Our lives are built on the stories we tell. At both an individual and a communal level, they orient and mould us, shaping our perspectives and outlining our reality. In an age where life can seem increasingly fettered by rules and regulations, where communication is drowned by endless jargon and noise demanding our attention, where the past is heaved overboard in order that we might more quickly race blindly towards the future, where places become zones, where endless change is automatically equated with progress, and where the sacred is replaced by the material, the stories we tell ourselves modernity seem increasingly to offer little by way of consolation, enchantment, wonder or joy.
With this in mind, and in search of alternate perspectives for episode 22 of Blúiríní Béaloidis, I'm setting off from the National Folklore Collection, driving across Ireland to the village of Crusheen near Ireland's western coast, where I have arranged to meet a man who has been described as a ‘national treasure’, a ‘master storyteller’ and ‘inspired performer’ alike.
Eddie Lenihan is an author and storyteller who has been collecting traditional stories and customs from an older generation for over 40 years. His 2003 book, Meeting the Other Crowd has been translated into many languages, and is dedicated by Eddie to ‘all those tellers now gone whose voices are not forgotten and to those still with us whose knowledge is more indispensable than ever’. As usual, throughout this episode you’ll hear a mixture of conversation along with original archival field recordings from the National Folklore Collection concerning the topics under discussion. For more information regarding these excerpts, see below.
To learn more about Eddie, and to support his valuable work, please visithttp://eddielenihan.weebly.com/
Blúiríní Béaloidis Episode 21 - Samhain / Halloween (With Dr. Billy Mag Fhloinn)