The Selkies’ Song

When I was a wee boy, I spent most of my childhood holidays at my Aunty Sandra’s caravan site in Dornoch, in the north east of Scotland. I always loved these holidays, and every night after my dinner I would take a walk down the beach until it started to get dark.

One day, I was heading out for my usual walk, when my Aunty told me to watch out for the Selkie. I was a bit alarmed at this and asked what a Selkie was. She told me that the Selkie is a mythical creature, which whilst in the sea is a seal, but can come onto the land and transform into a person. Needless to say this concerned me a wee bit, but I carried on down to the beach for my walk.

I remember walking a bit further than I usually did, when all of a sudden I heard an uproar of voices coming from the sea. I looked out and could see a sand bank with hundreds of seals on it! So I ran back to tell my Aunty that I saw the Selkie.

I’ve since developed a bit of a fondness for seals, finding them to be cute, curious wee creatures and I frequently encounter them whilst on my travels and I always wonder to myself, “is that the Selkie?”

When I was a wee boy
My aunty said to me
Listen out my dear boy
When you’re down there by the sea
For when the sun goes down
In the late hours of the town
You may hear the selkies singing
Like they used to sing to me

I walked out over the dunes
Over golden, golden sand
I walked out late in June
When I heard the distant band
As the light begins to fade
And the day turns into shade
Well I heard the selkies singing
They were singing out to me

I heard the selkies
I heard the selkies
I heard the selkies’ song
On the shores of the Dornoch Firth

I’ve been all over this land
From east to west I’ve roamed
Royal Tain to Barra’s sands
Oh, I’ve done it all alone
But that day remains with me
And everywhere I go
Well I hear the selkies singing
And their singing out to me

I hear the selkies
I hear the selkies
I hear the selkies’ song
On the shores of the Dornoch Firth

When I was a wee boy

© A. Huggan 2009