Go Tell It On The Mountain
Mythical tales of giants are rooted in geological realities.
A fo ben, bid bont (‘let he who leads bear the load’) is a Welsh proverb rumoured to recall the giant Brân, often Bendigeidfrân (Brân/Frân the Blessed), who was so tall that he once stretched himself between the banks of a river so that his troops might cross. In earlier stories, Brân, who no normal house could contain, is portrayed as a wise king whose severed head continued to counsel his people after his death. The best-known stories of Brân appear in the Mabinogion, written in the 12th century and based on long-standing oral traditions. Brân’s stature allowed him to stride across the Irish Sea to rescue his hapless sister from a failed marriage. In the Mabinogion he is said to have been able to traverse deep parts ‘by wading’; clearly he must have been gigantic.