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Outlander: Dance of the Druids

Leggi in italiano

Dance of the Druids (aka The Summoning) is a song composed  by Bear McCreary on a Gaelic prayer transcribed by Alexander Carmichael in his “Carmina Gadelica” (1900) entitled “Duan na Muthairne” ( Rune of the Muthairn).

An ancient song still known at South Uist in 1874, the witness Duncan MacLellan had heard from an old woman that repeated long chants night after night by the fire (then came the television!) Probably the old lady preferred the prayer in the Gaelic of his fathers instead of the Our Father of the Catholic Church!
Apparently a prayer to the Creator but  if in place of Rìgh na = “King of” we put a Rìghinn na = “Queen of” we get the description of the Milky Way
Raya Yarbrough  in Outlander: Season 1, Vol. 1 (Original Television Soundtrack) – only the first stanza


Thou King of the moon (1),
Thou King of the sun,
Thou King of the planets (2),
Thou King of the stars,
Thou King of the globe,
Thou King of the sky (3),
Oh! Lovely Thy countenance,
Thou beauteous Beam (4).
Two loops of silk
Down by thy limbs,
Smooth-skinned (5);
Yellow jeweIs
And a handful
Out of every stock of them (6).
A Righ na gile (1)
A Righ na greine,
A Righ na rinne (2),
A Righ na reula,
A Righ na cruinne,
A Righ na speura (3),
Is aluinn do ghnuis,
A lub (4) eibhinn.
Da lub shioda
Shios rid’ leasraich
Mhinich, chraicich;
Usgannan buidhe
Agus dolach
As gach sath dhiubh

Carmichael allowed himself rather a lot of freedom in his translations, so Tom Thomson (gaelic speaking) argues
1) “na gile” (of the whiteness)
2) I can’t see how “na rinne” (singular) can mean “of the planets” (plural) – it’s clearly singular and means either “of the world” or perhaps “of creation” or even “of the universe”
3) “na speura” (of heaven)
4) A lùb=”young man”
5) a silky skin, soft and luminous
6) Celts liked the golden jewellery


The novel is a romantic love story between Claire Randall and James Fraser aka James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser Lord of Broch Tuarach and their vicissitudes along Europe and the Americas. A portrait of Scotland in the mid-700 century torn by the Jacobite struggles and clan conflicts, carefully recreated by Diana Gabaldon, through the traditions and life of the Scottish people, in a rich and evocative style.


A story beginning  “over the top”, with a journey through time of the protagonist who, during her honeymoon in Inverness, finds herself projected into the past by crossing throug Craigh na Dun: from 1945 in 1743.
The theme of the Dance of the Druids renamed “Stones Theme” is often recalled in the Outlander television series linked to the mystery of the stone circle and to the rituals in the ancient religion.

second part


Pubblicato da Cattia Salto

Amministratore e folklorista di Terre Celtiche Blog

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