by Christine Sine
Tuesday (May 16th) is St Brendan’s feast day and as he is one of my favourite Celtic saints (maybe because I lived on a ship for so many years) I wanted to repost this.
The Prayer of St. Brendan
Listen too to this rendition of St Brendan’s Voyage
Here are the lyrics:
St. Brendan’s Voyage
A boat sailed out of Brandon in the year of 501
’twas a damp and dirty mornin’ Brendan’s voyage it began.
Tired of thinnin’ turnips and cuttin’ curley kale
When he got back from the creamery he hoisted up the sail.
He ploughed a lonely furrow to the north, south, east and west
Of all the navigators, St. Brendan was the best.
When he ran out of candles he was forced to make a stop,
He tied up in Long Island and put America on the map.
Did you know that Honolulu was found by a Kerryman,
Who went on to find Australia then China and Japan.
When he was touchin’ 70, he began to miss the crack,
Turnin’ to his albatross he sez “I’m headin’ back”.
To make it fast he bent the mast and built up mighty steam.
Around Terra del Fuego and up the warm Gulf Stream,
He crossed the last horizon, Mt. Brandon came in sight
And when he cleared the customs into Dingle for the night.
When he got the Cordon Bleu he went to douse the drought,
He headed west to Kruger’s* to murder pints of stout
Around by Ballyferriter and up the Conor Pass
He freewheeled into Brandon, the saint was home at last.
The entire population came (281) the place was chock-a-block
Love nor money wouldn’t get your nose inside the shop.
The fishermen hauled up their nets, the farmers left their hay,
Kerry people know that saints don’t turn up every day.
Everythin’ was goin’ great ’til Brendan did announce
His reason for returnin’ was to try and set up house.
The girls were flabbergasted at St. Bredan’s neck
To seek a wife so late in life and him a total wreck.
Worn down by rejection that pierced his humble pride,
“Begod”, sez Brendan “If I run I’ll surely catch the tide”
Turnin’ on his sandals he made straight for the docks
And haulin’ up his anchor he cast off from the rocks.
As he sailed past Inishvickallaun there stood the albatross
“I knew you’d never stick it out, ’tis great to see you boss”
“I’m bailin’ out” sez Brendan, “I badly need a break
A fortnight is about as much as any aul saint could take.”
“Is it right or left for Gibraltar”
“What tack do I take for Mizen Head?”
“I’d love to settle down near Ventry Harbour”,
St. Brendan to his albatross he said.
And a beautiful animated version of Brendan’s voyage as related by children
If you are interested in the craft these intrepid explorers travelled in read this article
St Brendan the Navigator by Brenda Griffin Warren
Pilgrimage and St Brendan by Derek Olsen
Looking for hospitality inspiration? We have an entire resource page dedicated to hospitality. Find recipes and reflections on numerous hospitality topics, including Celtic hospitality, prayers, and liturgies. Click on Hospitality for more!