Saturday, May 11, 2013

Origins of the Six Water Grog Symbol and Name

Icelandic Road Sign - Lagarfljót worm
The symbol you see being used on this blog is taken from a road sign I came across during a trip to Iceland in May 2008.  The signs were placed around Lagarfljót lake  to indicate good viewing points for the Lagarfljótsormur, a 300 foot long worm monster that lives at the bottom of the lake.  Sightings date back to the 1300's and people are still claiming to catch glimpses of the elusive cryptid to this day.  It's kind of like Iceland's Loch Ness Monster.  

I didn't happen to see the Lagarfljót worm on the day were were there, but I did make note of the cool design on the road sign.  (If you like hiking, there's a challenging and scary path leading from the lake to a lovely waterfall).  I have adopted that design as my personal logo - if that's OK with Iceland - and even had it inlayed onto the headstock of my new Romero tenor banjo!  I'm also considering getting this symbol as a tattoo!

Inlay on Romero banjo
The term Six Water Grog means rum (grog) that has been heavily diluted with water (one part rum, six parts water).  Back in the day, six-water-grog was given to people who were pretty low down the totem pole, as punishment.  I'm using it as a reference to my fairly diluted approach to traditional music.  I come to these traditions as an ignorant outsider or "adult learner" with no formal schooling in music, molding Irish and Appalachian tunes into a blended repertory as it suits my interests.  But, it is fun to experiment like that.

I guess there's no real tie-in between the symbol and the phrase.  Still, they do seem to go well together.  

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