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Where did we get the name
"The Standing Stones"?


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The land runs out into the sea
It's a narrow neck of land
Where weird and grim the Standing Stones
In a circle there they stand.


The name Standing Stones refers to the enigmatic prehistoric stone stone circles and monuments which are found throughout the British Isles and parts of Western Europe. We perform the traditional music of the Celtic peoples who at one time occupied all the areas in which these monuments are found. Especially, we perform music from the Gaelic tradition which until about 300 years ago extended unbroken from the south of Ireland all the way to the most northern part of Scotland.

The Standing Stones is also a beautiful song from the Orkney Islands that we enjoy performing. The Orkney Islands, just off the north coast of Scotland, are a treasure trove of archaeological sites. Within a small area on the island of Mainland can be found the amazing Neolithic village Skara Brae, the Ring of Brodgar, the chamber tomb Maes Howe (second only to Newgrange in Ireland) and the Standing Stones of Stenness which are described in this song. (Note: the site www.stonepages.com, has a large collection of photos and descriptions of standing stones sites.)

The song was recorded in 1955 from John and Ethel Findlater, within sight of the Stones. It had been published earlier in John Mooney's Songs of the Norse (1883), where it was called The Lovers--a West Mainland Legend. One of the stones, called the Odin Stone, had a hole in it through which hands were joined to solemnize betrothals. Unfortunately, it was destroyed in 1814. For this reason, The Standing Stones (the song, not the musicians) can be shown from internal evidence to date back before this year. (Probably it is considerably older.)


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Don't confuse us with:


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Historical footnotes:


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Hearth Return to The Standing Stones home page

Lighthouse Go to the Standing Stones Site Map (listing of the entire contents of this website)


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STANDING STONES is registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office as a federal service mark. Unauthorized use of this mark for performing live or recorded music, or providing music-related information over the Internet, in interstate commerce in the United States, is prohibited. For full details on the activities covered by this mark, consult the US Patent and Trademark Office database.