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Talbot Michaels

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Mari Lwyd

Veggie dancer

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Here is a beautiful and haunting song inspired by the Mari-Lwyd tradition in Wales.

These old horse traditions and other similar customs with masked characters dancing or in parade at festivals or going door to door the remnants of which are scattered around the UK are so intriguing and seem to hint at a rich lost culture that we know so little about and there seems to be such little interest in. People seem to want to go abroad to find culture. I think it is such a shame. I hope we can learn more about our native traditions and cultures in Britain, that they can be revived and valued.

But what do you guys think? Is it important or not to keep these kind of things alive, or is it better to just scrap it all and move on? If you think we should to revive and keep things how important is it to you that they are kept historically accurate? Should it be about restoring and preserving traditions or developing and renewing and being creative with them?

Plus; Do you like the song?

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If there is a will to keep these things going then it shall be done.  If there isn't then they will fade.  To my mind the will and the spirit need to be there; ideally from a community.  If a few academic or modern folky types are simply going through the motions then nothing is surviving that cannot be resurrected from recordings and records when the spirit returns. It might be important to be clear about what date the various aspects of the tradition came from to help future researchers.

The tradition?   I like the idea of riddles to pass the door.

The song?  nope.

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Thanks for this Veggie Dancer , I found it very interesting,  I like old tales,  folklore and the like.

I hope records are kept of them all but Moonsmith makes some valid points as to this.

Thought the song was ok but don't think I will be singing it in the shower




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1 hour ago, Moonsmith said:

The tradition?   I like the idea of riddles to pass the door.

The song?  nope.


In the tradition, the exchange of verses used to be flyting rather than riddling.

There are now a fair number of Mari groups who go out at new year around South Wales

But the song needs to be in Welsh, because that's how it's done


gwyn eich byd


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Traditions last as long as people find a reason to observe them.

They die and are replaced by new traditions as attitudes and socially relevant behaviour changes.

I really could not care less whether the Mari Lwyd survives as it is not a part of the practice or tradition in this corner of South Wales and, therefore, is irrelevant to me.  Such practices are quaint enough - but being quaint, in itself, is not a reason to continue.  At least such practices are generally documented these days for future study if they do die out, however - I wonder at the myriads of practices that must have been lost completely over the centuries.  But whilst I wonder, I do not mourn them,  They had their day, same as everything else,

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