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Lyke-Wake Dirge


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This song is quoted by Aubrey (1686/1880: 31–2) as having been sung at wakes in Yorkshire up to 1616, by women who came specially for the purpose. It is both a prayer for the dead, with the refrain ‘Christ receive thy soul’, and an account of the soul's journey to Purgatory across Whinneymoor, a heath covered in gorse, and the Bridge of Dread. Only those who in life have given shoes or drink to the poor can pass through unhurt.


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