The Enchantment Cure: The Healing Power of Irish Songs and Stories

The great wordsmiths of Ireland, be they singers or storytellers, possess the power to put listeners faoi dhraíocht, “into an enchantment.” It’s a spell we willingly fall under. While we listen, when we laugh, when we join in with the singer or echo the words of the storyteller, we open up to the possibility of feeling more vital and resilient and open to the adventure of living.

As a scholar and teacher of Irish language and folklore, and as a singer and storyteller myself, I have witnessed firsthand the healing effected by traditional songs and stories. Some of these contain wisdom about how to get better – or to put it in Irish, teacht ar ais chugat féin, “to come back to yourself.” Others convey an essence that lifts us up and fosters wellbeing. I am excited to share with you some of these beguiling and restorative words, to teach you giota beag Gaeilge – a little bit of Irish – and to engage your own participation in the enchantment cure.