Dervish with Kate Rusby As I roved out

Lovely soothing song with close harmony. I think the violinist looks rather like our very own Corkonian, John Creedon? Ah, sure I know it’s not him at all. I think he’d be accompanying Ger Wollf with all the plugging he gave him in the past. :-)! I saw Dervish many years ago at an open-air concert at the Fair Green, Duffry, Enniscorthy, Co Wexford. It was at one of the annual Strawberry Fair festival events. I love the pure Celtic sound they create.

As I roved out on a summer’s morning a-speculating most curiously

To my surprise, I there espied a charming fair maid approaching me

I stood awhile in deep meditation contemplating what I should do

Til at length recruiting all my sensations I thus accosted the Cailin Rua

Are you Aurora or the goddess Flora, Artemidora or Venus bright?

Or Helen, fair beyond compare, that Paris stole from the Grecian sight?

Oh fairest maiden, you have enslaved me, I’m captivated in Cupid’s clew

Your golden sayings are infatuations that have enslaved me, a Cailin Rua Kind sir, be easy and do not tease me with your false praises so jestingly Your dissimulation and invocation are vaunting praises alluring me  I am not Aurora or the goddess Flora, I’m a rural maid to all men’s view  Who’s here condoling my situation, my appelation the Cailin Rua

Oh were I Hector, that noble victor, who died a victim to Grecian skill Or were I Paris whose deeds are various, an arbitrator on Ida’s Hill  I’d rage through Asia like Abyssinia Pennsylvania seeking you The burning raygions like sage Orpheus to see your face, my sweet Cailin Rua

The two songs bring us back to the ancient past.

Macha the Red-haired Celtic Queen © Cat-Art 

Macha is a presumed goddess of ancient Ireland, associated with war, horses, sovereignty, and the sites of Armagh (Ard Mhacha) and Emain Macha in County Armagh, which are named after her. Grian (literally, “sun”) is believed to be either the sister of Áine, another of Áine’s manifestations, or possibly “Macha in disguise”. Due to Áine’s connection with midsummer rites, it is possible that Áine and Grian may share a dual-goddess, seasonal function (such as seen in the Gaelic myths of the Cailleach and Brighid) with the two sisters representing the “two suns” of the year: Áine representing the light half of the year and the bright summer sun (an ghrian mhór), and Grian the dark half of the year and the pale winter sun (an ghrian bheag).

H/t TheFiach says:

I created this video using video clips of Dervish, Irish landscapes and some pictures of goddesses and other characters mentioned in the lyrics. Scene with the cupid is from Xena Warrior Princess


  • Dervish were the only band ever from Ireland to appear at Rock in Rio the worlds biggest music festival.
  • Dervish cover bands appear in all parts of the world and particularly in Russia and Israel where some of the band members have been flown out especially to guest with some of these acts.
  • Dervish were responsible for the original demo and arrangements for Irelands last Eurovision winner “The Voice” sang by Eimear Quinn and written by Brendan Graham. Due to touring commitments the band could not represent Ireland at that time.
  • Dervish were one of the acts that opened Ireland’s first Irish language TV station TG4.
  • Dervish are free people of their native Sligo following in the foot steps of WB Yeats, Mother Theresa of Calcutta and others.
  • Dervish songs have been part of the music curriculum in colleges in various parts of the US.
  • The Taoiseach (Prime minister of Ireland) of Ireland invited Dervish to perform for the Chinese government as part of the Counties biggest ever trade mission.
  • Liam from Dervish and a group of his friends once broke the world record for the longest indoor soccer match in 1983.
  • Brian from Dervish is an award winning and noted visual artist.
  • The Football Association of Ireland’s commissioned Dervish to write a piece of music “The Mighty Tribe” to enhance the national soccer teams new brand image.
  • Dervish performed at” Ireland Day” at Expo 2000 in Hanover in Germany.
  • The music of Dervish was used as part of an official TV advertisement for the Kentucky Derby in America.
  • Cathy Jordan was voted in the top ten most distinctive voices in Ireland by the listeners of the popular John Creedon radio show in Ireland.
  • Cathy Jordan was voted one of the top ten sexiest women in Ireland by magpie magazine.
  • Dervish have been awarded almost every important industry award in Irish folk music both at home and abroad.
  • Liam, Shane and Michael played in a Jazz/Funk band called “Who Says What” prior to Dervish.
  • Liam and Shane appeared at the ages of 10 and 12 on the RTE radio program young musicians.
  • Legendary broadcaster Gay Byrne also invited Liam and Shane on his Late Late show at the ages of 16 and 18 with some other school friends.
  • The National bank of Colombia we responsible for bringing Dervish to perform at the national theatre of Columbia in Bogotá. This was part of an exercise to enhance the countries cultural image. The band were presented with a Tiple a national instrument of Columbia introducing it to the Irish tradition.
  • Dervish performed at a venue in Manhattan one week after 9/11.
Dervish is someone known for their extreme poverty and austerity. Many Dervishes are mendicant ascetics who have taken a vow of poverty. The main reason they beg is to learn humility, but Dervishes are prohibited to beg for their own good. They have to give the collected money to other poor people. Some classical writers indicate that the poverty of the Dervish is not merely economic. Saadi, for instance, who himself travelled widely as a Dervish, and wrote extensively about them, says in his Gulistan:

Of what avail is frock, or rosary , Or clouted garment? Keep thyself but free From evil deeds, it will not need for thee To wear the cap of felt: a darkish be In heart, and wear the cap of Tartary.[7

Rumi writes in Book 1 of his Masnavi:[8]

Water that’s poured inside will sink the boat
While water underneath keeps it afloat.
Driving wealth from his heart to keep it pure
King Solomon preferred the title ‘Poor’:
That sealed jar in the stormy sea out there
Floats on the waves because it’s full of air,
When you’ve the air of dervishood inside
You’ll float above the world and there abide…

There are also the Whirling Dervishes who like to dance, etc. I wonder if Irish Dervish has named band according to that particular Dervish source?


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