December 21st @ Free Times Café

What do we really know about Druids? I certainly know very little about them and I’m much too busy (or perhaps make that much too lazy) to do any research about them. Yet at this time of year I find my mind turns on occasion to Druids.

I suppose it’s because what little I know about Druids, or what misinformation I have picked up about them, suggests that the winter solstice was a really big deal for them. And yes, I know that there are present day Druids so I probably shouldn’t say the solstice WAS a big deal for them because I’m sure it’s STILL a big deal for them – gathering around the solstice tree, singing solstice songs, drinking mulled something or other – but those are the modern day Druids.

The old Druids, they were a heartier bunch – at least in my imagination. When it came time for winter solstice celebrations they donned hooded gowns and gathered by bonfires beside elaborately constructed things (‘things’ I’m sure is not the right term for what they gathered around but as I said, I haven’t bothered to do any research). And then by the light of the winter fire they sang their Druidic songs, said their Druidic prayers and sacrificed people to their Druidic gods (or maybe just one God, they may have been pagan monotheistic folks – again I didn’t do any research so I wouldn’t know).

My sense also is that Druids were a pretty tough bunch of folks. If you hired some old-school Druids to, for example, put a stone walkway up to your house (work with me on this OK) I’m sure they’d do a great job. And once they were finished they would gather under the moonlight and consecrate the walkway with a sacrifice or two – which could put a rift between you and your neighbours if they had small pets, which is probably why the business model never really took off.

Anyway, I think that while they probably would have been great craftsmen (or craftspeople, but you never hear much about the Druid women, maybe that’s because everyone looks pretty much the same under those hooded gowns) I don’t think they would take too kindly to suggestions about how they might change their design and use of materials. You could say “How about some pinkish granite here” but my guess is that they would pretend not to hear you.

And that then is the biggest difference between Druids and Gordon’s Acoustic Living Room – because I’m sure you were wondering about that. You see, we do take requests. And in fact our next show – on Sunday December 21 – the winter solstice – is our annual all-request show. So if you haven’t voted for your favourite GALR tunes just go here – – and vote for as many tunes as you’d like. But be quick now, voting will close by Thursday.

The show will, as always, be at the Free Times Café (College just west of Spadina) and will start at 8 pm and there will be no cover, so I guess that means that Druids get in free.

Hope to see you there.


P.S. I probably got a whole bunch of things wrong here about Druids but don’t bother telling me unless you can pin the blame on the invention of bagpipes on them – that I’d like to know.

December 21st Set List
Set #1 Set #2
In The Bleak Midwinter
Christmas Bagpipe Medley
Christmas Island
Unchain My Heart
Unchained Melody
Whiskey Like Wine
Pussy Willows, Cattails
I Can See Clearly Now
Bang Bang
Only Love Can Break Your Heart
Save The Last Dance
Mission San Miguel
Glenora Ferry
Ruby Tuesday
Famous Blue Raincoat
Log Driver’s Waltz
Orange Blossom Special
Parents Like Us
I Don’t Look Good Naked Any More
Wichita Lineman
Still A Part Of Me
Roddy McCorley
Ashokan Farewell
Don’t Get Around Much
Lean On Me
Choo Choo Ch’Boogie
C’est La Vie