The Great Selkie o' Suleskerry
In Norway land there lived
'Hush bee loo lillie' this maid began;
'I know not where my baby's father is,
Whether by land or sea he does travel in.'
It happened on a certain day
When this fair lady fell fast asleep,
That in cam' a good greay selchie
And set him down at her bed feet,
Sayin' 'Awak, awak, my pretty maid,
For oh, how sound as thou dost sleep!
An' I'll tell thee where thy baby's father is-
He's sittin' close at thy bed feet!'
'I pray, come tell to me thy name,
Oh, tell me where does thy dwelling be?'
'My name it is good Hein Mailer
An' I earn my livin' oot o' the sea.
I am a man upo' the land,
I am a selchie in the sea,
And when I'm far frae every strand
My dwellin' is in Sule Skerrie.'
'Alas, alas, this woeful fate!-
This weary fate that's been laid for me,
That a man should come from the Wast o' Hoy
To the Norway lands to have a bairn wi' me!'
'My dear, I'll wed thee with a
With a ring, my dear, I'll wed with thee.'
'Thoo may go wed thee weddens wi' whom thoo wilt,
For I'm sure thoo'll never wed none wi' me!'
'Thoo wilt nurse my little wee
For seven long years upo' thy knee,
An' at the end o' seven long years
I'll come back and pay the norish fee.'
Now he had ta'en a purse of guld
And he has put it upon her knee,
Saying 'Gi'e to me my little young son,
And take thee up thy nourrice fee.'
She says 'My dear, I'll wed thee
wi' a ring,
Wi' a ring, my dear, I'll wed wi' thee!'
Thoo may go wed these [thee's] weddens wi' whom thoo wilt,
For I'm sure thoo'll never wed none wi' me!
But I'll put a gold chain around
An' a gey good gold chain it'll be,
That if ever he comes to the Norway lands
Thoo may have a gey good guess on he,
An' thoo will get a gunner good,
An' a gey good gunner it will be,
An' he'll gae oot on a May mornin'
An' shoot the son an' the grey selchie.'
Oh, she has got a gunner good,
An' a gey good gunner it was he,
An' he went out on a May mornin'
An' he shot the son and the grey selchie.
(When the gunner returned from
his expedition he showed the Norway woman the gold chain he had
found round the neck of a young seal, and a final verse expresses
Alas, alas this woeful fate
This weary fate that's been laid for me.'
And once or twice she sobbed and sighed,
An' her tender heart did brak' in three.