Mannanlochlee, a Fairy Gothic Ballad

Written by Elizabeth Kirwin, Electronic Music Composition by Liam Sckhot

Mannanlochlee is a spoken word fairy gothic ballad with paranormal overtones.  It’s about a faery king who once ruled beneath the ocean.  In a terrible storm, the kingdom suffers great reversals. The castle that once existed beneath the sea is forced upon the land.

The townsfolk who live beneath the mountain where Mannanlochlee is perched know full well this place is not haunted by a ghost — but a bereaved and insane faery king — Mannan.

Lyrics and Narration:   Elizabeth Kirwin

Musical Composition:  LiamSckhot

Copyright 2011 by Elizabeth Kirwin & LiamSckhot

Mannanlochlee is truly a gift from the fairies. After a hands on healing session on a Sunday afternoon with loved ones, I took a short early evening nap. I was awakened by a male voice, and he dictated this ballad to me.

Mannanlochlee is a folk tale about a faery sea king who haunts a castle on a high cliff near the ocean. The castle does not belong on land — its rightful place is underneath the sea — invisible from human eyes. But during a violent storm, the castle and its occupant are cast upon the shores of Ireland.  A small village lies beneath it. The townsfolk are afraid to climb the hill and interact with the sole survivor of the storm.  Instead, they watch and listen in fear as paranormal events unfold near their village.  The sea king is left alone to mourn his family – who have disappeared during the storm.

by Elizabeth Kirwin

There’s a bleak dark castle overlooking the sea.
to the locals of the land,
it is Mannanlochlee.
The common folk are not welcomed up there,
nor are there livestock, their children, or wares.
They say that a hermit inhabits this place.
but the people of the  town know better than this.
Tt is not a person that dwells near those cliffs –
it is a member of the faery race.

Long, long ago, Mannanlochlee
was not high on the mountain
but under the sea.
It was the palace of the faery king of the ocean
filled with jewels, fine women and children.
At the long tables there was feasting and laughter –
and a scent to the air of salt and amber.
And the faeries who dwelled there
were filled with passion and grace.
And the mortals who visited
never left.

One fine day, the land started to rumble.
Like a galley of horses, the roar was so loud.
They say that the sea gained three feet in a day–
rooftops and trees were carried away.
a family of six was claimed by the ocean.

Next morning the town saw the storm’s outcome:
towering above them, a huge new mountain!
To the north of the cliffs, stood Mannanlochlee
All day from the castle, they heard a dark keening
Mannan had lost his wives and his children.
So he wanders the cliffs near Mannanlochlee —
forever in search of his earthly family.

No matter how curious the townsfolk may be
none make the climb to Mannanlochlee.
They say on days when there are gales and squalls
one of Mannan’s wives is dashed on the cliffs.
In the early hours of the morning
under a red, red sky, with a soft wind starting,
you may hear the terrible sound
of faery children – screaming.