I Come and Stand at Every Door

Pete Seeger
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OriginaleThe Great Silkie Of Sule Skerrie

I come and stand at every door
But no one hears my silent tread
I knock and yet remain unseen
For I am dead, for I am dead.

I'm only seven although I died
In Hiroshima long ago
I'm seven now as I was then
When children die they do not grow.

My hair was scorched by swirling flame
My eyes grew dim, my eyes grew blind
Death came and turned my bones to dust
And that was scattered by the wind.

I need no fruit, I need no rice
I need no sweet, nor even bread
I ask for nothing for myself
For I am dead, for I am dead.

All that I ask is that for peace
You fight today, you fight today
So that the children of this world
May live and grow and laugh and play.

An earthly nourrice sits and sings,
And aye she sings, ‘Ba, lily wean!
Little ken I my bairn’s father,
Far less the land that he staps in.’

Then ane arose at her bed-fit,
An’ a grumly guest I’m sure was he:
‘Here am I, thy bairn’s father,
Although that I be not comèlie.

I am a man, upo’ the lan’,
An’ I am a silkie in the sea;
And when I’m far and far frae lan’,
My dwelling is in Sule Skerrie.’

[‘It was na weel,’ quo’ the maiden fair,
‘It was na weel, indeed,’ quo’ she,
‘That the Great Silkie of Sule Skerrie
Suld hae come and aught a bairn to me.’]

Now he has ta’en a purse of goud,
And he has pat it upo’ her knee,
Sayin’, ‘Gie to me my little young son,
An’ tak thee up thy nourrice-fee.

‘An’ it sall pass on a simmer’s day,
When the sin shines het on evera stane,
That I will tak my little young son,
An’ teach him for to swim the faem.*

‘An’ thu sall marry a proud gunner,
An’ a proud gunner I’m sure he’ll be,
An’ the very first schot that ere he schoots,
He’ll schoot baith my young son and me.’

*Var.: His lane.

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