Scottish folklorist, writer, singer and broadcaster Margaret Bennett sings a song from the Shetland Islands.
Margaret Bennett and Shetland fiddler Willie Hunter were in the Pearse Museum in Rathfarnham for a recording of the 'The Pure Drop'.
From the Isle of Skye, Margaret Bennett has lived on islands all her life on both sides of the Atlantic, but currently lives in Edinburgh. She sings 'The Great Silkie of Sule Skerry', a ballad from the Shetland Islands about the Selkie. According to Irish and Scottish mythology these creatures appear as seals in the sea, but take human form when they come to dry land.
When Margaret Bennett's father moved to Newfoundland, she went to visit him. When she found out about the folklore collections available there, she decided to study them. Her holiday turned into a nine year stay.
She talks here about the strong cultural links between Scotland, Ireland and Newfoundland,
I think that I heard in Newfoundland what Irish music and Scottish music must have been like when the folk left and of course when Newfoundland was populated by Irish, called it ‘Talamh an Éisc’ land of the cod fish and the styles of accordion playing and fiddle playing, it is wonderful really, a real link, I felt very much at home.
This episode of ‘The Pure Drop’ was broadcast on 1 August 1993. The presenter is Paddy Glackin.
‘The Pure Drop’ is described by the RTÉ Guide in 1988 as,
A nine part traditional music series featuring the best solo instrumentalists playing in Ireland today and occasionally featuring small groups.
First broadcast in 1988 it ran until 1996. The presenters were James Kelly, Iarla Ó Lionaird, John O’Donoghue, Dolores Keane, Martin McGinley, and Paddy Glackin. The producer was Tony MacMahon.