Celia of the Seals

Album: Troubadour: 1964 - 1976 (1970)
Charted: 84

Songfacts®:

  • This is considered to be the ultimate protest song against the illegal hunting of seals for the needs of humans, such as their fur and meat.
  • In the lyrics, the singer attempts to imitate the call of the seal, repeating "Vonya vonya vonya" in a verse while you can hear sound effects of seals making their actual cry into the song. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Landon - Winchester, OH, for above 2

Comments: 3

  • Jim from Oregon I thought this song was inspired by the Scottish legend of Selkies - woman who turned into seals.
  • Gloria from LondonThe Celia of the song title is Celia Hammond, who was a top model in the 70s and often modelled furs, until she realised how fur was obtained and how cruel the fur trade is. She used her fame as a model to become a vocal and hands-on animal activist and opened the Celia Hammond Animal Trust which takes in and neuters feral cats, rehoming those tame enough or releasing them back whence they came where possible, and finding farm homes for the remainder. Her clinics provide low-cost neutering and vet services in east and south London, and no animal in her care is ever put down while there is any quality of life. She was in a relationship with Jeff Beck for many years and met Donovan, who wrote this song about her. Most recently, she cleared the Olympic stadium site in east London of its feral cat population, successfully lobbying for more time before construction started, due to the large numbers of cats there. She took in over 200 cats from this one site alone. See: www.celiahammond.org
  • Sara from Silver Spring, MdThis was inspired by a fur trader who was a friend of Donovan's mistress Linda. Early in his career he wrote a song called "Ceila" but never recorded it.
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