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Lyke Wake Dirge
The Young Tradition Lyrics


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

When thou from hence away art past,
Every nighte and alle,
To Whinny-Muir thou com'st at last;
And Christe receive thy saule.

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

If hosen and shoen thou ne'er gav'st nane
Every nighte and alle,
The whinnes sall prick thee to the bare bane;
And Christe receive thy saule.

From Whinny-muir when thou mayst pass,
Every nighte and alle,
To Brig o' Dread thou com'st at last;
And Christe receive thy saule.

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

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

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

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

Contributed by Landon T. Suggest a correction in the comments below.
To comment on specific lyrics, highlight them
Most interesting comments from YouTube:

M1zzu q

love it

edit: Quickly wrote down a modified version of the lyrics, as they're actually sung here and as I understand them as a non-native english speaker. Maybe "any night and a' " should end with an l, i think they actually sing it. They also sing "Fire and Fleet" and not "sleet". The beginning might also be "There's ae night".

This ae night, this ae night
Any night and a'
Fire and fleet and candle lighte
And christ receive thy saule

if thou from here away doest past
Any night and a'
To whinny moor thou com'st at last
And christ receive thy saule

If thou gav'st ever hosen or shoon
Any night and a'
Then sittee doon and put them on
And christ receive thy saule

But if hosen or shoon thou ne'er gav'st nane
Any night and a'
The whinnie will prick thee to thy bare bane
And christ receive thy saule

If thou from there away doest pass
Any night and a'
To Purgatry fire thou com'st at last.
And christ receive thy saule

If thou gav'st ever meat or drink
Any night and a'
The fire will never make thee shrink
And christ receive thy saule

But if meat or drink thou gavest nane
Any night and a'
The fire will burn thee to thy bare bane.
And christ receive thy saule



Rev Mary Miller

THIS ae nighte, this ae nighte,
—Refrain: Every nighte and alle,
Fire and fleet and candle-lighte,
—Refrain: And Christe receive thy saule.
When thou from hence away art past
To Whinny-muir thou com'st at last
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 whinnes sall prick thee to the bare bane.
From Whinny-muir when thou may'st pass,
To Brig o' Dread thou com'st at last;
From Brig o' Dread when thou may'st pass,
To Purgatory fire thou com'st at last;
If ever thou gavest meat or drink,
The fire sall 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 nighte, this ae nighte,
—Every nighte and alle,
Fire and fleet and candle-lighte,
—And Christe receive thy saule.
Note: ae: one; hosen: stockings; shoon: shoes; whinnes: thorns; bane: bone; brig: bridge
  there ye go!



All comments from YouTube:

Hans Fried

I got this from my stepmother Nan (nee Spence) who heard it from an old Scots lady, Peggy Richards. The tune she sang was probably printed in "Songs Of The North" by Robert Boulton in 1909 and unconsciously changed by me into a more folk like tune. I taught it to The Young Tradition claiming no copyright. Subsequently sung by Pentangle etc.

Mark Fisher

It's been sung since time immemorial in the Yorkshire dales and in the Lake District.

SlyDoll7

No way! I hope you read this though it's a long time since you made the comment. I'd love to talk more about your experiences....

Chris Smith

I remember being totally blown away when I heard them sing live back in 1966. Three unique voices, totally contrasting yet complementing each other to produce raw, powerful harmonies, the like of which has not been heard before or since. Thank God they managed to lay down three albums before going their separate ways and (in the case of Peter and Royston) sadly passing on.

agricolaest

Lots of great folk rock groups have recorded this, but this is my favorite performance.

ԐԀɪ DԆŮМS

A must-hear version, for comparison, is by Tootlin' Geoff - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGQG0MncMCg

M1zzu q

love it

edit: Quickly wrote down a modified version of the lyrics, as they're actually sung here and as I understand them as a non-native english speaker. Maybe "any night and a' " should end with an l, i think they actually sing it. They also sing "Fire and Fleet" and not "sleet". The beginning might also be "There's ae night".

This ae night, this ae night
Any night and a'
Fire and fleet and candle lighte
And christ receive thy saule

if thou from here away doest past
Any night and a'
To whinny moor thou com'st at last
And christ receive thy saule

If thou gav'st ever hosen or shoon
Any night and a'
Then sittee doon and put them on
And christ receive thy saule

But if hosen or shoon thou ne'er gav'st nane
Any night and a'
The whinnie will prick thee to thy bare bane
And christ receive thy saule

If thou from there away doest pass
Any night and a'
To Purgatry fire thou com'st at last.
And christ receive thy saule

If thou gav'st ever meat or drink
Any night and a'
The fire will never make thee shrink
And christ receive thy saule

But if meat or drink thou gavest nane
Any night and a'
The fire will burn thee to thy bare bane.
And christ receive thy saule

HardWankinMan

why did the pagan german Bridge of the D(r)ead (bifröst?) become sanitized into pagan celtic purgatory...

Hans Fried

These verses were originally chanted en route to the graveyard along the "Lyke Wake Walk". They tell of the journey of the soul to the afterlife. The whinnies are thorns with berries on them called whinberries, now known more commonly as bilberries or blueberries. The verses concerning the 'Brig O' Dread' are lost although Robert Graves had a go at writing them and not admitting to it.

Pamela Bronson

That sounds like Robert Graves! I took a Greek Mythology course in college and was very disillusioned when the professor told us that quite a lot of his book on Mythology was made up, especially the really cool things.

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