Posted by Shae on February 07, 2005
In Reply to: Re: O' Carolyn Skull ??? posted by Smokey Stover on February 07, 2005
: : : I have an English assignment to learn the definition and origin of this word/phrase. I cannot find ANY reference to it or any thing like it on the WWW, or in any encyclopedia or dictionary, etymology or otherwise. I've tried different spellings : O. Carolyn Skull,
: : : O'Carolyn Skull, O' Carolyn's Skull, etc... I have even looked in Gaelic dictionaries.
: : : Has anyone out there heard of this? If so, where can I find the definition and origin of it? Thank you so much in advance,
: : : Cindy
: : I suspected that your spelling was wrong and I knew of a drink called Carolans, so I googled skull + carolans and found the following page which I think you will find useful.
: : http://www.folkworld.de/20/e/toms.html
: : A great academic may not know everything, but they know where to look...
: : L
: Very interesting and very informative, Sir Knight. But English assignment? Where, in graduate school? Possibly in college, but certainly not in high school. Anyway, congratulations to Lewis for figuring this out. SS
O'Carolan was probably the last of the Irish Bards. His best known composition is his 'concerto.' Visit http://www.irishpage.com/songs/carolan/concnote.htm to get a modernist flavour of his music.
As regards his skull, there is a long established tradition in Ireland, and possibly elsewhere, whereby water drunk from the the skull-cap of a saint or bishop was supposed to cure various ailments. O'Carolan isn't a saint but maybe his skull was believed to provide musical inspiration.