Gallows Ha


Bairns Sang                                                                

Pit on her the pilliewinks,

no for her a gowden ring,

pit on her the pilliewinks

for playan wae the fairies.


Hap her in the cashielaas,

no petticoat, or stockings braa,

hap her in the cashielaas

for dancean wae the trows.


Haeve her intae Marwick’s Hole,

a bed o stane, no maet or ale.

Haeve her intae Marwick’s Hole.

Shae’s kissed the deil himsael.


Bind her hands and cut her hair.

Shae’ll nivver see her lover mair.

The only necklace shae will wear

will be the hangman’s rope.


Haal her up tae Gallows Ha,

light the kindleen, light the tar.

No lightsome lad will merry haer.

Shae’ll wear the reid, reid coat.


Burn the witch, oh burn her weel.

Shae’ll ne’er cast anither spaell.

Her sowl will traivel streyt tae hell

when shae is brunt tae ashes.                                                                               


Alison Miller

 . . .

Ten writers from the Orkney Voices group staged a show at the 2022 St Magnus Festival exploring the Orkney witch trials and surrounding events and culture. This booklet presents their script as a collage of poems and play-text, a chorus of Orkney Voices.

An A5 sized, 36 page, soft-cover booklet.

Published 7th November 2022 in an edition of 300.

. . .

Warning: contains historical scenes of a distressing nature.

 . . .

Special postal charges apply to this booklet.  Sent out by standard post, costs are £1 within the UK and £3 elsewhere.

. . .

Abersee Press is a small publishing imprint run from a back room of The Longship.  It publishes short runs of lo-fi booklets, generally dedicated to new writing from Orkney.  Its editor is Duncan McLean. Gallows Ha was co-edited by Alison Miller.