Welcome to my regular Friday song/tune day, ladies and gentlemen, where I pick a piece of music that reflects my mood or the times, to share with you.

For reasons that I am ashamed of now, I decided not to send my children to our local primary school. Instead, I decided to send them to a school out of area. Anyway, for entirely different reasons, it turned out to be a good decision. At first it seemed that we might not be able to get our eldest child into our chosen school. This was quite distressing for our son because he wanted to go to the school with the rocket in the playground. My husband and I also checked out the Catholic primary school in the same suburb as some of my child’s friends would also be attending that school. I was upfront with the principal of the Catholic school about our lack of religion. I explained to him that my child was interested in dinosaurs, planetary science and, you know, evolution. The principal was quick to reassure me that the religious education was only a small component of the curriculum and that the bible was not taught as some literal truth but more as guiding stories. I thought that was very enlightened. I can’t imagine getting that type of response these days. However, at that time, almost half the children who went to Catholic schools weren’t actually Catholic. In the end, a place came up at the rocket ship school and so a temper tantrum was avoided and I did not have to deal with my own internal conflict.

This brings me today’s song choice, Gilgamesh Lament for Enkidu, sung by Canadian singer, Peter Pringle. This lament forms part of the ancient (and fragmented) text, the Epic of Gilgamesh, the text of which is recorded on a set of twelve clay tablets dating to the seventh century BC. When the text on the tablets was first translated in the 1800s, there was some controversy because there are apparently some similarities between it and other ancient religious texts. As you know, texts can be interpreted in many different ways. Even Freud has had a crack at the Gilgamesh story. The story of Gilgamesh apparently had a big influence on two other epic poems, the Iliad and the Odyssey. Anyway, if you don’t know the story (or the stories) of Gilgamesh, they are worth checking out. For me, it is interesting from the perspective of how a myth grows up around some leaders which then passes into popular culture. Let’s have the song/poem now. I hope you enjoy.

Stay safe, stay sane, everyone.

Kind Regards.
Tracy.

Photo Attribution:
Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin FRCP(Glasg), CC BY-SA 4.0

24 thoughts on “On Creating A Myth

  1. Tracy, thank you so much. That was wonderful. Really. You’ve introduced me to something quite new to me. And furthermore, I’m (at last) going to plug that gap in my education which is The Epic of Gilgamesh. And about time too, I hear you say.

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  2. That is really an interesting response from the Catholic school principal. I went to Catholic schools, as did my kids. But we are Catholic, so…. I just remember that non-Catholics had to pay a larger tuition than Catholics. So we paid for the privilege?? We still receive notices from the high school asking for donations–they are always upgrading the school. I figure they got 3 four-year tuitions from me. Surely that is enough.

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  3. That is a great Catholic school headmaster (?). Have you looked into Joseph Campbell’s Atlas of World Mythology? After delving into that for a long time, I came away with the idea that there are just not that many stories. Now, spending all the time in nature as I have, I wonder how many of those stories (fables, myths, scriptures) come from animals and some human decision that “No, we don’t want to do that.” Or “That’s a good idea!” I don’t know.

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    1. Yes, the principal is the headmaster. The school had a very welcoming atmosphere. The children showed us around. They were so proud of their school.
      I don’t know Joseph Campbell. Think of me as a blank slate, Martha. They are all pretty similar that I can’t keep it straight in my head which are Roman, greek, norse, etc, in origin. JK Rowling borrowed from all the myths. Animals have some amazing powers so I would not be surprised if some clever people adapted traits from the animal world and mythologised them.

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  4. Interesting decision making for your children’s school. Pleased it all went well. The regret of my fathers life was when his parents refused him accepting a musical scholarship because it was a catholic school offering it (this was about 100 years ago now) It would probably have changed his life. Never heard of the “epic of Gilgamesh” I see a google search coming up….🤔

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    1. That is a sad story, Pauline, about your father not being able to pursue his dream.
      My father went to a Catholic school. Marist Bros, I think. He said he used to get caned every day. He had a learning disability. Dyslexia.
      Do look up Gilgamesh, Pauline. I think you will find his story very interesting.

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      1. Dad did t go to a catholic school so I don’t know how they came to offer him the scholarship. He was self taught and a brilliant pianist spent many happy hours singing around the piano

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  5. You’ve introduced me to something new, Tracy. Again. Both Gilgamesh and the singer. It’s an amazing performance, and I also found the wall behind him very interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Laments are such soul-rending expressions …. And how is that person in the opening sequence playing 2 instruments at the same time?!!! Hauntingly sung.

    Goodness! you have brought to mind such an age-old debate: the passing of oral tradition into text into translation of things many hold sacred. The foundations upon which our modern history recollections are built.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah! That would make sense. But it looks so impressive in the video, with both pipes in his mouth!!!!

        It all depends from whose perspective the history is recorded, isn’t it? It really challenges the things we think we know ….

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Hahhaha. No worries. It’s not for everyone but I love having a more intimate channel and getting away from social media. The blogging community is a nice alternative though 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

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