Digital Tradition Mirror

Seal Song

Seal Song

cho: Ho i ho i hi o ho i
     ho i hi o ho i i
     ho i ho i hi o ho i
     Cha robh mi'm' aonar an raoir. [I was not alone last night.]

'S mairg 's an tir so, 's mairg 's an tir,
'g ithe dhaoine 'n riochd a' bhidh;
nach fhaic sibh ceannard an t-sluaigh
Goil air teine gu cruaidh cruinn.

[Sad the land is, sad the land,
Eating people for its food;
See how the chief of all our men
Boils on fire that's hot and round.

'S mise nighean Aiodh mhic Eoghain,
gum b'eolach mi mu na sgeirean;
gur mairg a dheanadh mo bhualadh,
bean uasal mi o thir eile.

[I'm the daughter of Hugh mac Ewen,
And I know the skerries well;
And woe to him that would strike at me,
A lady from a far country. ]

Thig an smeorach, thig an druid,
thig gach eun a dh' ionnsaigh nid,
thig am bradan thar a' chuain;
gu la Luain cha ghluaisear mis'.

[Come the mavis, come the thrush,
Come each bird that seeks its nest,
Come the salmon over the sea --
Till the day I shall not move. ]

Here's a seal song from the rocks of Haisgeir, in the Hebrides.  It
is sung by a seal woman, and was heard by some sealers while they
were eating some seal they had just popped on the barbie.
The MacOdrums and other families who claimed descent from seals did not
eat seal, in spite of the fact that seals were one of the few protein
sources available on the islands.  (Other than the ever-present
fish, that is.)  The style of the song is not very different (other
than the first verse) from laments for historical human chiefs.

Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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