BBC Documentary The Celts

The Celts - Rich Traditions & Ancient Myths
The Celts (subtitled “Rich Traditions and Ancient Myths”) is a 1986 documentary series produced by the BBC, with all soundtrack composed by Enya. It was written and presented by Frank Delaney, who also wrote an accompanying book.An album containing a selection of songs from the series’ soundtrack was released as Enya, later remastered and reissued as The Celts.
Broadcast over the course of six, one-hour episodes, The Celts examined the origins, growth and influence of Celtic culture in Great Britain and throughout Europe. The series was released on DVD in Europe and North America in 2004.
The six episodes:

  1. The Man with the Golden Shoes covers the archeological and historical evidences for the Celts and the extent of their civilization across the European continent.
    Songs used: “The Celts”, “March of the Celts”, “Epona”, “Severed Head”, “Boadicea”, “Spaghetti Western”, “Bard Dance”, “Sword Fight” and “To Go Beyond I”.
  2. The Birth of Nations shows the formation of the modern Celtic nations from the ashes of the Roman conquest and fall.
    Songs used: “The Celts”, untitled, “Deserted House”, “Deireadh An Tuath”, “Boadicea” and “The Sun In The Stream”.
  3. A Pagan Trinity discusses Celtic mythology, legend, and belief, and then the introduction of Christian faith to the Irish and Scots.
    Songs used: “The Celts”, “Fairy Tale I”, “Morrighan”, “Severed Head”, untitled, “Triad (Cú Chulainn, Oisin, St.Patrick, Cú Chulainn)”, “Deireadh An Tuath”, “Fairy Tale II” and “Fairy Tale III”.
  4. The Open-Ended Curve presents the distinctive physical culture and art of the Celts, both ancient and modern.
    Songs used: “The Celts”, untitled, “March of the Celts”, “Triad (St.Patrick)”, “Portrait”, “I Want Tomorrow” and “To Go Beyond I”.
  5. The Final Conflict returns to history, presenting the conquest of the modern Celtic nations by neighboring England and France, with a review of the Irish resistance and revolution, and the immigration of the Irish and others to North America.
    Songs used: “The Celts”, “Dan y Dwr”, “To Go Beyond II”, “The Sun In The Stream” and “Deireadh An Tuath”.
  6. The Legacy is a discussion on the degree to which modern people may view themselves as Celts, with examples of modern Celtic-inspired practices like military discipline and warfare and modern Irish music and art.
    Songs used: “The Celts”, “Seaside Ditty”, “Third Man”, untitled, “Irish Piece”, “To Go Beyond II”, “Deserted House”, “Aldebaran” and “Portrait”.

Legends of the Celts

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Sterling Pub Co Inc (June 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0806983515
  • ISBN-13: 978-0806983516

The author recounts his favourite Celtic legends, drawing on the oral tradition of story telling of the last thousand years. He demonstrates the universality of our stories, and the many motifs that we have in common with ancient mythology.


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