23 episodes

Bluiríní Béaloidis is the podcast from The National Folklore Collection, University College Dublin, and is a platform to explore Irish and wider European folk tradition across an array of subject areas and topics. Host Jonny Dillon hopes this tour through the folklore furrow will appeal to those who wish to learn about the richness and depth of their traditional cultural inheritance; that a knowledge and understanding of our past might inform our present and guide our future.

Podcasts are available for download directly from SoundCloud or via iTunes.

Blúiríní Béaloidis Folklore Podcast Blúiríní Béaloidis / Folklore Fragments

    • Society & Culture

Bluiríní Béaloidis is the podcast from The National Folklore Collection, University College Dublin, and is a platform to explore Irish and wider European folk tradition across an array of subject areas and topics. Host Jonny Dillon hopes this tour through the folklore furrow will appeal to those who wish to learn about the richness and depth of their traditional cultural inheritance; that a knowledge and understanding of our past might inform our present and guide our future.

Podcasts are available for download directly from SoundCloud or via iTunes.

    Blúiríní Béaloidis - 22 Invisible Worlds (With Eddie Lenihan)

    Blúiríní Béaloidis - 22 Invisible Worlds (With Eddie Lenihan)

    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 an ‘inspired performer’.

    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/

    • 1 hr 6 min
    Blúiríní Béaloidis 21 - Samhain / Halloween (With Dr. Billy Mag Fhloinn)

    Blúiríní Béaloidis 21 - Samhain / Halloween (With Dr. Billy Mag Fhloinn)

    The festival of Samhain has since ancient times been considered as a major turning point in the ritual year. In marking the threshold of darkness and the end of the season of light, the eve of Samhain (observed all over Ireland at sundown on the 31st of October) is characterised by heightened supernatural activity, a return of the ancestral dead, divination magic, mischief, ritual disguise and the suspension of normal modes and rules of behaviour.

    For this edition of Blúiríní, Jonny is joined by a special guest, Dr. Billy Mag Fhloinn. Billy is a folklorist, archaeologist, author and lecturer, whose book ‘Blood Rite: The Feast of St. Martin in Ireland’ was published in 2016, and who has contributed to international television productions by the BBC, PBS and the National Geographic Channel. For more information about Billy and his work, and to contact him directly please visit his site https://tradition.ie/

    This edition of Blúiríní also features contributions from Aghast and Halo Manash

    Aghast were an all-female group from Norway, whose haunting and atmospheric album 'Hexerei Im Zwielicht Der Finsternis' was released in 1995. For more information, see http://www.metaladies.com/bands/aghast/

    Halo Manash hail from Finland, and aim to 'seek, explore, experience, study and decipher reflections of the ever-shifting shapes and spaces of different worlds', in order to 'revitalise one of the oldest subconscious forms of communication, to open the gates and widen the horizon of perception concerning states of otherness lying in-between the cardinal directions.' Our special thanks for their generosity in permitting us to include their music in this edition of the podcast. For more information, and to support them directly, please visit http://www.helixes.org/halomanash/about/

    • 1 hr 12 min
    Blúiríní Béaloidis 20 - A Parting Glass (Claire's Final Episode!)

    Blúiríní Béaloidis 20 - A Parting Glass (Claire's Final Episode!)

    This twentieth edition of Blúiríní Béaloidis comes as something of a bittersweet occasion, with Claire raising a parting glass to 'gently rise and softly call - goodnight and joy be with you all', leaving the National Folklore Collection to embark on a new adventure!

    In their final episode together, Claire and Jonny highlight some of their favourite archival excerpts from previous editions of Blúiríní, reminiscing on the treasures of the Collection as they go. From song and story, to text and context, they give thought to those who have gone before us - to their nobility and artistry - noting the inspiration that absent friends and family can still provide us today.

    Jonny will return in the coming months with a new series of Blúiríní featuring interviews and field recordings, but in the mean time we fill up our glasses and bid fond farewell to our dear Claire 'For The Sake of Completeness' Doohan, wishing her a world of joy and every success in the new chapter opening up before her!

    • 1 hr 10 min
    Blúiríní Béaloidis 19 - Sacred Trees In Folk Tradition

    Blúiríní Béaloidis 19 - Sacred Trees In Folk Tradition

    While rooted in the earth, trees ascend towards the firmament of the Heavens. They likewise renew themselves through the eternal rhythms that govern all living things (those cycles of growth, maturation, decay and rebirth) as they blossom, flower, give fruit and eventually shed their leaves before being reborn anew each spring. Certain of these proud intermediaries between heaven and earth were treated with great veneration by our forebears, and echoes of the worship of sacred trees survives in folk tradition to this day.

    For this 19th edition of Blúiríní Béaloidis, hosts Jonny Dillon and Claire Doohan consider their culture born of nature. From sacred trees under which kings of Ireland were inaugurated in times long ago, to the holy woods inhabited by both madmen and saints, and from votive offerings left hanging on the branches of trees growing beside holy wells, to those trees treated with fear and trepidation, understood as they were, as dwellings of the otherworld spirits which live alongside us in the natural landscape. Stay with us for an hour then, as we shelter beneath the branches of tradition, which gift to us the fruits of memory and meaning.

    Jonny and Claire would like to send their thanks to Landless for permission to include the song 'The Trees Grow Tall' from their 2018 LP Bleaching Bones (played at 38 minutes, 12 seconds into the podcast). For more information about the group, and to support their work go to:

    https://landless.bandcamp.com
    https://www.facebook.com/landlessmusic/
    https://www.instagram.com/landless_music_dublin/

    We likewise send thanks to Richard Moult, for allowing us permission to include a beautiful piece of his piano music titled 'Star Filled Tree, Blacksburg' to close the podcast (the piece is played at 58 minutes, 48 seconds). If you would like to learn more about Richard's art, and to support his work, please go to:

    https://starred-desert.com

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Blúiríní Béaloidis 18 - Brigid In Folk Tradition

    Blúiríní Béaloidis 18 - Brigid In Folk Tradition

    St. Brigid’s Day falls on the first of February, and is traditionally understood as marking the beginning of spring in Irish custom.

    Dedicated to the saint nicknamed Muire na nGael or the ‘Mary of the Irish’ (a designation given to her on account of the adoration and high regard in which she has long been held by the people of this island), St. Brigid's Day is a period full with emblems of regeneration, renewal and propagation.

    For the first in the 2019 series of Blúiríní Béaloidis, hosts Claire Doohan and Jonny Dillon explore the feast of St. Brigid by examining her pre-Christian roots; tracing her spread across Europe and exploring links with early Vedic literature and the Indo-European tradition before considering the role and function of Ireland's patroness, along with contemporary attitudes held towards her in folk custom.

    So, sit a while with us as we welcome in the dawn of a new season. Brigid, spring, you are welcome. Come in!

    • 1 hr 23 min
    Blúiríní Béaloidis 17 - Rumours Of War

    Blúiríní Béaloidis 17 - Rumours Of War

    From Jul 28, 1914 until Nov 11, 1918 the iron dice of war rolled across the fields of Europe with a ferocity and magnitude the likes of which the world had never seen. In the smoke filled trenches of Guillement, and on the shell-illuminated wastes of Ypres a hellish vision of mechanised death manifested itself.

    In this, the 17th episode of Blúiríní Béaloidis, Claire Doohan and Jonny Dillon commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the Armistice of November 11, 1918, the date which marks the cessation of hostilities between the Allies and Germany. In a break from their usual format, Claire and Jonny explore the war by focusing on the memoirs of those who lived through the experience first hand - either on the front, or back at home.

    Drawing on material from Coningsby Dawson's 'Glory of the Trenches', Mrs. Victor Rickard's 'The Stand of the Munsters at Etreux', Vera Brittain's 'Testament of Youth' and Ernst Jünger's 'Storm of Steel', along with selections of poetry and archival recordings from the National Folklore Collection, University College Dublin, this edition of Blúiríní Béaloidis honours the heroism and bravery of all of those men and women who were lost to this war. Suaimhneas síoraí orthab!

    Claire and Jonny send a special note of thanks to Luke Murphy for his diligent and careful work in editing the NFC archival recordings used in the episode.

    • 1 hr 48 min

Customer Reviews

Bartholomew McFluggins II ,

exactly what i’ve been looking for!

this is a great podcast - i’ve been searching for well-made podcasts that delve deep into folklore and they’re surprisingly hard to find! this show includes plenty of original recordings and deals with all aspects of folklore, not just fairy tales and folk stories. keep it up - it’s brilliant!

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