Page:The dialect of the southern counties of Scotland - Murray - 1873.djvu/32

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time to time, and none of those now extant can lay claim to any antiquity: but associated with all, and yet identified with none, the refrain "Tyr-ibus ye Tyr ye Odin," Týr hæb us, ᵹe Tyr ᵹe Odin! Tyr keep us, both Tyr and Odin! (by which name the tune also is known) appears to have come down, scarcely mutilated, from the time when it was the burthen of the song of the gleó-mann, or scald, or the invocation of a heathen Angle warrior, before the northern Hercules and the blood-red lord of battles had yielded to the "pale god" of the Christians.[1]

It seems probable that although the Northumbrian territory extended to the shores of the Forth, the Anglian occupancy of Lothian was more fitful and precarious than that of Tweeddale and the basin of the Solway, and that it was not till a later period that the Teutonic dialect exclusively prevailed there. This idea is supported by the geographical nomenclature; such names as Dunbar, Aberlady, Drummore, Killspindy, Pencaithland, Dalgowrie, Dalkeith, Dalhousie, Roslin, Pennicuick, Abercorn, Cathie, Linlithgow, Torphichen, Cariden (Caer-eiden?), Kinneil, are mixed with the Teutonic Haddington, Linton, Stenton, Fenton, Dirleton, Athelstaneford, Ormiston, Whittingham, Gifford, Newbattle, Cranston, Duddingston, Broxburn, Whitburn, and, so far as they are ancient, indicate the continued existence of a British or Pictish population, among whom the advancing Teutonic made its way more gradually.[2] To this later prevalence of the North Angle dialect on the shores of the Firth, I also attribute, in part, the difference still existing between the pronunciation of

  1. The ballad now connected with the air of "Tyribus" commemorates the laurels gained by the Hawick youth, at and after the disastrous battle, when, in the words of the writer,

    Our sires roused by "Tyr ye Odin"
    Marcbed and joined their king at Flodden.

    Annually since that event the "Common-Riding" has been held, on which occasion a flag or "colour" captured from a party of the English has been with great ceremony borne by mounted riders round the bounds of the common land, granted after Flodden to the burgh; part of the ceremony consisting in a mock capture of the "colour;" and hot pursuit by a large party of horsemen accounted for the occasion. At the conclusion "Tyribus" is sung, with all the honours by the actors in the ceremony, from the roof of the oldest house in the burgh, the general populace filling the street below, and joining in the song with immense enthusiasm. The influence of modern ideas is gradually doing away with much of the parada and renown of the Common-Riding. But "Tyr-ibus ye Tyr ye Odin" reatains all its local power to fire the lieges, and the accredited method of arousing the burghers to any political or civic struggle is still to send rund the drums and fifes "to play Tyribus" through the twon, a summons analogous to that of the Fiery Cross in older times. Apart from the words of the Slogan, the air itself bears in its wild fire all the tokens of a remote origin. It will be found in the Appendix, accompanied by the first verse of the modern ballad.
  2. Upon consulting the map it will be seen that Celctic names increase in number as we travel west. East Lothian is nearly as Teutonic as Berwickshire or Teviotdale; West Lothian or Linlithgow, which was on the Pictish frontier, has a very large Celtic element in its nomenclature; around Edinburgh the names are pretty well mixed.