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about

My story of the Selkie was inspired by Nuala Kennedy’s version of 'Cáit I nGarráin A Bhile'. The captivating melody spoke to me of unconditional love, and there are noteworthy similarities between the traditional Irish Gaelic lyrics that tell the tale of a man's love for a maiden who is “… brighter than the swan on the lake” and the story about a man's love for the Selkie, who is bound to the sea.

lyrics

The fisherman each day would go
Out in his boat through the ocean flow
Beneath the waters blue and green
He saw a silver shadow gleam
One night the Selkie was entrancing
Upon the sand in bare flesh dancing
Come with me said the fisherman
And I will give you house and dry land

Silver skin fair maid ashore
Bound to the sea by ancient law
Each day together their love did grow
One heart above and one heart below

She said I’d like to see the land
My feet have only felt wet sand
But when seven years and one day is done
Back to the ocean I’ll return
His honour and word he gave her true
As clear as waters crystal blue
Back to the sea I’ll let you go
For my heart it does love you so

The Selkie lived her days quite free
But each night she dreamt of the sea
Her skin and hair no longer shone bright
When the time it came she left at midnight
The fisherman found a note
Such loving words his Selkie wrote
Each day in your boat visit me
For I’ll be waiting in the sea

credits

from Beside the Waves of Time, released April 6, 2009
Lyrics: I. Leigh/PRS, Melody: Trad/I. Leigh/PRS
(Melody inspired by Cáit I nGarráin A Bhile)

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Iona Leigh Forres, UK

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