Pan1

The god Pan. A fine artwork by Jim Colorex

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It’s still summertime, so I’m in the mood for something different today.
A few days ago I remembered an old, beloved song of the Waterboys (Michael Scott’s band), called ‘The Return Of Pan’. It’s a nostalgic song with references to the Irish island of Inisheer (Aran Islands) and the Greek district of Arcadia (actually Pan’s motherland and also my motherland).
Initially Pan was probably a local deity or agathodaemon of the Arcadians (a Hellenic people of Peloponnesus’ interior) before becoming a Pan-Hellenic god. Soon his cult was adopted by the Etruscans (who used to adopt unquestionably everything Greek!) and then by almost all the peoples of ancient Italy. At the same time Pan’s cult was spread to Western Asia Minor and during the Hellenistic and Roman Period, I suppose that it was spread in most of the Mediterranean regions.
I don’t know much about the ancient Celtic gods but from this song I suppose that there was a goat-like god of the Celts, similar enough to Pan, connected to Inisheer and the Aran Islands. And I do not mean Kernounos who was a deer-like god.

Scott’s lyrics are superb and the same goes for the song’s instrumental sounds (the Waterboys are among my favorite bands), even if I do not like so much the start of the song. Maybe many of you are not interested in the god Pan or ancient mythology but the song’s somewhat otherworldly musical synthesis of folklore and rock music and the wonderful guitar solo a little after the middle, are good enough reasons for someone to listen to this song.

Pan2

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The Waterboys: The return of Pan
“The return of Pan” was written by Michael Scott.

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The clink of bells came drifting down the mountainside
When in our sight something moved
Lightning eyed and cloven-hooved
The great god Pan is alive

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He moves amid the modern world in disguise
It’s possible to look into his immortal eyes
He’s like a man you’d meet any place
Until you recognize that ancient face
The great god Pan is alive

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At sea on a ship in a thunderstorm
On the very night that Christ was born
A sailor heard from overhead
A mighty voice cry, “Pan is dead!”
So follow Christ as best you can
Pan is dead, long live Pan!

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From the olden days and up through all the years
From Arcadia to the stone fields of Inisheer
Some say the Gods are just a myth
But guess who I’ve been dancing with
The great god Pan is alive
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxCPkg_Ee3Q&list=RDuxCPkg_Ee3Q#t=7

and here, possibly sounding better:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DhjiIA3SKgk

and here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdljPqP1Ky8

Pan3

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Periklis Deligiannis

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