From the album They Might See Dolphins please find ‘Read Between The Lines’, the Alternative Video Version. Constantly being asked for lyrics for the songs, Shane thought a text video might suit this one. The song is about words after all… and the Céilí Dé!. To read about the songs own story scroll down. It’s a good one. Warning – Video contains flashing images!
Read Between The Lines – The Song & The Story
Read Between The Lines was inspired by the Céilí Dé (Irish (Gaelic) Celtic Christian Monks) who travelled through Europe in the Dark and Middle Ages. With incredible feats of human spirit and endeavour they brought education, learning and the teachings of the old and new orders. It also reputed that it was these monks and missionaries who gave the written sentence the “space between words”, as we know it today. Before their writings all sentences and words were joined. Hence “Read Between The Lines”.
Strangely enough, the song was written on a writing retreat in a monastery just outside the town of Wroclaw in Poland, foremely Brestlau and part of what was eastern Prussia and Germany before World War One. Back in the day the monastery was in fact the castle or Schloss Krieblowitz, home to Count Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher. Field Marshall Vorwärts as he was known was a great Prussian general and fought at Waterloo against Napoleon. It was Von Blücher and his forces that were in fact, and contrary to popular belief, the army that were decisive in the defeat of Napoleon’s French forces at the infamous battle.
By another strange twist of fate and being a history buff, when I was younger I read a lot about Napoleon. As a small fella meself I was always fascinated by what he dad “pulled off”, being but a small farm boy from Corsica. This man, by hook or by crook, had once the whole of Europe under his heal. On my travels I’ve come across Napoleon in the strangest of places. From the Temple of Luxor to a small bordello in Nice. I kid you not. He seems to be staring over my shoulder. Maybe there’s a song in that. Anyway… I digress. Here he was once more in the halls and hallways of this great palace at Krielblowitz, staring down at me from imperiously massive paintings in all his grandeur. It seems that even after his victory of the French “Emperor”, Von Blücher was in awe of him. Having spent four days in this mysteriously magnificent building in Krieblowitz, with history and ghosts oozing out of the framed walls, it isn’t difficult to rationalise and reason where a song like Read Between The Lines might spring from. As writers we go to these places to witness and document. Maybe just to feel and learn to understand. History is everywhere. It is our story. In Irish it is “Stair”… pronounced like the English work “Star”. The German word for history is “Geschicte”. Which also means story!
The Céilí Dé
Called the “Schotten” in German speaking countries they were responsible for the foundation of the university of Vienna, as well as a multitude of towns, colleges abbeys and monastic sites not just in Ireland, Scotland and England, but right across the continent, and as far afield as Kiev. Names such as Columbán , Columkille (Columba), Koloman (who became the patron saint of Austria), Vergilius, Modestus, Fiacra, Scotus; to name but a few.
It is argued by some and recognised by others, that these monastics laid the corner stones and foundations of thinking and enlightenment in a changing Europe. They may even be to blame for Beer and cheese… as we know it. But that’s another story… Dear oh dear!
From the album “ They Might See Dolphins’ – available on all social media platforms.