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Lyrics

In nor'way land there lived a maid
"Hush ba lu lilly" she did sing
For little ken I my baby's father
Nor yet the land that he dwells in

It happened on a certain day
As this fair maid lay fast asleep
That day there came a grey selkie
And sat him down at her bed feet

Lyrics continue below...

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Awake, awake, my pretty maid
It's oh how soundly you do sleep
For here am I your baby's father
Sitting here at your bed feet

I pray you tell to me your name
And where your dwelling it may be?
My name is Good Hale Mariner
I earn my living out at sea

I am a man upon the land
I am a selkie in the sea
And when I'm far and far from land
My home it is in Sule Skerry

Oh woe alas this weary fate
This weary fate that's laid on me
That a man should come from the west of Hoy
And father his ain child on me

My dear, I'll wed you with a ring
With a ring my dear I'll wed with thee
You may go to the wedding with whom you will
I'm sure we'll never married be

And she has nursed his little wee son
For seven years all at her knee
And when seven years were past and gone
He's come with gold and white money

And now my dear, will you take the ring?
Will you take the ring and wed with me?
You may go to the wedding with whom you will
I'm sure you'll never marry me

I'll put a gold chain round his neck
And a gay gold chain I'm sure it will be
And if e'er he comes to the nor'way land
He'll know for sure that it is he

And you will marry a gunner good
And a gay good gunner he will be
And he'll go out on a May morning
And he'll shoot your son and he'll shoot me

And the selkie took the little boy in his arms
And they went away and over the hill. And in time
As the selkie had prophesied, she did marry a gunner
Who went out on a May morning and shot two seals
A big bull male and a young male with a gold chain
Around his neck

Oh woe, alas, this weary fate
This weary fate that's laid on me
And so she cried and so she sighed
And her tender heart it broke in three

Writer(s): [traditional]

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