Selkie's Lament (Da)
X:1 T:Selkie's Lament, Da C:Tom Anderson (Shetland) M:C L:1/8 B:Anderson - Ringing Strings (1983, p. 54) R:Air K:Bb (Bc)|(d2B2) (ed) cB|d2c2c2 (Bc)|d2F2 (ed)cB|[F2A2][D2B2][D2B2]:| (de)|f2B2 g2B2|(fd)cB c2 FG|B2f2d2 cB|d2f2f2 (de)| f2B2 g2B2|(ed)cB !fermata!c2 Bc|d2F2 (ed)cB|[F2A2][D2B2][D2B2]||
SELKIE'S LAMENT, DA. Shetland, Air (whole time). B Flat Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. "Written (by Shetland fiddler, teacher and composer Tom Anderson) as a protest to the culling of seal pups in Orkney in 1978. It tries to describe the lamentation of the mother seal for the killing of her pup" (Anderson). The seal population in Orkney doubled between the 1960's and the 1980's, with the result that possibly 15% of the total annual British catch of all fish from home waters fell victim to seal predation. Seal culls on Orkney and in Western Isles during the 1960's and 1970's reduced the population, but were abandoned due to the powerful alliance of Greenpeace, the media, and the British public, and a loss of political will in government. The outcry against British seal culling also coincided with efforts to end the harp seal hunt on the pack-ice off Newfoundland. In 1982 the European Parliament announced a ban on ‘baby seal’ skin exports from Canada to Europe and by 1987, under massive international political and environmental pressure, Canada banned the commercial hunting of harp seal pups under 3 weeks old. Seals in Britain are still killed under a hunting license to protect salmon fisheries.