Let’s Go A-cooarting – A Tykish Tale

Roseberry Topping


Risk assessment
Forward planning;
Think ahead
Where you’re ganning.

Trip the Dale
I fancy that.
Today’s assignment
Meet Chop Yat.

Ower the moors
Lyke Wake Walk;
Risks involved,
But let them gawp.

Along the runnel,
Beside the beck.
Could I care less?
What the ‘eck!

Meet up as
Our way we wend
Up Sparrow Lane
Yon far end.

Off to see my bobby dazzler,
Sweet lass o’ mine,
For now and aye
For thee I pine.

Out o’ t’way lad,
Let me pass
Ow do then,
Mi bonnie lass?

Nether nowt nor summat this,
‘Twere thee thissen wot seddit
But now, for real, what’s next is here,
Just lie back and let it.


  • Tyke (dialect), an English dialect of Northern England spoken in the English county of Yorkshire  (Wikipedia)


The Lyke Wake Dirge



Aysgarth Church at dusk – WHB – 1981

In my blog yesterday on The North Yorkshire Moors National Park , I mentioned the Lyke Wake Walk.  This 40 mile walk crosses the most extensive area of heather moorland in England.  When the walk was first instituted in the mid 20th Century the challenge was given to complete it within 24 hours.  Many walkers still attempt this.

Although the walk itself is a relatively modern event, the Like Wake itself originated as a funeral chant in the 14th Century in and around Cleveland on and around the northern scarp slope of these moors.  The Dirge as it was known, was normally sung during the traditional watch (wake) at the side of the corpse (lyke).  Known now as the Lyke Wake Dirge,  it is said to be one of the earliest still extant, dialect poems.

John Aubrey wrote in his diaries in 1686 “The beliefe in Yorkshire was amongst the vulgar (perhaps is in part still) that after the person’s death the soule went over Whinny-Moore, and till about 1616-24 at the funerale a woman came and sang the following song.”

Lyke Wake Dirge

This ae neet, this ae neet,
Every neet and all,
Fire an’ fleet an’ candleleet,
And Christ receive thy saul.

If thou from here our wake has passed,
Every neet and all,
To Whinny Moor thou comes at last,
And Christ receive thy saul.

And if ever thou gavest hosen or shoen,
Every neet and all,
Then sit ye down and put them on,
And Christ receive thy saul.

But if hosen or shoen thou ne’er gavest nane,
Every neet and all,
The whinny will prick thee to thy bare bane,
And Christ receive thy saul.

From Whinny Moor when thou mayst pass,
Every neet and all,
To Brig o’ Dread thou comest at last,
And Christ receive thy saul.

From Brig o’ Dread when thou may’st pass,
Every neet and all,
To Purgatory thou comest at last,
And Christ receive thy saul.

And if ever thou gavest meat or drink,
Every neet and all,
The fire will never make thee shrink,
And Christ receive thy saul

But if meat nor drink thou ne’er gav’st nane,
Every neet and all,
The fire will burn thee to thy bare bane,
And Christ receive thy saul.

This ae neet, this ae neet,
Every neet and all,
Fire an’ fleet an’ candleleet,
And Christ receive thy saul.


The following is an extract from ‘Lyke Wake Walk” by Bill Cowley . . .

“Wake” means the watching over a corpse, and “Lyke” is the corpse itself- as in the “lych” gate of a church-c/f. German “leich “. … there is no suggestion that corpses were carried over the Lyke Wake Walk, and the connection between Walk and Dirge is merely that members of the first party to do the Walk, like many who have done it since, finding themselves in the middle of Wheeldale Moor at 3 a.m. felt a great sympathy with all the souls who have to do such a crossing, and a real affection for the poetry of the Dirge-its stark simplicity, repetitions, and dramatic power. Perhaps only those who have crossed Wheeldale or Fylingdales Moors with storm and darkness threatening can fully appreciate the beauty of the Lyke Wake Dirge.


The BabbleLingua website has a translation of the dialect poem into modern English alongside a version of the original dirge.  The website also includes video links to the song being sung by both ‘The young Tradition’ and by ‘Pentangle’.  Click on the link below to visit.

Lyke Wake Dirge


Haworth Churchyard at dusk – Yorkshire  … WHB – 1983


The North Yorkshire Moors


I am being self-indulgent and presenting eight of my pen & ink sketches, all created in my nyorksmoorsmapamateurish way, many years ago.  They are all of the area which established my roots and engendered my love of the countryside, of local history and legend, of place, and, more specifically, of the scenery of the North Yorkshire Moors National Park.  I no longer live in the area, but re-visit as often as I can make possible.

Below is a gallery of six of these sketches. I regret that these are not in the best of condition, having faded or stained somewhat over the years.  Clicking on any one of them will start a slide-show of all six.  The first one is a composite drawing, whilst the other five are enlarged copies of parts of this first drawing.

The North Yorkshire Moors National Park is one of the most beautiful, but one of the least visited, of the U.K’s 15 National Parks.   It encompasses a long stretch of Yorkshire’s beautiful north-east coast and the extensive hinterland of moors, dales and forests stretching from Teesside and the Cleveland Hills southwards to the vale of York.   The whole area offers splendid walks.  Two of particular note are The Lyke Wake Walk which  crosses the moors for 40 miles, and the Cleveland Way, which hugs the coastline for a large part its 110 mile length.  I cannot do the area justice in a short article, but I can recommend visiting the North Yorkshire Moors National Park  website which has plenty of detail and recommendations of what to see and do.