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.

Take a Trip to Ireland with the Brobdingnagian Bards

It was the summer of 2000. The Brobdingnagian Bards were just a year old, and we started playing weekly at an Irish pub in Georgetown, Texas. The pub was an old house with good food and great drink. More and more people showed up to hear us sing Irish music. Some recommended certain songs. And many had stories to tell about their visit to Ireland.

I tell ye. I was ready to go back then. But I had a full-time job, and we had just released our second CD, Gullible's Travels. The CD was a hit, but we were still barely known. It was months before our fame would rocket on So we set some goals. "Next year," we said, "we're going." Next year came and went. Each show we played led to a booking at another venue. We released two more CDs, but I had huge debt and Andrew too was still scraping by. "Nope. Not this year," we relalized.

Well, years later, I can't say we're much better off. We're still gig as much as we can and sell a lot more CDs, but you have to spend money to make money. So we're still struggling. But last year, I woke up and noticed several bands were creatively finding their way to Ireland. If you can afford the trip, organize one! So that's what we did.

Do you know this our first chance to ever go to Ireland? I know. It shocks me too. It's a tragedy as much as I love Irish music, singing Irish songs, hosting Irish podcasts... Heck, I'm pretty involved in the Celtic community online, but I don't really know what to expect aside from a few movies or travel shows. Those just aren't the same thing.

Well, that's gonna change next year, June 2007. We've organized a guided tour of Ireland, and we want you to join us.

Imagine driving for an hour on a bus, stopping off in the lush green countryside. A tourguide describes the scene. We soak it in. Maybe play a song? Or arrive in Killarney and enter pub and sing. You get to experience each moment of this exciting adventure for us AND YOU!

I don't know who's gonna join us, but I think only about forty people can go on this tour. That's not a lot considering we have hundreds of thousands of fans worldwide.

Do you want to be a part of the fun?

Then join our tour to Ireland. This is an Adventure you will NEVER forget.


--posted by Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards, Celtic Folk Music
  Sunday, August 27, 2006
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The Holy Grail of Irish Drinking Songs

I hate to say it, but sometimes Andrew comes up with the most brilliant ideas. Last night, he did that. I went to Mother Egan's to take a LOT o'pictures of Guinness to see if I can come up with a CD cover for the new Irish drinking songs compilation. As I'm mentioning how on the back cover I was using a picture of a castle, he jokingly threw out a silly idea that I ran with. Thus was born the title of our new CD, "The Holy Grail of Irish Drinking Songs". And the cover you see below:

UPDATE: Wow! I just got back from Andrew's. We were practicing a few songs for DragonCon this coming weekend. He's been hard at work mixing new songs, and remastering old ones. And wow! I'm impressed!

Andrew remastered all of the old songs and gave them a fuller body. A lot of our earlier recordings, while they sounded great, they weren't radio ready. They didn't have a fully body. Lots of highs and now low end. Andrew's learned a LOT about mastering and took those old recordings, cleaned them up and remastered them so they sound sharper and fuller than ever. It's amazing!

My hat's off to Andrew. The new CD will sound brilliant!

More details of the CD should be coming... Find out more about The Holy Grail of Irish Drinking Songs here.


--posted by Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards, Celtic Folk Music
  Sunday, August 27, 2006
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Things Celtic - Half-Way to St. Patrick's Day Party

Every year, Things Celtic holds a huge Half-Way to St. Patrick's Day party on September 17th. They're doing it again. And since the celebration is on a weekend, they're also having live music all day long.

Sunday, March 17, 2006
Things Celtic
1806 W. 35th Street
Austin, TX 78703

Check out our St Patrick's Day Music Downloads. And if you're in the mood for a St. Patrick's Day Party, check out that site.


--posted by Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards, Celtic Folk Music
  Thursday, August 24, 2006
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DragonCon 2006 House Concert Tour

We're heading back to DragonCon for a weekend of geeky entertainment. On the way back, we'll be playing a few house concerts. To join the fun, just RSVP ASAP. :)

Friday, September 8, 2006
Pettingill House Concert @ 7:30-9pm
3671 High Bluff Dr.
Largo, FL 33770
Call or email Deborah and guy to RSVP. or by phone at 727-321-1106
$10 donation

Sunday, September 10, 2006
John & April Leake House Concert @4pm-6:30pm
205 Grand Prix Dr.
Crestview, FL 32536
(850) 423-0122
Call to RSVP.
$10 donation


--posted by Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards, Celtic Folk Music
  Thursday, August 24, 2006
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A Fairy Story Revealed - Licensing and Copyrights

I got this email today from someone who didn't leave an email address to respond to. So I thought I'd post my response here:
"Just to let you guys know...quite a few of your songs are written, sang originally and copyrighted by a duo named Iris and Rose. Your site does not give them credit to them for writing or copyrighting the music... You might check out their site. I know for certain one is 'A Fairy Story'."
I am a huge fan of Iris and Rose. Just take a listen to my Renaissance Festival Podcast and you'll hear that. I own several of their albums and get new ones every chance I get. I also own the CD Bedtime Stories which is from which their recording comes.

So I checked it out. There are no credits listed on the CD or on the website as to who wrote the song. The reason for that is that to the best of my knowledge, I don't know WHO wrote the song. Andrew found the song from a tape from his sister, which also didn't have credits listed. We modified our version from that cassette.

On a different note, there is a difference, legally speaking, between copywriting a recording and copywriting a song. If Iris and Rose wrote "A Fairy Story", we would be paying royalties to them or at least obtain direct permission from them to record the song. We do that with "Irish Ballad" to Tom Lehrer, "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" to Eric Idle, and numerous other songs from CDs other than A Faire to Remember. Unlike many musicians, particularly in the faire circuit, we consider it important to support songwriters by paying royalties where possible. However, anyone can record a song as long as they pay those royalties.

On the flip side, just because a musician recorded a song, does not mean they wrote the song. One of the most common mistakes with us is that we wrote "Do Virgins Taste Better/The Dragon's Retort". Those two songs are filks. They use the traditional tune "The Irish Washerwoman" with lyrics by Randy Farran and Claire Stephens McMurray, respectively. Again, we pay royalties to those authors for the use of their songs, even though they didn't ask us to!

However, if a song is in the public domain (pre-1927), then we don't have to pay royalties for the song. Or if the song author is unknown, we don't have to pay royalties unless that author can legally be determined.

In the case of Iris and Rose, to the best of my knowledge, most all of their songs are either public domain or anonymous authorship. Their recording is copyrighted, which is why I would need their permission to put their recording of a song on a CD, but I would not be required to pay royalties to them for if we recorded "A Fairy Story" or "Bring Me Some Whiskey" (another song who's author is unknown.

There are a LOT of adjustments and addendums that could be made, but I'm no lawyer. So that'll do for now. The long and the short of it is if you are unsure and want to protect your favorite artist, then drop them and email and ask them IF they wrote a song.

FYI. Two of the biggest songs of mistaken identity that I've heard at Renaissance festivals are (1) "Queen of All Argyle" and (2) "Rambling Rover". Both songs were written by Andy M. Stewart, formerly of Silly Wizard.


--posted by Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards, Celtic Folk Music
  Sunday, August 20, 2006
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Bard 2006 T-Shirts - "Dreams Are Made of Music"

T-Shirt | $17.00 + S&H

Bard 2006 T-ShirtsAdventures of the Brobdingnagian Bards comic presents a new t-shirt for Nagians. Nikki O'Shea started publishing our web comic over four years ago, and it's still going strong.

Now you can own a part of the Brobdingnagian Bards and the comic with this limited 2006 T-Shirt featuring our comic caricatures and the poetic lines "Dreams Are Made of Music". Only 45 copies of this shirt were made. So order now to get your hands on this stunning shirt.

Sorry, we're sold out of this shirt.


--posted by Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards, Celtic Folk Music
  Thursday, August 17, 2006
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