Storytellers: The Gift of Gab & The Golden Tongue


Storytellers: The Gift of Gab & The Golden Tongue

From true history to pure Blarney, from Irish Heroes to the Wee Folk, from the Stories Told 'Round the Hearth to the Written Word, from Mouth to Ear,...storytelling has been as important in Irish Tradition as the passing on of music. Continuing this Tradition is vital. Join and Share.

Members: 7
Latest Activity: Jun 13

An Open Invitation

Many of us have fond memories of cold winter nights sitting before a fire and listening to an artistic rendition of a story. Sometime scary, sometimes amusing,...always captivating. Or perhaps it was sitting in a pub during a lull in the music, tossing a few back with your mates, sharing stories. Sometimes true, sometimes exaggerated Blarney,...always enjoyable. Or attending an oration of a well known storyteller with graceful language and impeccable timing. Sometimes full of wit, sometimes with touching emotions,...always interesting and entertaining. Or a great read of a favorite author (W. B. Yeats - Irish; James Joyce - Irish; Eddie Lenihan - Irish; Robert Burns - Scot; John Keats - English; Dylan Thomas - Welsh; etc.) or favorite genre (Fairy Stories [The Good People, The Wee Folk, The Other Crowd]; Folk Tales [Heroes & Villians], Poetry [The Misery & The Sublime]; History [of the Greats and of the lesser known, of Good Times or Bad Times, of families and local regions; etc.). There are collectors of "stories" out there that wish to continue and preserve this time honoured tradition. They, themselves, should be praised and honoured for their efforts.

Come and share with us some of your stories. The only restrictions are: keep it clean!!! Risque and adult is OK as opposed to outright dirty and using foul & offensive language. Be Witty, Be Creative, Be Amusing, Be Emotional. OR start a discussion, give opinions, be supportive & give praise. Have fun!!!

Discussion Forum

Labhraidh Loingseach (pronounced Lowry Lynshoch)

Started by Dulahan. Last reply by Dhomhnaill A. Lopez Sep 24, 2014. 3 Replies

There was once a king in Ireland named Labhraidh Loingseach who had an unfortunate physical condition, in that, he had horse's ears. He managed to keep this a secret by growing his hair long in order…Continue

The devil and Bailliff McGlynn

Started by Kathleen O'Sullivan Billy Teare. Last reply by Dhomhnaill A. Lopez Sep 24, 2014. 1 Reply

We are not great at the whole blogging, tweeting, posting and texting, so you work away the the discussion group. Will this help kick you off ? You may know of a ballad, collected by Sean O'Boyle and…Continue

A Cold Beer In Hell

Started by Harris Tobias Mar 30, 2014. 0 Replies

A Cold Beer In Hell© Harris Tobias 2013There’s a story they tell in KillkennyA story I think you should hearIt involves a local fellow named MurphyA wager, a contest, and beerOne day down at Paddy’s…Continue


Started by Harris Tobias. Last reply by Dulahan Mar 24, 2014. 2 Replies

This is an original story written in the classic tradition:Shamrocks     When the little bell tinkled, Fagin, as usual, was fast asleep dreaming whatever leprechauns dream. The little bell was a call…Continue

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Comment by Dhomhnaill A. Lopez on June 13, 2017 at 11:21

Invitation to Join Us. Who doesn't like a good story? A big part of Irish Tradition was the passing on of stories, both enjoyable and informative. For many, this was a strong foundation of family, history and bonding. Perhaps you have a story to pass on yourself. Come and share the experience. Explore our postings. It'll, in the very least, make you smile. And who doesn't enjoy a good smile.

Comment by Dhomhnaill A. Lopez on February 17, 2015 at 13:39

Although not posted to this group's pages, please check out the "Fairies and Changelings" video posted under Videos. It'll make you smile. Thank you Sean McElwain.

Comment by Kathleen O'Sullivan Billy Teare on September 25, 2014 at 10:21
There are more ghost tales in our volume of 'Antrim Folk Tales' than you could rattle a ghostly chain at and with HALLOWEEN on the way, here is the story of an unquiet soul: There is scarce a castle in Antrim, (intact or not), that does not have some grisly detail in history, spectre, or tortured soul awaiting its visitors. For example, the wronged and tenacious phantom of Timothy Lavery, reminds visitors to Norman built Carrickfergus Castle of his plight. The castle itself was built in 1177 by Anglo Norman knight, John De Courcy. It was much later, after the castle had been under hundreds of years of English rule, in the mid 1760s, that Timothy was stationed there with his friend and comrade in arms, Robert Rainey. The two men were close and even resembled each other. Dressed in uniform with Button Cap hats, it was hard to tell them apart.
Robert was a man of some passion and fell deeply for Betsy Baird, a local lassie. The couple were engaged, but Betsy had two strings to her bow and was also courting a Colonel Jennings. These affairs have a way of being discovered and this happened with devastating results. Robert laid in wait for his rival and thrust a sword through him, leaving him to die. He was not to know that the wounded Colonel would survive long enough to tell his brother who had attacked him. Unfortunately Colonel Jennings had mistaken Robert Rainey for Timothy Lavery and Lavery was found guilty of murder and condemned to death on the gallows.
Rainey watched his friend protest his innocence to the last and heard Lavery proclaim that even in death he would haunt the place. And so he does, most commonly being seen around the well in his army uniform. Because of his visits to the place, it is known by some as "Button Cap's Well."
Comment by Dhomhnaill A. Lopez on September 18, 2014 at 16:59

With the colder weather and holidays coming soon, it's time to consider rekindling the tradition of storytelling,....sitting around the family table or fireplace, exchanging tales that fascinate, scare and amuse family and friends. Whether, personal remembrances (Hey, remember the time grandpa set fire to grandma's kitchen curtains), or reading some classic short stories (The Headless Horseman, The Night Before Christmas),...these are the things that memories are made of.

Explore our group, "Storytellers: The Gift of Gab and the Golden Tongue" to read what's here for your enjoyment. Join us and post your own witty tales to our group pages. Slainte,


Comment by Dhomhnaill A. Lopez on April 8, 2014 at 17:27

Since our own Kees Knegt posted the "Ronnie Drew Stories" last March, I finally had a chance to give them all a listen. Kees is right: Great Stuff!!! I invite TC members to access the Storyteller's Group for some soul stirring accounts that only the late, great Ronnie Drew can give. Kees' posting was placed March 4th, 2014. Please explore these and other stories on our group pages. Cheers,


Comment by Dhomhnaill A. Lopez on March 22, 2014 at 14:00

An Open Invitation to TradConnect Members: Visit our group pages for some fascinating Celtic Tales, some of which you might remember from your own experiences, others that will surely entertain with their vitality and newness. If you wish, join us and share some of those stories I know are embedded in your minds and souls. Hope to see some of you soon. Cheers,


Comment by Kees Knegt on March 4, 2014 at 22:38

For those interested, I have uploaded six stories to youtube:

These are the great Irish stories, of Cuchulainn, Maeve and the Bull of Cooley, Fionn McCuaill, Tir Na Nog, Deirdre of the Sorrows and the Children of Lir ( not nescessarilly in this order) as told by the late and great Ronnie Drew....Great stuff...Enjoy!! 

cheers, Kees

Comment by Dhomhnaill A. Lopez on February 26, 2014 at 16:32

One of my favorite Irish Legend characters is Biddy Early, much that I've written a song about her (still in the works). Here for your reading pleasure is a short account of her childhood, taken from the Eddie Lenihan book, "Meeting the Other Crowd":

Biddy Early was always the type that was going off on her own, when she was a child, and talking to herself.

Her mother had a hatching hen, anyway. She wanted to get eggs from some woman. And she sent Biddy for the eggs to put under the hen - to bring out the chickens. But in three hours, she wasn't back, so her mother went looking for her. And she found her above, under whitethorns, chatting and talking away. She didn't even know her mother was talking to her when she met her, she was so engrossed in it.

She could see things another couldn't see.

Then, she was hired out when she was fourteen years. Poor people would hire out their children to work; there'd be a fair in Ennis and they'd be looking for servant girls in it. Someone in Tulla hired her. His wife was dead and he had two or three children. He had a baby in the cot, even. He brought Biddy home, anyway, and she was a great little housekeeper.

He was out saving hay one day. There was no one there but herself and the baby in the cot. And the baby spoke to her and asked her to take down that fiddle there and he'd play a tune for her.

She gave it to him. 'Tis up under the rafters they'd have things hanging at that time. The baby played the tune, anyway, the nicest music you ever heard. The fiddle was left on the table, and when the man 'o the house came in for his dinner he asked her was she able to play. She said no.

And he said, "What was ye doin' with the fiddle, so? You are able to play".

And she said, "No!".

But she handed it over to the baby and he played this tune again, for the father.

There are many stories about Biddy Early and her powers as a healer and intermediary with the Good People. Also, many are told of her clashes with the Clergy, who were intolerant of her abilities and behavior.

Comment by Dhomhnaill A. Lopez on October 31, 2013 at 13:04

(Continued from previous comment....)

With Christianity, the custom was changed into the "Begging of Soul Cakes (or Prayer Cakes)" where children and adults would come to peoples' homes and beg for a Sweet Cake in exchange for prayers for the deceased relatives abiding in Purgatory and awaiting release.

All in all, what we observe today as Halloween is a conglomeration of old and new ideas; influenced by ancient traditions and Christian values; re-interpreted by commercialism and businesses; turned into a "fun time" and celebration that allows people to be other than who or what they are; frowned upon by some,....trivialized by others.

As always, please feel free to add to this comment with your own observations, knowledge or beliefs. Again,....Oi'che Shamhna Shona Daoibh Go Lei'r !!! Slainte,


Comment by Dhomhnaill A. Lopez on October 31, 2013 at 12:51

Oi'che Shamhna Shona Daoibh Go Lei'r !!! (Happy Halloween, everyone !!!)

Today, October 31st, is the observed holiday of Halloween. However, the true observance will not come until next week, November 7th, when the sun enters 15 degrees of the constellation Scorpio.

"SAMHAIN" (pronounced Sow-un) literally means "Summer's End" and is the name (in Irish) for the month of November. "OI'CHE SHAMHNA" translates as Samhain Eve. In Olde Celtic (Pagan/pre Christian) beliefs, the year was divided into two halves: the Light Half & the Dark Half. SAMHAIN was/is the Irish Pagan Festival marking the beginning of the "Dark Half of the Year"/the end of harvest. So it's considered to be the beginning of the New Year (Happy New Year, everyone !!!). With the final harvest, people would take stock of the livestock herds and grain supplies, decide which animals would need to be slaughtered in order for people to survive the oncoming winter. "TINE CHNA'MH"/Bonfires (bone-fires) were built where the bones of slaughtered animals were thrown in. All other fires were extinguished and those attending the Bonfire would collect embers to relight their hearths with the common flame. Sometimes, two bonfires would be lit whereby people and their livestock would walk between them for purification.

Acknowledging the spiritual side of SAMHAIN, people would pay homage to their deceased ancestors and historical figures with "spirit food": an offering of the celebration meal,...setting a place for the dead to share in the food. In remembrance, the dead were honoured and welcomed. This time between MABON (the Equinox) and YULE (Solstice) was/is very powerful. The veil that separates the world of the living and the world of the dead grows thin, allowing the dead to walk the earth again to socialize with the living. Unfortunately, this also allowed some less savory characters of Irish Myth and Fairylore to become more active. Measures were taken to frighten off malevolent spirits and creatures, one of which was to dress in a scary way to scare off the bad spirits. The making of Jack-O-Lanterns (carving a lantern from a turnip; later in America this was change to pumpkins which were easier to carve) with the image of a face also was used to protect families and discourage evil influences from entering a house. There are many stories of the creation of Jack-O-Lanterns. These were attributed mostly to "Stingy Jack" (a real or ficticious character from Ireland's past) and his shrewd bargaining(s) with the Devil. In one story (after his death) he was told to leave hell (or bargained his release) and the Devil tossed him an ember from the eternal fires to light his way by being placed in a lantern carved from a turnip. In truth, carved lanterns go back to very early Celtic times, but the "Stingy Jack" stories are a treasure. Another noteworthy mention of this time of the year was that some people could more easily see into the future.

With the introduction of Christianity, many of these beliefs were modified to blend the strong pagan beliefs with the Church's doctrines in an effort to allow conversion to this "new faith" to be more easily acceptable by the common folk. November 1st became "All Saints Day" (which was originally observed earlier in the year by Roman Catholics) and November 2nd became "All Souls Day" (to satisfy the continuance of the centuries-old tradition of honouring deceased ancestors). The idea of "Trick or Treat" was originally a tradition of folks visiting neighbors where a "trick" was a "performance" (song, dance, etc.) rewarded by something to eat. (It wasn't until the custom came to America that the "trick" became something more sinister: give me something to eat OR ELSE........).

(Continued in next comment.......)


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