An earthly nourris sits and sings
And aye she sings 'Ba lily wain
And little ken I my bairn's father
Far less the land that he dwells in'.
Then one arose at her bedfoot
And a grumbly guest I'm sure was he
Saying here am I, thy bairn's father
Although I be not comely
I am a man upon the land
I am a silkie on the sea
And when I'm far and far frae land
My home it is in Sules Skerry
And he has ta'en a purse of gold
And he has placed it upon her knee
Saying give to me my little young son
And take thee up thy nurse's fee
And it shall come tae pass on a summer's day
When the sun shines bright on every stone
I'll come and fetch my little young son
And teach him how to swim the foam.
And you, you shall marry a pround gunner
And a proud gunner I'm sure he'll be
But the very first shot that e'er he shoots
He'll kill both my young son and me.