Legend of Boray Isle

from Notes From An Island by Ivan Drever

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Boray Isle lies just off Finstown. A very old folk tale.


Long ago a northern fisher,
in a storm was left alone
an tae Boray Isle was driven,
on the eve of good Saint John,
there he says the ghostly revels,
music wild fell on his ears
and he snatched a cast-off sealskin,
and he hid in mortal fear.

At the solemn knell the dancers,
in wild haste their guise regain
all save one, a fair sea maiden,
seeking for her robe in vain,
flung his fisher mantle round her,
wi' the cross he signed her o'er
and wi' loving words addressed her,
bidding her tae fear no more.

Fairest one, no longer fated
as a wild sea beast to roam
come and be my bride, my treasure,
mistress o' my hearth and home,
so, he spoke and so he won her,
and he took her to his home
Margaret was the name they gave her,
her pearl cast from oceans foam.

Three bright years they dwelt together,
love and joy around her grew
every day she blessed the tempest,
that his bark on Boray threw,
then she spake and thus she bade him,
death’s cold touch is on my heart
but in peace from this dear homestead,
soul and body cannot part.

Row me in your skiff dear husband,
on the eve of good Saint John
take me back to Boray Island,
lay me on the sands of down,
all her bidding he accomplished,
tho his heart was sad and sore
on the fated eve he took her,
laid her down on Boray shore.


from Notes From An Island, released March 17, 2021


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Ivan Drever Inverness, UK

Ivan Drever hails from Orkney in Scotland, he has recorded a host of albums both solo and with other performers. Having worked with the Knowe O’ Deil and as a solo artist, Ivan joined Wolfstone in 1990, their work saw them perform worldwide. Ivan’s songs and tunes have been recorded by an impressive list of artists. ... more

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