Fishe or Fowle

by Kate Fletcher & Corwen Broch

supported by
tom wareham
tom wareham thumbnail
tom wareham Brilliant! - stripped back, Fletcher and Broch have located the heart of British folk music and bring it to the fore in an understated but powerful way. Some Scandi musicians have been doing this for their music for years, so it's great to hear British music given the same treatment. It may take a few listens, but this album grows and grows. More please! Favorite track: Fishe or Fowle.
outdoorbabe
outdoorbabe thumbnail
outdoorbabe Love it because it reminds me of those evenings in the viking longhall . Favorite track: Song for Suibhne.
/
  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Fishe or Fowle is Kate and Corwen's new double CD.

    Stylistically straddling Traditional Folk, Dark Folk and Psych Folk, Fishe or Fowle features a stripped down instrumentation of ancient and historical instruments including lyre, bowed lyre, gusli, kantele, pedal harmonium and sundry pipes, horns and percussion.

    Disc One has 15 tracks on the theme of shape-shifting and transformation. Four of the songs are newly composed (including our hit: Song for Suibhne aka "The Horns Song") and eleven are interpretations of traditional material including several songs never before recorded.

    Disc Two is the first recording for 30 years of The Play o' de Lathie Odivere, an ancient and hauntingly beautiful Orcadian ballad, sung in five parts.

    This is the dramatic story of a woman torn between two lovers, one of whom is a shapeshifting Selkie (seal-man). This ballad seems to be the origin of the well known song the Great Silkie of Sule Skerry, which closely resembles one of its sections.

    Fishe or Fowle is beautifully packaged in a double fold cardboard pack, with 8 page booklet, all illustrated with Corwen's photography.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Fishe or Fowle via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ... more
    ships out within 3 days

      £12 GBP or more 

     

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

    This digital version includes all 25 tracks of the double CD and a pdf version of the album packaging.
    In the digital version tracks 1-15 are from Disc One of this double album. Tracks 16 to 25 are from Disc Two, two different versions of The Play O' De Lathie Odivere, each in 5 parts, the first accompanied and the second unaccompanied.

      £7.99 GBP  or more

     

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
03:41
9.
02:45
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
16.
17.
18.
19.
20.
21.
22.
23.
24.
25.

about

Reviews:

Living Tradition Magazine (reviewer: John Oke Bartlett)

For lovers of all things ethereal, mysterious, unworldly and with one foot in our collective ancient past, Fishe Or Fowle by Kate Fletcher and Corwen Broch is an absolute must. The material has been gleaned from a variety of sources, ranging from the West Country to Kent, the Western Isles and the Orkneys. Kate and Corwen must surely be applauded for their diligence and perseverance in seeking out this unique collection of unusual songs. The concept of the album is to explore “the theme of transformation into, and communication with, creatures of sea and sky” - Fishe or Fowle indeed. In addition to the 15 tracks on the main CD, there is also a second CD with a rendition of the epic ballad from the Orkneys collected in the 1800s by Walter Traill Dennison, entitled Play O’ de Lathie Odivere.


The production of this double album, as you would expect having gone to all the trouble in searching out the material, is quite superb. Kate is the main vocalist with Corwen singing the occasional lead. To assist Kate’s enchanting vocals there are a collection of equally enchanting musical instruments: lyres, bowed lyres, harps, gusli, kantele, shawms, gue, crwth, pibgorn, slagbordun, but above all the music is tied together with a deft use of a “wheezing and clunking” (as they put it) pedal harmonium. There are so many interesting songs on offer it is hard to single out any one in particular, but The Laily Worm And The Machrel (Mackerel) Of The Sea along with Swallows’ Wings are particularly fine renditions which suit Kate’s haunting voice admirably.


This is a fine collection, expertly performed throughout, of songs rarely heard, dusted off and given a new lease of life. It is highly enjoyable to listen to, with a profound understanding of the music and the best way to present it.

--------------------

fRoots Magazine (reviewer: David Kidman)

The first disc comprise[s] a fascinating collection of pieces on the theme of transformation into, or communication with, birds and sea creatures...

...The second disc of the set comprises the first recording for 3 decades of The Play O'De Lathie Odivere....Sung in an engaging manner that responds directly to the narrative, it's presented here in two versions: one acapella, the other with accompaniment....

The instrumental scoring is inventive and stimulating, with interesting and delightful textural contrasts aplenty. The Manx lullaby Song of the Travelling Fairies and Seal-Woman's Lament both effectively incorporate samples of field recordings by Annie Johnstone of Barra (bird-imitations and a recitation), which lend a spookily timeless quality to the music.

Indeed, the entire collection fairly resonates with the authentic power of antiquity. At times quite eccentric, yes, but nevertheless beautiful and treasurable.

credits

released January 5, 2017

tags

license

all rights reserved

about

Kate Fletcher & Corwen Broch Scotland, UK

Kate was raised on porridge and song in a family of eccentric musicians in Reading. Wrote my first song at 19. Bought a Narrowboat to live on. Everyone said it was a phase. I still have the boat.

Corwen grew up in Dorset with his grandparents who were The Last Of The Victorians. He was instilled with a love of spartan living, open fires and outside toilets.

They make beautiful music together!
... more

contact / help

Contact Kate Fletcher & Corwen Broch

Streaming and
Download help

Shipping and returns

Track Name: Song of the Travelling Fairies
Song of the Travelling Fairies

One night in the glen, in the glen of Balcomish
The blackbird will come there to build her own nest
Sleep now my baby, the travelling fairies will come
Hush now my bairnie, the bird I will call

One night on mount Rushen, up high in the mountains
The falcon will come there to build her own nest
Sleep now my baby, the travelling fairies will come
Hush now my bairnie, the bird I will call

One night on the rocks of the steep Spanish headland
The seagull will come there to build her own nest
Sleep now my baby, the travelling fairies will come
Hush now my bairnie, the bird I will call

They'll come to Gordon and therein all cosy
Will little Jenny-wren build her own nest
Sleep now my baby and don't you be fearing of them
Hush now my bairnie, the bird I will call
Sleep now my baby, the travelling fairies will come
Hush now my bairnie, the bird I will call
Track Name: The Seal-Woman's Sea-Joy
Seal-woman's sea-joy

Ionn da, Ionn do
Ionn da, Odar da
Hio dan dao, Hio dan dao
Hio dan dao, Odar dah
Track Name: Fishe or Fowle
Fishe or Fowle

I went down to the water's edge,
There put on my coat of seal skin
Crept between the reeds and sedges
Dipped my toe in icy ocean
I went down to the water's edge
There put on my coat of seal skin
Crept between the reeds and sedges
Slipped into the briny ocean
I will swim, and I will dive and
Sing the songs the sea has taught me
I will swim, and I will dive and
Sing the songs the tide has brought me

I went up to the mountain high
There put on my cloak of feathers
Climbed into the tallest tree to
Feel the wind and watch the weather
I went up to the mountain high
There put on my cloak of feathers
Climbed into the tallest tree and
Leaned into the wind and weather
I will sing, and I will fly and
Tell the tales the birds have taught me
I will sing, and I will fly and
Tell the tales the wind has brought me

I went down to the water's edge
There I wore my coat of sealskin
I went up to the mountain high
There I wore my cloak of feathers
I will swim, I will fly
Tell the tales the birds have taught me
I will swim, I will fly
Sing the songs the sea has brought me
Track Name: The Earl of Mar's Daughter
Earl of Mar's Daughter

Oh Coo my Dove, my love so true
If you'd come down to me
I'll give you a cage of good red gold
Instead of a simple tree.
But when day was done and night was come
About the evening tide
This lady spied a sprightly youth
Standing by her side

I am a dove the live-long day,
A sprightly youth by night;
This to make me appear more fair
In any maiden's sight.
And he has stayed in bower with her
For six long years and one,
Till six young sons to him she bore,
And the seventh son she's brought home.

And he has stayed in bower with her
Twenty years and three;
'Til there came a lord of high renown
To court this fair lady.
But all his proffers she refused,
And all his presents too;
Says, "I'm content to live alone
With my bird, Cow-me-doo."

"My seven sons in seven swans,
About their heads to fly;
And I myself to a gay goshawk,
A bird of high degree."
And nothing could the company do,
And nothing could they say
For they saw a flock of pretty birds
That stole their bride away.
Track Name: Young Hunting
Young Hunting

SHE has called to her bower-maidens, She has called them one by one:
“There is a dead man in my bower, I would that he was gone, gone
I would that he was gone”

They have booted him, and spurred him, As he was wont to ride,
A hunting-horn about his waist, A sharp sword by his side, side
A sharp sword by his side.

Then up and spake a bonnie bird, that sat upon the tree:
‘What have you done with Earl Richard? You was his gay lady
You was his gay lady”

And she swore by the grass so green, so did she by the corn,
That she had not seen Earl Richard Since yesterday at morn, morn.
Since yesterday at morn.

‘Come down, come down, my bonnie bird, and sit upon my hand;
And you shall have a cage of gold, Where you have but the wand, wand
Where you have but the wand”

‘Away, away, ye ill woman, No ill woman for me;
What you have done to Earl Richard, So would you do to me, me
So would you do to me”

And she swore by the grass so green.....

“There is a bird intill your bower that sings so sad and sweet;
There is a bird intill your bower, kept me from my night’s sleep, sleep
Kept me from my night’s sleep”

‘Go bend to me my bow,’ she said, ‘And set it to my e'e,
And I will make that bonnie bird Come quickly down to me, me
Come quickly down to me”

‘Before thou bend thy bow, lady, And set it to thy e'e,
O I will be at yon far court, Telling ill tales on thee, thee
Telling ill tales on thee”

And she swore by the grass so green... x2
Track Name: Clerk Colville
Clerk Colvill

CLERK COLVILL and his lusty dame
Were walking in yon garden green;
The belt around her stately waist
Cost Clerk Colvill crowns fifteen.

‘O promise me now, Clerk Colvill,
Or it will cost you muckle strife,
Ride never by the wells of Slane,
If you would live and brook your life.’

Oh speak no more my lusty dame,
Oh speak no more of that to me;
Did I ever see a fair woman,
That I would sin with my body?’

And He’s taken leave of his lusty dame,
Not minding what his lady said,
And he’s ridden by the wells of Slane,
Where washing was a bonny maid.

‘Wash on, wash on, my bonny maid,
That wash so clean your sark of silk;’
It's all for you, my gentle knight,
My skin is whiter than the milk.’

And he’s taken her by the milk-white hand,
And likewise by the grass green sleeve
And he's laid her down upon the green
Nor of his lady asked he leave

Then loud, loud cries Clerk Colvill,
‘O my head, my head, it pains me sore;’
‘Then take, then take,’ the maiden said,
‘And from my sark you’ll cut a gore.’

And she’s given him a little bane-knife,
And from her sark he's cut a share;
She’s tied it round his whey-white head,
But ay his head it ached more

And louder cry’d the Clerk Colvill,
O sorer, sorer aches my head;’
And sorer, sorer ever will,’
The maiden cries, 'Till you be dead.’

So out he drew his shining blade,
Thinking to stick her where she stood,
But she is vanished to a fish,
And away she swam, a fair mermaid.

‘O mother, mother, braid my hair;
Come lusty lady, make my bed;
O brother, take my sword and spear,
For I have seen the false mermaid.’
Fisherman's song for Attracting Seals
Track Name: The Fowler
The Fowler

One midsummers evening, the sun being gone down
Young Polly went a-walking by the side of a pond
She sat under a shady tree a shower for to shun
With her apron wrapped around her as white as a swan

Young William went a-hunting with his dog and his gun
Young William went a-hunting as the evening came on
Down among those green rushes as the evening came on
He shot his own true love in the room of a swan

He threw down his gun and away he did run
Crying “father, O father can you believe what I've done?
Down among those green rushes as the evening came on
I shot my own true love in the room of a swan”

“Stay at home dearest William 'til your trial do come on
That you may not be banished to some foreign land
On the day of your trial your father will appear
With fifty bright guineas if that will you clear”

And all the girls in the county were delighted you know
For to see lovely Polly a-laid down so low
But you could take all them pretty girls, and line them up in a row
And her beauty would outshine them like a fountain of snow

On the day of his trial young Polly did appear
Crying “people, O people, let William go clear
For with my apron wrapped around my head as the evening came on
He shot his own true love in the room of a swan”
Track Name: Pica Pica
Pica Pica

1 for sorrow, 2 for mirth
3 for a wedding, 4 for a birth
5 for silver, 6 for gold
7 for a secret never to be told
8 for a wish, 9 for a kiss
10 for a time of joyful bliss
Pica pica, sorrow, mirth, the mingled strain of life on earth

1 for sorrow, 2 for joy
3 for a girl, 4 for a boy
5 for silver, 6 for gold
7 for a secret never was told
8 for a wish, 9 for a kiss
10 for a bird that's best to miss
Pica pica, sorrow, mirth, the mingled strain of life on earth

1 for sorrow, 2 for mirth
3 for a letter, 4 for a birth
5 for rich, 6 for poor
7 for a bitch, 8 for a whore
9 for laughter, 10 for crying
11 for sickness, 12 for dying
Pica pica, sorrow, mirth, the mingled strain of life on earth

1 for sorrow, 2 for mirth
3 for a death, 4 for a birth
5 for a fiddler, 6 for a dance
7 for England, 8 for France
9 for Heaven, 10 for Hell
More for the Devil's very own self
Pica pica, sorrow, mirth, the mingled strain of life on earth (x4)
Track Name: Seal-Woman's Lament
Seal-woman's Lament

Ho i ho i hi o ho i
ho i hi o ho i i
ho i ho i hi o ho I
Cha robh mi'm' aonar an raoir (Last night I was not alone)
Sad the land is, sad the land,
People prey upon our clan
Boiling on a cooking fire
Is the chief of all our men

I am the child of Hugh MacEwen,
I know the skerries and the sea
Woe to him who'd do me wrong
A lady from a far country.

Come the mavis, come the thrush,
Come each bird that seeks its nest,
Come the salmon o'er the sea
'Til that day I will not rest.
Track Name: The Laily Worm and the Machrel of the Sea
Laily worm and the machrel of the sea

I was barely seven years old
When my mother she did die;
My father married the worst woman
That ever your eyes did see.

For she has made me the laily worm,
To lie at the foot of the tree,
My sister Masery she has made
The machrel of the sea.

There's seven knights that I have slain,
Since I lay at the foot of this tree,
And were you not my own father,
The eighth one you should be.

Sing on your song, you laily worm,
That you did sing to me
I never would sing my song before
But I will it sing to thee.

Every Saturday at noon
The machrel comes to me,
She takes by my laily head
And lays it on her knee,

She takes me by my laily head
And lays it on her knee,
She combs it with a silver comb,
And washes it in the sea.

He has sent for his lady,
As fast as send could he:
'O Where is my son that you sent from me,
And my daughter, Lady Masery?’

'Your son is at our king’s court,
Serving for meat and fee,
your daughter’s at our queen’s court,
The queen's lady to be'

'You lie, you ill woman,
So loud do I hear you lie;
My son he is the laily worm,
That lies at the foot of the tree,

My son you've made the laily worm,
To lie at the foot of the tree,
my daughter, Lady Masery you have made,
machrel of the sea!’

She has taken a silver wand,
Given him strokes three,
And up has started the bravest knight
That ever your eyes did see.

And she has taken a silver horn,
Loud and shrill blew she,
And all the fish came unto her
But the machrel of the sea:

All the fish came unto her
But the machrel of the sea:
You shaped me once an unseemly shape,
you'll never more shape me.’
Track Name: Song for Suibhne
Fishe or Fowle kate Fletcher and Corwen Broch

Fishe or Fowle is Kate and Corwen's new double CD.

Stylistically straddling Traditional Folk, Dark Folk and Psych Folk, Fishe or Fowle features a stripped down instrumentation of ancient and historical instruments including lyre, bowed lyre, gusli, kantele, pedal harmonium and sundry pipes, horns and percussion.

Disc One has 15 tracks on the theme of shape-shifting and transformation. Four of the songs are newly composed (including our hit: Song for Suibhne aka "The Horns Song") and eleven are interpretations of traditional material including several songs never before recorded.

Disc Two is the first recording for 30 years of The Play o' de Lathie Odivere, an ancient and hauntingly beautiful Orcadian ballad, sung in five parts.

This is the dramatic story of a woman torn between two lovers, one of whom is a shapeshifting Silkie (seal-man). This ballad seems to be the origin of the well known song the Great Silkie of Sule Skerry, which closely resembles one of its sections.



Sound samples and lyrics are below.


Pre-order now for despatch in early January.
This double CD is £12 and worldwide postage is £2.


DISC ONE
listenSONG OF THE TRAVELLING FAERIES A Manx lullaby, calling upon the birds to protect the infant from the faeries.
listenTHE SEAL WOMAN'S SEA JOY A song sung by a Seal-Woman upon returning to the sea.
listenFISHE OR FOWLE A song about shape-shifting and communing with the natural world.
listenTHE EARL OF MAR'S DAUGHTER A young man changes into a bird to seduce women, but for once there is a happy ending.
listenYOUNG HUNTING A talking bird reveals a murder...
listenCLERK COLVILL A lecherous nobleman is undone by a treacherous shape shifting mermaid.
listenFISHERMAN'S SONG FOR ATTRACTING SEALS The words of this ancient song are sadly lost, but the tune survives.
listenTHE FOWLER A man mistakes his true love for a swan and shoots her, luckily she comes back as a ghost to clear his name.
listenPICA PICA A song stitched together from Magpie rhymes.
listenSEAL WOMAN'S LAMENT The Silkie Folk are believed by many to be a King and his court, living under a curse..
listenTHE LAILY WORM AND THE MACHREL OF THE SEA What can you do when your stepmother turns you into a fish?
listenSONG FOR SUIBHNE A song about the atavistic urge to return to the wild. I think I could turn and live with the animals....
listenSWALLOW'S WINGS A beautiful Dorset folk song collected by a vicar's son travelling the county by bicycle in 1906.
listenSONG FOR MRS HIDDLESTON A meta-song, dedicated to Mrs Hiddleston, one of the sources of the Lathie Odivere ballad.
listenBIRD SCARING SONGS Songs from the time when a small boy with a rattle was cheaper than a scarecrow.

DISC TWO

listenTHE PLAY O' DE LATHIE ODIVERE I (accompanied version) A beautiful woman refuses all suitors until one uses magic.
listenPART II A lover from her past returns while her husband is over the sea, his visit leaves her pregnant with his child.
listenPART III A Her child is born, the mysterious lover turns out to be a silkie, he takes the child.
listenPART IV Her husband returns, kills the child (in the form of a seal). Her secret affair is revealed, she is sentenced to death.
listenPART V Can her silkie lover save her from the pyre?
listenTHE PLAY O' DE LATHIE ODIVERE I (unaccompanied version)
listenPART II
listenPART III
listenPART IV
listenPART V

Fishe or Fowle ~ Lyrics

Disc One

Song of the Travelling Fairies

One night in the glen, in the glen of Balcomish
The blackbird will come there to build her own nest
Sleep now my baby, the travelling fairies will come
Hush now my bairnie, the bird I will call

One night on mount Rushen, up high in the mountains
The falcon will come there to build her own nest
Sleep now my baby, the travelling fairies will come
Hush now my bairnie, the bird I will call

One night on the rocks of the steep Spanish headland
The seagull will come there to build her own nest
Sleep now my baby, the travelling fairies will come
Hush now my bairnie, the bird I will call

They'll come to Gordon and therein all cosy
Will little Jenny-wren build her own nest
Sleep now my baby and don't you be fearing of them
Hush now my bairnie, the bird I will call
Sleep now my baby, the travelling fairies will come
Hush now my bairnie, the bird I will call

Seal-woman's sea-joy

Ionn da, Ionn do
Ionn da, Odar da
Hio dan dao, Hio dan dao
Hio dan dao, Odar dah

Fishe or Fowle

I went down to the water's edge,
There put on my coat of seal skin
Crept between the reeds and sedges
Dipped my toe in icy ocean
I went down to the water's edge
There put on my coat of seal skin
Crept between the reeds and sedges
Slipped into the briny ocean
I will swim, and I will dive and
Sing the songs the sea has taught me
I will swim, and I will dive and
Sing the songs the tide has brought me

I went up to the mountain high
There put on my cloak of feathers
Climbed into the tallest tree to
Feel the wind and watch the weather
I went up to the mountain high
There put on my cloak of feathers
Climbed into the tallest tree and
Leaned into the wind and weather
I will sing, and I will fly and
Tell the tales the birds have taught me
I will sing, and I will fly and
Tell the tales the wind has brought me

I went down to the water's edge
There I wore my coat of sealskin
I went up to the mountain high
There I wore my cloak of feathers
I will swim, I will fly
Tell the tales the birds have taught me
I will swim, I will fly
Sing the songs the sea has brought me

Earl of Mar's Daughter

Oh Coo my Dove, my love so true
If you'd come down to me
I'll give you a cage of good red gold
Instead of a simple tree.
But when day was done and night was come
About the evening tide
This lady spied a sprightly youth
Standing by her side

I am a dove the live-long day,
A sprightly youth by night;
This to make me appear more fair
In any maiden's sight.
And he has stayed in bower with her
For six long years and one,
Till six young sons to him she bore,
And the seventh son she's brought home.

And he has stayed in bower with her
Twenty years and three;
'Til there came a lord of high renown
To court this fair lady.
But all his proffers she refused,
And all his presents too;
Says, "I'm content to live alone
With my bird, Cow-me-doo."

"My seven sons in seven swans,
About their heads to fly;
And I myself to a gay goshawk,
A bird of high degree."
And nothing could the company do,
And nothing could they say
For they saw a flock of pretty birds
That stole their bride away.

Young Hunting

SHE has called to her bower-maidens, She has called them one by one:
“There is a dead man in my bower, I would that he was gone, gone
I would that he was gone”

They have booted him, and spurred him, As he was wont to ride,
A hunting-horn about his waist, A sharp sword by his side, side
A sharp sword by his side.

Then up and spake a bonnie bird, that sat upon the tree:
‘What have you done with Earl Richard? You was his gay lady
You was his gay lady”

And she swore by the grass so green, so did she by the corn,
That she had not seen Earl Richard Since yesterday at morn, morn.
Since yesterday at morn.

‘Come down, come down, my bonnie bird, and sit upon my hand;
And you shall have a cage of gold, Where you have but the wand, wand
Where you have but the wand”

‘Away, away, ye ill woman, No ill woman for me;
What you have done to Earl Richard, So would you do to me, me
So would you do to me”

And she swore by the grass so green.....

“There is a bird intill your bower that sings so sad and sweet;
There is a bird intill your bower, kept me from my night’s sleep, sleep
Kept me from my night’s sleep”

‘Go bend to me my bow,’ she said, ‘And set it to my e'e,
And I will make that bonnie bird Come quickly down to me, me
Come quickly down to me”

‘Before thou bend thy bow, lady, And set it to thy e'e,
O I will be at yon far court, Telling ill tales on thee, thee
Telling ill tales on thee”

And she swore by the grass so green... x2

Clerk Colvill

CLERK COLVILL and his lusty dame
Were walking in yon garden green;
The belt around her stately waist
Cost Clerk Colvill crowns fifteen.

‘O promise me now, Clerk Colvill,
Or it will cost you muckle strife,
Ride never by the wells of Slane,
If you would live and brook your life.’

Oh speak no more my lusty dame,
Oh speak no more of that to me;
Did I ever see a fair woman,
That I would sin with my body?’

And He’s taken leave of his lusty dame,
Not minding what his lady said,
And he’s ridden by the wells of Slane,
Where washing was a bonny maid.

‘Wash on, wash on, my bonny maid,
That wash so clean your sark of silk;’
It's all for you, my gentle knight,
My skin is whiter than the milk.’

And he’s taken her by the milk-white hand,
And likewise by the grass green sleeve
And he's laid her down upon the green
Nor of his lady asked he leave

Then loud, loud cries Clerk Colvill,
‘O my head, my head, it pains me sore;’
‘Then take, then take,’ the maiden said,
‘And from my sark you’ll cut a gore.’

And she’s given him a little bane-knife,
And from her sark he's cut a share;
She’s tied it round his whey-white head,
But ay his head it ached more

And louder cry’d the Clerk Colvill,
O sorer, sorer aches my head;’
And sorer, sorer ever will,’
The maiden cries, 'Till you be dead.’

So out he drew his shining blade,
Thinking to stick her where she stood,
But she is vanished to a fish,
And away she swam, a fair mermaid.

‘O mother, mother, braid my hair;
Come lusty lady, make my bed;
O brother, take my sword and spear,
For I have seen the false mermaid.’
Fisherman's song for Attracting Seals
[instrumental]

The Fowler

One midsummers evening, the sun being gone down
Young Polly went a-walking by the side of a pond
She sat under a shady tree a shower for to shun
With her apron wrapped around her as white as a swan

Young William went a-hunting with his dog and his gun
Young William went a-hunting as the evening came on
Down among those green rushes as the evening came on
He shot his own true love in the room of a swan

He threw down his gun and away he did run
Crying “father, O father can you believe what I've done?
Down among those green rushes as the evening came on
I shot my own true love in the room of a swan”

“Stay at home dearest William 'til your trial do come on
That you may not be banished to some foreign land
On the day of your trial your father will appear
With fifty bright guineas if that will you clear”

And all the girls in the county were delighted you know
For to see lovely Polly a-laid down so low
But you could take all them pretty girls, and line them up in a row
And her beauty would outshine them like a fountain of snow

On the day of his trial young Polly did appear
Crying “people, O people, let William go clear
For with my apron wrapped around my head as the evening came on
He shot his own true love in the room of a swan”

Pica Pica

1 for sorrow, 2 for mirth
3 for a wedding, 4 for a birth
5 for silver, 6 for gold
7 for a secret never to be told
8 for a wish, 9 for a kiss
10 for a time of joyful bliss
Pica pica, sorrow, mirth, the mingled strain of life on earth

1 for sorrow, 2 for joy
3 for a girl, 4 for a boy
5 for silver, 6 for gold
7 for a secret never was told
8 for a wish, 9 for a kiss
10 for a bird that's best to miss
Pica pica, sorrow, mirth, the mingled strain of life on earth

1 for sorrow, 2 for mirth
3 for a letter, 4 for a birth
5 for rich, 6 for poor
7 for a bitch, 8 for a whore
9 for laughter, 10 for crying
11 for sickness, 12 for dying
Pica pica, sorrow, mirth, the mingled strain of life on earth

1 for sorrow, 2 for mirth
3 for a death, 4 for a birth
5 for a fiddler, 6 for a dance
7 for England, 8 for France
9 for Heaven, 10 for Hell
More for the Devil's very own self
Pica pica, sorrow, mirth, the mingled strain of life on earth (x4)

Seal-woman's Lament

Ho i ho i hi o ho i
ho i hi o ho i i
ho i ho i hi o ho I
Cha robh mi'm' aonar an raoir (Last night I was not alone)
Sad the land is, sad the land,
People prey upon our clan
Boiling on a cooking fire
Is the chief of all our men

I am the child of Hugh MacEwen,
I know the skerries and the sea
Woe to him who'd do me wrong
A lady from a far country.

Come the mavis, come the thrush,
Come each bird that seeks its nest,
Come the salmon o'er the sea
'Til that day I will not rest.

Laily worm and the mackrel of the seal

I was barely seven years old
When my mother she did die;
My father married the worst woman
That ever your eyes did see.

For she has made me the laily worm,
To lie at the foot of the tree,
My sister Masery she has made
The machrel of the sea.

There's seven knights that I have slain,
Since I lay at the foot of this tree,
And were you not my own father,
The eighth one you should be.

Sing on your song, you laily worm,
That you did sing to me
I never would sing my song before
But I will it sing to thee.

Every Saturday at noon
The machrel comes to me,
She takes by my laily head
And lays it on her knee,

She takes me by my laily head
And lays it on her knee,
She combs it with a silver comb,
And washes it in the sea.

He has sent for his lady,
As fast as send could he:
'O Where is my son that you sent from me,
And my daughter, Lady Masery?’

'Your son is at our king’s court,
Serving for meat and fee,
your daughter’s at our queen’s court,
The queen's lady to be'

'You lie, you ill woman,
So loud do I hear you lie;
My son he is the laily worm,
That lies at the foot of the tree,

My son you've made the laily worm,
To lie at the foot of the tree,
my daughter, Lady Masery you have made,
machrel of the sea!’

She has taken a silver wand,
Given him strokes three,
And up has started the bravest knight
That ever your eyes did see.

And she has taken a silver horn,
Loud and shrill blew she,
And all the fish came unto her
But the machrel of the sea:

All the fish came unto her
But the machrel of the sea:
You shaped me once an unseemly shape,
you'll never more shape me.’

Song for Suibhne

I wax wod and I wax glad
Like Suibhne Geilt I do run mad
Like Merlin riding on his stag
Let the horns grow tall
The stammered speech of humankind
Is harsh and petty in my mind
To sing like lark I am inclined
Let the horns grow tall

Let the horns grow on my head
Let my blood run reddest red
Let the horns grow on my head
Let the horns grow tall

The weight of memory bears me down
I'd swap it for a woodland crown
And live in an eternal now
Let the horns grow tall

Let the horns grow on my head...

Let them grow as the drum does sound
Let them grow as the horn resounds
Let them grow as the hooves do pound
Let the horns grow tall x2

Let the horns grow on my head....x2

I would run and I would fly
With beasts and birds of land and sky
When this body I let fall
Let the horns grow tall

Let the horns grow on my head...x3
Let the horns grow on my head
Track Name: Swallow's Wings
Swallow's Wings

I'll mount the air on swallows wings to find my dearest dear
And if I lose my labour and cannot find him there
I quickly will become a fish to search the roaring sea
I love my love because I know my lover he loves me

I would I were a reaper, I'd seek him in the corn
I would I were a keeper, I'd hunt him with my horn
I'd blow a blast when found at last beneath the raging sea
I love my love because I know my lover he loves me

In the middle of the ocean shall grow a myrtle tree
Its green leaves shall wither, its branches shall die
Its green leaves shall wither, its branches shall die
If ever I prove false to the lover who loves me
Track Name: Song for Mrs Hiddleston
Song for Mrs Hiddleston

Who knows what came before.
Or how you came by such a token
How he knows your name
Or which of you the other's heart had broken?

Who knows what oaths you swore
Or why you kept your troth no longer
Why you would have none,
Til in the end 'twas Odin's oath proved stronger?

And are the stories on the sea
Or floating on the wind to me?
Catch them if you can
Catch them if you can

Who knows where you have gone
For no-one tells where you were taken
How he set you free
Or if you grieve the life you have forsaken?

And many singers left your story
Floating on the waters
Many singers left your story rising on the wind
Catch the stories on the wind
From the foam upon the waters
Catch the stories on the wind
From the foam upon the waters
Catch them if you can
Catch them if you can
Track Name: Bird Scaring Songs
Birdscaring songs

Away you nasty blackatops
Get off my master's radish tops,
For he's a-comin with his long gun,
And you must fly and I must run.
Helo-oo-o Helo-oo-o

Gee halo, halo, blackiecap!
Let us lie down and take a nap.
Suppose my master chance to come?
You must fly and I must run.
Gee halo, halo, halo!
Gee halo, halo, halo!

Away you black devils, away!
Away you black devils, away!
You eat too much, you drink too much,
You carry too much away!
Away!

Hey shoo all the birds!
Hey shoo all the birds!
Out of my master's ground, into Tom Tucker's ground
Out of Tom Tucker's ground, into Tom tinker's ground
Out of Tom Tinker's ground, into Luke coles' ground
Out of Luke Coles' ground, into Bill Veater's gound
Out of Bill Veater's ground, back to my master's ground
Hey shoo all the birds!
Kraal, hoop!
Track Name: Play O' De Lathie Odivere I (accompanied)
Part I
In Norraway a lady lived
A bonny lass with gold in store
And it was truly sung and said
She was a lady sweet and fair

They came from east and west in pride
And some came sailing o'er the sea
All to win her for a bride
But never a bride would the lady be

She bad them go home and mend their clothes
That they had worn in coming so far
She called them fools, she called them fleas
Set stooks on them and gave them a scare

There was a man both stout and strong
And he was named Odivere
He loved the sword, he loved the song
But aye he loved the lasses more

This Odivere fell on his knee
And vowed a vow upon his life
And swore by him that hung on tree
To make this lady fair his wife

He's courted her, he's wedded her
And they were blithe and blissful both
And aye he bragged near and far
He won his wife by Odin's oath

He's left her in his boorly hall
A grieving sore that doleful day
To Holy Land he's gone away
The muckle pagan loons to slay

As he came back from God's own land
In Micklegard he bade a while
And foys and feichtins had to hand
For ladies fair did him beguile

At Micklegard he tarried long
Black sight on him, for biding there!
While sat in dole her maids among
With tearful eye his lady fair

And oft she bonnied herself so bright
And oft her golden hair would comb
And then look o'er the castle wall
To see her own good man come home

And aye she looked and waited long
For many a dowie day and year
But Odivere he did not come
Nor word of Odie did she hear.
Track Name: Play O' De Lathie Odivere II (accompanied)
Part II
One evening in the murky dark
A stately knight came to her hall
Full loud he knocked upon the gate
And loudly at the gate did call

A boon, a boon! You porter loon
Bed me this night within your hall
My journey's long, the night is dark
And home and holding far away

Begone begone, away away!
To bed you here that may not be
No stranger lives within this hall
While my good lord's beyond the sea

Unless you'd feel the weight of my hand
Go tell your lady mistress fair
That I have come from Gothaland
And bear her word of Odivere

The gate was opened at his word
And boldly strode he in the hall
And the women all around him said
A stouter knight they never saw

And he's taken off his silken cap
And he's gone down upon his knee
And he's laid a gold ring on the ladies lap
That she was very glad to see

A token from thy husband dear
I bring to thee my lady fair
I left him well in jolly cheer
They call him now Sir Odivere

And well he wins his knight's degree
By slaying many a soldier strong
And making hosts of pagans flee
Before his sword so sharp and long

When she the golden ring had seen
She took no heed of what he said
But drew her kerchief o'er her eyes
And the colour from her fair face fled

But soon her bonny face grew bright
And blithely blinked her bonny eye
Rise up, rise up you valiant knight
For uncommon good you bring to me

A stately banquet in the hall
Put out the best of blood red wine
With plenty of all that's brave and good
That this brave knight full well may dine

And many a tale he told that night
Of tourneys fought for ladies fair
And all about that worthy knight
In Gothaland, Sir Odivere

He hinted though he never said,
and skirted aye in every tale
That Odivere was a roving blade
And liked the lasses over well

And when the feast was fairly done
And all the servants gone to bed
And the two of them were left alone
The lady to the stranger said:

“Why bring you back that golden ring
That brings to me sore dole and pain
That minds me of the blithesome days
When I of thee was over fain?”

“You know fair dame, to me so dear
Long since you gave that ring to me
And on this ring in the moonlight clear
You swore forever mine to be”

And I in sorrow have gone since then
A lonely man on land and sea
And never a face have I seen but thine
That I could bear my wife to be”

“Away, away, you false tongued knight
You words will work me muckle strife
Full well you know what sundered us
It was the dowie Odin's oath”

He's ta'en her white hand in his stately nave
And glad was she and glad was he
What happened next, you need not hear
In sooth, I was not there to see

The knight's away with the morning grey
He stayed not for a farewell gift
What no-one knows no-one can say
But the lady's left in little joy

Her bonny eyes blinked not so bright
Her red and white grew white and grey
And every day she wished for night
And every night she wished for day
Track Name: Play O' De Lathie Odivere III (accompanied)
Part III
I heard a lady bore her bairn
And aye she rocked and aye she sang
And took so hard upon the verse
That the heart within her body rang

“Ba loo, ba loo, my bonny bairn
Ba lo lalie, ba lay lo
Sleep you, my peerie bonny boy
Thou little knowst thy mother's woe

Alas! I do not know thy father
Alas, alas, my woeful sin
I do not know my baby's father
Nor yet the land that he lives in

Alas, alas, called I shall be
A wicked woman by all men
That I, a married wife should have
A bairn to him I do not ken”

Then up and spake a grimly guest
That stood so white at her bed feet
“Oh here am I, thy bairns father
Although I'm not thy husband sweet”

“My bairns father I know you are
No love so sweet I'll ever have
And yet I have a good good man
That's far away from me this day”

“I care not for thy wedded carl
I would his face I'll never see
But when six months is come and gone
I'll come and pay the nourrice fee

It'll not be said you lost by me
A penny's worth of worldly gear
So when I come , you'll get thy fee
And I a bairn to be my heir

No, for the love I bear for thee
A love that's brought me muckle shame
Oh tell me where your home may be
And tell me true your very name?

“San Imravoe it is my name
I walk on land and swim on sea
Among the ranks of selkie folk
I am an earl of high degree

I am a man upon the land
I am a selkie in the sea
My home it is the Soola-skerry
And all that's there is under me

More than a thousand selkie folk
To me in willing service go
And I am king of all the folk
And law to them is what I say”

Oh how can you my bairnie take
And how can you my bairnie save
In thy cold home you'll only make
The grimly sea my bairnie's grave

My little bairn I'll safely ferry
Though I have neither ship or skiff
With muckle care to Soolis-Skerry
Before the sun's high in the sky”

“But how shall I my young son ken
And how shall I my bairnie know?”
“Of all the selkies in Soolis-Skerry
He'll be the middlemost of them all”

His megs shall be as black as soot
His croopan white as driven snow
And I beside him, like the same
I was to thee in times ago

“My own good man a warrior proud
And aye a strong strong fist has he
And he may prick or club my bairn
When he's a selkie in the sea”

I fear not that, I fear but this
That cock-crow comes and finds me here
But come what may, I come again
And fetch my bairn in half a year

For then he'll be a seventh stream
And then a man again I'll be
And take my bonnie peerie bairn
All to the boons of Soolis-skerry

When those six months were come and gone
He came to pay the nourrice fee
The one of his hands was full of gold
the other of the white money

The lady's ta'en a golden chain
Her wedding gift from Odivere
She's tied it in her baby's hair
It's for her sake she bad him wear

“I'm come to fetch my bairn away
Farewell for you're another's wife”
“I 'd wed thee with a golden ring
And bide beside thee all my life”

You would not when I would, good wife
I will not when you're willing now
That day you lose you'll never find
It's late, it's over late to rue

The lady lived a lonely life
And often looks upon the sea
Still hoping her first love to find
But doubting that can never be
Track Name: Play O' De Lathie Odivere IV (accompanied)
Part IV
Sir Odivere's come home again
With muckle store of worldly ware
And he, his lady and his men
Make holidays with billies rare

They danced and sang, they told their tales
And then sat down to drink and dine
With cuts of meat and foaming kegs
And wallie horns of blood red wine

One day says Odie to his men
I think that if we linger here
We'll grow as fat as butter balls
And die with too much meat and drink

It's well enough a little while
I cannot stand it long, I say
Let's hunt the otters on the shore
And start the morn at blink of day

They hunted otters on the shore
A selkie ran from out a hollow
And Odivere he took not long
To fell him with a master blow

Then up and spake one of his men
Far have I sailed and much I've seen
But never gold on Selkie's hair
Til now I've seen with both me e'en

They bore the selkie to the hall
And never a word said Odivere
His face was black and glowered his eyes
Though he did neither ban or swear.

Come down, come down, Lady Odivere
Come down and see this this farly thing
And read to me this riddle rare
By all the saints that ever sing

The lady she came down to see
They made such fuss and muckle steer
“Here's the gold chain you got from me
Tell me good wife, how came it here?”

Alas alas, my bonnie bairn
My bairn, what am I born to see?
My malisen lie on the hand
That's wrought this deed of blood on thee!

The lady with her torn hair
She was a doleful sight to see
Her crying loud and sobbing sore
Her arms around the dead silkie

“Your bairn! Good wife, no bairn of mine
And yet you were my wedded wife
It seems when I've been far from home
You led a wicked woman's life”

“And though I be your wedded wife
A wedded man were you to me
You left me to a lonely life
And stayed long years beyond the sea”

“I left you with both land and store
And made you mistress of them all
I thought you would be true to me
As I to thee when far away”

“Black sight upon the land and store
You little know a woman's heart
To think the gift of worldly ware
Is all the loving husband's part”

When doughty deeds were to be done
It would have been a bonny pass
Had I stayed home to cuddle thee
And stir my fingers in the ash

I could not stand a sluggard life
And lady I would have you ken
When I took thee to be my wife
I did not want a clucking hen”

“As I can cluck, so you can crow
Over all the deeds with women done
How every bonny wench you saw
You courted her and called it fun

But one dead bairn alone have I
And if this deed was wrong of me
How many bairns have you to show
How true a man thou's been to me?

Could I not take what came to me
To tempt me in my lonesome life
While you were skalan frank and free
The dearest tocher of a wife?

You lie you lie, you lying limmer
Where e'er we drank about them all
Your well fared face I toasted aye
And fought with him that said me nay

And when in battle's sorest pall
My heart grew strong when most in strife
By thinking of my loving wife
That she was false I little thought

With Selkie folk you've led a life
Away you limmer slut from me
A would not have thee for a wife
For all the gold in Christandie

She's swiped the chain from the Selkie's hair
And thrown it hard at Odie's crown
Go take ye that, you ill tongued tyke
And keep it for a parting boon

The lady they put in a high high tower
With no sweet light through hole or bore
They have given her meal and water there
And bolted fast the iron door
Track Name: Play O' De Lathie Odivere V (accompanied)
Part V

The Thing has passed her awful doom
That for her false and sinful deed
She should be ta'en and burnt to ash
Without mercy or remeed

Alas alas the doleful day
Alas what am I born to see
In the red hot fire I must be burnt
O woe's my heart and woe is me

Oh if my father were alive
He would have dearly fought for me
Dead mother's ghost, will you not come
And set thy doleful daughter free?

When I lay on thy cosy breast
And you the little bairn did raise
You little thought your bonny bairn
would be a cinder in the ash

Then up and spake San Imravoe
And loud and mighty cry gave he
Ye Selkie folk to Norraway
Call all the whales in the North Sea

The day before that lady fair
Was to be burnt with muckle woe
A cry was raised about the hall
Whales whales! In every bay and cove

Then Odivere and all his men
Ran to the call with muckle speed
And there was rowing, rooting, yowling
And noise that might have raised the dead

They rowed and rooted all the day
But never a whale got for their pains
And in the murkin home they went
With aching hands and heavy bones

And when that they came to the hall
They got a gluff you may be sure
For every door stood open wide
And the door of the tower lay on the floor

And they ran up and they ran down
And glowered about with all their e'en
The lady fair was clean away
And never more by mortal seen

And Odivere's a lonely man
And weary of his doleful fate
And aye and sore he rues the day
He ever took the Odin oath

To many singers thanks we give
To many singers drink we all
Their foys, they were not worth a straw
Without their songs and ballads all
Track Name: Play O' De Lathie Odivere I (unaccompanied)
Part I
In Norraway a lady lived
A bonny lass with gold in store
And it was truly sung and said
She was a lady sweet and fair

They came from east and west in pride
And some came sailing o'er the sea
All to win her for a bride
But never a bride would the lady be

She bad them go home and mend their clothes
That they had worn in coming so far
She called them fools, she called them fleas
Set stooks on them and gave them a scare

There was a man both stout and strong
And he was named Odivere
He loved the sword, he loved the song
But aye he loved the lasses more

This Odivere fell on his knee
And vowed a vow upon his life
And swore by him that hung on tree
To make this lady fair his wife

He's courted her, he's wedded her
And they were blithe and blissful both
And aye he bragged near and far
He won his wife by Odin's oath

He's left her in his boorly hall
A grieving sore that doleful day
To Holy Land he's gone away
The muckle pagan loons to slay

As he came back from God's own land
In Micklegard he bade a while
And foys and feichtins had to hand
For ladies fair did him beguile

At Micklegard he tarried long
Black sight on him, for biding there!
While sat in dole her maids among
With tearful eye his lady fair

And oft she bonnied herself so bright
And oft her golden hair would comb
And then look o'er the castle wall
To see her own good man come home

And aye she looked and waited long
For many a dowie day and year
But Odivere he did not come
Nor word of Odie did she hear.
Track Name: Play O' De Lathie Odivere II (unaccompanied)
Part II
One evening in the murky dark
A stately knight came to her hall
Full loud he knocked upon the gate
And loudly at the gate did call

A boon, a boon! You porter loon
Bed me this night within your hall
My journey's long, the night is dark
And home and holding far away

Begone begone, away away!
To bed you here that may not be
No stranger lives within this hall
While my good lord's beyond the sea

Unless you'd feel the weight of my hand
Go tell your lady mistress fair
That I have come from Gothaland
And bear her word of Odivere

The gate was opened at his word
And boldly strode he in the hall
And the women all around him said
A stouter knight they never saw

And he's taken off his silken cap
And he's gone down upon his knee
And he's laid a gold ring on the ladies lap
That she was very glad to see

A token from thy husband dear
I bring to thee my lady fair
I left him well in jolly cheer
They call him now Sir Odivere

And well he wins his knight's degree
By slaying many a soldier strong
And making hosts of pagans flee
Before his sword so sharp and long

When she the golden ring had seen
She took no heed of what he said
But drew her kerchief o'er her eyes
And the colour from her fair face fled

But soon her bonny face grew bright
And blithely blinked her bonny eye
Rise up, rise up you valiant knight
For uncommon good you bring to me

A stately banquet in the hall
Put out the best of blood red wine
With plenty of all that's brave and good
That this brave knight full well may dine

And many a tale he told that night
Of tourneys fought for ladies fair
And all about that worthy knight
In Gothaland, Sir Odivere

He hinted though he never said,
and skirted aye in every tale
That Odivere was a roving blade
And liked the lasses over well

And when the feast was fairly done
And all the servants gone to bed
And the two of them were left alone
The lady to the stranger said:

“Why bring you back that golden ring
That brings to me sore dole and pain
That minds me of the blithesome days
When I of thee was over fain?”

“You know fair dame, to me so dear
Long since you gave that ring to me
And on this ring in the moonlight clear
You swore forever mine to be”

And I in sorrow have gone since then
A lonely man on land and sea
And never a face have I seen but thine
That I could bear my wife to be”

“Away, away, you false tongued knight
You words will work me muckle strife
Full well you know what sundered us
It was the dowie Odin's oath”

He's ta'en her white hand in his stately nave
And glad was she and glad was he
What happened next, you need not hear
In sooth, I was not there to see

The knight's away with the morning grey
He stayed not for a farewell gift
What no-one knows no-one can say
But the lady's left in little joy

Her bonny eyes blinked not so bright
Her red and white grew white and grey
And every day she wished for night
And every night she wished for day
Track Name: Play O' De Lathie Odivere III (unaccompanied)
Part III
I heard a lady bore her bairn
And aye she rocked and aye she sang
And took so hard upon the verse
That the heart within her body rang

“Ba loo, ba loo, my bonny bairn
Ba lo lalie, ba lay lo
Sleep you, my peerie bonny boy
Thou little knowst thy mother's woe

Alas! I do not know thy father
Alas, alas, my woeful sin
I do not know my baby's father
Nor yet the land that he lives in

Alas, alas, called I shall be
A wicked woman by all men
That I, a married wife should have
A bairn to him I do not ken”

Then up and spake a grimly guest
That stood so white at her bed feet
“Oh here am I, thy bairns father
Although I'm not thy husband sweet”

“My bairns father I know you are
No love so sweet I'll ever have
And yet I have a good good man
That's far away from me this day”

“I care not for thy wedded carl
I would his face I'll never see
But when six months is come and gone
I'll come and pay the nourrice fee

It'll not be said you lost by me
A penny's worth of worldly gear
So when I come , you'll get thy fee
And I a bairn to be my heir

No, for the love I bear for thee
A love that's brought me muckle shame
Oh tell me where your home may be
And tell me true your very name?

“San Imravoe it is my name
I walk on land and swim on sea
Among the ranks of selkie folk
I am an earl of high degree

I am a man upon the land
I am a selkie in the sea
My home it is the Soola-skerry
And all that's there is under me

More than a thousand selkie folk
To me in willing service go
And I am king of all the folk
And law to them is what I say”

Oh how can you my bairnie take
And how can you my bairnie save
In thy cold home you'll only make
The grimly sea my bairnie's grave

My little bairn I'll safely ferry
Though I have neither ship or skiff
With muckle care to Soolis-Skerry
Before the sun's high in the sky”

“But how shall I my young son ken
And how shall I my bairnie know?”
“Of all the selkies in Soolis-Skerry
He'll be the middlemost of them all”

His megs shall be as black as soot
His croopan white as driven snow
And I beside him, like the same
I was to thee in times ago

“My own good man a warrior proud
And aye a strong strong fist has he
And he may prick or club my bairn
When he's a selkie in the sea”

I fear not that, I fear but this
That cock-crow comes and finds me here
But come what may, I come again
And fetch my bairn in half a year

For then he'll be a seventh stream
And then a man again I'll be
And take my bonnie peerie bairn
All to the boons of Soolis-skerry

When those six months were come and gone
He came to pay the nourrice fee
The one of his hands was full of gold
the other of the white money

The lady's ta'en a golden chain
Her wedding gift from Odivere
She's tied it in her baby's hair
It's for her sake she bad him wear

“I'm come to fetch my bairn away
Farewell for you're another's wife”
“I 'd wed thee with a golden ring
And bide beside thee all my life”

You would not when I would, good wife
I will not when you're willing now
That day you lose you'll never find
It's late, it's over late to rue

The lady lived a lonely life
And often looks upon the sea
Still hoping her first love to find
But doubting that can never be
Track Name: Play O' De Lathie Odivere IV (unaccompanied)
Part IV
Sir Odivere's come home again
With muckle store of worldly ware
And he, his lady and his men
Make holidays with billies rare

They danced and sang, they told their tales
And then sat down to drink and dine
With cuts of meat and foaming kegs
And wallie horns of blood red wine

One day says Odie to his men
I think that if we linger here
We'll grow as fat as butter balls
And die with too much meat and drink

It's well enough a little while
I cannot stand it long, I say
Let's hunt the otters on the shore
And start the morn at blink of day

They hunted otters on the shore
A selkie ran from out a hollow
And Odivere he took not long
To fell him with a master blow

Then up and spake one of his men
Far have I sailed and much I've seen
But never gold on Selkie's hair
Til now I've seen with both me e'en

They bore the selkie to the hall
And never a word said Odivere
His face was black and glowered his eyes
Though he did neither ban or swear.

Come down, come down, Lady Odivere
Come down and see this this farly thing
And read to me this riddle rare
By all the saints that ever sing

The lady she came down to see
They made such fuss and muckle steer
“Here's the gold chain you got from me
Tell me good wife, how came it here?”

Alas alas, my bonnie bairn
My bairn, what am I born to see?
My malisen lie on the hand
That's wrought this deed of blood on thee!

The lady with her torn hair
She was a doleful sight to see
Her crying loud and sobbing sore
Her arms around the dead silkie

“Your bairn! Good wife, no bairn of mine
And yet you were my wedded wife
It seems when I've been far from home
You led a wicked woman's life”

“And though I be your wedded wife
A wedded man were you to me
You left me to a lonely life
And stayed long years beyond the sea”

“I left you with both land and store
And made you mistress of them all
I thought you would be true to me
As I to thee when far away”

“Black sight upon the land and store
You little know a woman's heart
To think the gift of worldly ware
Is all the loving husband's part”

When doughty deeds were to be done
It would have been a bonny pass
Had I stayed home to cuddle thee
And stir my fingers in the ash

I could not stand a sluggard life
And lady I would have you ken
When I took thee to be my wife
I did not want a clucking hen”

“As I can cluck, so you can crow
Over all the deeds with women done
How every bonny wench you saw
You courted her and called it fun

But one dead bairn alone have I
And if this deed was wrong of me
How many bairns have you to show
How true a man thou's been to me?

Could I not take what came to me
To tempt me in my lonesome life
While you were skalan frank and free
The dearest tocher of a wife?

You lie you lie, you lying limmer
Where e'er we drank about them all
Your well fared face I toasted aye
And fought with him that said me nay

And when in battle's sorest pall
My heart grew strong when most in strife
By thinking of my loving wife
That she was false I little thought

With Selkie folk you've led a life
Away you limmer slut from me
A would not have thee for a wife
For all the gold in Christandie

She's swiped the chain from the Selkie's hair
And thrown it hard at Odie's crown
Go take ye that, you ill tongued tyke
And keep it for a parting boon

The lady they put in a high high tower
With no sweet light through hole or bore
They have given her meal and water there
And bolted fast the iron door
Track Name: Play O' De Lathie Odivere V (unaccompanied)
Part V

The Thing has passed her awful doom
That for her false and sinful deed
She should be ta'en and burnt to ash
Without mercy or remeed

Alas alas the doleful day
Alas what am I born to see
In the red hot fire I must be burnt
O woe's my heart and woe is me

Oh if my father were alive
He would have dearly fought for me
Dead mother's ghost, will you not come
And set thy doleful daughter free?

When I lay on thy cosy breast
And you the little bairn did raise
You little thought your bonny bairn
would be a cinder in the ash

Then up and spake San Imravoe
And loud and mighty cry gave he
Ye Selkie folk to Norraway
Call all the whales in the North Sea

The day before that lady fair
Was to be burnt with muckle woe
A cry was raised about the hall
Whales whales! In every bay and cove

Then Odivere and all his men
Ran to the call with muckle speed
And there was rowing, rooting, yowling
And noise that might have raised the dead

They rowed and rooted all the day
But never a whale got for their pains
And in the murkin home they went
With aching hands and heavy bones

And when that they came to the hall
They got a gluff you may be sure
For every door stood open wide
And the door of the tower lay on the floor

And they ran up and they ran down
And glowered about with all their e'en
The lady fair was clean away
And never more by mortal seen

And Odivere's a lonely man
And weary of his doleful fate
And aye and sore he rues the day
He ever took the Odin oath

To many singers thanks we give
To many singers drink we all
Their foys, they were not worth a straw
Without their songs and ballads all