That's the cradle song Salana the seal sings to her infant daughter in "Seal Maiden, A Celtic Musical." Karan Casey, the celebrated singer from the group, Solas, is the teller of this haunting version of the Irish Silkie legend -- about the young seal who, despite her mother's warnings, strays too close to shore and is caught on the beach, looses her seal skin, and is turned into a human girl, a seal maiden. She's found by a kind fisherman, who takes her in, and raises her as his daughter. But though you can take the seal maiden out of the sea, you can't take the sea out of the seal maiden; she swallows eels whole -- much to the delight of the other children; she has that far-away look in her eye that no one can explain; and she sings her solitary songs to the sea.
But it's this singing that draws a young fisherman to her; they marry, and have a child who's also born with a seal skin, and her fate comes full circle. It's a journey that will wrap the whole family in its beautiful spell.
Copyright © 2002 by John Cech
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Wednesday, 04-Sep-2002 22:21:48 EDT