With Oíche Samhna just around the corner I thought an extract of Cú Chulainn’s warpspasm from The Book of Leinster would make a suitably scary treat. The quotes below are the translation of Cecile O Rahaille and the music is Deep End of The Ford’s interpretation of the Old-Irish origional.
The Warpspasm of Cú Chulainn from the Book of Leinster.
“His haunches shook about him like a bulrush against a stream. He performed a wild feat of contortion with his body inside his skin. His feet and his shins and his knees came to his back; his heels and his calves and his hams came to his front. The sinews of his calves came on the front of his shins and each huge, round knot of them the size of a warriors fist. The sinews of his head were stretched to the nape of his neck and every huge, immeasurable, vast incalculable round ball of them as big as the head of a month-old child.”
“Then his face became a red hollow. He sucked one of his eyes into his head so that a wild crane could hardly have reached it to pluck it out from the back of his skull on to the middle of his cheek. The other eye sprang out on to his cheek. His mouth was twisted back fearsomely. He drew the cheek back from the jawbone until his inner gullet was seen. His lungs and his liver fluttered in his throat. He struck a lion’s blow with the upper palate on its fellow so that every stream of fiery flakes which came into his mouth from his throat was as large as the skin of a three-year old sheep. The loud beating of his heart against his ribs was heard like the baying of a bloodhound…”
“Hi hair curled about his head like branches of red hawthorn… The Hero’s light rose from his forehead so that it was as long and thick as a hero’s whetstone. As high, as thick, as powerful and as lrong as the mast of a great ship was the straight stream of dark blood which rose up from the very top of his head and became a dark magical mist like the smoke of a palace when a king comes to be attended to”
An Táin by Deep End of The Ford was released in February 2012.