The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #108085   Message #2245655
Posted By: Malcolm Douglas
26-Jan-08 - 04:52 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: Silkie (as sung by Anne Lister)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Silkie (as sung by Anne Lister)
This is a North Ronaldsay text, taken down by Charles R Thomson of Howar in 1859 or 1860, on behalf of John Keillor, the minister of the island. Keillor was gathering material for John Francis Campbell (compiler of Popular Tales of the West Highlands) but this text (no tune was noted) remained unpublished until it appeared in David Thomson's People of the Sea (London: Turnstile Press, 1954, 206-7).

It is altered in places if the transcription above is accurate, so I'd recommend that you hold off adding it for now, Susan; if it is to be included in the DT it ought to be an accurate copy of the traditional form rather than one taken from a modern arrangement.

To what tune has it been set for this record? If lyrics of all the songs are to be posted here, contextual information ought to be included.

Further commentary is in Alan Bruford, 'The Grey Selkie', in Ballad Studies, ed. Emily Lyle. Cambridge: D S Brewer for the Folklore Society, 1976, 41-65.