1. The Song of Wandering Aengus

From the album The Riverbank Faerie

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Words by W.B. Yeats / Music- Traditional
Arranged by Brian Buller & Ryan Eston Paul

I went out to the Hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.

When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire a-flame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And someone called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done,
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.

Commentary by BB:
I am enchanted with the singing of
Karan Casey, and it is through her
1997 album Songlines that I first
encountered this curious composition.

With an enigmatic theme of dream-searching
at its core, concise interpretations of this
song seem to be elusive- as perhaps they should be.
Though I have researched, I haven’t a PhD in
such matters, so for now, we’ll just have to make do
with the following:

Aengus Óg (Aengus the Young)
is an Irish figure, or god, associated with many
things such as youth, beauty,dreams, seeking, music,
transformative fish, sometimes death, in some senses love,
and – along with his beloved Cáer – swans. In this song,
we watch and listen as he glimpses, is enthralled with,
and then vows to pursue a captivating creature perceived
in a dream.

Of Aengus (or Angus, Áengus, Óengus, Oenghus, Aonghus...),
much can be explored. And within these lyrics by
W.B. Yeats (1865-1939) – rich in Irish lore – much
can be discovered.