• Stilicho

    warbling songs with a silvery voice in a minor key

Our Story

An argument for the name in place of a description:

If there is any political event that is relevant to folk music, then it is the fall and the restoration of civilizations. If there is any historical event, it is the fall and the restoration of cultures. I have been turning over the question of what we should call ourselves for days, and have found nothing that sounds weighty without also sounding contrived, or witty without also being battle-of-the-bands-y.

So rather than search for a word to be coerced for a purpose, I began searching for a word that agreed with the purpose we already have and wish to have more of.

In every history of the fall of Rome, I am struck by the figure Stilicho. He was the last of the Roman generals. he served the empire with every fiber of his being. His super human efforts were not enough to keep the empire together for many years after his death, nor were they enough to keep that death from being execution at the hands of the people he devoted his life to protecting. His failure ushered the task of protecting Christian culture and tradition into the hands of the Irish on their wild island while the empire tore itself apart.

Part of the issue with finding a name has been that we are justly cautious of being seen as part of the ugly 'Celtic tiger' tradition that exposes delicate parts of Irish tradition for a profit while stripping them of the privacy and holiness that made them great in the first place. So we have determined to settle on something more in our own setting. We may have been going in the wrong direction.

I propose we call ourselves Stilicho. (pronounced "still-ik-oh") this name signifies everything that is holy and heroic about the Irishman. The thing he upholds is greater than anything earthly. He does not go gentle into conflict with evil. He goes up against hardship not with jaw clenched for the danger, but laughing like a crusader cutting his way through the moors. Above all, he is happy because he fights and usually wins, always in the knowledge that he will fail one day and it will be in failure that he will ultimately triumph. He also has a strange and contrarian style that is not the punk rocker 'you can't tell me what to do cause YOURE NOT MY DAD!', but rather a kind of 'I don't wish to disobey, but my orders come from a higher master.'


They danced by the light of the moon
She handed him a blunderbuss from underneath her cloak
Three times round spun our gallant ship and she sank to the bottom of the sea
Where are the sneers and jeers that you bravely let us hear when our heroes of '16 were executed?
In the Year of Our Lord, eighteen hundred and six

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