Three Drops of Honey For Three Drops of Blood

Three Drops of Honey for Three Drops of Blood

My eyes stare up at the blue of the sky
My blood runs over the rock
My life was mine to live
I took my part of it with me

Three colors I could love in a man
Snow white, night black and crimson red
I dreamt of him till he came to me
I took his hand and stole us away

Mine was the cry that struck
Fear in the men of Ulster
I screamed from my mother’s womb
My life was bounded by that shriek.

Only Conchobor’s women
Raised me to womanhood
I was claimed by a king
Before I was even born

But I made my choice
Uisliu the finest man I’d seen
Then the chase began
Across the isles we ran like deer

Those were the days of the life I chose
My bonny man my heart’s delight
Running made life sweet
For the king would never give me up

Three birds came to us,
beaks all smeared with honey sweet
They flew away with drops of our blood
And we to Ireland returned

Battle to Ulster came,
My beautiful lover lay in his blood
Just as the druid said
My life the coin that bought their lives

I was the king’s again
Rolling away from the bloody field
Littered with Ulster’s pride
I leapt from the chariot

My eyes stare up at the blue of the sky
My blood runs over the rock
My life was mine to live
I took my part of it with me

 

An embryonic song. I have tried to write Deirdriu’s side of the story for over twenty years. A look at an article from 1913 gave me the image that opened the conduit.

I understand, I really do. After all Deirdriu went through, after all the choices that were made for her, I can understand why she simply wouldn’t care what anyone else thought about her story. She lived her whole life on someone else’s terms. When she finally made her own choice, she never had a place to lay her head two nights in a row. She had the sense to stay away from Ireland, but her boyfriend didn’t. Why should she want anything but peace once it was over?

She has it, I hope, but we need to understand her story, for all the women whose choices are made for them. May I eventually tell it to her satisfaction, in song.

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