“The Sang o the Saracen Maid”

Thanks again to the good people at the Thistle & Shamrock, I have another great contemporary Scottish folk song to love.  Last Sunday I heard “The Sang o the Saracen Maid” and fell for it hard; it’s about all I’ve listened to for a week.

Here it is:

I was prompted to do some research about the background of this heartrending tale.

This YouTube video directly precedes the one above; the author of the original poem introduces it.

Here’s a written story of the poem’s origin.

Here are the words to the poem.

And the lyrics to the song.

This is the old legend being retold here.  Isn’t it sad?  I’d never heard this before.  Local folklore is the best!

Here’s another telling of the same story.

Thistle & Shamrock

It’s been years since my local NPR station dropped one of my favorite shows, The Thistle and Shamrock, a weekly hour-long update on all things current in the world of Celtic music.  Luckily, they’ve started keeping some podcasts and archives of recent shows on their web site. I listen to it a lot while grading papers at work.

Highly recommended for all fans of Celtic music.  They always find a way to make each show full of variety and surprises, and I’ve never heard an episode without finding some new song I love.  The last show I heard, from a few weeks ago, featured this track by a new, young folk guitarist; it’s pretty catchy.