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Some Old Scottish Street Poetry
Page 4


Ronald Manley said his Mother used a counting-out rhyme...

Inky finky figgery fell,
Ell dell dominell,
Irky perky jorrie rope,
Rin tin tousie joke,
O U T spells out
and out you go.

Jemima MacFarlane from Perth, Australia, sent us in this wee collection...

Because my name is Jemima, I used to have all my relations sing this at me on many occassions.

Oh! Jemima look at your Uncle Jim
He's in the duck pond learning how to swim
First he does the back stroke, then he does the right
Now he's in the middle of the pond, vanishing out of sight.

Another I remember chanting is:

Nobody likes me everybody hates me
I think I'll away and eat worms,
Big fat juicy ones, wee thin skinny ones
See how they wiggle and squirm
You bite off the heads, and you suck out the juice
And then throw the skins away,
Nobody knows how I can live on works three times a day.

The following used to be my party piece when I was wee:

In ma wee gas mask
Ah'm working oot a plan
The weans a' think that Ah'm the bogey man
The girls a' cry, an' bring their friends to see
The nicest lookin' warden in the A.R.P.

When there's a raid on, ye ought tae hear me cry

'An aeroplane, an aeroplane awa' wa up a kye'
They a' rin helter skelter, bit dinna rin efter me
Ye'll no get in ma shelter for it's faur too wee

Lastly there is this one:

Dressed up in ma Indian feathers
Listen tae me talkin' Indian blethers
Wi ma squaw and ma wee papoose
A wigwam's better than a council hoose
When ah start pow-wowing
Everybody winders whit am chowin'
Rikki - rikki doo
Ah,m a Redskin noo
Ah'm a regular Rocky chief

One liner:

A Seterday flittin' is a short sittin'

George Slater was reading our poetry and sent this one in...

Jean, Jean fae Aiberdeen
Picket oot the cat's een,
Wi' a needle and a preen.
Coorse Jean fae Aiberdeen.

Ken Parker sent us in this one....
 

Oor school's a guid wan, it's made o' brick and plaister,
The only thing that's wrang wi' it's, the baldy heided maister,
He goes to the pub on a Seturday night,
He goes to church on Sunday,
He prays tae goad tae gie him strength,
To belt the weans oan Monday.

Garry Crittall sent this in...

I would like to enlist your help, if possible, in finding a poem my 92 year old cousin remembers reading in the Glasgow Evening Times. My cousin John Garry was born in Bothwellhaugh, Lanarkshire and lived there until the age of 16 before coming to Canada. The poem was on the editorial page somewhere between the years 1924 to 1926. I am including the verses that he can remember. Perhaps someone out there is familiar with it and can fill in the missing verse or verses. Your help is appreciated.

                 'Auld Glesca the Clyde'
1st:  A Hamilton Militiaman a'e nicht got roarin' fu'
        There was lack a wumman ta'en her haun
         tae haud his burnin' broo
         And his crony stood beside him,
         for he saw him turnin' sick
         And he held his haun up tae his lug,
         tae hear his crony speak.
 
last:  And the silvery moonbeams flickered
         o'er their faces like a smile
         Till twa Bobbies cam
          and marched the gallant heroes aff tae jail,
          And as their funds were doon their throats,
          Their fines were never paid;
          So they bad farewell to Glesca,
          Auld Glesca on the Clyde !

Linea Scott read the above request and sent in a scanned copy of the poem...


Glasgow on the Clyde (click on picture for larger copy)

George Slater said...

I have never heard the rhyme you mention in today's letter. The only Hogmanay rhyme I have heard in my former home (Findochty, Banffshire) is:

                      "Rise up auld wife and shak yer feathers.
                       Come on noo for we're nae beggars.
                       We're just bairnies oot tae play
                       So rise up and gie's oor Hogmanay."

Christine Ristich contributed...

Here's a song sung to me by my Uncle Harry...

Baby sittin' on the mama's knee
Where would the baby's doopa be?
On the baby's cheek?
Or the baby's chin?
Seems to me it would be a sin
if it's always covered by a safety pin.
Where would the doopa be?

And one by my Aunt Jean...

Down in the valley
There lived a wee Tally
He gave me some biscuits
to start a wee shop.
Before the shop started,
the wee Tally farted,
and blew all the biscuits away, far away.

And another that made my sister Lesley cry if you inserted HER name!

Tramp, tramp, tramp the boys are marching
Here comes (name someone) at the door,
well, we'll buy a penny gun
and we'll shoot her up the lum
and we'll never see (name someone) any more!

Hugh McLeish sent us in a couple of wee poems...
 

(Sung to the tune of "My Bonny Lies Over The Ocean")
 
Ma Granny went doon tae the cellar tae see if a gas leak wis there,
She lighted a match tae see better,
Oh bring back my granny tae me,
Bring back, Oh Bring back, Oh bring back my Granny to me, to me,
Oh Bring back, Oh------ ect------- to me.
 
The second:-
 
(Sung to a folk tune, name unknown)
 
As aa wis passin' ma Grannies door aa smelt the smell o' ham,
Aa went in tae ask fur a bit an' she ca'ed me greedy Tam,
She luffted up the poker, she luffted up the clot, she luffted up the bellusses, and blew me up the lum.
 
Translations:
 
Luffted --------- lifted
Poker  --------- tool for stirring the fuel ( coal, wood, or peat ) in an open domestic fire place
Clot ------------- tool for raking the ashes out in the above fire
Bellusses ---- Bellows, tool for blowing air into above fire to stimulate combustion
Lum ------------ Chimney

Louise Manderson came up with the complete saying...

There was a wee man who peed in the pan,
The pan was too wee so he peed in the sea,
The sea was too wide so he peed in the tide,
And a' the wee fishies swam up his backside.

And Anne Roberts wrote in saying - On reading the contents of your website, I see a few variations on the following that used to be chanted to me at primary school (bear in mind my maiden name was McGuire):-

Anne McGuire, she peed in the fire
The fire was too hot
She peed in the pot
The pot was too wide
She peed in the Clyde
And all the wee fishes ran up her backside

Laura May sent this one in...

Sleep well and don't let the bed bugs bite
But if they do, grab a broom, and beat them black and blue

Francis Sheker contributed....

Once ah had a wee broon hen
It had a wee broon tail
Ah sent it fur an ounce o' snuff
It never came back again
Noo it's deed and in its grave
Mony a year ago
God bless ma wee hen
It never came back again

Ah had a funeral
Fur ma wee hen
Ah had a funeral
Fur ladies and gentlemen
Ladies and gentlemen
Count to ten
God bless ma wee hen
It never came back again.

A wee song sang to me by my mammy circa early fifties.

Stan Bruce got in touch to say...


One I remember my Garnny and mother singing that is not on the site:
 
Ally Bally, Ally Bally be,
sitting on yer Mammies knee,
greeting for a wee bawbee,
tae buy some Cooper's Candy.
 
Can't remember if thats the full poem, maybe someone else will remember?

The Little Egg Song

Good evening

Ah - the wonderful world of the internet.  My grandmother and I used to sing a song together. She taught it to me, and it was always one of my favorites growing up :)  It went like this ....
 
I wish I was a little egg
a way up in a tree
I wish I was a little egg
as bad as bad can be
 
I wish a naughty little boy
would climb up after me
And then I'd bust myself in two
and splatter he with me
 
My grandmother was Swedish, but my grandfather (Kirkpatrick) was Scottish ... perhaps that is where my favorite song came from :)
 
Kristin Kucsma

Pam Strachan, Dyce, Aberdeen, Scotland sent in...

I happened across your site whilst looking for gaelic translations. However I got so interested in your stories and poetry page that I had to contact you. The song "Ally Bally" is not a poem but a song and here is the version that I grew up with:
 
Ally Bally ally bally bee,
sittin on on yer mammy's knee
greetin fir a wee bawbee,
tae buy some Coulter's candy. (1st verse and chorus)
 
Mammy gie me a penny doon,
here's the coulter comin roon,
wi a basket on his croon,
selling coulter's candy.
 
Puir wee Jeannie, she's afa thin,
a rickle o beens wrappit up in skin,
but noo she's got a double chin,
wee eatin coulter's candy.
 
Ally bally, ally bally bee,
sittin on yer mammy's knee,
greetin for a wee bawbee,
tae buy some coulter's candy.

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