For years one of my favorite story “banks” has been the various “Silkie” or “Selkie” stories form Ireland and Scotland. My Story Song, “The Silkie” (one of my most popular school assembly pieces), is about a female shapeshifting seal who is captured by a fisherman.
This version is about a male “Selkie”. He gets washed ashore in a storm and stuck in his human form because a young widow finds him and takes his magical seal skin or “Selkie.” Without it he can not return to his seal form and return to the sea.
Both versions of my Silkie songs explore the psychological dynamic of what happens to us “humans” when we allow ourselves to get “stuck” in unhealthy relationships. The only way out is through.
The Selkie Man
Song #466 | March 2, 2013 | CD Purest Form of Trance
Call me a rogue and I’ll answer
Call me a fool and I’ll strike
Life on the land is a cancer
When it’s life in the sea that I like
I’m a man upon the land
I’m a Selkie upon the sea
I’ve given you a fine strong child
Now it’s time to set me free
She found me on the shore
Broken by the storm
Bloody and torn upon the rocks
where I lay in my human form…
She dragged me home and healed me
Helpless as a babe new born
But she’s got me Selkie hidden away
So I can’t return to my true form
She soothed me with her singing
She nourished me with her broth
While her nets she was stringing
She told me what she sought…
She longed to bear a child
But her husband was lost at sea
So she walked the coastline wild
With grief until she found me…
I could not give her an answer
when I was too weak to stand
but later when I was stronger
I answered her as a man
I can not say I regret it
for my son was born in the Spring
But a hawk is not made to be petted
it was born for it’s life on the wing
If only I knew where she hid it
I would get it and I would be gone
It will drive me insane if I let it
The call of the North Sea song…
I keep my word when I speak it
While you have my soul on a string
If you had any heart this would break it.
Where is my Selkie skin?
Copyright 2013 by Mark Shepard. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.