The Beltane Song

Keep up to date with the Beltane News! (updated 14/06/15)


Proudly sung by child and adult alike, The Beltane Festal Song and the Beltane Coronation Ode eminate the feeling and atmoshpere captured by all during the festival week. Both songs were written by James Hope Brown (Warden of Neidpath 1934) and first sung in 1920. The song has remained a staple part of the festival week since its inclusion. The words are reproduced with kind permission.

The Beltane Song

At Beltane in the aulden time, it was the custom gay,                          To gather on the village green and hail the festal day,                          Huntsman gallant and sheperds grey, dought and blythsome men,          And Lassies blooming fresh and fair cam liltin’ doon the glen,               Through the greenwood haste away,... Sing aloud the festal lay,        Busk the the Beltane banner gay, to Peblis and the play.

Auld Neidpath, grim and grey wi’ years, looks doon wi war-scarred face, And sentinels our royal toun wi’ majesty and grace,                            Loyal sons of a fearless race, gather we here today,                           And sing the auld-warld round-e-lay of ‘Peblis to the Play’,                   Wave the Beltane banner high, Ring the anthem to the sky,                  While our silver stream rolls by, The Tweeddale glen for aye.

Across the wild foam-crested wave, in distant lands of fame,               The exile oft wi’ pride recalls the dear auld Border hame,                     And while we crown out virgin queen, ‘mid flaming skies of June,         We pledge the leal hearts far a-wa and lilt our festal tune,                   Honour is our watchword clear, Truth our dauntless halberdier,           Liberty’s our heralds cheer, Long live our Beltane Queen.

The Beltane Coronation Ode

All hail, thou bright and beauteous maid,      Our faithful homage, here we pay;              Let peace and joy thy Court attend.            Oh this thy royal festal day.                        May virtue lead and love illume,                 And light thy path in glorious sheen,            Thy courtiers true with pride acclaim;         God bless our loyal Beltane Queen.

While rolling years with gracious touch,       Shall dim the lustre that was thine,             Then through the mellow mists that rise,     The hallowed past will brighter shine.         In reverie thou shall recall,                          The splendour of the festal scene,             When gallant courtiers, brave and gay,       Acclaimed the as their smiling Queen.

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