Godric of Finchale, an uncanonised post-Conquest Anglo-Saxon saint whose feast day is today, was quite an interesting fellow. (Before his "conversion" by the spirit and relics of St Cuthbert at Lindisfarne he was a rough-hewn seafaring man and ship's captain sometimes referred to in contemporary writings as a "pirate" and a "villain"-- afterwards he spent the remaining sixty years of his life as a hermit in a mud hut.) He is notably the first English "songwriter" known by name whose lyrics and music survive. Among his self-abnegating practices were to go always barefoot and to control his lust by standing naked in icy waters. The music and lyrics, said to have been granted to him whole and complete in visions by the Virgin Mary, are rather remarkable. e.g. Crist and sainte marie swa on scamel me iledde þat ic on þis erðe ne silde wid mine bare fote i tredie 'Christ and St Mary so carried me with a crutch That I never had to tread upon this earth with my bare foot.' (That's an Anglo-Saxon rhyme, by the way, composed after the Norman Conquest but recognizable as old English, two things I was always taught never happened. Twelfth-Century vernacular English culture has been rather neglected, at least it was in my education.) #romancalendar ##godricoffinchale #music #songs #minds

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