“Erik, dae ye ken the wind

Roving o’er Swaeden?

Wha’s the cloud, the billow’d smoke

Wi’ danger heavy-laden?”


Erik didna ken the wind;

He didna ken the smoke.

An’ nae a lad could trace the storm

Tae Russia, where i’ woke.


There the fields o’ fulvous grain

Lie fallow in th’ wake;

There the tsars wi’ tremors rue

Chernobyl’s grave mistake.


Somewhere heifers birth their calv’s

Half-form’d in the debris;

Somewhere widows bury men

Wi’ cancer in the lea.


Brave an’ noble Soviets

Wha ne’er want’d fame

Frae tragedy—ye play’d well,

Bu’ fire’s nae a game!


An’ tae think it a’ began

When twa men fac’d the daemon,

An’ th’ heavy arms o’ smoke

Wrap’d slowly o’er Swaeden.


“Erik, dae ye ken the wind

Roving o’er Swaeden?

Tha’s the cloud, the billow’d smoke

Wi’ sorrow heavy-laden.”


Author’s Note: This ballad is written in the traditional Scottish dialect and is about the Swedes' discovery of the Soviet Union's nuclear facility accident at Chernobyl. Swedish scientists were the first to discover the high amounts of wind-transmitted radioactivity and exposed the Soviets' attempted cover-up.