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 "The Island"

 A collection of Brendan's folkish, myth-telling, and silly songs from pagan bardic circles over the last  twenty years.

  Available on Compact Disk, or (soon!) MP3 download.

  $12 (Canadian) for a "hardcopy" compact disk.

 

 

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 "Standing Stone and Garden Gate Podshow - Season One"

 The first eight episodes, plus bonus tracks!

  $7 Canadian for a "hardcopy" compact disk.

 Or, listen online at stonegatepodshow.net.

 

 

Purchase online via "PayPal" and please make sure to tell us where to mail it. Or contact us with that info. Don't forget to tell us your name!

Or, to enquire about payment via cheque or money order, write to Brendan at bmyers33(at)live.ca

Pricies include cost of shipping.

 

 

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Liner Notes for "The Island"

1. Diaspora.

My partner Juniper wrote this poem as a way of expressing what it is like for her to practice a spiritual tradition in a land far from where that tradition originated. We have used this as our signature opening theme in our podcast, "Standing Stone and Garden Gate".

2. The Host of the Air.

The lyrics here are from a poem by William Butler Yeats. I think this may be the very first song I performed at a pagan bardic competition. The even was called "Silver Wheel Fest", and lasted only two years, but it was where I met many people who eventually turned out to be formative influences in my life.

3. Lady MacBeth

The first time I performed at the Bardic competition of Kaleidoscope Gathering, this was the song I performed (and it won that year). A complex song that tries to tell the story of Shakespeare's Macbeth from the lady's point of view.

4. Lands for Life

When Mike Harris was premier of Ontario, he attempted to enact a parks management policy called "Lands for Life". This policy would have set the amount of parkland in Ontario to a fixed permanent limit, such that no new park could be created without de-listing an existing park of the same size; the policy would also have allowed logging and mining in conservation areas. I wrote this song shortly after attending a protest against this legislation. But in many ways, the song remains timely and applicable to any civil resistance movement against environmental destruction.

5. Lord Shiva

For a few years I was curious about this enigmatic Hindu god, and what he might have to say to an obviously non-Hindu person like myself. I had also just had a strange dream which at the time I interpreted as a past life memory, so the lyrics here attempt to reflect the infinity of that experience, in both its joyousness, and its weariness!

6. Not to Touch the Earth

No, this is not a cover of a song by The Doors; in fact when I wrote this one, I didn't know about the Doors song by the same name. Rather, this one is about the Irish story of Oisin, invited to the otherworld by a goddess named Niamh, who grew homesick for his friends and family but tragically discovered he could never go home again. This song is a WiccanFest bardic competition winner.

7. Six Inches

A happy-go-lucky little nonsense song, composed after one of my first pagan teachers sent me back to my tent and told me not to emerge again until I had written a new song. A few beers later, I made the mistake of letting my friends name the song: and they decided it should be called Six Inches because that's about the size of it.

8. The Island

A song about curiosity, wonder, and hope.

9. The Storm Is Almost Over

Dedicated to a certain someone who I love very much.

10. The Stone Canoe

There is an old legend from the pioneer times in Canada of a band of french Voyageurs who travelled a little too far from home one year, and soon found they would not be able to get back to Montreal before the winter froze all the rivers solid. Apparently the devil appeared to them and made them a deal: he would levitate them home in a stone canoe, that very night, so long as none of them made a sound.

11. Two Brothers

Wiccans sometimes describe the turning of the seasons as a kind of hand-off between two kings: a holly king, who rules half of the year, and an oak king, who rules the other half.  This song narrates how each king takes over from the other, and the wheel of the year keeps turning.

12. What I Know

I have to admit, I was reluctant to record this song. I've never performed it the same way twice. Every time I sing it, I make it up as I go along. So I was worried about whether recording it would deaden the spontaneity. There are a few themes that I hit upon each time, such as the notion of a community of people gathering at a sacred place for a festival, but otherwise I don't know what the words are until I sing them. So this is but one possible version of this song, and there are many more -- one version for each occasion that I sing it.

Many, many sincere and heartfelt thanks to:

Jason Sonier, for providing his studio equipment and his technical services

Brad McDonald, for providing guitars,

Dan "The Bold" Lamarche, and Austin Lawrence, and Juniper, and many others, for gently lighting a fire under my feet to make this happen.

The many people who attended the Bardic competitions and performances at WiccanFest, and Kaleidoscope Gathering, and other Ontario pagan festivals, who have enjoyed my music over the years.