“An Sgeir-Mhara (The Sea-Tangle, The Jealous Woman)”


Scots Gaelic. A woman weaves a tangle of gold to bind another by the water. The bound woman awakes to find herself in danger of drowning. She begs for pity, but finds none, for her or her babes; the other will sleep with her man that night


The Kennedy and Kennedy-Fraser texts between them parallel almost the entire plot of "The Twa Sisters": Kennedy's text is the exchange between the jealous sisters, while Kennedy-Fraser is a tale of the murder attempt. The two have only slight overlap, but it seems clear they are fragments of a longer item.

If the references in Kennedy are to be believed (and they often aren't), this must be one of the most popular songs in the Hebrides; he lists fifteen versions from as far afield as Nova Scotia. - RBW

Cross references


  1. Kennedy 3, "A Bhean Iadach (The Jealous Woman)" (1 text+English translation, 1 tune)
  2. Kennedy-Fraser II, pp. 55-63, "The Sea-Tangle, or, The Sisters (An Sgeir-Mhara)" (1 text+English translation, 1 tune)
  3. BI, K003


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1917 (Kennedy-Fraser)
Found in: Britain(Scotland(Hebr)