Da Horn o Papa
I’ve been stravaigin* around The Shetland Isles online today looking and reading up on the caves, sea arches and stacks around the area, Da Horn o Papa was a great example of how the sea can change the landsape around these parts whenever a storm brews. This early 20th Century photograph of the Horn of Papa shows the complete geological phenomenon that featured on Papa Stour, Shetland, until its destruction in a storm of 1953. A hundred years before the population of the island had been well over 350, but by the mid-20th Century it had fallen to just over 50. Now it has declined further to only nine residents. A complete way of life - involving customs and dialect, crofting and fishing - has ended. A local folk song began ‘Oot bewast da Horn o Papa’ referred to fishermen going to the west beyond the Horn and its chorus was ‘Rowin Foula doon!’ - an allusion to rowing to a point where the high cliffs of the island of Foula were no longer visible over the horizon. That meant getting to fishing grounds some 60 miles off-shore. Listen to the song on yuotube below, it’s a braw tune and well worth a wee listen. You can also see an 1860 engraving of tThe Horn on wiki here, http://shetlopedia.com/File:Horn_a%27papa006.jpg
*stravaigin [stra’vegɪn] (Scots): wandering without aim. Most famously used in The 39 Steps “
"Whae are e that comes stravaigin’ here on the Sabbath mornin’?"
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