Invocations, Old Words, and Creativity

Dear Friends,

I have had the words, well mostly one of the choruses, of the old British folk and busking/begging song Tom O’ Bedlam stuck in my head for a couple of days now.

Still I sing Boys, Bonny Mad Boys

Bedlam Boys are Bonny

For they all go bare and they live by the air,

and They want no drink nor money

I blame Veles, who was apparently similarly afflicted and posted to his Facebook…

Oh Tom o’Bedlam, get out of my head!

Some discussion ensued and, realizing I had only heard snippets over the years in my wanderings through sci-fi/fantasy and Renfair geek-dom,  I researched the piece, and looked up all the lyrics and listened to several versions online….  Enjoying the flexibility of the song and how many different directions you can take these old words…

Ever since Veles (because, again it is his fault) got me stuck on this song I have been thinking how by adjusting the verses and some of the various choruses (and possibly adding one or two relevant verses) you could take this song and transform it into a very powerful Mummers interlude during a Yuletide potluck feast, or a Mummers Parade around Samhain, or an Invocation of The Horned God and the Wild Hunt at either of the above Sabbats are all interesting possibilities.

Some of the inspiration for this comes from reading a LOT of Traditional Witchcraft material in the last month, Huson and Paddon and Cochrane and Jones oh my!  Some of this inspiration has probably been stirred up by Dver’s diverse posts over on A Forrest Door on mumming and masking (here, here and here) that she shared near the turning of the Calendar Year…

One of the elements that can make a ritual powerful, one of the things that can make it Ritual and empower true Magick, is repetition or age.   This is why old and oft repeated rituals have a certain power, they’ve had time to inscribe themselves into the warp and weft of things….  rituals, like the Catholic Mass, or the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, or the casting of Circles or the invocation of Watchtowers; this is also part of what empowers some of the ancient stories and songs such as the works of Shakespear, and passages from the Norse Saga’s, or the Homeric Hymns, have had time to work themselves into the warp and the weft of things and reach what I tend to think of as the Graphic User Interface stage of magick and ritual.

So by bringing in Poetry and Song and Language and rituals with some age to it, or simply by figuring out what works best for you and going with it, you can end up drawing on the power of meanings built up over time; with yourself and your group as the lenses through which that deep magick is focused…

As an example of the flexibility of the piece, and the many different moods one could take one written source (either ancient, or modern, or one that blends the two…) We have…

A late 1960’s folk-rock rendition…

A 1980’s sounding version with overtones of Synth and New Age Music…

A gloriously over the top spoken word version….

And a Japanese Math Rock band which, while some of the pronunciations are a bit surreal has captured a delightful mood…

or for invoking Dionysus perhaps fabulous almost rockabilly version…

Peace, and creativity,

Pax

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4 thoughts on “Invocations, Old Words, and Creativity

  1. Pingback: The Witches Reel | Chrysalis

  2. Pingback: Invocations and Old words… again | Chrysalis

  3. Pingback: Post Samhain Musings… | Chrysalis

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