Mythical Monday: Fiddler’s Green by Mae Clair

bigstock-Vintage-compass-quill-pen-sp-45049453Often called the sailor’s version of heaven, Fiddler’s Green is an enchanted place every mariner and fisherman dreamed of reaching in the afterlife.

Some believed it could be found in the physical realm when a man tired of the sea. If a mariner had dedicated at least fifty years of service and no longer wished to sail the waterways, he had only to walk inland with an oar slung over his shoulder.

Eventually, his journey would lead him to a small village tucked deep in the countryside. If asked by the residents what he was carrying, he would know he’d found the haven of Fiddler’s Green. In this enchanted place, he would be treated to a comfortable seat in the sun, given a tankard of ale, and a pipe of sweet-smelling tobacco. The magical tankard would never run dry or the aromatic leaf in the pipe fail to burn. A step away on the village green, young maidens would twirl in dance, accompanied by the lively music of a fiddle player.The sailor had only to relax and enjoy himself as he sent lazy smoke rings wafting into the cerulean sky.

fgreenOthers say Fiddler’s Green is a stretch of water hidden behind the trade winds in the South Atlantic. Eternally calm, its surface is the reflective green of a mermaid’s tail. A peaceful abode, it is a harbor for old ships; a sanctuary for weary seaman in search of rest. As the sun sets each evening melting into the rim of the ocean, the faint strains of a fiddle are heard, prompting the sailors to dance hornpipes on the peaceful water.

Sailors are by nature a superstitious lot, but their vision of an afterlife is a simple one. How lovely to find Fiddler’s Green secreted among the lush rolling hills of a verdant countryside, or nestled among the sandy shores of a tropical paradise. Apparently, for fishermen and sailors, all that was needed to satisfy their wanderlust at the end of days was companionship, plenty of ale, dancing, a nice pipe and the warmth of sunlight.

I think I could be happy in Fiddler’s Green. What about you?

20 thoughts on “Mythical Monday: Fiddler’s Green by Mae Clair

  1. I’ll have to ask my brother if this afterlife image appeals to him, since he is an “old sailor.” I suspect it will:) Who wouldn’t want to live in such beauty and serene circumstances? Your pictures of the seashore are beautiful.


    • I could definitely scamper off to a Fiddler’s Green. How cool that your brother is a sailor, Flossie. Mine is too. Sailing ships have been part of his life since his 20s. Fortunately, his wife loves the water just as much.

      Glad you like the pictures. I just love the coast!


  2. I can completely appreciate their hopes in an afterlife. Sounds perfect to me – companionship, plenty of ale, dancing and the warmth of sun. (probably could do without the pipe :-)) Having sailed myself, long races in the Atlantic, Irish sea and English Channel, I know what it feels like to crave the smell of earth, when all you get is relentless waves and salt water all day. But you can’t stop or who would sail the boat? You’d capsize and in those cold waters, death was certain. That’s the thing – we couldn’t stop, had to keep going, beating into the winds, pulling halyards, tacking sails, pounding hull and constant water spray – so either a peaceful point in the tradewinds (for a break at least!) or an earthy spot to rest would have been greatly appreciated some days on the boat.


    • It sounds like a lot of work, Cd, but also an amazing adventure. What great memories you must have. Sailing and racing in the waterways you mentioned would be frightening to me. I think I’d much rather have a peaceful lake or bay with a nice deck to lounge and sun myself 😀


  3. I love the idea of Fiddler’s Green. The promise of a place to rest with creature comforts all available has a great lure. Yes, I think I could enjoy Fiddler’s Green and watching all those sailors dancing on the sunset gilded waves.


    • Thanks, Debbie! I could actually really use a Fiddler’s Green today (a hectic stressful one). Hmmm…I’ll just close my eyes, concentrate and take calming breaths. And dream up more Mythical Mondays, LOL!


  4. I want to visit Fiddlers Green and enjoy a never ending supply of ale!
    Fiddler’s Green is the name of a festival that takes place in Northern Ireland every year 🙂


    • When I think of Fiddler’s Green, I always imagine it in Ireland, so that festival makes perfect sense. There are a several old folk song renditions as well, and I think most of them are done by Irish musicians. The beautiful Emerald Isle just seems to fit perfectly for the haven of Fiddler’s Green!


  5. There is a pub here that is called Fiddler’s Green… and thanks to you I now know why! It isn’t quite so ethereal though. 🙂 (They used to have a great Scottish breakfast on the weekend. Hmm… I wonder if they still do.)


    • HI, Lorraine, lovely to see you here! 🙂 Fiddler’s Green is a great name for a pub…even if it can’t measure up to the ethereal vision of a sailor’s afterlife. And, yum, Scottish Breakfast. I’m not sure what that entails but it sounds pretty delicious. 😀


  6. Sounds like a dream to me (although, I might have to change the maidens dancing to the male variety – thoughts of Magic Mike just popped in my head…strange 😉 )

    Love reading about all the myths you post!


    • Hi, Mary! Fortunately, today is turning out to be much better, even if it is rainy and gray outside. I suppose I’ll just have to imagine Fiddler’s Green a little harder when I’m having a crazy day. A Mythical Monday relaxation technique, LOL!


  7. I noticed an interesting parallel. In The Odyssey, one of the shades Odysseus meets in the underworld prophesies that when it is time for him to die, he should travel inland until he reaches a place where no one has heard of oars.


    • Hello, paw prints! That’s very interesting. I would have never thought a parallel would have existed within the Odyssey. Many thanks for visiting, reading, and sharing. I’m fascinated by these types of connections!


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