Richard Thompson: Beeswing
Celtic legend is full of tales of people who take supernatural lovers, only to have those lovers disappear as mysteriously as they originally appeared. The tale of the selkie may be the most familiar of these tales, but it is only one example of many. Although there are no supernatural elements in Richard Thompson’s song Beeswing, it has some of that same quality. The girl here is never named, and she has a wildness that compares to the magical natures of these supernatural lovers. Like them, she cannot be tamed, and must eventually return to her point of origin. I do not think that this is coincidence. Thompson gives the song a musical setting which suggests traditional Celtic music. And Thompson’s lyrics elsewhere, particularly in his work with Fairport Convention, show a deep understanding and love of Celtic lore.