Scottish & Irish folk songs combined with Lord of the Rings music and Celtic music fun at Renaissance Faires

Brobdingnagian Bards Tales

The latest music news, stories, and events of The Original Celtic Renaissance music group, the Brobdingnagian Bards. CELTIC GEEK at its Best! Find out more from the Nagians page.

Congratulations to Michael Donley

Michael Donley was the winner of our Texas Renaissance Festival free ticket giveaway. Thanks for all the traffic you brought our way!

--posted by Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards, Celtic Folk Music
  Thursday, October 30, 2003
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Celtic Reels in Austin... a different sort of reel

If you're looking for something interesting to do this evening, the Gaelic League of Austin is hosting two classic Irish films: "The Quiet Man" and "Waking Ned Divine" at the Alamo Drafthouse in downtown Austin.

Find out more about Celtic Reels from the Gaelic League of Austin webpage.

--posted by Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards, Celtic Folk Music
  Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Tolkien Climbs to #10 on the Amazon charts

I checked the top 10 Indie download charts of and saw that "Tolkien (The Hobbit & Lord of the Rings)" is toping the charts. You can help it climb higher, but downloading a copy yourself. While you're there, you can now purchase a copy of Memories of Middle Earth from But if you already own a copy, head over there and post a review!

--posted by Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards, Celtic Folk Music
  Tuesday, October 28, 2003
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Weather may be rainy, but spirits were high

I could easily say it was another beautiful weekend at Texas Renaissance Festival, though some might not agree. Yeah, it rained all morning Saturday and looked to be dismal weekend, but even with the rain, it was a blast.

We played our first two shows to a captive audience as we and a group of other folk huddled on the Warfside Gazebo Stage to entertain while they waited out the storm. "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" was, of course, a favorite on Saturday.

But it mostly cleared up in the afternoon leaving just a nice overcast of clouds in the sky. My boots may've been a bit too wet, but my heart was warmed with more and more returning patrons looking forward to our unique brand of Scottish and Irish pub songs.

Sunday was a bit more subdued as I had a wee sore throat, but with an occasional nap and then making time to enjoy the music of Queen Anne's Lace and The Shantyman, it turned out to be a lovely relaxing day.

Just three more weeks to go and the weather forecast is looking pretty decent so far. But if you want a BIG treat, come out this Saturday to our 4:30pm show when we'll have a brief opening act playing traditional Irish music on the flute but three teenage girls from Georgetown, TX. The pride of these for me is my sister Hannah!

See ye there!

--posted by Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards, Celtic Folk Music
  Monday, October 27, 2003

For those not going to Texas Ren Fest

I wanted to let ye know about a great event in Austin for those not going to TRF on Nov 1st and 2nd. It's the Austin Celtic Festival and it features some of the best Celtic music, dance and culture you'll find with acts like John Williams and John Doyle, formerly of Solas, and Chicago fiddle phenomena, Liz Carroll, plus, Doc Grauzer, Sarah Dinan, Cluan, Carey Street, Jed Marum, Pubcrawler, Ed Miller, The Rogues, The Killdares and many more.

While I strongly urge you to come to TRF :) , this should make a great alternative! And several of these acts you can find free Irish and Scottish mp3 downloads from the Celtic MP3s Music Magazine, an e-magazine I publish. Go check 'em out!

So go support the Celtic community and Austin! Supporting the community at large will help to support us!

--posted by Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards, Celtic Folk Music
  Friday, October 24, 2003
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Catch all the action at Texas Ren Fest

Found a cool site that has an action photo of the day with all the recent shots from the Texas Renaissance Festival.

--posted by Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards, Celtic Folk Music
  Thursday, October 23, 2003
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A Funny Story (aka Kids Say the Darnest Things)
by Heather Smith

I thought you might get a kick out of my story...hope it gives you a smile! :D

This weekend I had various CDs playing while I was cleaning, cooking, whatever and of course my ds being the helper that he is, decides that his toys look better in every room except his own.

Anyway, one of the BB CDs came and went and about 30 minutes later my son asks me "When did you go to the mountain mommy?" I am confused and think my child has had too much sugar, and then he explains.."Mommy, you know, the song you are in, why did you go to the mountain in the summertime?"

Okay, so now I am laughing and I explained that heather is also a flower....he then says "But Mommy, you don't look like a flower". I also explained how sentimental this song is for me and that it was the only one to calm him down when he had colic....he looked at me like I had completely lost it...still kind of looks at me out of the corner of his eye, wondering what I am going to say next.

Okay, so my kid is going to be confused enough with my name much less the kilt thing and that guys really don't wear dresses normally, or is that normal guys do wear dresses? The only problem now is.....he wants to kiss a frog for some strange wouldn't know anything about that would ya? :D

--posted by Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards, Celtic Folk Music
  Wednesday, October 22, 2003
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The Brobdingnagian Bards at Texas Ren Fest story continues...

After our first show we typically head back to our horseless carriage to pickup more CDs and get some more water. I was guzzling water and gatorade this past weekend as I was fighting an upset stomach on Saturday. So I don't remember as much and I'll stick witih the Sunday story

Sunday I was in a great mood. We strolled down to Sherwood Forest to play a wee bit'o music and strolled through the Enchanted Gardens, stopping to for patrons and performers to chat. Around 11:30 though, we made a rush over to the Italian Village to watch Wine, Women, and Song perform. The audience was small for Sunday, and it was a shame. The show as fantastic! Definitely a show not to miss if ye can.

Then over by the Falconer's stage, we stopped to relax while the parade began. We played some music and enjoyed the people walking by. My hat collected a wee bit o'money before we headed over to our stage for our second show.

The second show went great as well. We had a few return Nagians and a decent crowd. T'wasn't quite as laid back as our first show, but it was just a heckuva lotta fun. Got me wanting to do some more sing-a-longs.

Next up was Wild and Thorny with Iris'n'Rose, bawdy wench humor at its finest... and not just the music! There's nothing that can be beat having those two beautiful lasses sitting in your lap smothering you with affection. Ah, it's good to be The Bards!

After our third show we made our way over to the Faerie Picnic where I was given the name Govanan by the Titania, the Faerie Queen, and her fairies. We played "The Unicorn Song and "Lily the Pink" before moving into some fun Faerie dance music.

The Faerie Picnic is actually one of my favorite places to play at TRF. Sure, it's only a song or two, but it's the atmosphere. Lots of food, kids and light-heartedness. We typically play some of our fun songs like "If I Had A Million Ducats" (with a fairie theme) or the ever popular, "Fairy Story". But one of our latest fun songs to play is "Exclamation!", a funny School House Rock parody by Boogie Knights.

Before our last show, we returned to House of Dra to play music for the ever-appreciative, Dra. We plopped down in front of the store and played everything from a new set of tunes we've been working on to the "Jedi Drinking Song". T'was nice and relaxing and helped make the last show even more light-hearted.

We hit one final show before the day came to a close--Uncommon Adornments. Uncommon Adornments is located right by the front gate and sells Celtic jewelry. The store has great acoustics and is just a nice place to relax and play while the sun goes down.

At last the sun set, and the rumbles of people faded away, leaving a sense of longing. I wrote a poem at Exalibur Fantasy Faire in the spring which sorta captures the feeling. It's called The Faire Is Over. You can listen to it being read by Austin-based Scottish actress Lorella Loftus.

While the weather forecast doesn't look quite as beautiful as the first three weekends of faire. No doubt it will still be a marvelous weekend. For there's nothing like spending a day at the faire!

--posted by Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards, Celtic Folk Music
  Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Glorious Weekend at the Texas Renaissance Festival!

Wow! Another incredibly beautiful weekend in Plantersville, Texas at the Texas Renaissance Festival. Over 27,000 folks attended the faire on Saturday alone according to the TRF Beefeaters (the guards at Front Gate). And the weather was perfect. It was almost mind-boggling that more people didn't take advantage of the amazing weather.

I'm telling ye, after several years of lousy weather which piqued in 2000, which Andrew and I call the Texas Venice Faire (someone could've made a killing on Gondola rides), three weekends of glorious weather is welcomed. It was so welcomed in fact that we smashed the supersitious belief that the rain was due to performing "The Unicorn Song" having played that song over a dozen times this weekend. And I'm very happy for that. Aside from the fact that I'm not superstitious, I enjoy performing that song too much to cut it from our set list at TRF.

So what's a typical day like for the Brobdingnagian Bards at the Texas Renaissance Festival?

We have a fairly standard routine we follow every morning. First thing we do is warm up (and for me wake up) with some lively instrumental music, in particular, "The Morning Song" which we wrote at TRF many years ago for this very purpose.

We usually head left of the gate down to Lee Seed of Poppyseed Graphics' booth. Lee is the graphic artist behind Excalibur Fantasy Faire's amazing promotional graphics. She is a fantastic artist and well-worth stopping by and seeing her pieces.

From there, we make our way around the Pirate ship and the Odeon stopping to play music for anyone willing who listens and throws us a smile. There's a leather shop around the corner with a lass dressed in light tan leather and Indian attire who's become a new regular stopping point. Then all the way down to Penny's Magic Garden and The Pepper Lady (aka Mrs. MacArthur's Pepper Products).

The Pepper Lady and her sister have been regular fans of ours for years. It's amazing that two women can be so sweet and yet create such spicey salsa! For a real test, try the Dragon's Breath. I think you have to sign a waiver to try it, but wow! The most amazing thing about her salsa, is that despite the fact it can be so hot, it's so good. Very rare do those two go hand-in-hand from the stuff I've tasted.

Penny has been our personal maseuse since our first year at Excalibur. First thing in the morning, she helps warm and loosen up our hands with a nice hand massage that makes me melt. Heck, that alone is worth seeing from what I'm told. But the massages are amazing. My suggestion... go by first thing in the morning and setup an appointment for the end of the day. You'll be thankful you did!

From there, we make our way over to The Dragon Swings to visit Becky and her mother and play, "Happily Ever After" or another favorite. They've been family to us for years as well. It tripped me out when Becky told me a few years ago that she was in ROTC and turned the song into a soldier's chant for P.T..

On the other side of The Dragon Swings is a new stop for us. I don't remember the name, but you can down some padded armor, grab a padded axe and do your best to knock off the head of your opponent.

Next, we work our way over past Mockingbird Gazebo to play music for some Fortune-Telling hawkers. Erick, we affectionately call our Official Heckler, so we can't help but warm up our own insults by being verbally assulted by his. :) I'm pretty partial to "Angel's Lament" there. I think it's because of the fangs he wore a couple years ago.

After that, we head to one of my all-time favorites, the House of Dra, located next to the Sea Devil Tavern. Dra makes designer fashions... for the 1600s, but quite honestly, her clothing is designer clothing for today with a Renaissance look that is just brilliant. I think she enchants her clothing, but hasn't admitted to it. They are truely magical pieces!

Right past the Sea Devil, there are three shops that we stop to entertain. The first sells mugs. That's where we got ours from. Great pieces and instructions. Make sure ye get one of your own there. Next is a wee shop that sells gold and silver jewelry, in particular, little pieces that intertwine into your hair. One of these days, I'll get one of those for myself. Next door to that is another fine art store of jewelry and multi-national art and a jolly lad who's been dancing to our music since the days when we used to perform out on the South Mall of the University of Texas at Austin.

Just thirty minutes to go till we need to be the Warfside Gazebo, and it's been an adventurous morning. So we take it easy before our first set, stop to tune, and then listen either near or far to the dance tunes of the viola from our friend Owl Morrison.

First Show of the Morning at TRF
The first show of the morning always varies. Sunday, I was still half asleep. So we had a very personal show for the handful of people who showed up, sitting on the edge of the stage. We played a fairly relaxed set that was just nice and relaxing, a very pleasant set that was to set the tone for the rest of the day.

End of Part I
Well, I'm gonna take a break and continue this later this week methinks... Have a great day and can't wait to see ye at TRF!

--posted by Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards, Celtic Folk Music
  Monday, October 20, 2003

Photo Fixes at Texas Ren Fest

I started looking at some of the photos of us on stage at the Texas Renaissance Festival. Texas is a bright state, and on bright sunny days like we've had the past few weekends, most snapshot cameras capture the bright background and dark, barely visible bards, especially on the Warfside Gazebo. But if you want live shots of us on stage, there is hope.

The problem is the stage is very well backlit, but there is a fix for most cameras. Use a flash. It may seem odd on a bright day, but the flash acts as accent lighting which will compliment the natural lighting available and make us stand out much better. Good luck and see ye this weekend!

--posted by Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards, Celtic Folk Music
  Friday, October 17, 2003
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Where to find us at Texas Renaissance Festival

If you're looking for us in the usual place at Raven's Bend or Mockingbird Gazebo, you will be disappointed. Seems a few couldn't find our new stage, the Warfside Gazebo, at Texas Renaissance Festival this past weekend. So lets see if I can offer some decent directions.

The Warfside Gazebo is across from the joust and a wee bit down the way just in the French Quarter. Hmm... does that make sense?

Or you could say it's around the bend from Raven's Bend. Or how about saying it's in plain view of the new Basillica (formerly the SCA's Battle Mound). Hope that helps a wee bit at least. Shows are every two hours starting at 10:30am (10:30, 12:30, 2:30, & 4:30).

Now that ye know, start listening to the fine music you will hear.

--posted by Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards, Celtic Folk Music
  Thursday, October 09, 2003

Stats drop while drops the ball

Wow! A few days ago, I saw a Major drop of our stats, and today, I found out why. mistakenly let the URL expire. happens to be the site where all the artists host their music.

Steve Cox from Voice of Golden Eagle caught the blunder, purchased the domain, and returned it to Cost to him: $35. You can read all about it in these articles from and

I'm not sure if I'm happy or upset about this. A part of me wishes he kept the URL to rebuild back to it's Indie greatness, unbothered by the Major label corruption and abuse... Ah well, I'm happy at least our music is back up and being downloaded. So keep listening!

--posted by Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards, Celtic Folk Music
  Tuesday, October 07, 2003
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Places to Stay at Texas Renaissance Festival

If you're looking for a place to stay at the Texas Renaissance Festival, I compiled a nice list that I got from TRF. Mostly nearby hotels though a wee bit about camping out at the faire.

--posted by Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards, Celtic Folk Music
  Tuesday, October 07, 2003
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