For other uses, see Dirge (disambiguation).

A dirge is a somber song or lament expressing mourning or grief, such as would be appropriate for performance at a funeral. The English word dirge is derived from the Latin Dirige, Domine, Deus meus, in conspectu tuo viam meam ("Direct my way in your sight, O Lord my God"), the first words of the first antiphon in the Matins of the Office for the Dead, created on basis of Psalms 5:8 (5:9 in Vulgate). The original meaning of dirge in English referred to this office.

A well known Christian funeral lament from the Cleveland area of north-east Yorkshire is known as the Lyke Wake Dirge and is well known from its association with the Lyke Wake Walk, a 40-mile challenge walk across the moorlands of north-east Yorkshire [1] and as the members' anthem of the Lyke Wake Club, a society whose members are those who have completed the walk within 24 hours.[2]


  1. Cowley, Bill (1959). Lyke Wake Walk (1st edition). Dalesman Books.
  2. http://www.lykewake.org/dirge.php


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