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Capernaum
Lyrics by L. Spence, melody by E. Miller
Although not traditional, the ghosts of hundreds of years of Scottish history haunt their way through this song.  The lyrics, set to music by Ed Miller, are from a poem written by Lewis Spence.  According to Miller, "Raking through poetry journals for thesis material on the images of Edinburgh and Glasgow in literature and song, I came across this stark poem written in the 1930's by Lewis Spence.  A contemporary of Hugh McDairmid, Spence was an important figure in the Scots literary renaissance."
     "As there is a dearth of songs about Edinburgh compared to the large number turned out by Glasgow songwriters about their city, I put this poem to music.  It focuses on the bloody history of Edinburgh and the equally harsh moral and religious attitudes of its Calvinist past.  Spence's condemnation of Edinburgh is compared to the denouncement of Capernaum by Jesus (Matthew 11:23)."

LYRICS:

If a' the blood shed at thy Tron
Edinbro', Edinbro'
If a' the blood shed at thy Tron
Were shed intae a river
It would ca' the mills of Bonnington
Edinbro', Edinbro'
It would ca' the mills of Bonnington
For ever and for ever

If a' the tears that thou hast grat
Edinbro', Edinbro'
If a' the tears that thou hast grat
Were shed intae the sea
Where would ye find an Ararat
Edinbro', Edinbro'
Where would ye find an Ararat
Frae that fell flood tae flee?

If all the psalms sung in thy kirks
Edinbro', Edinbro'
If all the psalms sung in thy kirks
Were gaithered in the wynd
It would shaw the tops o' Roslin's birks
Edinbro', Edinbro'
It would shaw the tops o' Roslin's birks
Till time was oot o' mind.

If a' the broken hearts o' thee
Edinbro', Edinbro'
If a' the broken hearts o' thee
Were heaped in a howe
There would be neither land nor sea
Edinbro', Edinbro'
There would be neither land nor sea
But yon rede brae and thou.

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