Electricity didn't illuminate the rural west until the 1950s, and many older folk remember spending gloomy winter evenings in the local "rambling house." Here people gathered to sing the old songs and hear the seannachie, the storyteller, embroidering the legends of momentous events and of those who had passed this way before.
The seannachie thrilled his audience with elaborate creation myths and stories of heroic victories achieved with the aid of magical weapons.
Red is the color of magic, and his name means "red man." Yeats heard a Sligo seannachie telling of a fear dearg who tricked famished travelers into cooking a corpse on a spit.