The Lyke-wake Dirge

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Melody -
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Left: from Border Minstrelsy, vol. II; right: Traditional

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

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

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

4. 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.

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

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

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

8. 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.

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

This ae nicht, this ae nicht,
Every nicht and a'
Fire and fleet and candleleet
And Christ receive thy soul.

2. When thou from here away have passed
Every nicht and a'
To Whinny Muir thou com'st at last
And Christ receive thy soul.

3. If ever thou gavest hosen or shoon
Every nicht and a'
Sit thee down and put them on
And Christ receive thy soul.

4. If hosen and shoon thou ne'er gavest nane
Every nicht and a'
The winds will pick thee to the bare bane.
And Christ receive thy soul.

5. From Whinny Muir when thou art passed
Every nicht and a'
To Purgatory fire thou com'st at last.
And Christ receive thy soul.

6. If ever thou gavest meat or drink
Every nicht and a'
The fire will never make thee shrink.
And Christ receive thy soul.

7. If meat or drink thou ne'er gavest nane
Every nicht and a'
The fire will burn thee to the bare bane.
And Christ receive thy soul.

8. From Purgatory fire when thou art passed
Every nicht and a'
To Brigg 'O'Dread thou com'st at last.
And Christ receive thy soul.

9. If ever thou gavest silver or gold
Every nicht and a'
By God's right hand be taken in fold.
And Christ receive thy soul.

10. If gold or silver thou ne'er gavest nane
Every nicht and a'
Thou shalt fall till the stars be gane.
And Christ receive thy soul.


The ideas are mainly pre-Christian; the Brig o' Dread occurs in Islamite and Iroquois belief, and in almost all mythologies the souls have to cross a River. - from A Collection of Ballads by Andrew Lang

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