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The Witch's Reel
or Gelie Duncan's song
The words for this song were written down in a court in Edinburgh more than four hundred years ago. A group of women from East Lothian were accused of being witches including Gelie Duncan. This is one of the songs they were supposed to have sung. They were all found guilty and cruelly executed. None of them were witches. King James VI, who ruled Scotland at this time, believed the country was full of witches and many were unjustly executed on such grounds until the Witchcraft Act passed in the reign of his mother Mary Queen of Scots, was finally repealled in 1735.
Some difficult words:
cummer, carlin and crone = are all words for “witch”