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Origins: Lyke Wake Dirge

DigiTrad:
LYKE WAKE DIRGE
WILLIES LYKE-WAKE


Related threads:
Help: 'Lyke Wake' beyond song & usual meaning (32)
Tune Req: Lyke Wake Dirge (14)


In Mudcat MIDIs:
Lyke Wake Dirge (in three parts - changes between 4/4 and 6/4)
Lyke Wake dirge (vocal line only)
Lyke Wake dirge (4 part vocal arrangement)
Lyke Wake Dirge (4 part vocals arrangment plus piano)


Zorro 27 Jan 99 - 06:31 PM
Barbara 27 Jan 99 - 06:42 PM
Susan of DT 27 Jan 99 - 06:45 PM
Murray on Saltspring 28 Jan 99 - 03:17 AM
Jon Bartlett 28 Jan 99 - 03:51 PM
Barbara 28 Jan 99 - 04:36 PM
Pete M 28 Jan 99 - 10:35 PM
GUEST,islandgirl666@hotmail.com 24 Mar 01 - 08:05 PM
Noreen 24 Mar 01 - 08:31 PM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 24 Mar 01 - 08:40 PM
Noreen 24 Mar 01 - 08:53 PM
Malcolm Douglas 25 Mar 01 - 01:07 PM
fat B****rd 25 Mar 01 - 02:36 PM
Keith A of Hertford 25 Mar 01 - 04:29 PM
BanjoRay 25 Mar 01 - 06:49 PM
Terry K 26 Mar 01 - 01:54 AM
bill\sables 26 Mar 01 - 06:14 AM
Malcolm Douglas 06 Apr 01 - 03:37 PM
GUEST 07 Apr 01 - 11:07 AM
GUEST,mrdochall 18 May 01 - 07:33 AM
katlaughing 18 May 01 - 12:52 PM
Malcolm Douglas 18 May 01 - 10:28 PM
Susanne (skw) 31 May 01 - 05:15 PM
Malcolm Douglas 31 May 01 - 05:35 PM
Barbara 15 Jul 01 - 12:58 PM
IanC 16 Jul 01 - 04:32 AM
IanC 16 Jul 01 - 04:58 AM
Malcolm Douglas 16 Jul 01 - 08:53 AM
Matthew Edwards 20 Jul 01 - 07:32 PM
Coyote Breath 21 Jul 01 - 12:55 AM
GUEST,Murray on Saltspring 21 Jul 01 - 02:18 AM
Malcolm Douglas 21 Jul 01 - 10:58 AM
Geoff the Duck 28 Mar 02 - 06:44 PM
greg stephens 28 Mar 02 - 08:52 PM
Joe Offer 24 Jul 03 - 07:08 AM
Dave Bryant 24 Jul 03 - 09:52 AM
GUEST,Malcolm 24 Jul 03 - 05:39 PM
Herga Kitty 24 Jul 03 - 06:38 PM
GUEST,Arnie 25 Jul 03 - 05:37 PM
GUEST,Anne Croucher 04 Feb 05 - 06:19 PM
Tootler 31 Oct 06 - 08:56 AM
Betsy 31 Oct 06 - 11:00 AM
oggie 31 Oct 06 - 08:07 PM
Malcolm Douglas 31 Oct 06 - 09:26 PM
Paul Burke 01 Nov 06 - 03:09 AM
stallion 01 Nov 06 - 06:11 AM
MuddleC 04 Nov 06 - 06:26 AM
MuddleC 04 Nov 06 - 06:31 AM
Mo the caller 04 Nov 06 - 06:45 AM
Darowyn 05 Nov 06 - 06:34 AM
Darowyn 05 Nov 06 - 09:05 AM
Stower 01 Mar 16 - 01:24 PM
Joe Offer 29 Jul 17 - 12:09 AM
punkfolkrocker 29 Jul 17 - 02:31 AM
GUEST,Alistair 29 Jul 17 - 03:08 AM
BobL 29 Jul 17 - 03:09 AM
GUEST 29 Jul 17 - 09:22 AM
GUEST,Brian Grayson 30 Jul 17 - 11:02 AM
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Richard Mellish 30 Jul 17 - 06:33 PM
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Subject: Phrase from: LYKE WAKE DIRGE
From: Zorro
Date: 27 Jan 99 - 06:31 PM

A lady wrote me and asked what the phrase: "To Whinny moor" ean from the song Lyke Wake Dirge. The lines go:
    When from hence away art past
    Every night and a'
    To whinny moor thou com'st at last
    And Christ receive thy saule.

Any one know? Alison? Big Mick? Any body?


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Subject: RE: Phrase from: LYKE WAKE DIRGE
From: Barbara
Date: 27 Jan 99 - 06:42 PM

Zorro, I don't know about Whinney but moors in general were regarded as places between the worlds, supernatural places where you would encounter spirits of the dead, ghosts, the devil, like that.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Phrase from: LYKE WAKE DIRGE
From: Susan of DT
Date: 27 Jan 99 - 06:45 PM

It sounds like the placename of a particular moor, or a metaphorical one, as Barbara sugests


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Subject: RE: Phrase from: LYKE WAKE DIRGE
From: Murray on Saltspring
Date: 28 Jan 99 - 03:17 AM

"Whinny Moor" is a moor or wilderness sort of place covered with whins, big prickly bushes. The idea (as given in the next bit of the poem) is that if you've been wicked, the whins will prick you to the "bare bane", whereas of course the virtuous pass over the moor unscathed. It's only a metaphorical moor, not a real place, though I suppose there may well be a Whinny Muir somewhere in Scotland--there's a lot of moors, and a lot of whins too.


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Subject: RE: Phrase from: LYKE WAKE DIRGE
From: Jon Bartlett
Date: 28 Jan 99 - 03:51 PM

I thought Salt Spring Island was nothing but whinnies! But seriously, doesn't the "purgatory fires" in the next verse sound like a later Xtian interpolation?


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Subject: RE: Phrase from: LYKE WAKE DIRGE
From: Barbara
Date: 28 Jan 99 - 04:36 PM

And while we're on provenance, I seem to recall hearing or reading that while the poem is old, the tune is recent. Anyone? Peter...Shryock? Something like that?
As far as the words, though, John, wasn't there quite a chunk of medieval times where pagan and xtian coexisted all cosy? Seems like a lot of older songs have a mix, Like all those holly and mistletoe and ivy and oak xmas carols.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Phrase from: LYKE WAKE DIRGE
From: Pete M
Date: 28 Jan 99 - 10:35 PM

To be precise whin is gorse or to use the botanical name - Ulex. Also known as furze. It likes acid soil and being part of the pea family has symbiotic nitrogen fixing bacteria in root nodules. It can therefore thrive on poor quality peaty soils common on the moors of Britain.

The Lyke walk is in Yorkshire. The North York Moors I believe but I'm not sure. The reason for the transport of bodies across the moors was to take them to the parish church for burial. There is a similar "way" on Dartmoor the Lich way, although without an accompanying song that I know of, running from Widdecombe to Lydford - more than fifteen miles across very wet boggy and broken moorland with visability about 100yds half the time! The effort involved in lugging a body that far across that type of terrain beggars beleif.

Pete M (I've called my property Furzehill!!


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Subject: RE: Phrase from: LYKE WAKE DIRGE
From: GUEST,islandgirl666@hotmail.com
Date: 24 Mar 01 - 08:05 PM

DOes anyone have the complete trad. lyrics to the song Lyke Wake Dirge? Thanks much.


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Subject: RE: Phrase from: LYKE WAKE DIRGE
From: Noreen
Date: 24 Mar 01 - 08:31 PM

A Lyke-Wake Dirge


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Subject: RE: Phrase from: LYKE WAKE DIRGE
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 24 Mar 01 - 08:40 PM

This will help explain Whinny-Muir. Yours, Aye. Dave
"The poetry of the Dirge is about the soul's journey after death on a stormy night. The soul progresses from the body to Whinnymuir, a dank waiting area for the ensuing journey to purgatory. [In a conversation with Stravinsky and Craft on 21 January 1953, Auden explains that "the Winny-Muir is the gorse moor where souls are ceaselessly nettled, a familiar landscape of the time." Craft, 43.] The generosity of the soul in life (giving away shoes and socks) is rewarded in Whinnymuir, just as greed is punished. The soul moves from Whinnymuir to purgatory over the Bridge of Dread. [Auden explains that "The Brig o' dread is the narrow bridge to Purgatory from which the wicked topple into Hell." Craft, 43.] Here, as in Whinnymuir, the soul is tested for its generosity in life, this time for whether it gave food to the poor. The good soul proceeds on in its journey, whereas the soul of evil deeds burns. The poetry ends in exactly the same place as it began: identical with the Dirge's opening stanza."


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Subject: RE: Phrase from: LYKE WAKE DIRGE
From: Noreen
Date: 24 Mar 01 - 08:53 PM

Click for a related thread...:Help: 'Lyke Wake' beyond song & usual meaning


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Subject: Lyr Add: LYKE WAKE DIRGE
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 25 Mar 01 - 01:07 PM

The DT text,  Lyke Wake Dirge omits the "Purgatory" verse for some reason.  Here is the full text, (1) as originally noted in the 17th century (in England) by John Aubrey, and published by him in The Remaines of Gentilisme and Judaisme, and (2) as given by Walter Scott in his Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border (1802-3):

A LYKE-WAKE DIRGE

This ean night, this ean night
every night and awle
Fire and fleet and Candle-light
and Christ receive thy Sawle.

When thou from hence doest pass away
every night and awle
To Whinny-moor thou comest at last
and Christ receive thy silly poor Sawle.

If ever thou gavest either hosen or shun
every night and awle
Sit thee downe and putt them on
and Christ receive thy Sawle.

But if hosen nor shoon thou never gave nean
every night and awle
The Whinnies shall prick thee to the bare beane
and Christ receive thy Sawle.

From Whinny-moor that thou mayst pass
every night and awle
To Brig o'Dread thou comest at last
and Christ receive thy Sawle.

From Brig o'Dread that thou mayst pass
every night and awle
To Purgatory fire thou com'st at last
and Christ receive thy Sawle.

If ever thou gave either Milke or drinke
every night and awle
The fire shall never make thee shrink
and Christ receive thy Sawle.

But if milk nor drink thou never gave nean
every night and awle
The fire shall burn thee to the bare bane
and Christ receive thy Sawle.

This ean night, this ean night
every night and awle
Fire and fleet and Candle-light
and Christ receive thy Sawle.

This ae nighte, this ae nighte,
Every nighte and alle,
Fire, and sleet, and candle-lighte,
And Christe receive thye saule.

When thou from hence away art paste,
Every nighte and alle,
To Whinny-muir thou comest at laste;
And Christe receive thye saule.

If ever thou gavest hosen and shoon,
Every nighte and alle,
Sit thee down and put them on;
And Christe receive thye saule.

If hosen and shoon thou ne'er gavest nane,
Every nighte and alle,
The whinnes sall pricke thee to the bare bane;
And Christe receive thye saule.

From Whinny-muir when thou mayst passe,
Every nighte and alle,
To Brigg o' Dread thou comest at laste,
And Christe receive thye saule.

From Brigg o' Dread when thou mayst passe,
Every nighte and alle,
To Purgatory fire thou comest at last,
And Christe receive thye saule.

If ever thou gavest meat or drink,
Every nighte and alle,
The fire sall never make thee shrinke;
And Christe receive thye saule.

If meate or drinke thou never gavest nane,
Every nighte and alle,
The fire will burn thee to the bare bane;
And Christe receive thye saule.

This ae nighte, this ae nighte,
Every nighte and alle,
Fire, and sleet, and candle-lighte,
And Christe receive thye saule.



Guy N. Pocock (Ballads and Ballad Poems, 1921) quotes the following, from "a very old Manuscript":

"When any dyeth, certaine women sing a song to the dead bodie, recyting the jorney that the partye deceased must goe; and they are of beliefe (such is their fondnesse) that once in their lives, it is good to give a pair of new shoes to a poor man, forasmuch as, after this life, they are to pass barefoote through a great lande, full of thornes and furzen, except by the meryte of the alms aforesaid they have redeemed the forfeyte; for at the edge of the lande, an oulde man shall meet them with the same shoes that were given by the partye when he was lyving; and, after he hathe shodde them, dismisseth them to go through thick and thin, without scratch or scalle."

Unfortunately, he gives no source for this.  Perhaps it was Aubrey?

So far as I know (without consulting Scott) the first appearance of a melody for this was in Songs of the North: gathered from the Highlands and Lowlands of Scotland (A.C. Macleod and Harold Boulton, late 19th century).  I'll try to check this out tomorrow if I have time.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Phrase from: LYKE WAKE DIRGE
From: fat B****rd
Date: 25 Mar 01 - 02:36 PM

I once did the Lyke Wake Walk and they must have been tough people to carry a laden coffin 42 miles !! Yours wishing I was still that fit fB


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Subject: RE: Phrase from: LYKE WAKE DIRGE
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 25 Mar 01 - 04:29 PM

I once walked it too. There used to be a cafe near Robin Hoods Bay that was supposed to mark the end of the walk.You could get a coffin badge to sew on .My worst memory was crossing a moor at night. There was no path and nothing to walk by.It was impossible to walk straight. My friend would walk a few yards while I held the compass, then he would stop at the limit of visibility and I would catch him up. The last leg crosses Filingdale Moor by the huge globes of the Early Warning radars.
And Christ receive thy soul,
Keith.


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Subject: RE: Phrase from: LYKE WAKE DIRGE
From: BanjoRay
Date: 25 Mar 01 - 06:49 PM

I did it twice (he bragged) a few years ago, on two separate occasions. The first time I ran into an aged walking vicar at Eller Beck and we had a chat. He told me that on his birthday every year, he went out and did a walk with the same number of miles as his age, and he would be 80 that year, so was going to do two Lyke Wake walks back to back, and then probably retire! I would love to know if he ever managed it, though he looked fit enough. If any of you knew him, it was around 1978.

Cheers
Ray


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Subject: RE: Phrase from: LYKE WAKE DIRGE
From: Terry K
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 01:54 AM

A Middlesbrough policeman, Arthur Puckrin (?) used to run it. (That's run as in run, not run as in organise).

And if anyone is planning on doing it, be warned it would be a bad idea to try to navigate by the "huge globes" of Fylingdales Moor.

Cheers, Terry


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Subject: RE: Phrase from: LYKE WAKE DIRGE
From: bill\sables
Date: 26 Mar 01 - 06:14 AM

It would indeed be a bad idea to try to navigate by the "huge globes"( or golf balls) of Fylingdales Moor. as they were demolished a few years ago. I recall in the 60s when they were being built there were protests against the building of such "eyesores" on the landscape. They decided to demolish them a few years ago and there were again protests this time to keep them. They have been replaced by a large cubic structure.
Bill


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Subject: RE: Phrase from: LYKE WAKE DIRGE
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 06 Apr 01 - 03:37 PM

And now, back to the song.

A look at Scott's Minstrelsy reveals that the MS quote I gave above was found by Joseph Ritson (1752-1803) at the Cotton Library, and was part of an account of Cleveland (Yorkshire) "in the reign of Queen Elizabeth" (Julius, F. vi. 459).

The Minstrelsy contains extensive background notes, mainly dealing with analogues in other cultures of the Brig o' Dread.  Scott also prints a passage from Sir Owain, in which the hero, a Northumbrian knight, passes unscathed over a narrow, razor-sharp bridge between Heaven and Hell.  He also quotes Aubrey's comments (1686/7):

"The beliefe in Yorkeshire was amongst the vulgar (perhaps is in part still) that after a person's death the soule went over Whinny-moore, and till about 1616/1624 at the funerale a woman came (like a Præfica), and sang the following song."

Scott's introduction begins:

"This is a sort of charm sung by the lower ranks of Roman Catholics in the north of England, while watching a dead body, previous to interment.  The tune is doleful and monotonous, and, joined to the mysterious import of the words, has a solemn effect.  The word sleet, in the chorus, seems to be corrupted from selt, or salt; a quantity of which, in compliance with a popular superstition, is frequently placed on the breast of a corpse."

He adds: "In the Aubrey version the word is fleet, which means water."  It is quite possible that the difference could have arisen from a confusion between f and the old-style initial S, which closely resembled it.

It should be noted that this is an English, not Scottish, song; there seems to be no evidence that it was known at all in Scotland.  Though Scott mentions a melody, he doesn't print it; the text was later published in A.C. MacLeod and Harold Boulton's Songs of the North (1895), with a melody composed by Boulton (who wrote the words for the Skye Boat Song) and arranged for piano and four voices.  It is this melody which was eventually used by Revival performers like the Young Tradition and Pentangle.  (The latter based their arrangement quite closely on that of the former, though they softened the harmonies).  It has been changed noticeably from Boulton's original, becoming more stark in the process; I have no idea whether the YT made these changes themselves or whether they learnt it from an intermediate source.

For purposes of comparison, here are some midis; firstly, one at the  Mudcat Midi Pages  made by Barbara from -I think- the Young Tradition arrangement:

Lyke Wake Dirge

Next, three made from Boulton's original score.  These will find their way in due course to the Mudcat Midi Pages, but until then may be heard via the  South Riding Folk Network  site:

Lyke Wake Dirge Melody line only.

Lyke Wake Dirge Four-part voice arrangement.

Lyke Wake Dirge Four-part voice arrangement with piano accompaniment.

The tune comprises two strains.  Revival performers sing them thus: verses 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 9: first strain.  Verses 3 and 7: second strain.   Boulton, however, indicated verse one as a chorus, sung to the first strain, and verse 2 (and presumably verses 5 and 6) also to the first strain; verses 7 and 8 (and presumably verses 3 and 4) to the second strain, together with the final chorus (verse 9 above).  For convenience, therefore, the midis Barbara and I have made should be treated as belonging to the lyrics of verses 2 and 3 in the texts I gave above.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Phrase from: LYKE WAKE DIRGE
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Apr 01 - 11:07 AM

From time to time I've posted to the Forum about a Folk Group from Darlington in Durham. I believe the group name was FOURUM. They sang a song called CORPSE WAY which is in SWALEDALE I believe.

VERSE ONE From Keldwheel Walk to Grinton Churchyard Two days journey and a night With John Blade's body on our shoulders Wrapped in linen clean and white (REFRAIN) Clean and white, clean and white, all dressed in linen clean and white.

Another song about taking the corpse long distances to the Churchyard.

I've yet to get lucky and find anyone who has ever heard of the group which seems a pity as their music was superb.

BS


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Subject: RE: Phrase from: LYKE WAKE DIRGE
From: GUEST,mrdochall
Date: 18 May 01 - 07:33 AM

Whinny is a common place name in the area of Northern England which was invaded by the Vikings in the ninth and tenth centuries."Hvin" is an Old Norse word meaning a sharp prickly gorse bush. There is a specific "Whinny Muir" which the song refers to. It's on the North Yorkshire Moors.


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Subject: RE: Phrase from: LYKE WAKE DIRGE
From: katlaughing
Date: 18 May 01 - 12:52 PM

Don't know how I missed this last year, esp. with my other thread about the Lyke Wake and elizabeth Scarborough's book. Wonderful information, everyone, esp. Malcolm! Thank you!

kat


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Subject: Lyr Add: CLEVELAND LYKE WAKE DIRGE
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 18 May 01 - 10:28 PM

Richard Blakeborough gave a text from Cleveland in his book Wit, Character, Folklore, and Customs of the North Riding (Oxford University Press, 1898).  I haven't seen the book yet, but F. W. Moorman, Yorkshire Dialect Poems (1673-1915) and Traditional Poems (Yorkshire Dialect Society/ Sidgwick and Jackson, 1916) quotes it, commenting:

"The text of this version of the Lyke-wake Dirge follows, with slight variations, that found in [Blakeborough's book] (p. 123), where the following account is given: "I cannot say when or where the Lyke Wake dirge was sung for the last time in the North Riding, but I remember once talking to an old chap who remembered it being sung over the corpse of a distant relation of his, a native of Kildale.  This would be about 1800, and he told me that Lyke-wakes were of rare occurrence then, and only heard of in out-of-the-way places. ... There are other versions of the song; the one here given is as it was dictated to me.  There is another version in the North Riding which seems to have been written according to the tenets of Rome; at least I imagine so, as purgatory takes the place of hellish flames, as given above."

CLEVELAND LYKE-WAKE DIRGE

This ya neet, this ya neet,
Ivvery neet an' all;
Fire an' fleet an' can'le leet,
An' Christ tak up thy saul.

When thoo frae hence away art passed
Ivvery neet an' all;
To Whinny-moor thoo cooms at last,
An' Christ tak up thy saul.

If ivver thoo gav owther hosen or shoon,
Ivvery neet an' all;
Clap thee doon an' put 'em on,
An' Christ tak up thy saul.

Bud if hosen or shoon thoo nivver gav nean,
Ivvery neet an' all;
T' whinnies 'll prick thee sair to t' bean,
An' Christ tak up thy saul.

Frae Whinny-moor when thoo mayst pass,
Ivvery neet an' all;
To t' Brig o' Dreead thoo'll coom at last,
An' Christ tak up thy saul.

If ivver thoo gav o' thy siller an' gowd,
Ivvery neet an' all;
At t' Brig o' Dreead thoo'll finnd foothod,
An' Christ tak up thy saul.

Bud if siller an' gowd thoo nivver gav nean,
Ivvery neet an' all;
Thoo'll doan, doon tum'le towards Hell fleames,
An' Christ tak up thy saul.

Frae t' Brig o' Dreead when thoo mayst pass,
Ivvery neet an' all;
To t' fleames o' Hell thoo'll coom at last,
An' Christ tak up thy saul.

If ivver thoo gav owther bite or sup,
Ivvery neet an' all;
T' fleames 'll nivver catch thee up,
An' Christ tak up thy saul.

Bud if bite or sup thoo nivver gav nean,
Ivvery neet an' all;
T' fleames 'll bon thee sair to t' bean,
An' Christ tak up thy saul.

This would seem to confirm the reading fleet, rather than sleet.  I think that Moorman's "slight variations" are no more than modifications of some of the spelling.  Again, no tune appears to have been recorded.  The full text of Moorman's book (and of his Songs of the Dales, which includes his poem The Dalesman's Litany, often imagined to be a traditional song) is available online at Dave Fawthrop's  Yorkshire Dialect Poetry.

So far as the Young Tradition's set goes, the notes from The Young Tradition (1966) read:

"The dirge as we sing it is an adaptation of Aubrey's manuscript version of 1686...Whether the dirge was sung, chanted or recited over the corpse is not clear; there is no evidence of an air to the dirge in the tradition.  The tune used here was given to us by Hans Fried, who heard it long ago from an old Scots lady, Peggy Richards."  (Notes quoted from Gary Gillard's  Young Tradition pages) [Now at https://mainlynorfolk.info/peter.bellamy/songs/lykewakedirge.html]

Information that we now have makes it clear that there was a melody, but that it was not recorded.  Whoever Hans Fried may have been, the "old Scots lady" from whom he got the tune had certainly learnt it from the widely-available book I mentioned earlier.  Since it was a song unknown in tradition in Scotland, she can scarcely have had it from any other source, and "long ago" would, I suppose, have been any time during the 20th century.

There are a number of candidates for "Whinny Muir"; Winmoor, near Leeds, is one.  There was also a Whinny Moor mine in the Wakefield area in the late 19th. century; neither of these really counts as North Yorkshire, so any further specific information would be welome.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Phrase from: LYKE WAKE DIRGE
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 31 May 01 - 05:15 PM

Malcolm, according to Karl Dallas' notes to 'The Electric Muse', Hans Fried worked in Collet's Record Shop in London and was, incidentally, the son of distinguished German poet Erich Fried who emigrated to England in the 1930s. That's all I could find out.


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Subject: RE: Phrase from: LYKE WAKE DIRGE
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 31 May 01 - 05:35 PM

Thanks, Susanne; it's all part of the picture!


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Subject: RE: Phrase from: LYKE WAKE DIRGE
From: Barbara
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 12:58 PM

As Malcolm correctly guessed, the arrangement I posted is from the Young Tradition. I was one-third of a group that sang it, and we learned our parts by singing along with the YT recording. One of our members transcribed it after the fact, so it may be "folk processed" even more by us.
Thank you for the research, Malcolm. I have long wondered about some of the phrases and sources of the song. We (and the YT) sang "fleet" not "sleet".
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Phrase from: LYKE WAKE DIRGE
From: IanC
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 04:32 AM

There are 2 versions of this in Wilf Moorman's Yorkshire Dialect Verse, the one being collected locally and the second one as published by Robert Burns (who collected quite a lot of English material for various publications). There are also some useful notes in this excellent publication. The Knaresborough version of "Flowers of The Forest" (as performed by The Watersons) is also published on this site.

Cheers!
Ian


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Subject: RE: Phrase from: LYKE WAKE DIRGE
From: IanC
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 04:58 AM

Sorry, I see I said Burns when I should have said Scott! Oops!


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Subject: RE: Phrase from: LYKE WAKE DIRGE
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 08:53 AM

See also my earlier note in this thread, under  "Cleveland" LykeWake Dirge


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Subject: RE: Phrase from: LYKE WAKE DIRGE
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 20 Jul 01 - 07:32 PM

I came across an interesting reference to this the other day while visting Kendal. The Abbott Hall Gallery has an exhibition of paintings by Paula Rego (well worth seeing if you're in the Lake District), and there was a book on display of poems by Blake Morrison, illustrated by Rego, about the Pendle witches. One poem was titled Whinny Moor and had a note that an old story told that after death the soul migrated to Whinny Moor [Purgatory] where an old man would be waiting. If in your life you had ever given away a pair of shoes you would be given a new pair, otherwise you'd have to carry on barefoot. I'm sure many ramblers would have been grateful if on the Lyke-Wake walk somebody had offered them a new pair of boots! The book cost £25 so I didn't buy a copy!


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Subject: RE: Phrase from: LYKE WAKE DIRGE
From: Coyote Breath
Date: 21 Jul 01 - 12:55 AM

Ballads of The North Countrie compiled by Graham R. Tomson and published by The Walter Scott Publishing Co. Ltd. has a version titled "A Lyke-Wake Dirge". Words similar to those on the Pentangle recording but attributed to having been culled from Border Minstrelsy, Volii, p. 357.

"Whinny-muir" is spelled as before but with a hyphen (as is Lyke-Wake) The book I refer to has no publishing date(?) but is probably from the early 20th century.

I was told by an elderly aunt that whinny was a varient of whining due to the prickly heath scratching one's skin.

therefore a muir (or moor) with plants that made one whine when one came into contact with them. Like stinging nettle?


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Subject: RE: Phrase from: LYKE WAKE DIRGE
From: GUEST,Murray on Saltspring
Date: 21 Jul 01 - 02:18 AM

I for one am glad to see the Yorkshire version Malcolm Douglas posted, for it has the missing stanzas about what happens on the Brig o Dread--that's always bothered me.


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Subject: RE: Phrase from: LYKE WAKE DIRGE
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 21 Jul 01 - 10:58 AM

Thankyou, Murray; I've always wondered myself, and was pleased to come across that text.  I'm fighting a losing battle against the temptation to buy a copy of Blakeborough's book, now!

Coyote:  If you look a bit further up the thread, you'll find that Murray explained about whins.  I posted the text from Scott's Minstrelsy earlier in this thread,  Here.


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Subject: RE: Phrase from: LYKE WAKE DIRGE
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 28 Mar 02 - 06:44 PM

Just as an aside, on Tuesday we were driving through Nottinghamshire near Retford. We passed the end of Whinny Moor Road. It looked quite nice......


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Subject: RE: Phrase from: LYKE WAKE DIRGE
From: greg stephens
Date: 28 Mar 02 - 08:52 PM

I have heard it said that Willy Moor in Cheshire is a corruption of Whinny Moor


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Subject: ADD Version: Lyke-Wake Dirge
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Jul 03 - 07:08 AM

This is very similar to some of the versions posted above, but I think it's still worth posting. quiller-Couch doesn't list sources.
-Joe Offer-

A LYKE-WAKE DIRGE

  1. This ae nighte, this ae nighte,
    —Every nighte and alle,
    Fire and fleet and candle-lighte,
    And Christ receive thy saule.

  2. When thou from hence away art past,
    —Every nighte and alle,
    To Whinny-muir thou com'st at last:
    And Christ receive thy saule.

  3. If ever thou gavest hosen and shoon,
    —Every nighte and alle,
    Sit thee down and put them on:
    And Christ receive thy saule.

  4. If hosen and shoon thou ne'er gav'st nane
    —Every nighte and alle,
    The whinnes sail prick thee to the bare bane;
    And Christ receive thy saule.

  5. From whinny-muir when thou may'st pass,
    —Every nighte and alle,
    Brig o' Dread thou com'st at last;
    And Christ receive thy saule.

  6. From Brig o' Dread when thou may'st pass,
    —Every nighte and alle,
    To Purgatory fire thou com'st at last;
    And Christ receive thy saule.

  7. If ever thou gavest meat or drink,
    —Every nighte and alle,
    The fire sall never make thee shrink;
    And Christ receive thy saule.

  8. If meat or drink thou ne'er gav'st nane,
    —Every nighte and alle,
    The fire will burn thee to the bare bane;
    And Christ receive thy saule.

  9. This ae nighte, this ae nighte,
    —Every nighte and alle,
    Fire and fleet and candle-lighte,
    And Christ receive thy saule.

Source: The Oxford Book of Ballads (Arthur Quiller-Couch, 1920)


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Subject: Lyr Add: LYKE WAKE DIRGE
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 24 Jul 03 - 09:52 AM

The usual version of the song dismisses "Brig o' Dread" with only one verse unlike the other locations which require three. This version which I compiled from several others has it at the end to great advantage I think.

LYKE WAKE DIRGE

This ae neet, this ae neet
Every neet and a'
Through fire and fleet and candle leet,
May Christ receive thy soul

When thou from hence away doth pass
Every neet ....
To whinny moor thou com'st at last
May Christ ....

If ever thou gavest hosen and shoon
Sit thee down and put them on.

If hosen and shoon thou ne'er gav'st nane
The whinny shall prick thee to thy bare bane.

From whinny moor when thou may'st pass
To Purgat'try's Fire thou com'st at last.

If ever thou gavest meat or drink
The fire shall never make thee shrink.

If meat or drink thou ne'er gav'st nane
The fire will burn thee to the bare bane.

From Purgat'try's Fire when thou may'st pass
To Brig o'Dread thou com'st at last.

If ever thou gavest silver or gold
Then thou'st may join the heav'nly fold.

If gold or silver thou ne'er gav'st nane
Thou shalt fall till the stars be gane.
And THE DEVIL TAKE thy soul.

This ae neet, this ae neet
Every neet and a'
Through fire and fleet and candle leet,
May Christ receive thy soul


The badge which I have after making the Lykewake Walk 35 years ago has a coffin and a candle on it. I was told that originally the coffin would be left out on the moor with a light on it, for the soul to make it's jouney, and that whatever was given away in life could be used to make the ordeal easier.

- I could have done with a Quadbike !


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Subject: RE: Phrase from: LYKE WAKE DIRGE
From: GUEST,Malcolm
Date: 24 Jul 03 - 05:39 PM

The Quiller Couch set is probably quoted from Scott; I'm not at home and can't check references for a couple of days. At any rate, it shouldn't be considered a variant in its own right.

The Brig o'Dread is dealt with at greater length in one of the less well-known sets, which I posted earlier in this thread, with source. Presumably the above is a rendering into Standard English. Can't say I like the altered line "The Devil take thy soul" too much, though I expect it works well in performance.


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Subject: RE: Phrase from: LYKE WAKE DIRGE
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 24 Jul 03 - 06:38 PM

Hans Fried turned up at the English National Folk Music Festival a few years ago (it might have been the year that Poor Old Horse were booked). I remember him telling me in about 1969 that he'd given the YT a tune for the Lyke Wake Dirge. Collet's was a wonderful, eclectic shop from which (thanks to Hans' enthusiasm for introducing people to new musical experiences) I acquired early pressings of the Iron Muse and Frost and Fire LPs, and was introduced to The Band and Moondog....

It was also in about 1969 that some friends of mine did the Lyke Wake Walk, overnight. I chickened out of the actual walking bit, but helped to dispense food and drinks from the support van.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Phrase from: LYKE WAKE DIRGE
From: GUEST,Arnie
Date: 25 Jul 03 - 05:37 PM

What a fascinating thread! This song is sung occasionally by a stalwart of our folk club in Kent, and I've never had a clue what he was singing about - and that's despite me growing up in Yorkshire. In the West Riding, we had a holiday called Wakes Week - wonder if that's connected to the Wake in the title of the dirge?? Does Wakes week still exist I wonder?? I suppose it's time I made another pilgimage north of the Wattie Gap!!


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Subject: RE: Phrase from: LYKE WAKE DIRGE
From: GUEST,Anne Croucher
Date: 04 Feb 05 - 06:19 PM

I always thought the line was 'fire and sheet and candle light' as in my experience the coffin was brought into the front room before the funeral and the fire and candles lit, and the mirror over the fire place was covered over with a folded sheet.

The mirror was covered and the curtains closed as the image of the dead person would appear in any reflective surface in the room.

I have heard a couple of recordings of the song and neither was a good one - most of the live singings have made my hair stand on end.

Anne


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Subject: RE: Phrase from: LYKE WAKE DIRGE
From: Tootler
Date: 31 Oct 06 - 08:56 AM

I came across this thread while looking for a complete set of words for this song as the recorded versions I have are incomplete - as is the version in the DT database. There is one exception on a vinyl LP of my wife's which has a complete version but I do not have a working record player at the moment.

I think at least some of the versions listed earlier in the thread should be added to the DT database as they represent the whole song, especially the version headed "Cleveland Lyke Wake Dirge" as this feels authentic to me. The other versions seem to me like "tidied up" polite versions, albeit in somewhat archaic language. The LP I mentioned above has an introduction to the song which I clearly remember specifically mentions that "Christ tak' up thy saul" is what was normally sung (rather than "Christ receive thy soul").

On "Whinny Moor": This need not relate to a specific place, but is quite possibly a generic reference. A Yorkshire dialect dictionary we have at home gives "Whinny" as Gorse. So a "Whinny Moor" is simply a "Gorse Moor" and gorse is a common plant on rough land over much of Britain.


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Subject: RE: Phrase from: LYKE WAKE DIRGE
From: Betsy
Date: 31 Oct 06 - 11:00 AM

Try this

http://www.lykewake.org/dirge.php

Cheers ,

Betsy


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Subject: RE: Phrase from: LYKE WAKE DIRGE
From: oggie
Date: 31 Oct 06 - 08:07 PM

I have a vague memory of reading that Whinny Moor was possibly a contraction of the name of one of the Dark Ages bloodiest battles. I think it was in Michael Wood's book 'In search of the Dark Ages' and I'll see if I can find my copy and track it down.

All the best

oggie


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Subject: RE: Phrase from: LYKE WAKE DIRGE
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 31 Oct 06 - 09:26 PM

By all means do that, but don't let's get carried away. As has already been pointed out, it's most likely a general and symbolic name, though of course a number of placenames in Yorkshire include 'whin' or 'whinny'. I very much doubt any connection with any early mediaeval battle, but details, if backed up by verifiable evidence, would of course be interesting.

Betsy's link, I'm afraid, tells us nothing that anybody who has read this discussion does not already know. I suppose that at some point it might be worth adding the notes from Scott's Minstrelsy (it's worth repeating that this is not a Scottish song, for all that it was included in his collection); but they are rather long, so that might be better done elsewhere.

There is really only one question that needs some further work at the moment; and that is the issue of whether or not a genuinely traditional melody survives. I do have a vague lead, but have not had the leisure to follow it up as yet. Likely it will lead to a dead end (or disappear into a swamp of uncertainty) but I guess I ought to pursue it.


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Subject: RE: Phrase from: LYKE WAKE DIRGE
From: Paul Burke
Date: 01 Nov 06 - 03:09 AM

The actual phease is "to Demi Moore thou com'st at last". If you're bad, God will condemn you to watching that stuff for all eternity.


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Subject: RE: Phrase from: Lyke Wake Dirge
From: stallion
Date: 01 Nov 06 - 06:11 AM

mmm, it has been suggested that we do this song, reading the text it is very confusing and sounded a bit rediculous, doh, got it, it is someones attempt to write down the broad north yorkshire dialect. Having written it out properly and slipping into my fathers North broad Yorkshire farming brogue (of which there is more than a trace left in me!) I've got it! Ok, a little test, one of my fathers phrases, can you decipher, Agan gitten gutorcs and shut t' yat, this is a bit off thread so pm for answers!


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Subject: RE: Phrase from: Lyke Wake Dirge
From: MuddleC
Date: 04 Nov 06 - 06:26 AM

I am able to obtain good horse and show him to you??????


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Subject: RE: Phrase from: Lyke Wake Dirge
From: MuddleC
Date: 04 Nov 06 - 06:31 AM

sorry, should have PM'd
nice to see life breathed into a resting thread(and its offshoots), and what's wrong with that, I am now determined to add this one to my repertoire just to annoy those 'folkies' who don't like 'gloomy' songs, or ones with more than 4 verses!!


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Subject: RE: Phrase from: Lyke Wake Dirge
From: Mo the caller
Date: 04 Nov 06 - 06:45 AM

I'm going to get ???? and shut the gate.


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Subject: RE: Phrase from: Lyke Wake Dirge
From: Darowyn
Date: 05 Nov 06 - 06:34 AM

I'm with Mo on the above translation, though "gutorcs" means nothing to me- and I'm pretty familiar with Yorkshire dialects. Is a guttock a thing for fastening a gate with?
West Yorks dialect was my Grandmother's first language, so I grew up with it.
Coming back to the Lyke Wake Dirge, does it bother anybody else to see "Moor" spelled as "muir"?
Moor is close to a two syllable word in most of Yorkshire. Something like an elided version of "moo-wer". "Muir" forces a Scottish pronunciation which does not come into northern speech until you get to Tweedale two counties further north.
Cheers
Dave


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Subject: RE: Phrase from: Lyke Wake Dirge
From: Darowyn
Date: 05 Nov 06 - 09:05 AM

I've been thinking about this while I've been doing the garden.I think I was lead astray by the spelling and Tolkien associations of gutorcs.
There is no standard spelling in dialect, and phrases are often elliptical, so maybe Mo and I were trying to be too literal.
"Guttoxed" would look more like the version I understand.
Does it mean something more like, "I'm getting tired, I think I'll call it a day".
"Shut t'yat" standing for "lock up for the night"
Cheers
Dave


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Subject: Origins: Lyke Wake Dirge's Elizabethan origins
From: Stower
Date: 01 Mar 16 - 01:24 PM

The Lyke-Wake Dirge, with its dark, mysterious imagery and its brooding melody, is known to singers of traditional songs through its resurrection in the repertoire of The Young Tradition in the 1960s, and its subsequent recording by The Pentangle and others. What many of its performers may not realise is that its history can be reliably traced to Elizabethan Yorkshire, with a hint from Geoffrey Chaucer that its origins may be earlier. Here is an article using direct testimony from the 16th and 17th century to explore its meaning, its perilous and punishing "Whinny-moor", "Brig o' Dread", and "Purgatory fire";
and the surprising origin of its doleful dorian melody.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lyke Wake Dirge
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Jul 17 - 12:09 AM

Here are the lyrics from the Digital Tradition. Does anyone know where they came from?

LYKE WAKE DIRGE

This ae night, this ae night
Every night and a'
Fire and sleet and candle lighte,
And Christ receive thy saule

When from hence away art past
Every ...
To whinny moor thou com'st at last
And ...

If ever thou gavest hosen and shoon
Sit thee down and put them on.

If hosen and shoon thou ne'er gav'st nane
The whinnies shall prick thee to the bare bane.

From whinny moor when thou may'st pass
To Brig o' Dread thou com'st at last.

If ever thou gavest meat or drink
The fire shall never make thee shrink.

If meat or drink thou ne'er gav'st nane
The fire will burn thee to the bare bane.

This ae night, this ae nighte
Fire and sleet and candle lighte.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
recorded by The Young Tradition on their first album (1966), also I think
by Buffy Sainte Marie on "Fire and Fleet and Candlelight" (the title is
from this song).

@death @ritual @Scottish @dialect @ghost
filename[ LYKEDIRG
MJ
Here's the entry from the Traditional Ballad Index:

Lyke-Wake Dirge, The

DESCRIPTION: A warning to those not yet dead. Those who gave to the poor shall receive as they have given; those who have not will pay the penalty. "This ae nicht, this ae nicht, ilka nicht and alle -- Fire and sleet and candlelicht, and Christ receive thy soule"
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE:
KEYWORDS: death funeral lament religious Hell
FOUND IN:
REFERENCES (4 citations):
OBB 33, "A Lyke-Wake Dirge" (1 text)
ReedSmith, p. 5, "A Lyke-Wake Dirge" (1 text)
DT, LYKEDIRG
ADDITIONAL: Walter de la Mare, _Come Hither_, revised edition, 1928; #278, "A Lyke-Wake Dirge" (1 text)

Roud #8194
NOTES: De la Mare quotes Sidgwick to the effect that sleet means not falling water but salt (the token of eternal life) -- or perhaps is an error for "fleet." The editors of the Oxford English Dictionary prefer the latter reading (remember that a "long s" looked very like an f, so it's an easy error). "Fleet" in this context would be a flat surface or floor -- it's the same word as J. R. R. Tolkien's "flet" for a platform in a tree. But it's not obvious what this would mean.
Bengt R. Jonsson suggests ("Oral Literature, Written Literature: The Ballad and Old Norse Genres," in Joseph Harris, editor, The Ballad and Oral Literature, Harvard University Press, 1991, p. 170), "As for the 'Lyke-Wake Dirge' we cannot entirely dismiss the possibility that we have to do with one out of many examples of Norwegian influence on Scottish tradition." The Norwegian influence is genuine, but Jonsson offers no real evidence for this particular contention.
Malcolm Douglas gave the following information about the tune to the Ballad-L list in 2008 (slightly edited, mostly for formatting reasons):
"The tune Hans Fried got from Peggy Richards [which was recorded by the Young Tradition] was written by Sir Harold Boulton, and first appeared in his Songs of the North(Vol I, c.1885) set to the text (slightly edited) from Scott. It had changed a bit in detail by the time it got to The Young Tradition, but not fundamentally. Songs of the North was immensely popular (at least 23 editions) and there would seem to be a decent chance that Peggy Richards (described as 'old') had learned it at school, or directly from print.
"It is *just* possible that a tune that may perhaps have been traditionally associated with the text survives. A song ('The Silkstone Disaster', written by Rowland Kellett) appeared in 'English Dance and Song' (XXXIII No 2 Summer 1971), set to a tune described as 'The Yorkshire Lyke-Wake'. Kellett noted that it was played as a funeral march in the Yorkshire Dales, but didn't say where, when or from whom he had got it. It bears no resemblance to Boulton's melody, but the words would fit.
"Some years later, the same tune (though slightly variant and in a different key) turned up in Blowzabella's tunebook 'Encyclopedia Blowzabellica.' There, it was titled 'Lyke Wake Dirge' and described as 'traditional' (but with a query if I remember correctly). No source was identified, and it's unclear whether the change of name is significant or not."
The connection with Yorkshire adds to the interest. According to Arnold Kellett, The Yorkshire Dictionary of Dialect, Tradition, and Folklore, revised edition, Smith Settle, 2002, p. 107, the Lyke Wake Dirge is a "funeral lament of great antiquity, the earliest example of Yorkshire dialect, not printed until 1686.The theme is the progress of the soul towards Purgatory and Hell, where good works done by the deceased in life help to minimise suffering. Though a Christian song, it has its roots in the pagan dread of death." The first verse quoted by Kellett opens, 'This yah neet, this yah neet, Ivvery neet an' all, Fire an' fleet an' cann'l leet," so it favors the reading "fleet" over "sleet." - RBW
Last updated in version 4.1
File: OBB033

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The Ballad Index Copyright 2016 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.



Here's the recording by the Young Tradition, which is different from the DT lyrics: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3JyVHOq7PQ

Here's a performance by Pentangle: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_jKsQjuCfE

Here's a spooky one. Don't know who it's by: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kr3deapIlIM

And one by Matt Berninger and Andrew Bird: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0CW0r58XEg


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lyke Wake Dirge
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 29 Jul 17 - 02:31 AM

The spooky version...??? probably recorded by The Insects - Bristol based soundtrack producers...


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lyke Wake Dirge
From: GUEST,Alistair
Date: 29 Jul 17 - 03:08 AM

Ref: Whinny Moor - whin is an old word meaning gorse or any prickly plant. We used to go regularly in the summer to pick Whinberries on the Long Mynd, Church Stretton. These are the wild and small version of Bilberries, Blueberries, or Myrtilles (in France). They don't grow on the gorse but on a short, leafy moorland berry plant. I don't know if their name comes from the fact that they grow among the gorse (which is true) or whether the name Whin was a more general name for a prickly bush along the lines of -wort or -rose meaning simply flower. Probably both are true.

Ref: problems with deciphering whether it is sleet or fleet in the lyrics. It may not be known by everyone that a printing habit required that an 's' used at the beginning or in the middle of the word was written with a shape that resembled the lower case f. This ornate letter 's' can still be seen on old gravestones and in books printed in the 18th century and earlier. It was still in use as late as 1824.

Further information on the letter s


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lyke Wake Dirge
From: BobL
Date: 29 Jul 17 - 03:09 AM

Not to mention of Britten's 1943 setting of the Minstrelsy words.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lyke Wake Dirge
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Jul 17 - 09:22 AM

What an interesting thread. I have learned a great deal here. I have been singing this for years and I did know a bit about it, but this thread has taught me a lot. Over the past few hours I have listened to many versions, still like Pentangle best. Thanks to all, great thread


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lyke Wake Dirge
From: GUEST,Brian Grayson
Date: 30 Jul 17 - 11:02 AM

There's a parallel to the Brig o' Dread in Islam:

As-Sirāt (Arabic: الصراط‎‎ aṣ-ṣirāṭ) is, according to Islam, the hair-narrow bridge which every person must pass on the Yawm ad-Din ("Day of the Way of Life" i.e. Day of Judgment) to enter Paradise. It is said that it is as thin as a hair and as sharp as the sharpest knife or sword. Below this path are the fires of Hell, which burn the sinners to make them fall. Those who performed acts of goodness in their lives are transported across the path in speeds according to their deeds leading them to the Hauzu'l-Kausar, the Lake of Abundance.

Spooky, eh?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lyke Wake Dirge
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Jul 17 - 12:58 PM

That is very interesting! In what writing is this found? Yes, very spooky!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Lyke Wake Dirge
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 30 Jul 17 - 06:33 PM

By chance (?) the link quoted by Stower 01 Mar 16 - 01:24 PM has just been updated and now includes a different tune. See the section headed "A new discovery".


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