Play O' De Lathie Odivere I (unaccompanied)

from by Kate Fletcher & Corwen Broch

  • 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.
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This epic ballad was collected in the Orkney Islands in the 1800s by Walter Traill Dennison. Much of the song came from Mrs Hiddleston, with missing parts of the story collected from other local singers or filled in by the collector. Ms Hiddleston lived in Orphir, on Orkney mainland, and was said to have had a great deal to communicate about bygone times.
The tune was first collected in Orkney in 1938 by Professor Otto Andersson of Finland. It was sung to him by John Sinclair of Flotta.
Our version was recorded unaccompanied in one session, and the instrumentation was added later. The ballad was structured in five parts, or 'fits'. We have followed this structure in our recording and included both unaccompanied and accompanied versions here.

Part I – In which the un-named heroine refuses to marry until Odin's Oath is sworn by Odivere. After the wedding, he soon leaves to fight in the crusades, leaving his new wife alone.


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.


from Fishe or Fowle, released January 5, 2017
trad arr K Fletcher & C Broch



all rights reserved


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!
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