Mary and the SealBill Gallaher
Inspired by a story by Duncan Williamson – a folk tale from Scotland – Mary and the Seal. Sung by Stewart Hendrickson

On the west coast of Scotland on the Isle of Tyree
Lived the young girl named Mary, not more than sixteen
She was the pride of her father, the light in his eye
Together they cast down his nets in the tide.
And each day that summer when the fishing was done
She’d say to her father, I need time alone
And she’d sail in the dory, to an isle near Tyree
And return when the moon shimmered on the dark sea

Oh the sea it rolls outs then it rolls in
It beckons to lost souls who call out to them
And the ebb and flow of the sea's rolling tide
Gives and then steals away a fisherman's pride.

Then one day when Mary had sailed all alone,
Her father grew anxious to know where she’d gone
So he rowed out to see what the island might yield
And there saw his daughter at play with the seals.
Ah Mary, I’ve lost you he cried in his heart
Though I knew that some day we’d soon have to part
I fear you’re enchanted and claimed by the sea
I fear that you’re lost now for all time for me.

The next day her father sent Mary to town
And while she was gone the day, he took his gun down
And he sailed in his dory to the isle near Tyree
And there shot the grey seal that swam in the sea
That night when Mary returned home from town
Her father then told her just what he had done
Oh father, she cried, from the well of her soul
Your heart won’t believe what your two eyes behold

Then quickly she kissed her father good bye
And ran to the dory with tears in her eyes
And she sailed to the island in the silvery moon light
And for all time was lost to her father that night
But some say the grey seals that swim in the bay
That ride on the low swells took Mary away
Well each morning her father walks down by the shore
Though he knows in his heart, she’ll return never more.