Elder, Oak, Ash, Apple and Thorn

A reinterpretation of ‘Scarborough Fair’, recounting the story of Fionn Mac Cumhail and his battle with the Norseman. Whilst the origin of this particular legend is initially attributed to Scotland, I decided to set it in Ireland where most of the stories of Fionn are based.
To reinforce the setting I used the term ‘Lochlannach’ (Loch-lan-ack) which is the old Irish word for Norsemen and Viking. In accord with the legends, I refer to Fionn as a ‘giant’ and reinforce the myth that his ‘dun’ (a dark age fortress) is in Kildare, on the hill of Allen.
Based on their meaning according to the Ogham symbols, the trees in the song each represent the moralistic element of the story –
Elder – Transition
Oak – Strength
Ash – Wisdom
Apple – Love
Thorn – Consequence & Perspective
The moral of the tale is that arrogance and anger can cause lack of judgement and lead to great loss. In the penultimate and last verse, following the horror of battle, Fionn chooses to learn from his mistake and be wiser in the future.

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