BEOWULF: The Only One/Live at Grendel’s Den on Harvard Square

5.00 out of 5 based on 1 customer rating
(1 customer review)


Before a live adult audience, Odds Bodkin introduces the tale with Celtic harp and then performs Beowulf: The Only One, his storyteller’s version of the epic, self-accompanied on 12-string guitar.

Hear a sample:

Not recommended for listeners under 12.


“Fate often saves an undoomed man if his courage holds.”
Recorded live before an adult audience at Grendel’s Den on Harvard Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts, here is a powerful, intimate, funny and terrifying performance of Beowulf: The Only One, Odds Bodkin’s storyteller’s version of the oldest piece of literature in the English language. Introducing the story while playing Celtic harp, Bodkin then switches to 12-string guitar to score this 70-minute tour de force.

First meet Hrothgar, the Danish King, and then Grendel––the giant wolf-demon who comes each night to kill men and devour them. Then meet Beowulf, the all-too-human hero who journeys with his thanes to repay Hrothgar for saving Beowulf’s father long ago. How Beowulf kills Grendel with his bare hands, and then hunts down Grendel’s Mother in her deep water cave is only part of the tale. The rest takes place fifty years later, when Beowulf, now king of the Geats, must face a fire-breathing dragon. Once again, Beowulf knows he is the only one who can do it.

In classic bardic fashion, Odds Bodkin creates vivid character voices for Beowulf, Hrothgar, Grendel and his Mother, Unferth, Wyglaf and others while playing his musical instruments.

Enjoy the laughter and tears along with this appreciative live audience. Not recommended for children under twelve.


117 mb
1 hour 21 minutes


Mr. Bodkin thanks Joe Froeber, songwriter, musician and event producer, for creating the live evening performance series that made this recording possible. You can find out more about Joe’s original music at:

He also wishes to thank Charlie Gargano, musician and sound expert, for his live recording and mixing of Beowulf: The Only One. You can find out more about his work at:


1 review for BEOWULF: The Only One/Live at Grendel’s Den on Harvard Square

  1. 5 out of 5

    (verified owner)

    Beowulf is one of my favourite stories. I have five written versions of it from Seamus Heaney’s fantastic translation to Michael Morpurgo’s equally brilliant young person’s telling. To hear Odds Bodkin embody this story in a “hall” (read: pub/bar) with a live audience is a wonderful gift to the world. His telling is superb, the pace perfect, original lines pop out, and his telling is alive. If we lived in those days of Grendle, swords, and mead halls, and spoke current English, this would be the quintessential telling. I am not usually a fan of live recordings, but this is one of those rare performances that truly benefits an audience. The musical accompaniment on guitar, never drowning Odds out, pulls you along, fills your ears and body leaving you totally immersed in the man’s words and fully within the story.
    Simple put – buy it!

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