small blue flowers


The Old Smoo

 (photo by bobthelomond)

OK, so Bluets is in a bit of a hiatus at the moment due to all of us being pretty busy in real life. Hopefully that will ease off soon and normal service will be resumed.

This month's (October) theme is Halloween and all things witchy, scary and ghostly. Innovative and inspired, I know. So I thought I'd try and relate some spooky stories from Scottish folklore and post appropriate tracks to go with said stories.

So, Smoo Cave is a large sea cave on the north coast of Scotland, at the top-left hand corner of the mainland if you want to get non-geographical.

There are several legends attached to it, mainly involving Donald, Wizard of Reay  or Lord Reay.  While visiting Italy, Donald met the Devil and became his student (as you do). It was customary at the end of term for the Devil to claim the last student to leave the classroom as his own. This happened to be Donald. When Donald saw the Devil about to pounce, he shouted  "De'il, tak' the hindmost" and pointed at his shadow. The Devil siezed his shadow, leaving Donald to return to Scotland where it was remarked on many occasions that he cast no shadow.

Of course, if you were the Devil, and he clearly was, you wouldn't take too kindly to being tricked by one of your pupils. In fact you'd probably seek some kind of terrible revenge wouldn't you? Oh yes.

One night Donald and his dog were walking across the moors when a storm struck. They sought refuge in Smoo Cave and the dog ran ahead, deeper into the cave. It came back terror-stricken, yelping and hairless. Donald knew it was the Devil come to settle the score, but to his relief the sun rose and rendered the Devil and his three accompanying witches powerless. They blew holes in the roof of the cavern and all four flew away.

These holes are now how the Allt Smoo (a river) enters the cavern and creates the beautiful scenes we can see in this flickr link  - Smoo Cave - Flickr

Some relevant songs:

Bat for Lashes - The Wizard    www/Buy

Low - Blue-Eyed Devil             www/Buy

Jo McCafferty - Cave              www/Buy



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