The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #4257   Message #271787
Posted By: GUEST,Eric
05-Aug-00 - 02:09 AM
Thread Name: Origin: Shenandoah
Subject: RE: Song info:
I was reading "Journey of the Bard" by Yvonne Owens today and remembered this thread. She included this quote from "Celtic Heritage: Ancient Tradition in Ireland and Wales." "...the secret well brings to mind the Mysterious Well of Segais, or Connla's Well, which nobody durst visit except Nechtan and his three cup bearers. Like Mirimir's Well at the root of he Scandinavian World Tree, this well was the source of inspirattion and knowledge. Over it grew the nine hazels of wisdom, "out of which were obtained the feats of the sages." The hazel nut dropped into the well and caused bubbles of mystic inspiration to form on the streams that issued from it. Alternatively, the nuts were eaten by salmon in the well, or they passed into the River Boyne. Those designated to partake of the nuts or of the salmon obtained the gifts of the seer and the poet. The location of the well is variously described. It is the source of the Boyne, the source of the Shannon, the source of the seven chief rivers of Ireland, and it has its counterpart in the Land of Promise where the rivers that flow from it are the five senses." I'll take a stab an an explanation although I am not fully qualified to do so; and it might be far fetched. Shenandoah might have originally been Shannon's Door. The Shannon is a river in Ireland. We know that the ancient bards of northern Europe, the spiritual leaders, the artists, the poets, used symbology in their mythology and mysticism. The song was written by a bard on his journey west. I say a bard because the song is obviously an exceptional song and was written by an exceptional person. He or she was of Irish desent and is lonesome for his/her home, literally, and also lonesome for the symbolic place of wisdom and knowledge and inspiration of the bard. Cross culturally, in mythologies, entering this place of knowlege and wisdom is done so through a portal or a door: Shannon's Door. In these mythologies, the west is associated with water and renewal(the realm of Murias). This bard longs for his/her homeland but is on the Missouri River, which is also a symbolic place to gain wisdom and knowledge and inspiration. And the result of his bard work, on that day, is the song that we know of today as Shenandoah. The River Shannon would be the mother(or father), and the Missouri would be the daughter. The song has been handed down to us, as a part of our heritage, through the aural tradition. The aural tradition was the method of the bards. "Rolling ruin" was mentioned in one of the veresions of the song. Runes were the symbolic alphabet that the bards, and others, used for mystical purposes. Eric