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Subject: Re: Cruit (cont.)
From: Dennis King <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Scholars and students of Old Irish <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 8 Nov 2000 08:54:04 -0800

text/plain (46 lines)

Deborah White wrote:

> "Galpin cites an old Gaelic legend in which a Druid chieftain invokes his
> magic *crot* (meaning lyre) during a battle which supposedly took place in
> the year 1800 B.C.

Wonder where he got that particular date?

> 'The effect of the Druid's performance was truly wonderful: the story tells
> how, in order to discover the fate of a favourite musician, he and two
> comrades had penetrated into the camp of the enemy, where they found the
> lyre hanging in the banqueting hall. At the voice of the Druid it leaped
> from the wall and came to him at once, killing nine persons on its way.

This episode is found toward the end of  "Cath Maige Tuired"
(The Second Battle of Moytura), and involves the Dagda and his
harper (or should we say lyrist?), Uaithne.  It's on the web at:

> On it he played the three great musical strains of his nation: at the sound
> of the first tears filled all eyes; with the second he overcame them with
> uncontrollable laughter; and finally, with the third, he sent the entire
> host to sleep, during whih the three champions made good their escape with
> the magic Crot'."

You probably already know these strains.  In Modern Irish spelling:
"goltraí, geantraí, suantraí" (not to be confused with "gallúntraí".
aka "sobalchlár"!)  These also figure in "Táin Bó Fraích"  as the names
of the three sons of Uaithne (who is also the godfather of the Irish
choral group "Anúna" (< An Uaithne??), apparently).

> Any further thoughts? The word obviously means different things to different
> people at different points in time!

"Tecosca Cormaic" states that:

  Cáid cach céol co cruit.  (cáid = holy, noble, pure)

And Triad #89:

  Trí ségainni Hérenn: fáthrann, adbann a cruit, berrad aigthe.

putting lyre/harp music right up there with a good shave! :-)


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