Traditional Irish Music
We have an old story that was told in Co Donegal and many other places too as it is a common folktale that exists in many forms. We will tell the Donegal version as that is where we heard it.
There was once a man who lived by the sea. He was an honest hardworking man and he longed to have a wife to share his life. Every evening he would walk along the seashore and look out to the sea. One evening he came upon a mermaid who was resting on a rock in the evening sun. Although they were both surprised to stumble upon each other they began a conversation and found that they got along very well together. They continued to meet each evening until they fell in love and could no longer bear to be apart.
Now in order to get married to a man from the land the mermaid had to give up her tail so as to walk on the land. They were so much in love that the mermaid asked her husband-to-be to take her tail and burn it so that she would never return to the sea.
They duly got married and had two beautiful children. A boy and a girl. They were very happy altogether for many years.
One day the children, now in their teens, were out playing in one of the old buildings at the back of their house. They discovered the mermaid's tail hidden up under the eaves and took it to their mother to ask her what it was. Upon seeing the tail, their mother was overcome by the yearning to go back to the sea.
She returned to the sea never to be seen again.
Why her husband didn't destroy the tail is a mystery but we like to to think it was through a kindness.
We include a link to a beautiful song version of the mermaid. It is in Irish but a simple lyric search can reveal the words in English.
Very nice, Joe & Adele. The story is almost the same as the Skerry story told in "The Secret of Roan Innish" movie,....except the Skerry was a Seal Woman. Thanks for the submission. We're getting some pretty good stories compiled, so I'm excited to see where this group goes. Slan go foill,
It's a great old story and song right enough and we like your humorous twist at the end! Cheers to you both,Kathleen and Billy from Joe and Adele!
Kathleen O'Sullivan Billy Teare said:
Love this story. I sing An Mhaighdean Mhara. When introducing it on stage I often end . . . And she returned to the sea - but not before she cleaned up at all the local swimming galas. :-)
Correction to comment made Jun 18th. "The Secret of Roan Innish" movie had a SELKIE (Seal Woman),....not a Skerry as mentioned in the comment. Don't know where that came from!!!