> So here we have another origin story that involves a beached
> sea "monster". This is beginning to look like a distinct literary
> topos. Does anyone have further examples from Irish or Celtic
> or Medieval literature, or from other literatures? Where did
> this motif get started and how did it spread?
Not a sea monster in this one, but the fair-haired sister of "The Cruel
Sister" who lured the innocent sister to the sea and pushed in her to drown
(due to her jealousy over the fact that a handsome knight courted them both,
but loved the one sister above the other). The setting is the North Sea
shore -- the song is a traditional Scottish ballad.
Certain verses are:
And as she floated like a swan
The salt sea bore her body on
Two minstrels walked by the windy strand
They saw her body float to land
They made a harp of her breast bone
Whose sound would melt a heart of stone
They took three strands of her yellow hair
And with them strung this harp so rare
They took this harp to her father's hall
There to play before them all
But when they set the harp upon a stone
It began to play alone
The first song sang a doleful sound
"The bride her younger sister drowned"
The second string, when this they tried
"In terror sits the black haired bride"
The third string sang beneath their bow
"And now her tears will surely flow"
Goltraí in this one....