The Great Selkie of Sule Skerrie

from by Estrange Waters

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An earthly nurse sits and sings,
And aye she sings, Ba, lily wean!
Little ken I my bairn's father,
Far less the land that he stops in.

Then he arose at her bed-feet,
An a grumly guest I'm sure was he:
'Here am I, thy bairn's father,
Although I be not comely.

'I am a man upon the land,
I am a silkie in the sea;
And when I'm far and far frae land,
My dwelling is in Sule Skerrie.'

'It was not well,' quod the maiden fair,
'It wasna well indeed', quo she
'That the Great Silkie of Sule Skerrie
Shoulda come and aught a bairn to me.'

Now he has taken a purse of gold,
And he has put it upon her knee,
Saying 'Give to me my little young son,
An take thee up thy nurse's fee.

It'll come to pass on a summer's day,
When the sun shines hot on every stone,
That I will take my little young son,
And teach him for to swim the foam.

'And thou shalt marry a proud gunner
And a proud gunner I'm sure he'll be,
And the very first shot that ever he shoots,
He'll shoot both my young son and me.'


from Songs of the Water, released April 17, 2016



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Estrange Waters Geneva, Switzerland

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