Local duo Saltfishforty have a very distinctive sound. To my ears, there often seems to be more than just a fiddle and a guitar or mandolin playing. There are several tracks on the Netherbow album which could've made it to SOMP, but I opted for the hauntingly beautiful 'A Ring On Her Hand', a song whose lyrics are based upon events which occurred in Orkney in the late 13th Century. There's not a Youtube video of this track, but here are the lyrics, posted by the band on their Facebook page in response to a fan's question: 28 April 2013 ·
In response to a query from Davey Gordon;
A Ring On Her Hand
[Margaret was a young Norwegian princess who died on her way to Scotland to become queen. The tune is based on a melody from the Balfour Collection called ‘Rings On Her Hand.’]
"Great nobles and kings have met in to decide
And chosen a suitor for the young Scottish bride
Who wants a crown on a long summer’s day?
Would you ask for a kingdom if you had a say?
Farewell to your father the king on the shore
Young maiden of Norway you’ll see him no more
A nation awaiting a queen to command
Leaving for scotland, a ring on your hand
The weight of a black sky a chill in the air
The salt driven through her was more than she’d bear
Sleep wont come easy in a cold cabin bed
And barely the strength for the water and bread
(Be) easy young Margaret the storm is now past
And you’ll have your shelter from the icy sea blast
Cast off into the sunrise you’re still as the sea
No storm and no king now - your spirit is free."