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Ma First Bawbee
Archibald McKay

Click here to listen to this in Real Audio read by Peter D Wright

A hail bawbee mine and aw tae mysel
 Wi joy I’m like chowking if truth I maun tell
 How best I micht spend it I cannae richt say
 I’m fair in a muddle tae ken what tae dae
 Where tae gang tae get value is the question for solving
 For nearly an oor ma brains were revolving
 Ma Mither advised me, “ Billy” says she
 “Tak heed what ye buy wi your first bawbee”
 I thoucht aince o saving it til I got mair
 An then I micht buy a cairrage an pair
 Or a fine sailing yacht tae sail on the sea
 There’s lots I micht buy if I saved ma bawbee
 But I thoucht aince mair it wad tak such a pile
 Tae save up sic siller it wid need sic a while
 Tae buy a fine yacht tae sail on the sea
 I’d need mair tae start than a single bawbee
 Before yed sae winkie I cam tae a shop
 The sichts o the windae ma hert filled wi hope
 There were sweeties o aw kind and oranges, o my
 A thousand and ane things a bawbee could buy
 There was sweetie pipe, sweetie rock and polisman’s calls
 So here it was plain tae see,
 Here best I could spend ma first bawbee
 Sae intae the shoppie I made a beeline
 Tae buy some burnt candy I’d made up ma mind
 But jist at this minute, o the thocht maks me greet
 It, it  slipped frae ma haun an it fell on the street
 It rintled an trintled till it cam tae the gutter
 An then, ere a wird frae ma lip I could utter
 It fell doun a cunny in front o ma ee
 An that was the last o ma first bawbee

Note: A bawbee was a half-penny coin.  Written by Kilmarnock poet Archibald McKay (1801-1883). This is a transcription by Robin Hallam of a recitation  by “Reid Lichtie” Edythe J.R. Robb from memory in her 81st year in  Wolfville, Nova Scotia, 8 October 1984.  The Flag's thanks to Robin Hallum for sending in poem.

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