ireland-blarney-castle

The Gift Of The Blarney

According to Wikipedia, the Blarney Stone (“Cloch na Blarnan”) is a block of bluestone built into the battlements of Blarney Castle, Blarney, about 5 miles from Cork, Ireland.  Legend has it that kissing the stone endows the kisser with “the gift of the gab” (great eloquence or skill at flattery).  The word “blarney” itself has come to mean “clever, flattering, or coaxing talk.”

Legends and Stories

Cormac Laidir McCarthy’s face on wall – (Tomasz Bukowski)

Cormac Laidir McCarthy, the builder of Blarney Castle, being involved in a lawsuit, appealed to the goddess Cliodhna for her assistance.  She told McCarthy to kiss the first stone he found in the morning on his way to court, and he did so, with the result that he pleaded his case with great eloquence and won.  Thus the Blarney Stone is said to impart “The ability to deceive without offending.”  McCarthy then incorporated it into the parapet of the castle.

The Stone of Destiny, Stone of Scone (Liath Fàil)

It has also been supposed that the stone had previously been in Ireland, was taken to Scotland, then returned to Ireland in 1314.  It has been suggested that the stone was presented to Cormac McCarthy by Robert the Bruce in 1314 in recognition of his support in the Battle of Bannockburn.  This legend holds that this was a piece of the Stone of Scone and was installed at McCarthy’s castle of Blarney.  (However, this legend supposes the stone was removed from Scotland 18 years before Bannockburn.) Continue reading

Eagle Guido Daniele

Music Or Books?

Just Askin’

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A question I’ve often asked of people is “If you had to choose between music and books, what would you choose?”  For me, that is not an easy question to answer.  I eat words and drink music, and I crave both.

If you were on an island, with wild beasts and wild people all around you, would music appeal to them, or the sound of the human voice speaking? Continue reading