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Monday, 21 May 2018

Scottish folklore: the Bean-Nighe

Have you ever heard of the Bean-Nighe—the washer woman? 

This fairy—a ghastly old woman that belonged to ancient Scottish folklore—could be found by streams and pools. She was an omen of death, as she washed the clothes of those who were about to die. 


In BATTLE EAGLE I use an eerie song about the Bean-Nighe I'd like to share with you here:

Tell me, haggard washer woman,
Whose clothes are washed this day?
I see the cloak of a chieftain
Within your basket, lay.
And is this wife to lose her man,
My heart to be forfeit?
And shall the banshee sing tonight,
To wail his lament?


The sky weeps with blackened clouds,
And spills its rain of tears,
The wind howls through the glen,
To warn The Reaper is near,
The old broch looks forlorn,
As darkness drapes its veil,
I wash my husband’s finest clothes,
That he may die well.


Tell me, haggard washer woman,
Whose clothes are washed this day?
I see a skirt that once was mine,
Within your basket, lay.
And can you wash it free of blood,
To cleanse my blackened soul?
And shall you say a charm for me,
Above my cold barrow?


(Adapted from a poem by Harry Boslem: www.ibuzzle.com/artic…/the-washer-woman-bean-nighe-poem.html)

#battleeagle #warriorbrothersofskye

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