it's hard to keep up with a decent posting schedule, but not posting would inevitably lead to dropping this endeavor entirely. In the interests of staying in this game, here's a musical prelude to St. Patrick's Day:

The song Dearg Doom (an unholy mix of Gaelic and English loosely translated as "Red Destroyer") comes from the band's 1973 The Táin album, inspired by the Táin Bo Cuailnge ("Cattle Raid of Cooley"). The annotated Horslips lyrics page has a funny item about the genesis of the song (which is an unholy mash-up of folk epic and Marvel Comics- conflating Cúchulainn with Dr. Doom).

The blazing guitar riff that anchors the song is the traditional O'Neill's Cavalry. The look of the video, the band's outfits, and the subject matter all remind me of Spinal Tap's Stonehenge, I'd love to know if there was a connection. Of special interest is the chainmail "glove" and silver paint on the lead singer's hand, a nod to Nuada of the Silver Hand, king of the Tuatha de Danann, and a cognate of Nodens.

Oddly enough, this song became a number one dance hit in Germany. Who'd a thunk it? The "Jethro Tull-esque" song Trouble with a Capital 'T', from the Book of Invasions album was frequently found on pub jukeboxes in my neck of the woods. King of the Fairies (NO LAUGHING!) is a great instrumental from the Dancehall Sweethearts album.

In 2004, the Decemberists released a pseudo-metal (Art Metal?) album also based (loosely in their case) The Táin.

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