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Unst Boat Song

Unst Boat Song. An ancient Shetland song performed by Fridarey.


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Friderey Friderey

The Unst Boat Song is Shetland's oldest surviving song.  The text is fragmented Norn mixed with some dialect.  This version is sung by Fair Isle family group, Friðarey, and is available on their CD Across the Waters, FAIRCD1.

  


Starka virna vestilie
Obadeea, obadeea
Starka, virna, vestilie
Obadeea, monye.

Stala, stoita, stonga raer
O, whit says du da bunshka baer?
O, whit says du da bunshka baer?
Litra mae vee drengie.

Starka virna vestilie
Obadeea, obadeea
Starka, virna, vestilie
Obadeea, monye.

Saina, papa wara
Obadeea, obadeea
Saina, papa wara
Obadeea, monye.

Starka virna vestilie
Obadeea, obadeea
Starka, virna, vestilie
Obadeea, monye.


Translation suggested by W.W.  Ratter:

starka                          strong
virna         weather,   wind                                                               
vestilie westerly
obadeea trouble, hurt
monye men
   
stala put in order
stoita support
stong mast
raer yards (of a mast)         
   
O whit says du? O what do you say? (modern Shetland dialect)
da bunshka baer that the boat will bear or carry her sail
litra mae vee I am pleased with that
drengie boys
   
Saina papa wara Bless us, our Father
   
   
   





 

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