duration 9 minutes
'rotten ware', in an early 20th century Orcadian dialect, refers to the heaps of foul-smelling seaweed washed up on the beach. The phrase is here from an old man's prayer recorded on South Ronaldsay by Hugh Marwick:
Na, what are wae?
sand, stoor, raithe, an' rotten ware.
Aillie, pu' a wisp oot o the winna,
an' lot th' sun shine in
on us twa red-assie whales.
The musical material is derived from the shapes and rhythms of this poem.