—— folk family and jam

Silkie of Sule Skerrie

An earthly nurse she sits and sings
And aye she sings, "Ma lily wean!
Little ken I of my bairn's father,
Far less the land that he dwells in."

For he came one night to my bedside ,
And a grummly guest I'm sure was he,
Saying, "Here I am, thy bairn's father,
Though I am not comely."

"I am a man upon the land,
I am a silkie on the sea,
And when I'm far and far from land,
Imy home it is in Sule Skerry."

Now he has ta'en a purse of gold,
And he has placed it on her knee,
Saying, "Give to me my wee young son,
And take thee up thy nourris fee."

"It shall come to pass, on a summer's day,
When the sun shines bright on every stone,
That I will come to fetch take my litle young son
And teach him how to swim the foam."

"And thou shalt marry a gunner good,
And a very fine gunner I'm sure he'll be,
And the very first shot he ever does fire
He'll kill both my young son and me."

From Steve
Quite a favourite of Steve's - as I remember.  Unfortunately there is no recording of him singing it.  In fact recordings of Steve singing are few and far between altogether.
A silkie is a supernatural being, half seal half man.  A merman?
This is a Child's Ballad.  The melody is modern (Jim Waters, 1954)