They should not be confused with the fili or bards, who in pre-Christian Ireland were magicians, lawgivers judges, counsellors to the chief or king and poets. Over time their function came to be solely that of official poets and philosophers. Though like the seanchaí a fili was expected to improvise and embellish their position required that they retain the "facts" of history in their telling.
The seanchaí used many things to tell his story - styles of language, changes of voice patterns, intensity and rhythms and gestures. Here is the late Eamon Kelly, one of the great modern seanchaí, telling what amounts to a "travelling salesman" story.
While watching the following clip (and listening I might add very carefully as Kelly's accent is that strong) I mentioned to Laurent that it reminded me an old TV programme, La Soirée canadienne on Télé-Métropole on Saturday nights. Louis Bilodeau would go to small towns throughout Québec and townspeople would sing, play, dance and tell stories. Gaelic traditions that acknowledge neither borders nor language barriers.
**BAN-ukh-tee nuh FAY-leh PAH-drig ur-iv (St. Patrick’s Day blessings to you!)
*Yahoos - disgusting unkempt hairy creatures from Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels; they flung their own filth at each other and dug in the mud for pretty pieces of shiny glass.
March 17 - 1337: Edward, the Black Prince is made Duke of Cornwall, the first Duchy in England.