New Song by Cork Band Marks 400th Anniversary of Spooky ‘Battle of the Starlings’ in Leeside

This Halloween weekend, a new song commemorates the 400th anniversary of Cork City’s strangest and scariest spectacle ever, the bizarre ‘Battle of The Starlings’.

For three days in October 1641, vast flocks of starlings “fought” in the city sky during the day. Dense clouds of birds were seen charging against each other like regiments of soldiers, in what looked like deliberate clashes.

And as many terrified Leesiders watched, heavy showers of stricken birds fell from the sky, with eyewitnesses at the time reporting that the streets and the River Lee were carpeted with wounded and dead starlings, “beaks and talons impaled into each other “.

The events were recorded in a London pamphlet of the time as’ The Wonderfull Battell of Starelings, fought in Corke City, Ireland ‘(marvelous then meaning full of terrible fear) and it caused a sensation all over Europe.

The Battle of the Starlings was seen as a harbinger of terrible events to come – and the following year, a lightning strike on a church sparked a fire that devastated much of the city.



The pamphlet caused a sensation across Europe

Leeside Irish Trad / Folk Band The Diviners have released a new single to mark the 400th anniversary of this strange war – titled “Battle of the Starlings”.

Written by Ciaran Ruby of The Diviners, it tells the story of a young couple from Cork who witness the terrible battle on their wedding day.

You can find (and buy for just € 2) the song on The Diviners Bandcamp page.

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