The Power of the Harp in Irish Mythology
The Irish harp is recognised worldwide as being the Ireland’s national emblem. We see it everywhere, from our pint of Guinness to the flag of Leinster; on our coins, our stamps, our passports. Nowadays, this symbol of ‘Irishness’ is known as the ‘Cláirseach’, but its origins go much further back.
Brian Boru, the last High King of Ireland (he died in 1014) was said to have been an accomplished player. It is reported in an ancient document known as the ‘Accallam na Senorach’, that St Patrick (5th century) is said to have remarked about Irish harp playing, “Nothing could more closely resemble Heaven’s harmony…but for the twang of the Fairy spell which infests it.”
By Fairy, he meant the Sidhe, who in Irish mythology were descended from the Tuatha de Denann, a semi divine race of beings who ruled Ireland about four thousand years ago. The Denann themselves had many…
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