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The Storyteller: A poem about the art and practise of storytelling

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In the 1980s, folk singer Mike Jones wrote The Storyteller, a song inspired by the work of his friend, Taffy Thomas.

Cherished by Taffy for the past thirty years, The Storyteller is reproduced here as a poem, its words perfectly encapsulating Taffy's own thoughts on the art and practise of storytelling.    

I’m a teller of tales, a spinner of yarns,

A weaver of dreams and a liar.

I’ll teach you some stories to tell to your friends,

While sitting at home by the fire.

You may not believe everything that I say

But there’s one thing I’ll tell you that’s true

For my stories were given as presents to me

And now they are my gifts to you.

 

My stories are as old as the mountains and rivers

That flow through the land they were born in

They were told in the homes of peasants in rags

And kings with fine clothes adorning.

There’s no need for silver or gold in great store

For a tale becomes richer with telling

And as long as each listener has a pair of good ears

It matters not where they are dwelling.

 

A story well told can lift up your hearts

And help you forget all your sorrows

It can give you the strength and the courage to stand

And face all your troubles tomorrow.

For there’s wisdom and wit, beauty and charm

There’s laughter and sometimes there’s tears

But when the story is over and the spell it is broken

You’ll find that there’s nothing to fear

 

My stories were learned in my grandparent’s home

Where their grandparents also had heard them

They were given as payment by travelling folk

For a warm place to lay down their burdens

My stories are ageless, they never grow old

With each telling they are born anew

And when my story is ended, I’ll still be alive

In the tales that I’ve given to you.

 

By Mike Jones

Hear musician Tony Farren perform The Storyteller here.

 

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