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grant lee phillips – ballad of cathain lyrics


bid goddess rise, from mists of memory
rise, the fair cathain
in battle the equal of every man
and every lover disdained
her heart was locked in a roundtower’s keep
and none that gate could unbar
till rose a prince from ulster’s east
the hero conchobar

a suitor’s troth he brought cathain
in wild connemar’
he bade her teach him feats of arms
and the bl–dy arts of war
and what, said she, will you teach me
who dwells here all alone?
the pleasures of love, said conchobar
i will melt your heart of stone.

so king and warrior thus were joined
in battles blood and love
the throne belonged to conchobar
to cathain, the witch’s glove
the world soon turned his heart away
so back to connemar’
she westward rode to dwell alone
away from conchobar

dark rivals rose against the king
to challenge for his throne
all ulster in the balance hung
without its champion
a druid he sent to sacrifice
an offering to cathain
a maiden fair, with flaxen hair
not once, but two times slain

but cathain, she would ne’r return
to rescue conchobar
till the druid did a virgin bring
to connemara far
the fair iona pure and sweet
upon the table lain
and by the corclach’s hungry stone
was cathain’s own daughter slain

in rage the warrior goddess
from the western sea arose
her bl–dy gauntlet dealt that day
a thousand fierce death-blows
the kingdom saved, her quest complete
she sank beneath the sh-r-
till ulster’s sons with sacrifice
bid her return once more.

- grant lee phillips lyrics

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