Play O' De Lathie Odivere IV (accompanied)

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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Part IV – In which Odivere returns, kills a seal and demands to know why his gold token is in it's hair. He accused his wife of adultery, and after a blazing row, she is locked up in the high tower.


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


from Fishe or Fowle, released January 5, 2017
trad arr Kate Fletcher & Corwen 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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