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bear by san

March 2017

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bear by san

So, swanmays

Any of you bright people feel like kicking in with suggestions of folkloric and mythic tales concerning humans transformed into swans? I have a short list:

Fionnghuala and her brothers
The Wild Swans
Swan Lake
Bunyip and the black swans
and maybe Bonny Swans if you bend it past breaking.

Any other suggestions?

Tonight is my night to spam lj, apparently.

Comments

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The Children of Lir--which is probably another name for the Fionnghuala story? Though I don't remember the daughter having that name.
Yes, thank you. Fionnghuala is also Nuala. *g* She gets a lot of screen time in this book, actually....
Brother Theodore's famous spoken-word routine involved a claim that every day at 2AM he walked from his apartment on Amsterdam Ave to the bank the Hudson River and threw himself into the drink. He'd emerge from the murky water a glorious swan, swim over to Jersey City, then turn back into a man.

The reason he's not the most famous man in the world for this incredible and daily feat is simple: the authorities conspired to cover it all up.
Perfectly marvelous. Exactly what I wanted. Make that two cups of coffee I owe you now.
Nothing direct, just that valkyries in Norse Mythology were sometimes referred to as swan maidens. Have you checked out the Lang Fairy books? I'm sure they've got a swan maiden or two in there. ;)
*nod* Valkyries check, but alas not human. Although it's a good reminder, because I had forgetten them in this context, and they may very well get used if I run out.

My favorite Valkyrie name is Svanrikr. *g*
Only swannish tale I can recall is Leda and the... but she didn't turn into one, she only had carnal knowledge of one. :)
the great wings beating still--

Heh *g*
I've looked up stuff on this site before, here's what they have for swans:

http://www.primitivism.com/swan-maidens.htm
thankyew!
Only thing which comes to mind is from some versions of "The Twa Sisters" --

Father, come see what's caught in your dam!
It's either a mermaid or a white swan.

Of course, it's merely a dead woman. And then a minstrel makes a harp from her bones, and strings it with her hair. And when he plays it at the royal court, the harp speaks and accuses the woman's sister of murder.

Moral: If you're a harper, stick with harps made of more conventional materials.
Gives a whole new meaning to "harping on about it," anyway.
The Swan Princess was really a surprisingly good kids movie, with a kick-ass soundtrack. The sequels, on the other hand, should be avoided (as is so often the case) It drew heavily on Swan Lake, but had some original elements.

Nicholas Stuart Gray wrote The Seventh Swan, which tells the story of the youngest brother who was left with a swan wing, and his adventures trying to finish the breaking of that spell.

I drew most heavily on Andersen, but I was aware of and referred to a couple Grimm tales with similar elements and The Children of Lir, and I managed to throw in references to The Trockoderos of Monte Carlo (doing Swan Lake) and Anna Pavlova's signature piece, "The Dying Swan" (I quoted the Ogden Nash poem "The Swan" in the chapter epigram).

I have not read this book (although of course I keep running into it because it has the same title as mine). I wonder if she's referring to a Chinese legend???

Cheers,
Peg
My hero. *g* I was hoping you would wander by with an opinion...

By the way, if you'd like a copy of the book at any time, just let me know. No obligation intended--but I think of you when I think of swans.
There's the Swan Knight/Swan Prince, which seems to be essentially the same story as the Children of Lir or the Wild Swans, only playing return engagements in the Arthurian cycle all over Europe.
I don't know this one. Have you got a website detail? The Arthurian bent is helpful.
http://www.didgeridoos.net.au/dreamtime%20stories/swans.html

West Australian aborigial myth; two brothers are transformed to swans, originally white swans; eagles attack them and tear off their white feathers, but crows donate black feathers to the dying swans, who survive, but cannot be turned back into men. (Goes with the bunyip, maybe.)

And to turn things backwards, a swan-deity turns herself into a human to save the Ainu people:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/hokkaido/legswa.html

I believe the Serbian 'vila' sometimes took the shape of swans, but I think that's straying a bit far afield, and anyway I can't find the citation.
thank you! I didn't know the Ainu story!
Thank you. *g*
Swans? Oh yes, lots of info on swans amassed during research for my own novel, The Swan King's Daughter. I see lots already covered above. Email me if you want to chat about all things cygneficant :)
Thanks, I think I've got enough. I'm mostly working with one or two stories in this thing, but I wanted to make sure I wasn't missing anything, since the W&W mythology is a bit of a quantum observation magical muddle.

Thanks!
"The Bonny Swans" was what leapt immediately to mind for me. But it seems to me I remember one or two in one of Lang's series of fairytale books with color-based titles (The Brown Fairy Book, The Violet Fairy Book etc.). Wish I could remember in more detail, though.
Thank you!
Oh, yeah, the one that involves Mebd & Aillil. Huzzah! Good catch!
What about the Ainu myth of Vain Iniga?
Is that different than The Swan Mistress, mentioned above?
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