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  some merr Glesca poems   III

Poems page 1  page 2  page4  page5
1. Farewell to Glasgow 2. Glasgow 3. Glesca party 4. 'Glasgow' 5. Glasgow kiss

Farewell to Glasgow
Oh where is the Glasgow I used to know
The tenement buildings that let in the snow
Through the cracks in the plaster the cold wind did blow
And the water we washed in was forty below

We read by the gaslight, we had nae T.V.
Hot porridge for breakfast, cold porridge for tea
And some weans had ricketts, some had T.B.
Ay that's what the Glasgow of old means tae me

Noo the neighbours complained if we played wi' a ba'
Or 'Hunch cuddy hunch' against somebody's wa'
If we played 'Kick the can' we'd tae watch for the law
For the polis made sure we did sweet bugger a'

You've heard o' the closet that stood on the stair
Oors had tae accommodate fifteen or mair
And the wee broken windae let in the fresh air
I sometimes went inside, ay but just for a dare

And we huddled together tae keep warm in bed
We'd nae sheets nor blankets, just old coats instead
And a big balaclava tae cover yer head
And 'God but it's cold' was the only prayer said

Noo there's some say that tenement living was swell
That's the wally close toffs who had doors wi' a bell
Two rooms and a kitchen and a bathroom as well
While the rest o' us lived in a single-end hell

So wipe off that smile when you talk o' the days
That you lived in the Gorbals or Cowcaddens' way
Remember the mice and the rats you once chased
For tenement living was a bloody disgrace

Poem sent to me June 2003 
  Marian Forte (nee Cookman) 
Adelaide, South Australia

(WEBMAISTER : very similar to Adam McNaughton's famous song but without the sentimentality,
Oh where is the Glasgow )

Apr.2007 see email with song Farewell tae Glasgow


    GLASGOW  ( by Harry Moore )

Glasgow is a grey city,  a "do it our way" city
A "children at play" city, a smile within the toll

Glasgow is a mean city, Segregated blue and green city
a "pride of having been" city,  Passions on the boil

Glasgow is a loud city,  a physically endowed city
A "reason to be proud" city,   Subjects, every loyal

Glasgow is a kind city,  a "put the past behind" city
Progressively inclined city,   I'm proud to have been born upon its soil.


A Glesca Party   by Chrissie Barr

Gei's a song, ach no' the noo. Whit's wrang hen? that's no like you.
Ah'm jist no ready, ah canny think, mibye a need some mair tae drink.
"Gei hur annurrer" wis the command, then she'll sing tae beat the band
Efter a few, poured withoot measure, she says "cum oan noo, name yer pleasure"

Whit's it tae be? ah'll sing whit ye want, she wis confident she could chant.
Is it Rabbie, Shirley ur Lena Martell?  this lassie wis said tae hiv a voice like a bell.
By this time folk wur gettin' fed up wi the patter, Fur Christ's sake sing, it disny matter.

If she disnt sing, ah'll no borra, see ah'm up fur ma wurk re morra.
The lassie finally stood up, drinkin' Lanny fae a china cup.
Hur song wis long bit no' forgotten, She could sing nane, 
-- she wis BLIDDY ROTTEN !!!

I remember nights jist like that when a wiz a wee lassie... aw ra best... GlescaPal, Nell )


GlescaPal Tammytroot ...most of the "modern" stuff doesn't do a lot for me. 
Here's a traditional type poem which paints a good picture of Glasgow in the era of heavy industry, I think. , entitled simply.... 

City! I am true son of thine; Ne'er dwelt I where great mornings shine
Among the bleating pens; Ne'er by the rivulets I strayed,
And ne'er upon my childhood weighed The silence of the glens.
Instead of shores where ocean beats, I hear the ebb and flow of streets.

Black labour draws his weary waves Into their secret moaning caves;
But with the morning light That sea again will overflow
With a long, weary sound of woe, Again to faint in night.
Wave am I in that sea of woes, Which, night and morning, ebbs and flows.

Draw thy fierce streams of blinding ore, Smite on thy thousand anvils, roar
Down to the harbour bars; Smoulder in smoky sunsets, flare
On rainy nights, when street and square Lie empty to the stars.
From terrace proud to alley base I know thee as my mother's face.

Alexander Smith (1830-67)


A Glasgow Kiss
by Frank McNie

He's descended from the great warriors of Gorbals fame,
A master in the art of the street fighting game.
The perfect example of a fighting machine,
Hard as nails and twice as mean.

He was born off tradition, bred to fight,
The "Great Glasgow Gladiator" of Saturday night.
He meets his fans at the designated place,
Where custom dictates a fast drinking pace,

Soon his week's wages are but a memory,
It's time to go forth to victory.
His battle cry.. short pungent words designed to scare,
To drive his enemy from his cowardly lair.

With luck he'll find a "Dancing Nancy",
All dressed up and looking fancy
Guilty of that great Glasgow sin
Of standing there when he walks in.

In an instant.. the deed is done'
Battles over the day is won.
Just one blow with no reply
More pungent chords of the battle cry.

The sound of bygone battles was steel on steel,
Even cannon's roar had some appeal.
There is one thing I'll never miss,
The sickening sound.. of a "Glasgow Kiss".

Poems page 1   page 2  page3  page4  page5



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