In Ireland, there is a revered vocation that predates Christianity. It predates the great chieftains, and even Gaelic mythology itself. With roots that go back to the age of Stonehenge, the Irish bardic tradition is one of the first and greatest forms of preserving and sharing culture.
At first only whispered by the fireside, the complicated and beautiful stories of unbreakable spirit later developed a degree of sophistication with the addition of meter and rhyme. The poetics of the 8th century monks show the greatest documentation for this bardic tradition.
More influential than even the poetry, however, were the great storytellers and musicians that passed on legends and histories from tribe to tribe. Enigmatic entertainers, these sages communicated carefully constructed tales through lyrics and rhyme without cultural prejudice or politics. Wearing the colors of all lands, but under the thumb of none, these men of strong voice and heart became known as the bards.
The tradition continues in our times...