The Grey Silkie Of Sule Skerry


In Norwa land, there lived a maid
Baloo, my babe, this maid began
I ken na where your faither is
Nor yet the land where he dwells in

It happened on a certain day
When this fair maiden fell asleep
That in there come a grey silkie
And sat him doon at her bed feet

Saying awake, awake, my bonnie maid
For o how soundly thou dost sleep
I'll tell thee where his faither is
He's sitting close at thy bed feet

I pray come tell tae me your name
And tell me where your dwellin be
My name it is Gud Hein Mailler
An I earn ma living oot tae sea

I am a man upon the land
I am a Silkie in the sea
And when I'm far frae every strand
My home it is in Sule Skerry

Alas, alas, this woeful fate
This weary fate that's been laid on me
That a man should a come frae the West o Hoy
Tae the Norwa lands tae ha a bairn wi me

My dear I'll wed ye wi a ring
Wi a ring ma dear, I'll wed wi ye
Thou may go wed wi whom thou wilt
I'm sure ye'll never wed wi me

Thou will nurse ma bonnie son
For seven long years upon your knee
And at the end o seven long years
I'll come and pay the nurse's fee

She has nursed her little wee son
For seven long years upon her knee
And at the end o seven long years
He's come back wi gold and white money

Ma dear I'll wed ye wi a ring
Wi a ring ma dear, I'll wed wi thee
Thou may go wed wi whom thou wilt
I'm sure ye'll never wed wi me

But I'll put a gold chain roond his neck
A gey good gold chain it will be
That if e'er he comes tae the Norwa lands
You can hae a good guess it is he

An You will get a gunner good
An a gey good gunner it will be
An he'll gae oot on a May morning
An shot the son an the grey silkie

An she had got a gunner good
An a gey good gunner, I'm sure twas he
An he gae'd oot on a May morning
An he shot the son and the grey silkie

Alas, alas, this woeful fate
This weary fate that's been laid on me
And ance or twice she sobbed and sighed
An her tender heart, it brak in three

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