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Some Old Scottish Street Poetry
Page 3


This was emailed into us...

my father's fave:

--------what's worn under a scotman's kilt?

--------nothing, everything's in perfect working order.

Mary deWitt posted this on the webboard...

Remember.......
Take a break from the "grown up" world and think back and enjoy this.
I want to go back to the time when..................... 

  • Decisions were made by going "eeny-meeny-miney-mo."
  • Mistakes were corrected by simply exclaiming, "do over!"
  • "Race issue" meant arguing about who ran the fastest.
  • Money issues were handled by whoever was the banker in "Monopoly."
  • Catching the fireflies could happily occupy an entire evening.
  • It wasn't odd to have two or three "best" friends.
  • Being old, referred to anyone over 20.
  • The net on a tennis court was the perfect height to play volleyball and rules didn't matter.
  • The worst thing you could catch from the opposite sex was cooties. 
  • It was magic when dad would "remove" his thumb.
  • It was unbelievable that dodgeball wasn't an Olympic event. 
  • Having a weapon in school, meant being caught with a slingshot. 
  • Nobody was prettier than Mom.
  • Scrapes and bruises were kissed and made better. 
  • It was a big deal to finally be tall enough to ride the "big people" rides at the amusement park.
  • Getting a foot of snow was a dream come true.
  • Abilities were discovered because of a "double-dog-dare." 
  • Saturday morning cartoons weren't 30-minute ads for action figures. 
  • No shopping trip was complete, unless a new toy was brought home.
  • "Oly-oly-oxen-free" made perfect sense.
  • Spinning around, getting dizzy and falling down was cause for the giggles.
  • The worst embarrassment was being picked last for a team.
  • War was a card game. 
  • Water balloons were the ultimate weapon.
  • Baseball cards in the spokes transformed any bike into a motorcycle. 
  • Taking drugs meant orange-flavored chewable aspirin.
  • Ice cream was considered a basic food group.
  • Older siblings were the worst tormentors, but also the fiercest protectors.

    If you can remember most or all of these, then you have LIVED!!!!

Andrew Boyle came up with this one...

Red YoYo. By Matt Mc Gin, based on a true story, when teaching in Glasgow many years ago, his class was interupted by a young girl going round all the classes asking if anyone had found a red yoyo in the playground. hence the song.

Wee Ann took her yoyo tae school she did go go, 
she shouldnae, hae ta'en it at a'  fur it fell frae her haun 
and it fell oan the grun' and it went through a hole in the wa', 

(all together)
Huv ye seen a rid yoyo, rid yoyo, rid yoyo,
huv ye seen a rid yoyo wi' a wee yellow string.

Noo the darin wee Annie, she went tae the Janny, 
a pleasant wee man as a rule,
And 'am pleased a' can tell that he rang his wee bell 
and he asked a' the weans in the school.

Huv ye seen a rid yoyo, rid yoyo, rid yoyo, 
huv ye seen a rid yoyo wi' a wee yellow string.

Noo the weans left their pencils their desks and their stencils,
and they asked a' the folk a' aroon', 
and while they were lookin and chappin' and nookin', 
they asked a' the folk in the toon.

(Chorous)

Now the police were concerned when the story they learned, 
so they left a' their murders aside, 
and the whole of the force was alerted off course, 
and they went oan the tele' and cried.

(Chorous)

In Peking and Paris an' a' roon the Barras'
they hunted for Annie's yoyo 'till finally 
Annie announced that her Grannie had bought her an'ither yoyo, 
and it wis a rid yoyo, rid yoyo, rid yoyo,
and it wis a rid yoyo wi' a wee yellow string.

Matt Mc Gin was an excellent entertainer, usually sang unaccompanied, enjoyed pints of heavy before his performance. A sad loss to Scottish folk music.

Heather Dwyer sent in this poem she was sent...

What Happened to Auld Glesga?

Oh where is the Glasgow where I used to stay?
With white wally closes done up witg pipe clay,
Where you knew every neighbour from first floor to third
And to keep your door shut was considered absurd.

Where are the weans that once played in the street?
Wi' a jorrie, a peerie, a girl wi' a cleet.
Can they still cadge a hudgie or dreep aff a dike,
Play hunch cuddy hunch, kick a can , and the like?

And where is the wee shop where I used to buy
A quarte of tatties, a tuppenny pie,
A bag of broke biscuits, a wee soda scone,
And the woman aye asked, "Hoose yer Ma gettin on?"

Where is the Tally's that I knew so well?
That wee corner shoppie where they used to sell,
Hot peas, a McCallum, ice cream in a poke,
You knew they were Tallys the minute the spoke.

And where is the cludgie, that cosy wee cell?
The string frae the cistern, I remember so well,
Where I sat wi' a caun'le , and studied the rags,
A win for the Gers, a defeat for the Jags.

Where s the tram car that once did a ton?
Doon Great Western Road on the Ol' Yoker run,
The conductress aye knew how to deal with the nyaff,
"If yer gaun weel come oan, if yer no weel git aff."

I think o' the days o' my tenement hame,
We've got fancy hooses but there just not the same,
I'll swap yer gizunders, flyover and jams,
For a tuppeny ride on the old Partick trams.

Gone is the Glasca that I Used to know,
Big Wullie, wee Shooie, the steamie , the Co.
The shilpit wee bachle, the glaicit big dreep,
Yer Baw's on the slates, and yer gass in a peep,

These days werny rosie and the money was tight,
The wages hauf finished by Saturday night,
But still we came through it and weathered the ruts,
The reason is simple - Our parents had guts. Anon

This was sent in by Frank Roselli who got it from a pal in Kilwinning, Glasgow

Ode Tae A Fart

Oh what a sleekit horrible beastie
Lurks in your belly efter the feastie
Just as ye sit doon among yer kin
There sterts to stir an enormous wind
The neeps and tatties and mushy peas
Stert workin like a gentle breeze
But soon the puddin wi the sauncie face
Will have ye blawin all ower the place

Nae matter whit the hell ye dae
A'body's gonnae hiv tae pay
Even if ye try tae stifle
It's like a bullet oot a rifle
Hawd yer bum tight tae the chair
Tae try and stop the leakin air
Shifty yersel fae cheek tae cheek
Prae tae God it doesnae reek

But aw yer efforts go assunder
Oot it comes like a clap o thunder
Ricochets aroon the room
Michty me a sonic boom
God almighty it fairly reeks
Hope I huvnae shit my breeks
Tae the bog I better scurry
Aw whit the hell it's no ma worry

A'body roon aboot me chokin
Wan or two are nearly bokin
I'll feel better for a while
Cannae help but raise a smile
Wiz him! I shout with accusin glower
Alas too late, he's just keeled ower
Ye dirty bugger they shout and stare
A dinnae feel welcome any mair

Where e'ere ye go let yer wind gan’ free
Sounds like just the job fur me
Whit a fuss at rabbie's party
Ower the sake o one wee farty

Elda Quinton sent this one in...

Oh where is the Glasgow where I used to stay?
With the white wally closes done up wi' pipe clay.
Where you knew everybody, ground floor tae the third,
And to keep your door shut was considered absurd.

Where are the weans that played in the street?
Wi' a jorrie, a peerie, a gird wi' a cleet.
Can they still cadge a hudgie or dreep aff a dyke?
Play hunch cuddy hunch, kick the can and the like?

And where's the wee shop where I used to buy
A quarter o' totties, a tuppeny pie?
A bag of' broke biscuits, a wee sodie scone.
An' the wummin aye asked, "how's yir maw gettin on?"

Where is the Tallies that I knew so well?
That wee corner shoap where they used to sell
Hot peas, a macallum, ice cream in a poke?
You knew they were Tallies the minute they spoke.

And where is the cludgie that we cosy cell?
The string fae the cistern..I remember it well
Where I sat wi' a caunie and studied the rags.
A win fur the auld firm, a loss fur the Jags.

Where is the tramcar that once did a ton
Doon Great Western Road on the old Yoker run?
The conductress aye knew how tae deal wi' the nyaff.
"If yir gaun then comeoan....if yir no...well gitaff"

I think o' the days o' my tenement hame
We've got fancy hooses, but they're jist no the same.
I'll swap your gizunders, flyovers and jams
Fur a tuppeny ride on the old Partick trains.

Gone is the Glesga that I used tae know
Big Wullie, wee Shooie, the steamie, the Co
The shilpit, wee bachle, the glaikit big dreep
The ba's up the slates, and yir gas oan a peep.

These days wurnae rosy and money was tight
The wages hauf finished by Setterday night.
But still we came through it and weathered the ruts.
The reason is simple, oor Parents had guts.
(Written by Adam McNaughton)

Ranald found the entire poem of "Stuck in a lavatory"

Oh Dear, What Can the Matter Be
Oh, dear what can the matter be?
Seven old ladies got stuck in the lavatory
They were there from Sunday to Saturday
Nobody knew they were there.

The first to come in was old Mrs. Flynn
She prided herself on being so thin
But when she sat down, the poor dear fell in
And nobody knew she was there.

CHORUS:

The next to come in was old Mrs. Bender
She wanted to fix up a broken suspender
It snapped and injured her feminine gender
And nobody knew she was there.

CHORUS:

The third to come in was old Mrs. Humphrey
When she sat down she found it quite comfy
She tried to get up but could not get her bum free
And nobody knew she was there.

CHORUS:

The fourth to come in was old Mrs. Brewster
She couldn't see as well as she used to
Sat on the handle, swore someone had goosed her
And nobody knew she was there.

CHORUS:

The next to go in was young Mrs. Slaughter
She was the Duke of Effingham's daughter.
She went there to pass off superfluous water
And nobody knew she was there.

CHORUS:

The sixth to go in was old Mrs. Murray
Who had to go in a bit of a hurry
But when she got there it was too late to worry
And nobody knew she was there.

CHORUS:

The last to go in was old Mrs. Sickle
She hurdled the door 'cause she hadn't a nickle
Caught her foot in the bowl, oh what a pickle
And nobody knew she was there.

CHORUS:

Kate in Canada sent this in...

A Glesga Slaggin
To slag someone or something is to make insulting or disparaging remarks about him/her or it. Here ur a few examples....
  • A face like a well-skelped erse.

  • A face thit his worn oot three boadies.

  • A face ye'd never get tired kickin'.

  • A face like a chipped chanty.

  • A face like a German bank -- fu' o' Marks.

  • A face like a fish - supper -- full o' chips.

  • A rerr face fur hauntin hooses.

  • A face like a torn melodian.

  • A heid like a clootie dumplin'.

  • A face thit wid get a piece it any door.

  • A face like a Hallowe'en cake.

  • Hur face is like a bookies poakit ---- full o' lines!!

  • He his so minny freckes his face looks like sumbiddy threw sh... it him through a screen door.

  • He his that minny plooks his face is like a currant bun!

  • She walks like she's goat too legs in the wan knicker!

Ranald McIntyre sent us in...

The Glasgow Lament?

And where is the tramcar that once did a ton
Doon the Great Western Road on the old Yoker run?
The conductress aye knew how to deal wi the nyaff,
'If yer gaun, then get oan, if yer no' then get aff!'

The tram's squeelin' wheelflanges aye made a great fuss,
Wi' weird clickin' noises no' found on a bus'
The conductress wis cheeky an'fu' o' the chaff'
Shoutin', 'Hurry up, mister, Cummoangetaff!'

'Move doon the caur noo, there's plenty o' room,
You'll aw get a seat afore we hit toon'
Nae smokin' doon here, pal, only up tap,
Pit oot that fag, haud oan tae yer strap!'

Fae Dalmuir an' Barrheid way oot tae the west
Tae Airdrie and Uddingston as good as the rest.
Passengers fae Clydebank or tough Govan men,
Folks from oot Riddrie and old Rutherglen.

The aw used the trams, it is a dead shame,
The caurs are awa', but left is their fame.
Ah fair miss the clippies, aw hard as nails'
An' the pennies ah bent oan the auld tramway rails.

Ah think o' these days o' ma tenement hame,
We've noo fancy hooses, byt they're no' jist the same,
Ah'll swop yer gizunders, flyovers and jams,
Fur a tuppenny ride on an auld Glesca tram.

Anon

The saying 'cummongetaff' refers to the clippie wanting people to hurry and get off the tram, in order that those waiting could get on. I took it as 'get on or get aff' which is incorrect.;-(

June McCarthy sent in this one...

"Ferrs pleez, ferrs pleez" yu kin heare me cry.
As ah rin up an doon the sterrs, ma bag I swing on high.
Ah wurk fur the Corporation, you kin tell it frae ma dress
A'm Merry Ann Toad, frae London Road, the caur conductoress!

Laura Doherty got in touch to add...
This is something my Nanna used to sing to my sister and I when we were little
 
Not last night but the night before
Three little witches came to my door
One with a fiddle
One with a drum
And one with a pancake stuck to her bum.
 
And here's another one I just remembered..
 
Oh a coo fell aff
A coo fell aff
A coo fell aff a dyke
Oh ma granny said
A coo fell aff a dyke

Helen Curran (nee Dempsie) sent in this wee poem that her Dad, James Dempsie, used to sing when they were small...

Early in September, in the middle of July
It was raining very heavy, and the streets were very dry,
I fell in Love with a French girl, and she could sing and dance,
She lived in Tipparary, just a few miles outa France.
 
Her father was a coalman, he worked on the Irish boats,
He used to fish for coalbricks just to feed fat milligans goats,
Fat milligans goats to sick one, and they died the night before,
And thats the end oh ma wee song , fur ah dont know anymore

Steven Sutherland from the Black Isle (Ross-Shire) said...
 
My Granda used to say the following ryme to get us to wash behind our ears but I cant remember all of it.
 
Da n Dan the desperate man washed his face in the frying pan
Combed his hair with the leg of a chair
Dan Dan the despirate man.

Ranald McIntyre provided the whole "Jeely Peice Song"...

I'm a skyscraper wean, I live on the nineteenth flair;
But I'm no' gaun oot tae play ony mair,
'Cause since we moved tae Castlemilk, I'm wastin' away
'Cause I'm gettin' wan meal less every day.

Chorus:
Oh ye cannae fling pieces oot a twenty storey flat,
Seven hundred hungry weans'll testify, to that.
If it's butter, cheese or jeely, if the breid is plain or pan,
The odds against it reaching earth are ninety-nine tae wan.

On the first day ma maw flung oot a daud o' Hovis broon;
It came skytin' oot the windae and went up insteid o' doon.
Noo every twenty-seven hoors it comes back intae sight
'Cause ma piece went intae orbit and became a satellite.

On the second day ma maw flung me a piece oot wance again.
It went and hut the pilot in a fast low-flying plane.
He scraped it aff his goggles, shouting through the intercom,
'The Clydeside Reds huv giat me wi' a breid-an-jeely bomb'.

On the third day ma maw thought she would try another throw.
The Salvation Army band was staundin' doon below.
'Onward, Christian Soldiers' was the piece they should've played,
But the oompah man was playing a piece an' marmalade.

We're wrote away to Oxfam to try an' get some aid,
An' a' the weans in Castlemilk have formed a 'piece brigade'.
We're gonnae march to George's Square demanding civil rights
Like nae mair hooses over piece-flinging height.

and also Bonnie Wee Jeannie McColl

Chorus
A fine wee lass, a bonnie wee lass, is bonnie wee Jeannie McColl;
I gave her my mother's engagement ring and a bonnie wee tartan shawl.
I met her at a waddin' in the Co-operative Hall
I wis the best man and she was the belle of the ball.

The very first nicht I met her, she was awfy, awfy shy,
The rain cam' pourin' doon, but she was happy, so was I.
We ran like mad for shelter, an' we landed up a stair,
The rain cam' poorin' oot o' ma breeks, but och I didna care:
For she's.....

Chorus

Noo I've wad my Jeannie, an' bairnies we have three,
Two dochters and a braw wee lad, that sits upon my knee.
They're richt wee holy terrors, an' they're never still for lang,
But they sit an' listen every nicht, while I sing to them this sang:
Oh she's ....

Chorus

Meaning of unusual words:
waddin'=wedding
breeks=trousers (pants in the US)
bairnies=children
nicht=night

And here's a wee contribution from Mac Averty...

Admit it - we remember this !!

Close your eyes.....And go back in time.... Before the Internet, before DVD. Before semi-automatics machine guns, joyriders and booze... Before SEGA or Super Nintendo...  Way back....

I'm talking about Hide and Seek in the park. The corner shop, Hopscotch, butterscotch, skipping, handstands, football with an old can, Bulldog, Beano, Twinkle and Roly Poly, Hula Hoops, jumping in enormous puddles, Building dams. The smell of the sun and fresh cut grass. Bazooka Joe bubble gum.
An ice cream cone on a warm summer night from the van that plays a tune - 99's, screwballs or a cider lolly.

Wait......Watching Saturday Morning cartoons...short commercials, The Double Deckers, Road Runner, He-Man, Captain Caveman, Swapshop, and Why Don't You.Staying up late for Starskey and Hutch or Minder. When around the corner seemed far away, and going into town seemed like going somewhere.

A million mosquito bites, wasp and bee stings. Sticky fingers. Cops and Robbers, Cowboys and Indians. Zorro.  Climbing trees, building igloos out of tiny amounts of snow. Walking to school, no matter what the weather. Running till you were out of breath. Laughing so hard that your stomach hurt.
Jumping on the bed. Pillow fights. Spinning around, getting dizzy and falling down was cause for the giggles.

Being tired from playing... Remember that?

The worst embarrassment was being picked last for a team.
Water balloons were the ultimate weapon.
Football cards in the spokes transformed any bike into a motorcycle.

I'm not finished just yet...

Eating raw jelly, orange squash, ice pops.
Remember when.. There were two types of trainers - girls and boys.
Dunlop Green Flash and the only time you wore them at school, was for "gym."
You knew everyone in your street - and so did your parents!
It wasn't odd to have two or three "best" friends.
You didn't sleep a wink on Christmas eve.
When nobody owned a pure-bred dog.
When 25p was decent pocket money.
When you'd reach into a muddy gutter for 10p.
When nearly everyone's mum was at home when the kids got there from School.
It was magic when dad would "remove" his thumb.
When it was considered a great privilege to be taken out to dinner at a real restaurant with your parents.
When any parent could discipline any kid, or feed him or use him to carry groceries and nobody, not even the kid, thought a thing of it.
When being sent to the head's office was nothing compared to the fate that awaited a misbehaving student at home.

Didn't that feel good? Just to go back and say, Yeah, I remember that!

Remember when....

Decisions were made by going "eeny-meeny-miney-mo."
"Race issue" meant arguing about who ran the fastest.
Money issues were handled by whoever was the banker in "Monopoly".
The worst thing you could catch from the opposite sex was germs, and the worst thing in your day was having to sit next to one.
It was unbelievable that dodge ball wasn't an Olympic event.
Having a weapon in school, meant being caught with a catapult.
Nobody was prettier than your Mum.
Scrapes and bruises were kissed and made better.
Taking drugs meant orange-flavoured chewable aspirin.
Ice cream was considered a basic food group.
Getting a foot of snow was a dream come true.
Abilities were discovered because of a "double-dare".
Older siblings were the worst tormentors, but also the fiercest protectors.

If you can remember most or all of these, then you have LIVED!!!!
Pass this on to anyone who may need a break from their "grown up" life...

I DOUBLE-DARE YA!!!


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