Samurai Dave: The Roving Ronin Report

Rambling Narrative of Travels, Thoughts, and Embellishments

Battle of Hastings Videos

Here are three videos I made of the Battle of Hastings re-enactment of 2006.

The first one is set to the theme of the movie Excalibur – O Fortuna:

The Battle of Hastings 

The Death of the Minstrel Taillefer 

The second video is a little bit of medieval humor with an incident from the Battle of Hastings. Before the battle began, a Norman minstrel, Taillefer, attacked the English in a mad attempt to gain glory. This is his story.

The Fall of King Harold Godwinson

The third video has a Roving Ronin Report intro and is a ballad of the Battle. The song is from the Secret Commonwealth, a celtic folk-rock band from Murfreesboro, Tennessee. It’s a period piece not necessarily on the battle but around the time period. The theme of a woman mourning her husband’s loss though is eternal.

December 11, 2007 Posted by | 1066, Anglo-Saxons, Battle of Hastings, Blogroll, Celtic, celtic music, costumes, England, Harold Godwinson, history, humor, medieval, Middle Ages, murfreesboro, Normans, secret commonwealth, tragedy, travel, UK, video, vikings, William the Conqueror, youtube | 5 Comments

St. Paddy’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day Represents Celtic Survival
Despite oppression and defeat Celtic culture is still strong

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They’ll be a-murdin’ Danny Boy in the pubs tonight…

Ah, the Irish and the Irish-blooded will be drinking their Guinesses, and Kilkennies and whiskeys deep this night as they sing songs of a battles lost, heroes martyred, whiskey plundered, potatoes ungrown, and women’s hearts stolen. Nothing becomes an Irishman more than defeat and hardship. The Irish (and to a degree the Scots and Welsh) remember more the battles they lost than the victors do who won them. this proud tradition carries on in the Scots and Irish descendants in Southern America where old swords still hang above fireplaces and a long ago lost war is vividly remembered .

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Very few cultures have suffered so many defeats militarily, culturally, and religiously (except for the Jews and the Palestinians) like the Celts. Once they spread across much of Europe. They raided into Greece and even sacked Rome but in the end Rome conquerored much of Celtic lands save for Ireland and northern Scotland. Still under Roman sway, Briton kept many of its Celtic ways. King Arthur was the last of the great Celtic heroes before Britain sank beneath an Anglo-Saxon flood. His legend is still fresh and vibrant to this day.

In faerie-haunted Ireland, the Celtic ways continued with some Christian mixing brought by St. Padriac – Patrick. Some centuries later came the sea-roving plunderers, the Vikings. They made quite a mess of things. 1014 King Brian Boru fought a great battle with the Vikings – and naturally some enemy Irish – and in true Irish fashion got killed in the victory. Later the Normans from England came and mucked things up a bit but eventually they got absorbed into the local culture.

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Then after more English meddling came Oliver Cromwell, an all round bastard on both isles. By the 18th century all things Celtic from bagpipes to Scottish tartans to mustaches were forbidden by the English. In effect to be distinctively Celtic was a crime. The bastions of Celtic culture were cleared out like the Scottish Highlands while others fleeing famine, the law, debts came to the Americas to make a new go of things.

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No that in America they had an easy go of it either. “No Irish need apply” signs were up everywhere. In the South rich Anglo-southern plantation owners would hire an Irishman for a bottle of whiskey a day to do dangerous work they couldn’t afford expensive slaves to do.

With all these things stack against them its a wonder that one talks of Irish, Scots, and Welsh. But true to the Celtic spirit of being too strong to go down and too stupid to know when to quit, they have survived. If anything their defeats and hardships have gone on to ensure they would never be forgotten by themselves or anyone.

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Tonight I’ll a drink a Guinness to my Celtic forebears of Scottish and Welsh extraction and think about my saintly red-haired red-blooded Irish grandmother who sadly passed away before I was old enough to know her.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

May ye be a half-hour in Heaven
Before the Devil knows your dead!

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March 18, 2007 Posted by | Celtic, Guinness, Ireland, Irish, japan, life, Pub, St. Patrick's Day, tokyo, travel | 1 Comment