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An island variation of the cruel sister, this song was inspired by the storytelling of Claire Mulholland. The rough translation from Gaelic is - 'the cormorant sings to the maiden seal at her torment of being the second choice/second wave until the end of time.'


One sister she was dark of heart
The other she was full of grace
Seinn sgarbh le sgrios gu’n ribhinn ròn
de’n cràdh un cùlan gu dilinn ‘dàil

A courter came to seek a bride
And fell in love with the fairer one

The dark girl to an old witch went
To learn a sleeping spell o’

O’ sister let me plait your hair
And weave it where the green weed grows

She sang the song and began to weave
As slowly, slowly the tide came in

The sea ran up around her knees
And o’er her waist, her hands and chest

The dark girl watched from a high cliff top
The waves they reached her sisters neck

As the sea came up to her face sae fair
Up came a grey seal by her side

At the site where her sister lay
Two seals they turned and looked at her

As terror seized the dark haired girl
There she fell with arms outstretched

And by the seals a bird popped up
Black as night and wings apart


from From The Skein, released June 10, 2016
Written by Jenny Sturgeon and Ana Maia MacLellan. With Jenny and Ana Maia on vocals, Jonny Hardie on electric guitar. Jenny also plays shruti-box.


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Jenny Sturgeon Scotland, UK

Jenny Sturgeon is a singer-songwriter "who brings together the old and new with a rare skill" (R2 Magazine). Jenny's music is rich with imagery and her songs are bound together by common threads of folklore, nature and the connection people have with the wild. ... more

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