Mudcat Café message #1533908 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #31375   Message #1533908
Posted By: Malcolm Douglas
03-Aug-05 - 12:16 AM
Thread Name: Origins: The Great Silkie
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Great Silkie
That "important" verse was obviously not considered crucial by the traditional carriers of the song. Of those who even mentioned it, none sang it; but simply summarised that part before resuming their singing. James Henderson actually learned it that way from his mother; it may have been, as Alan Bruford suggests, "a regular feature of the ballad".

See Alan Bruford, 'The Grey Selkie' in E B Lyle (ed), Ballad Studies. Cambridge: D S Brewer for the Folklore Society, 1976.