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Scots Language Centre Centre for the Scots Leid

Doric Reggae Spider Rap by Sheena Blackhall

'DoricReggaeSpider Rap', by Sheena Blackhall, is one of the poems from 'The Kist' -  an anthology of Scots (and Gaelic) poetry and prose that was digitised by Education Scotland and gifted to the Scots Language Centre so that teachers and learners can continue to benefit from this valuable resource. 

DoricReggaeSpider Rap by Sheena Blackhall


Zippin up an doon a string
A yo-yo daein the Heilan fling.
Pit-mirk’s ane o Dracula’s dothers
Legs in aa the airts Like an octopus’s oxters.
Aa drapt stitches, Yon’s her wyvin,
Etts mochs an midgies,
Wippit up in slivverin.
Forkietails for breakfast,
Flechs for tea;
Aa washed doon wi
Hornygolloch bree!
Stauns in the bath like a tattiebogie,
Maks me shakk like a feart auld fogie.
Spider, jiggin on a traicle drum –
Paradiddle, paradiddle,
Prum, prum, PRUM!


Learning Resources



Read the poem and listen to the audio file.


If there are unfamiliar words, try to work out what they mean according to their context, or look them up using a Scots dictionary – you can use an online Scots dictionary at





There is lots of Scots vocabulary in this poem, including Scots words for insects. Try and work out what the Scots words mean and write their English equivalents in the table.

































  1. 'Zippin up an doon a string'

Why do you think Sheena Blackhall used the word 'zippin' here? What kind of movement do you think it suggests?


  1. In the second verse she compares the spider's movements to 'A yo-yo daein the Heilan fling'. In what way is the spider like a yo-yo? Why does the spider look as if it is daein the Heilan fling?


  1. Who was Dracula? Why is spider like 'ane o Dracula's dothers'?


  1. One simile in the poem is 'Legs in aa the airts Like an octopus's oxters.' What are the things being compared here? Why is this a good comparison?


  1. Find other similes in the poem. Say what is being compared and why for each of them.