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Goban Saor

GUEST,Degsy 21 May 02 - 10:21 AM
McGrath of Harlow 21 May 02 - 10:27 AM
GUEST 21 May 02 - 10:36 AM
GUEST,MAG at work 21 May 02 - 12:15 PM
GUEST,Declan 21 May 02 - 12:37 PM
GUEST,Bill Kennedy 21 May 02 - 12:48 PM
GUEST,Bill Kennedy 21 May 02 - 12:54 PM
Emma B 21 May 02 - 01:30 PM
Seamus Kennedy 21 May 02 - 01:45 PM
GUEST,fl stearns 22 Sep 10 - 01:54 PM
GUEST,an goban saor 18 Aug 11 - 03:04 PM
MartinRyan 18 Aug 11 - 04:02 PM
JohnInKansas 18 Aug 11 - 07:33 AM
GUEST,An Gobán Saor 06 Sep 15 - 08:29 AM
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Subject: Goban Saor
From: GUEST,Degsy
Date: 21 May 02 - 10:21 AM

I was reading a thread on Raglan Road. I came across it looking for something else (a luke kelly song) and I could not find any reference to the query in the original message "What does he mean by 'secret sign' that is known to artists who have known the true gods of sound and stone ?".

I always assumed he was referring to the Goban Saor. I was told by an uncle, who used to work in London in the 70s with stone masons from Northern Ireland (real stone masons that is)that the older masons used to have their own secret language that was passed along from mason to mason and they called it the goban saor. I know that the Goban Saor is a mythical stone mason of Irish/Celtic origin. Goban Saor means free mason so you can read whatever you like into that.

Incidentally, the Goban Saor is also a name given to the place in the Littleton bog in County Tipperary where the Derrynaflan Hoard was found. This is supposedly the burial site of the Goban Saor.

This language explanation might be rubbish but has anyone else heard of it.


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Subject: RE: Goban Saor
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 May 02 - 10:27 AM

Here's a link to a page about an Irish language film about this kind of thing.


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Subject: RE: Goban Saor
From: GUEST
Date: 21 May 02 - 10:36 AM

The film is something of a misnomer, considering what the orginal poster asked for. The film isn't really concerned with the legend of the stone mason. Rather, it is a morality play to do with the dowry system of marriage imposed on the Irish in post-Famine times.

The film is interesting, as it is penned by Ireland's best Irish language poet herself. But "Bogwoman" is a much better film.


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Subject: RE: Goban Saor
From: GUEST,MAG at work
Date: 21 May 02 - 12:15 PM

It sounds like the movie recaps the best known tale about the goban saor (gobbern seer) --


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Subject: RE: Goban Saor
From: GUEST,Declan
Date: 21 May 02 - 12:37 PM

Unless I'm very much mistaken, the translation of Goban Saor as free mason is incorrect.

While the word Saor means free in Irish it also translates as mason - I think the correct spelling for mason is Saoir rather tha Saor, but I'm not sure of this - maybe an incorrect interpretation of this, or a play on words is where the freemasons got their name. I have no idea what the translation of Goban is.

There are many stories in the Irish language in which there is a character called the Goban Saoir who is usually engaged in conversation with his son.


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Subject: RE: Goban Saor
From: GUEST,Bill Kennedy
Date: 21 May 02 - 12:48 PM

better translated as 'Jack-of-all-trades', not necessarily a mason, who would be a 'saor cloiche'; a free mason is taken from the English into Irish, 'máisiún';


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Subject: RE: Goban Saor
From: GUEST,Bill Kennedy
Date: 21 May 02 - 12:54 PM

should have explained further, perhaps, - 'saor' meaning in this case craftsman, a noun, not an adjective, and 'cloiche' the genitive, from 'cloch', stone, so a craftsman in or of stone.

Gobán - jack of all trades,

Gobán Saor - the name of a legendary craftsman, like our

John Henry, maybe, but not related to anyone in history, literally 'the Jack of all trades craftsman'


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Subject: RE: Goban Saor
From: Emma B
Date: 21 May 02 - 01:30 PM

Goban - a craftsman of genius, in Irish foklore the reputed builder of the round towers Soar - a 'composite' word formed from a prefix of possibility/feasibility with nouns etc. meaning :- free An goban soar - a very clever person (fig) Definitions from Dinneens (sorry about fadas Lack of)


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Subject: RE: Goban Saor
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 21 May 02 - 01:45 PM

Micheál Mac Liammóir used to do a piece on the Gobán Saor - I believe he has recorded it - in which, if my memory is not playing tricks, the Gobán Saor was a kind of bogeyman who would come in the night and frighten little kids.

As for translation:

A roving-jack of many a trade,
Of every trade, of all trades,
And if you wish to know my name,
They call me Jack Of All Trades.

All the best.

Seamus


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Subject: RE: Goban Saor
From: GUEST,fl stearns
Date: 22 Sep 10 - 01:54 PM

Yeats has him bowlegged in The Grey Rock in his 'Responsibilities' and a maker of metal cups.


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Subject: RE: Goban Saor
From: GUEST,an goban saor
Date: 18 Aug 11 - 03:04 PM

bearlager na saor is the name of the stonemasons language. It was spoken widely in Cork among the stonies. A recently made dvd called set in stone covers it in detail.


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Subject: RE: Goban Saor
From: MartinRyan
Date: 18 Aug 11 - 04:02 PM

Oddly enough, for several years, I presented an Irish language radio programme under the title An Gobán Saor - mostly mining my own CD collection at the time IIRC.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Goban Saor
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 18 Aug 11 - 07:33 AM

Refresh


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Subject: RE: Goban Saor
From: GUEST,An Gobán Saor
Date: 06 Sep 15 - 08:29 AM

Saor Means free, originally "Goibniu the Dé Danann smith". The Gobbán Sáor is known as a builder and architect, rather than, specifically, as a smith. In popular folklore he becomes known as St Gobban the builder.


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