Thom Ashworth

English folksinger & bassist

Alternative facts about Vikings

I finally finished (or at least, stopped editing) the words for a new song this week, tentatively called 'At Sea'. I've had images of burial at sea and Norse rituals with burning boats and that in my brain for ages. The initial spark for that was a sort of continuation from the words for an older song 'The Dry Salvages', that I wrote and recorded with Our Lost Infantry for our farewell EP 'Interregnum'. There's a live acoustic version on YouTube:

SO, I was bit disappointed when I found out that there's seemingly no historical evidence for those rituals taking place*, (presumably) as the burning wouldn't have lasted long enough to actually cremate the fallen.

All of that makes me more ambivalent than I'd like to be about these new words - is it better to be evocative, or historically accurate? I'm honestly not sure.

*Also, helmets with horns on the sides weren't a thing. Obviously.