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The Boy in the Train
by Mrs M C Smith

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M C Edgar was the daughter of the minister at Burn's one-time parish of Mauchline in Ayrshire. She was born in Kirkcudbrightshire, and moved to Dulwich in London when she married.

Whit wey does the engine say Toot-toot? 
Is it feart to gang in the tunnel?
Whit wey is the furnace no pit oot 
When the rain gangs doon the funnel?
What’ll I hae for my tea the nicht? 
A herrin’, or maybe a haddie?
Has Gran’ma gotten electric licht? 
Is the next stop Kirkcaddy?

There’s a hoodie-craw on yon turnip-raw! 
An’ sea-gulls! — sax or seeven.
I’ll no fa’ oot o’ the windae, Maw, 
It’s sneckit, as sure as I’m leevin’.
We’re into the tunnel! we’re a’ in the dark! 
But dinna be frichtit, Daddy,
We’ll sune be comin’ to Beveridge Park, 
And the next stop’s Kirkcaddy!

Is yon the mune I see in the sky? 
It’s awfu’ wee an’ curly.
See! there’s a coo and a cauf ootbye, 
An’ a lassie pu’in’ a hurly!
He’s chackit the tickets and gien them back, 
Sae gie me my ain yin, Daddy.
Lift doon the bag frae the luggage rack, 
For the next stop’s Kirkcaddy!

There’s a gey wheen boats at the harbour mou’, 
And eh! dae ye see the cruisers?
The cinnamon drop I was sookin’ the noo 
Has tummelt an’ stuck tae ma troosers
I’ll sune be ringin’ ma Gran’ma’s bell, 
She’ll cry, ‘Come ben, my laddie.’
For I ken mysel’ by the queer-like smell 
That the next stop’s Kirkcaddy!’

Kirkcaldy was famous for its linoleum factories which left a distinctive smell along the Fife coast. The locals were sensitive about it.

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