Mudcat Café message #1536472 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #31375   Message #1536472
Posted By: Stewart
06-Aug-05 - 01:29 PM
Thread Name: Origins: The Great Silkie
Subject: Lyr Add: THE GREAT SILKIE OF SULE SKERRY (P Graber
I hesitate to add yet another version, but this is the Donegal variant sung by Paddy Graber on his CD "The Craic Was Great." This, he says, comes from his family in Ireland.

THE GREAT SILKIE OF SULE SKERRY - Donegal version by Paddy Graber.

In Donegal there dwelt a maid, "O hush my babe" this maid sang she,
"I wonder where your father is. Is he on land or in the sea?"

It fell upon that self-same night, when that fair maid lay fast asleep,
In there did come the great Silkie, and sat him down at her bed feet.

"Awake, awake, my bonnie wee lass, just like your babe, soundly you'll sleep.
You wondered where his father is, he's sitting now at your bed feet.

"I pray you tell to me your name, and tell me where your dwelling be."
"My name it is Good Hein Mailler, I take my living from the sea."

"I am a man upon the land, I am a Silkie in the sea,
And when I'm far from ev'ry strand, I make my home in Sule Skerry."

"Alas, alas, this woeful fate, this woeful fate that's laid on me,
That you should come to Donegal, and lie and make a babe with me."

"My dear I'll wed thee with a ring, with a ring of gold I will we thee."
"O you may wed with whom you will, I swear you'll never wed with me."

"And you must raise our bonnie-wee son, for seven long years close by your knee,
And at the end of seven long years I'll return with gold for the nourishment fee."

And she did raise their bonnie-wee son, for seven long years close by her knee,
And at the end of seven long years, he came with gold for the young silkie.

Saying "I will wed thee with a ring, with a ring of gold will I wed thee."
"O you may wed with whom you will, I swear you'll never wed with me."

"But I will place a collar of gold, around his neck where all might see,
And if he returns to Donegal, I'll know right well that it is he."

"O you will marry a gunner good, and a right good gunner he'll prove to be,
And he'll go out to the Head of Hoy and he'll shoot your son and the great Silkie."

It's true she married a gunner good, and a right good gunner he proved to be,
And he went out on a May morning, and he shot her son and the great Silkie.

And he returned to Donegal, and a joyous man surely was he.
He went straightway to his good wife, with a collar of gold from her young silkie.

"Alas, alas, this woeful fate, this woeful fate that's laid on me!"
And once or twice she sobb'd and sigh'd, and her tender heart it broke in three.


Cheers, S. in Seattle