Document 1627

The Nine Sangs

Author(s): Brian Holton

Copyright holder(s): Brian Holton






a seilie day, ay, the hour a luckie ane
mensefu we come, see, ti ser the Lord Abune
claymores in haun, ay, aa jade-heftit
gemstanes jinglin, see, wi sardane an wi beriall
wi jowelt rugs, ay, an wechts o jade
sae beir awa, see, the flouerie offrands
mappiemou mait, ay, an mats o mascorn
pour the cannel yill, see, the pepperie brose
lift the tipper, ay, an touk the bodhran
hoolie the urlar, see, an slaw the sang
clarsach an chanter, ay, a sonsie skirl
hie-heidit the Cailleach, see, brankit sae brawlie
wi ferlie oams, ay, the haas are fou
the Five Souns monieplied, see, mellit thegither
the Lord taks pleasance o’t, ay, crouse-like an cantie



doukit wi spykarie, ay, locks wuishen sweet
claes o monie colours, see, braw wi the gingie-flouer
souple bends the Cailleach, ay, the Speirit’s upon her
leamin in the lowe o’t, see, mair yit ti come
sirs, he’s ti rest, ay, i the Hous o Lang Life
like the sun and the mune, see, burnin sae bricht
dragon yokit, ay, wi mantill imperiall
nou the Speirit’s on the stravaig, see, reingin aa roun
the Cailleach’s fair a ferlie, ay, nou come doun
on a suddentie the Speirit flees, see, inben the clouds
he owreleuks the Nor-East, ay, an faur ayont it
the Fower Seas he traivels, see, an whae wad stent him?
think lang on the lord, ay, an mak great mane
be byornar hertsair, see, doilt wi dule.



the Leddy disna muve, ay, she’s switherin
eh, whae is’t waitin, see, awa on the annay?
weill-faured an lousome, ay, buskit sae brawlie
smoothlie A skiff, see, in cannel-wuid coble
Yuan an Xiang Watters, ay, smaa be yir waves
lang Watter o Yangzi, see, saft may ye rin
A weary for the Leddy, ay, still she hesna come
wheeplin on her pipe, see, wha does she think on?
fleein dragon yokit, ay, norlin A gang
roun-about ma road, see, ti the Loch o Dongting
bindwood palins, ay, bund wi curl-doddie
graith o the seggans, see, pensell o the soucie
leukin owre ti Chenyang, ay, on the ither shore
owre the Muckle Watter, see, lat aefauldness be kent
lat aefauldness be kent, ay, tho it hesna happent yit
sweir is ma sister, see, makin mane for me
A think lang on the Leddy, ay, tho laich be ma place
airs o cannel-wuid, see, helmstock o the mascorn
kirnin at the ice, ay, freithin’t inti snaa
pou the bindwuid, see, out the watter
pouk the lillie, ay, doun frae the treetap
hairts no ane, see, a warsle for the match-wyfe
hairt-likin no deep, ay, licht’ll be the twynin
river rack, see, pirlin an papplin
fleein dragon, ay, flichterin an flaffin
forgaitherin no leal-hairtit, see, lang’ll be the canker o’t
ye keepitna the tryst, ay, said ye’d nae by-time
i the dawin A skelp, see, owre watterside mosses
i the gloamin A rest, ay, on the Norlan Annay
birds reist, see, on ma riggin-heid
watter rins, ay, aa roun ma hous
A’ll birl ma ring o jade, see, intil the Lang Watter
A’ll fling ma enseignies, ay, in the Douce Burn
On Perfumit Annay, see, gaitherin the gingie-flouer
A’ll haun it aa doun, ay, ti you yins at comes efter
this tid canna weill, see, be twice taen
A’m gaun raikin a whylie, ay, ti play on in pleisure



dochter o a god, ay, on the norlan annay
hyne-awa leukin, see, maks uis hairt-sair
wind o hairst, ay, souchin, souchin
faain leafs, see, on Dongting waves
on white seggans steppin, ay, A leuk outbye
trystit wi her, see, ahint hingins at een
hou’s the birds forgaitherin, ay, awa i the rashes?
hou’s the fishin nets, see, up i the treetaps?
angelica on Yuan Watter, ay, mascorn on the Li
for thinkin lang on Ma Leddy, see, A daurna tell
drowie, drumlie, ay, leukin farawa
watchin the rinnin, see, o watter onendin
hou’s hert an hind, ay, inben the close?
hou’s the burn dragons, see, up on the haughs?
i the dawin A ride, see, owre watterside mosses
i the gloamin A rest, ay, on the Westlin Carse
A hear ma luve, see, she’s cryin on me
hurlin in ma cairtie, ay, we’ll wheech awa thegither
we’ll bigg a hous, see, in ablow the watter
theik the riggin, see, wi leafs o the lillie
waas o the seggan, ay, an purpie-wulk chaumers
tak perfumit peppers, see, ti mak the haas
cabers o the cannel, ay, an spykarie bauks
lintels o magnolia, see, bouer o angelica
weavit bindwuid, ay, ti mak the hingins
owretrees o riven mappie-mou, see, for the easins
white jade, ay, for the haa
skail stane-gress, see, for its sweet smell
theikit wi angelica, ay, chaumer o the lotus
weill-wappit, see, wi cammavine
hunners o flouers, ay, fillin the haa
sweet oams skailin, see, in througang an yett
thrang on Mount Mislippen, ay, meeting thegither
comin o the speirits, see, monie as the clouds
A’ll birl ma ring o jade, see, intil the Muckle Watter
A’ll fling ma cuttie serk, ay, in the Douce Burn
On Peacefu Haughs, see, A’ll pouk the gingie-flouer
an sen it, ay, ti Her Hyneawa
time canna weill, see, be taen mair as yince
A’ll raik on a whylie, ay, ti play on in pleisure



apen braid, ay, the yetts o the lift
a ferlie am A, see, i the mirk o the cairrie
A gar whidderin wunds, ay, gang on afore uis
mak the onding, see, lay aa the stour

brallin and tovin, ay, doun comes the Lord nou
A follaed ye, see, ayont Tuimberry Hill

thrangin fowk, ay, o aa the Nine Lands
yir lifes and yir daiths, see, is aa doun ti me

he’s fleeing hie abune, ay, tovin slaw
ridin Pure Braith, see, caain Yin an Yang
A’ll gaun wi ye lord, ay, as gleg as yirsel
leadin ye, see, doun the Nine Delfs

lang lang, ay, is ma warlock-kirtle
glorious, see, ma gemstane girdle
aa o the Yin, ay, an aa o the Yang
fowk disna ken, see, the things A can dae

pouk the Halie Hemp, ay, wi jowelt flouers vieve an white
an gift them, see, ti Him at’s hyneawa
bit an bi bit, ay, it’s auld A’ve gotten
niver nae nearer, see, aye faurer awa

ridin the draigon cairt, ay, wi dunnerin wheels
ramstam ridin, see, He’s awa ti the lift
poukin the cannel beuchs, ay, A’m lang an lang stellit
wearyin for Him, see, sair’s ma hairt

sair’s ma hairt, ay, but whit can A dae?
o gin naethin wad cheinge, see, but bide like the nou
for fowk’s lifes, ay, is weirdit ilkane
meetins an pairtins, see, wha’ll can guide them?



mascorn o the hairst, see, an deer’s gerss tae
spreid aa about, ay, there ablow the haa
leaf o the green, see, an flourish o the white
perfumit pirls, ay, wimplin aa about uis
the Guidman hissel, see, hes bairnies sae braw
sae hou is the seggans, ay, hairtsair wi dule?
mascorn o the hairst, see, wi emerant hue
leaf o the green, ay, shank o the white
fu is the hous, see, o beauties sae braw
swith his een, ay, ti me alane cam
wi nae word he cam in, see, an wi nane he gaed out
ridin the whidderin wunds, ay, drowie pensells flaffin
sairest o sorras, see, them on life at maun sinder
brawest of blitheness, ay, trystit wi a new frein
wi lillie-leaf coatie, see, an mappie-mou sash
swith cam he in, ay, an swipper he gaed
the nicht he’ll stop, see, i the Hous o the Hie Ane
at the cairrie’s en, ay, wha’re ye waitin on?
stravaigin awa wi ye, see, owre the Nine Watters
wi ramballiach reishle, ay, winds blatter the waves
A’ll wesh ma hair wi ye, see, i the Stank o the Lift
ye’ll dicht yir hair, ay, on the Skerrs o the Sun
A grein for the Braw Ane, see, at still hesna come
radge i the wind, ay, rairin out ma sang
wi paycock baudkin, see, and halcyon pensell
he sclims the Ninefauld Lift, ay, an cleiks the Besom Staur
branglin his muckle claymore, see, beildin young an auld
ma Sweet Ane alane worthie, ay, ti hae dominion owre the fowk



blinterin A rise, see, eastawa
brichten ma door-stane, ay, the Dawin Tree
A clap ma naigie, see, an gang hoolie forrit
the gloamin greys, ay, an day grows bricht
caain ma draigon cairtie, see, the thunner-rider
drowie pensells flaffin, ay, flochterin an flingin
ane lang souch, see, an A maun rise
switherin in ma hairt, ay, wearyin an leukin on
och the music an the dancin, see, they’d beglamour a bodie
them at’s leukin, ay, disremember ti gang hame
kittle up the tiompan, see, an touk the drum thegither
ding the bells, see, an gar the gantrees dirl
soun the feadogs, ay, an blaw the pipes
deek ye the cailleachs, see, weill-faurd an wycelike
sweilin an birlin, ay, fliein hie abune
rowin out the sang, see, linkin thegither
cannie the canntaireachd, ay, weill-cordit the lilt
the Speirit’s come doun, see, smoorit’s the sun
cled wi the cairrie, ay, watergaw-kiltit
A vizzy ma lang arra, see, an shuit the Wowf o the Lift
raxin out the Bou Staur, ay, sae comes ma doungang
cleikin the Pleuch, see, to pour ma cannel yill
grippin ma reins, ay, breingin dounby
ti the howe o the derk, see, eastawa farin



stravaigin wi ye, see, owre the Nine Watters
wi ramballiach reishle, ay, winds blatter the waves
hurlin in ma watter-cairtie, see, wi ruif o the lillies
caain twa draigons but, ay, and twa kelpies ben
speilin Ben Kunlun, see, leukin owre ilka airt
hairt lowp-lowpin, ay, dirlin wi joy
sun’s at the gloamin, see, A’m gled an sweir ti gang hame
och yon ferawa shore, ay, heizes up ma hairt
fish-scale courts, see, an dragon haas
yetts o the purpie wulk, ay, an chaumers o the crammasie
whit’s the Speirit daein, see, doun ablow the watter?
striddlin the white turtle, ay, huntin sprecklt fish
stravaigin wi ye, see, owre the annays
thrang wi the snaabree, ay, the Maister comes doun
ye chap hauns, see, eastawa gangin
convoyin the beauty, ay, ti the suddron shore
sweelin swaws, see, forgaither wi me
the tane efter the tither, ay, ma menyie o fish



it’s like the’r a bodie, see, i the lirk o the ben
happit wi the bindwuid, ay, beltit wi the leddy-fern
een hauflins steikit, see, an a bonnie smile
ye’re browdent on me, ay, gleg ti beglamour me
caain the reid panthers, see, follain the lyart tods
magnolia cairtie, ay, cannel-weavit pensel
happit wi the spykarie, see, beltit wi the lilly-flouer
poukin rare perfumes, ay, ti gie ti her jo
A byde i the derk shaws, see, at niver sees the cairrie
sair an unchancie the road, ay, an me come ahint-haun
staunin ma lane, see, at the heid o the hill
rowin cluds, ay, aa ablow me
i the howe o the derk, see, mirk in braid day
easslin wunds risin, ay, douncome o ferlie rain
the Carline dawdles blythelike, see, an disremembers ti gang hame
the year’s that worn doun, ay, whaur’s ma flouers nou?
A’ll pouk the treeple orchids, see, in atween the bens
whaur clintie’s the stanes, ay, mang rammels o the brier
A grein for Himsel, see, an disremember ti gang hame
ye think lang on me, see, but haena onie by-time
the bodie mang the bens, ay, i the scug o cypress an pine
ye think lang on me, see, but ye’re switherin yet
thunner’s dirl-dirlin, see, an mirksome ‘s the rain
yatterin o puggies,ay, apes yowlin under nicht
gurlie an gowstie’s the wund, see, hushlin mang the shaws
A think lang on Hersel, ay, an tuim’s ma dule an wae



grippin swuirds frae the south, ay, an jacks o fine leather
wheel-nave ti wheel-nave, see, the gullie-men yoke thegither
pensells smoor the sun, ay, faes like fleein clouds forgaither
arras faa in ilka airt, see, sodgers warslin forrit
they brash throu the array, ay, strampin on the lines
the land-horse is deid, see, an the fore ane’s dung doun
baith wheels lairit in glaur, ay, and the fowersome aa fanklt
grip the jade tipper, see, an touk the roarin drum
the day’s weirin doun, ay, an the great gods are beilin
they’re slauchtert aa an haill, see, forhooiet on the field
they gaed out an niver cam in, ay, gaed an niver wan hame
they hap aa the haughs, see, here an hyne owre yonder
braid swuirds at their sides, ay, they grippit norlan bous
tho heids frae bouks wis sindert, see, aa their hairts wir leal
stalwart ti the last, ay, nane can them miscaa
tho cauld be their corps, see, on life are their speirits
sodgers, yir sowls, ay, are heroes ayont the graff



dune is the sainin, see, wi monie’s the drum
frae haun ti haun gae the flouers, ay, ti dancers ane an bi ane
maidens aa liltin, see, huilie an slaw
mascorns i the waretime, ay, and chrysanths i the hairst-time
sae maun it be, see, for aye an for aye

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Information about Document 1627

The Nine Sangs


Text audience

General public
Audience size 1000+

Text details

Method of composition Wordprocessed
Year of composition 2003
Title of original (if translation) Jiu Ge
Author of original (if translation) Qu Yuan
Language of original (if translation) Literary Chinese
Word count 2379
General description Archaic, ritualistic text, possibly for ritual performance

Text medium


Text publication details

Publication year 2005
Part of larger text
Contained in Lallans, no. 67
Editor Law, John
Page numbers 17-32

Text setting


Text type



Author details

Author id 767
Forenames Brian
Surname Holton
Gender Male
Decade of birth 1940
Educational attainment University
Age left school 18
Occupation Professor
Place of birth Galashiels
Region of birth Selkirk
Birthplace CSD dialect area Slk
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Kowloon
Country of residence Hong Kong
Father's occupation Manager
Father's place of birth Bootle
Father's region of birth Lancashire
Father's country of birth England
Mother's occupation Housewife
Mother's place of birth Edinburgh
Mother's region of birth Edinburgh
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area Edb
Mother's country of birth Scotland


Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
Chinese Yes Yes Yes Yes Work and home
English Yes Yes Yes Yes Work and home
French Yes Yes No Yes Work, vacation
Gaelic; Scottish Gaelic No Yes No Yes A little, as a learner
Italian No Yes No Yes A little, as a learner
Scots Yes Yes Yes Yes Family and friends