In the gift-giving season
Gracious acceptance

Tunes for a Monday Morning

An Illustration from The Seal Children by Jackie Morris

Having been immersed in selkie lore recently, my dreams are still rolling with the waves ... so I'm starting the week with songs about sea and shore, and the liminal space between them.

Above: "The Great of Sule Skerry" (Child Ballad 113), a traditional song of Shetland and Orkney sung by Julie Fowlis (from the Isle of Eigg in the Hebrides) and The Unthanks (from Northumbria) for the Port programme on BBC Alba.

Below: "The Selkie Song" by Scottish singer/songwriter Jenny Sturgeon, accompanied by Jonny Hardie on the Isle of May in 2014.

Above: "Lord Franklin," a classic ballad about the 19th century Arctic explorer who perished on the search for the North West Passage. This lovely version was recorded by Irish fiddler Kevin Burke and the late Irish singer, guitarist and folklorist Mícheál O Domhnaill (co-founder of The Bothy Band) in 1979. The backing vocals are by Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill.

Below: "The Maid on the Shore," an oceanside variant of the "The Broomfield Hill" (Child Ballad #43), recorded by The John Renbourn Group in 1980. The singer, of course, is Jacqui McShee.

Above: "The Fisherman's Wife" by Matthew and the Atlas (English singer/songwriter Matt Hegarty and his band), recorded in 2015.

Below: "Mackerel," an award-winning song by the Rheingans Sisters (Anna and Rowan Rheingans), from Derbyshire. The song appeared on their first album Already Home (2015).

And one more to end with: "The Sailor's Farewell" by singer/songwriter Ange Hardy, from Somerset. The appeared on her third album, The Lament of the Black Sheep (2014).

The art today is by Jackie Morris, from her enchanting book The Seal Children. Go here to learn more about it.

Another illustration from The Seal People by Jackie Morris

Some previous songs of the sea can be found here and here.

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