Bards and minstrels

images-LutePlayer_231107088Getting to know Britain or England as we say here in Denmark has been a long road for me. I started quite early in my young adulthood reading a lot of English ”trash” litterature as Stephen King and more serious litterature as C.S. Lewis and Tolkien. At that time, at had precious little knowledge of the difference between Denmark and England, and just relished the good books, and the old stories, the yarns and the prolific ideas.

At university I stubled upon Joseph Conrad, and that was really a revelation for me. I probably did not really take it in as everybody else. For me it was the sailing that really hit me. I am an avid sailor myself, having a 23 footer sailboat, having criss crossed the Kattegat and Øresund. But, it really fired up my imagination with all the old sailing yarns, the stoic captains and the old seadogs of wisdom. We have a bit of it here in Denmark as well, with, still, a lot of sailing culture and boats everywhere.

Then I stumbled upon Ivanhoe, then Mark Twain, then, then, then. So many authors, I cannot remember just half of them.

In Denmark, we have this philosophical tradition, that I am the latest, or one of the latest representatives of. It is called Grundtivigianism, and basically it is a tradition that goes all the way back to Saxo, and even further back to Hamlet, and further even. It is as old as there is Denmark. The latest and greatest; Grundtvig was a prolific prosemite and mixed Nordic Folkmyths with Christianity and liberalism. It sounds pretty strange coming from outside, but in fact it is just strange, because it is so advanced.

This philosophy has been unknown to the rest of the world untill I, by chance, started exporting it to all who really wanted to have it. The strength of it lent to all who wish to have it. And look at the result; blossom and spring so many places in the world.

And you have basically scratched the surface!

I truly hope, that the rest of the English speaking world, and many other who are descendants of the Danes will live and prosper by these ideas. Why? Because they are your roots.

You basically just forgot them when you went off sailing, but we kept them here at the outspring of the emigrations. And here they are still, just in an immensely advanced stage.

It still evolves here in Denmark, new writers add to the tradition as time goes. There is just a new one who has popped up recently, a young Phd. named Christian Nord. He has a pen of the angles.

Grundtvig used to talk about history being the craft of minstrels and singers. Because the myths were the glue that binded the folk together.

So he sang to us, making, litteraly, hundreds of songs and psalms.

This bardic tradition, mixed up with an acute academic pursuit is relevant today I think. Because people around the world are sick and tired of the barren academic production. They want something they can refer to. They want the Hamlets and the Bilbos to sing to them. Not just powder dry, but the living and the exiting.

This song, it what keeps us alive, what awakens us again, what makes us remember who we are.

G-d bless the fair isles of England, and may it remember itself.

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