Celtic Mythology: The Three Noble Strains

Stair na hÉireann/History of Ireland

Healer of each wounded warrior,
Comforter of each fine woman,
Guiding refrain over the blue water,
Image-laden, sweet-sounding music! –Book of the O’Connor Don

In Celtic mythology, we’re told about The Dagda (the Good god of the Gaelic gods) who was a king within the fairy race known as the Tuatha Dé Danann. The Dagda had a magical and enchanting harp, which he took everywhere and which would come to him when he called.

His harp had the Three Noble Strains of music bound into it. Each property or strain had a different effect on the listener:

1) The Goiltai or ‘sorrow strain’ caused people to weep.
2) The Geantrai or ‘joy strain’ encouraged people to laugh.
3) The Suantrai or ‘sleep strain’ lulled people to sleep.

A story is told of a battle between the Fomorians and the Tuatha Dé Danann where the Fomorians stole The Dagda’s harp and…

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