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Welcome to Pub Songs & Stories, the virtual Public House for Celtic culture and change through music.

I am Marc Gunn. I play Sci F'Irish music. I want to take you on an adventure. I'll share the stories behind my songs as we explore pop culture media through the lens of Irish & Celtic music. You will have fun and sing along, and maybe get a far too real glimpse of yourself.



Dec 1, 2020

The comical history of Rosin the Bow. My failure as a podcaster. What on Middle-earth is a “smial”? A Doctor Whovian Spotlight on Matt Hughes.

Welcome to the Pub Songs Podcast, the Virtual Public House for Celtic Geek culture. I am your Guide. My name is Marc Gunn. Today’s show is brought to you by my Gunn Runners on Patreon. Subscribe to the podcast and download free music when you sign up at


00:27 - SONG: “Rosin the Bow” from Happy Songs of Death

What does “Rosin the Bow” mean?

Rosin is a solid form of resin that's obtained from pines and other conifers. ... Used by cellists, violinists, and other string musicians, rosin helps create friction between the bow hair and strings. Essentially, rosin helps the bow grip the strings and produce sound.

That’s from The Vault at Music & The Arts.

The song was popularized in America in the 19th century. Though it probably had British or Irish origins according to Wikipedia.

The most interesting fact was that the music for the song was used by several US presidential campaigns, including for William Henry Harrison ("The Hero of Tippecanoe"),[3] Henry Clay ("Harry, the Honest and True") and Abraham Lincoln ("Lincoln and Liberty").

3:02 - WELCOME

-- Post a review in Apple Podcasts. If you enjoy this show, please subscribe or post a review on Apple Podcasts. I’d love your feedback.

-- The first episodes of the 2020 Celtic Christmas Podcast are now online. As usual, the show is free to listen to. And there are over 50 episodes to enjoy with mostly music, but also a lot of holiday entertainment. Get Celtic Christmas music.

-- Browncoat Christmas is now online. Mikey Mason and I released this four song EP of Christmas songs inspired by Joss Whedon’s TV show, Firefly. It’s upbeat and fun. You can download or stream it most everywhere online.

-- Short Story of what’s new: My failure as a podcaster.


Hi. I’m Marc Gunn. You may remember me from such kilted bands as the Brobdingnagian Bards, Kilted Kings, and Marc Gunn.

Ye know. Me.

But perhaps, you don’t know my music. But you may know some fine Scottish Songs of Drinking & Rebellion.

That may be a rip off title from a Clancy Brothers album, Irish Songs of Drinking & Rebellion. But the music is pure Scottish fun. You’ll get 17 Scottish songs that will make you want to drink or rise up against England. You’ll hear songs I learned from Ed Miller, The Corries, Widening Gyre (you probably have never heard of that band), and even Outlander… Well, sort of.

There are five songs by Robert Burns, including “MacPherson’s Farewell”, “Scots Wha Hae”, “Ye Jacobites by Name”, “A Man’s A Man for A’ That”, and the clean love song version of “Green Grow the Rashes”.

There’s the unofficial national anthem of Scotland, “Flower of Scotland”, by The Corries. The “Skye Boat Song” was a fantastic traditional Scottish song even before the lyrics were modified for the Outlander TV show. There’s the great drinking ballad, “Jock Stuart”. And let’s not forget Hugh S. Roberton’s incredible “Mingulay Boat Song” that is given a Louisiana gospel edge.

You’ll find it all on Marc Gunn’s Scottish Songs of Drinking & Rebellion. Get it at

Now let’s go geek with a song that’s not from that CD...

9:09 - GEEK SONG: “The Smial or the Tree” from Sci Fi Drinking Songs

"In a hole in the ground there lived a Hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole and that means comfort." - The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien

What on Middle-earth is a “smial”?

Well the Tolkien Gateway has the answer.

“Smials were the hobbit-holes tunneled into earth mounds and hills.

For generations the Hobbits dug into the earth to live. By the later Third Age the poorest Hobbits still went on living in burrows of the most primitive kind with only one window or none.

For the most well-to-do hobbits, smials were luxurious versions of those primitive diggings of old. Their tunnels had rounded walls and branched to other rooms. Smials included Bag End and the smials along Bagshot Row of Hobbiton, the Great Smials of Tuckborough and Brandy Hall. The latter two were large enough to have ample room for a hundred Hobbits.

When suitable sites for these large and ramifying tunnels were not everywhere to be found, many Hobbits lived in wood, brick or stone houses. This was the case with some muddy regions of the Eastfarthing, such as the Marish.

"Smial" is a term used by Tolkien fans to refer to divisions of Tolkien Societies.

Read more about it at

11:25 - CELTIC GEEK SPOTLIGHT: Matt Hughes

I've seen Matt Hughes' name for about as long as I can remember. He was an integral part of the Brobdingnagian Bards' community early on. Which is where I first found him. He was also one of the first people to cover a song I wrote. So you know that's gonna make me happy. Hehe He also helped me write “Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster” and performed on “Scouring the Shire” and “Bilbo’s Farewell” (he yelled ‘Proudfeet’) on my CD Don’t Go Drinking With Hobbits.

When I asked Matt about being a guest in the Celtic Geek Spotlight, he made some silly reference to the Weeping Angels from Doctor Who. That gave me the idea to have Matt answer all of my questions… without blinking. As soon as he does that, we will be forced to move to a different time period with a new question.

Welcome Matt, can you tell me what inspires you with music? Why are you still making music today? What do you have planned for the future? Oh and do it all without blinking…


Whoa. It’s 2004. Hey my voice sounds younger. What are you doing at this time in your life, Matt?


Pirate Accent: Curses, Matthew! That was just getting good. Avast. Suppose it’s time for ye to tell me about your pirate lifestyle. How did you become a pirate? What songs inspired your travel back in time?


Thank you Matt Hughes, wherever you are in time. I appreciate you taking the time to chat with me.

Now obviously, it sucks that we lost some of the stories you were telling thanks to that darned Weeping Angel time travel business. So if you want to find out more about Matt Hughes, visit his website at

14:34 - SPOTLIGHT SONG: “My Life Is An Irish Folk Song” by Matt Hughes from Erin Go Bragh

17:29 - ­TRAVEL WITH CELTIC INVASION VACATIONS. Every year, I take a small group of Celtic music fans on the relaxing adventure of a lifetime. We don't see everything. Instead, we stay in one area. We get to know the region through its culture, history, and legends. You can join us with an auditory and visual adventure through podcasts and videos. We’re going to Scotland in 2021. Join the invasion at

-- New Irish & Celtic Song Lyrics. I update the lyrics for all of the songs I sing in this show. You will find lyrics and chords so you can play along with me. Just click the song title to find the lyrics or follow the link in the shownotes to find more Irish & Celtic song lyrics. If you decide to play along, make a video or audio recording. I’d love to see or hear it.


THURS: Coffee with The Celtfather on YouTube @ 12:00 PM Eastern

DEC 4: The Lost Druid in Avondale Estates, GA @ 7:00 - 9:00 PM ET. Free.

DEC 17: Celtfather Live on YouTube @ 8:00 - 9 PM EDT. Tickets $8.


If you enjoy the music in this show, please show your support. Buy music or merch. Follow me on streaming. And tell a friend.

Streaming music gives you a quick and easy way to sample my 23 albums. Digital sales keep my business running. Tips and CD sales allow me to tour and have online concerts. Kickstarter funds the production of physical products like CDs, shirts, and other merch. And Patreon funds my songwriting!

Join the Gunn Runners Club on Patreon. Your support pays for the production and promotion of my music and this podcast. Follow the link in the shownotes.

Special thanks to my newest patrons: Matt and Nykki Boersma, John, Jas Weigt

- JOIN THE PUB CHAT (read and see videos at bottom of notes)

There are a lot of creative Celtic Geeks. I would love to hear from you. You can send a written comment. Include a picture of something you created. Or perhaps you could share something about what you are reading, learning, or watching. Or do you have a solo business. Tell me about it. Email me or Chat in the Celtic Geeks group on Facebook.

Finally, I want to try something different this episode. I performed three songs in this show. I’m gonna send one of those songs to everyone who subscribed to my newsletter in two weeks. Which song in this show would you like as a free download? You can vote by emailing me the song name. The most popular song will be sent as an MP3 ON December 17.

24:03 - SONG: “Hero of Christmas” from Browncoat Christmas

Pub Songs Podcast was produced by Marc Gunn. The show was edited by Mitchell Petersen with graphics by Miranda Nelson Designs. To subscribe, go to Apple Podcasts, Spotify or to my website where you can subscribe to my mailing list. I’ll email you regular updates of new music and po dcasts, special offers, and you’ll get 21 songs for free. Welcome to the pub at!



What are YOUR favorite songs of the past 15 years? What creative artistic things are you working on right now?

Karen Carothers emailed: "I have a church newsletter I need to be working on, but mostly I just get creative with my stickers in my planners these days."

john emailed: "I've been listening for about 15 years and owe you an apology for not becoming a patron sooner. I think our paths crossed way back you were on or they gave you a shout out on NPR in Boston. Used to down load shows on an ancient Apple device.

Your show is about as creative as I get. I don't keep track of any particular song or band. With that being said,the one song of yours called the "the fairy" was used at my wedding 10 years ago. My wife loved the song and insisted on walking down the aisle to it.

Thanks for the years past present and future."

Tammy Glover replied: "I have so many songs & music types that I like (many of them are your songs!), it’s hard to narrow down. Bring Me Home, Boys and Doctor of Gallifrey are 2 that immediately spring to mind. As for creative things, cooking is a favorite, especially soups and noodles. I have also been tinkering with some jewelry making. I enjoy watching your videos & seeing your family updates. ???? Have a great day!!"

Jan Czenkusch writes: "Well as always I have a cross stitch project to work on.  I am also trying to work on some Christmas music to record for church.  My version of Come to the Hills will be the prelude on Sunday."

Sarah Crockett sent you a message.

"A Rabbit for Halloween, She said her name was Saffron, Doctor of Gallifrey, Roll the Old Firefly along, Don’t go Drinking with Hobbits, She’s Shiny, Breathing, and I really REALLY love O’er the Way. Good stuff! I look forward to my 2 hour drive to work on Friday with your music ??????

I am currently working on not gaining any more Covid weight (not going well), trying new recipes, and tweaking my Faire garb and various Mad Men cosplay. I boring ??"