Play O' De Lathie Odivere III (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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  • Streaming + Download

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Part III – In which the mysterious stranger returns in ghostly form while she is nursing her baby, and promises to return, pay the nurse's fee and collect the child. He reveals his true nature as Lord of the Selkie folk. When he does return, she ties a gold token in her baby's hair.


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


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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