Tom's favourite Poems and Stories   

                                                                  Scots Dialect

" With all their grammatical intricacies and deviations from standard vocabulary, dialects can sometimes become almost like separate languages. Indeed, a case is sometimes made that certain varieties are separate languages. A leading contender in this category is Scots, a variety of English used in the lowlands of Scotland (and not to be confused with Gaelic, which really is a separate language). As evidence, its supporters point out that it has it's own dictionary, 'The Concise Scots Dictionary', as well as its own body of literature, most notably the poems of Robert Burns, and it is full of words that would leave most other English speakers darkly baffled. Although Scots or Lallans as it is sometimes also called, is clearly based on English, it is often all but incomprehensible to other English speakers."

Excerpt taken from Bill Bryson's book "Mother Tongue"

                                                                                  "Slippy Stane" 
                                                   Lallans   (Lowland Scots)                                                  English
                                         Wade canny thro' this weary worl'                    Wade gently through this weary world 
                                         And pick yer steps wi' care;                                And pick your steps with care;
                                         And never dae yer neeboor wrang,                   And never do your neighbour any wrong,
                                         But aye dae what is fair.                                       But always do what is fair.
                                         Folks fa' and never rise again.                            People fall and never rise again.
                                         Wha never fell before;                                          Who never fell before,
                                         There's aye a muckle slippy stane.                    There's always a large slippy stone.
                                         At ilka body's door.                                              At everybodys door.
                                         And gin yer neeboor chance tae slip,                And if your neighbour chance to slip
                                         Ye maunna pass him by;                                      You shouldn't pass him by;
                                         But len' a haun and help him up,                       But lend him a hand and help him up
                                         And dinna let him lie.                                           And dont let him lie.
                                         The case may ane day be yer ain,                       The case may one day be your own,
                                         Tho ye hae wealth in store;                                  Though you have wealth in store,
                                         For there's aye a muckle slippy stane,               For there's always a large slippy stone,    
                                         At ilka body's door.                                               At everybody's door.
                                         There's slippy stanes whaure'er ye gang,         There are slippy stone wherever you go,
                                         At palace hut or ha,                                                At palace hut or hall,
                                         And ye maun watch and no gae wrang,            And you better watch and not go wrong,
                                         Or ower them ye may fa'.                                      Or over them you may fall.
                                         For Emperors and Kings hae fa'en,                     For Emperors and Kings have fallen,
                                         And nobles mony a score;                                     And nobles many a score;
                                         For there's aye a muckle slippy stane,                For there's always a large slippy stone,
                                         At ilka body's door.                                                At every body's door.      
                                                      "It sounds a bit like the Parable of the good Samaritan"
                                                                       Here is a weaver's tongue twister:-
                                                                               When a twister, a-twisting, will twist him a twist,
                                                                          For the twisting his twist he three twines doth intwist;
                                                                               But if one of the twines of the twist doth untwist,
                                                                                 The twine that untwisteth, untwisteth the twist.

                                                                                               "Stonehouse Witches"

I was reading, DAMN FEW AND THEY' RE A' DEID, a book on Stonehouse written by a friend, and I came on an item about Stonehouse Witches, this is a reply to a letter in the 'Hamilton Advertiser' local newspaper around 1857. The description of Stonehouse and humour (humor) being good, I thought I would share it :

"The 'Lover of Home' is much mistaken about Stonehouse. The long Derval looking street that he describes, is not the only street. It contains many streets, wide and capacious, conducing, thereby, to the health of its inhabitants. Indeed, Stonehouse is a very salubrious place; fevers and other contagious diseases seldom prevail to any extent. Your correspondent has given an elaborate dissertation on witches, and now got rid of lang syne, but Stonehouse folk are quite aware that witches never had a being, but in the imagination of the green and credulous. Unless, indeed, in the sense of "Lanarkshire Witches", that is the pretty girls of Lanarkshire. Stonehouse has a fair supply of "bewitching witches".

Regarding the above it is where a person is replying to someone running down Stonehouse and referring to witches in Stonehouse . The person replying says Stonehouse is a wonderful place, good for the health and that Witches were got rid of long ago, but you could become bewitched by some of the young ladies in Stonehouse.

                                                                                          A wee humorous Stonehouse story from away back. 

                                                                                              "I needed the hale road mysel"

A young man being out at a drinking spree one night, arrived home somewhat late, and a little elevated with the good cheer, after all the family were in bed.

When he came in he began to wind up the clock, which was his practice before going to bed, his mother hearing him said "Ye wadna meet mony folk on the road at this time o' nicht". "Deed , no" says he, " there wadna thole to hae been mony, for I needed the hale road tae mysel".

English:  (you wouldn't meet many people on the road at this time of night).

Indeed not, says he, there wouldn't need to be many as I needed the whole road to myself)

                                                                   Here is a poem about the River Avon.

                                                    Scots                                                                                      English                        

                                        Gae bring tae me ma auldest claes                                  Go bring to me my oldest clothes
                                        An' let me rumm'le thru' the braes,                                 And let me rumble through the hills,
                                        Frae morn till e'en                                                               From morning to evening
                                        Wi' ne'er a thocht o' schule or book                                With never a thought of school or book
                                        Tae luk for nests, tae wade, tae dook                              To look for nests, to wade, and swim
                                        An' guile the minnows wi' a hook                                   And guile the minnows with a hook
                                        In Avon's sun-lit watter.                                                     In Avon's sun-lit water.

Dook, can mean to submerge in water, at children's parties to this day they talk about "dooking for apples", where they try and fork an apple using a fork held in the teeth.


                                                                                                    THE VOYEUR
                                                                                BY TOM LEONARD
                                                                                                    what's your favourite word dearie
                                                                                                    is it wee
                                                                                                    I hope it's wee
                                                                                                    wee's such a nice wee word
                                                                                                    like a wee hairy dog
                                                                                                    with two wee eyes
                                                                                                    such a nice wee word to play with dearie
                                                                                                    you can say it quickly
                                                                                                    with a wee smile
                                                                                                    and a wee glance to the side
                                                                                                    or you can say it slowly dearie
                                                                                                    with your mouth a wee bit open
                                                                                                    and a wee sigh dearie
                                                                                                    A wee sigh
                                                                                                    put your wee head on my shoulder dearie
                                                                                                    oh my
                                                                                                    a great wee word
                                                                                                    and scottish
                                                                                                    it makes me proud.

                                                                        'A Dug a Dug'                            Written by Bill Keys of Kirkintilloch

                                                               Scots                                                                              English

                                           Hey, Daddy, wid ye get us a dug ?                                      Hey Daddy, will you get us a dog?
                                           A big broon alsation ur a wee white pug ?                         A big brown alsation or a small white pug?
                                           Ur a skinny wee terrier, ur a big fat collie?                         Or a thin small terrier, or a big fat collie
                                           Aw, Daddy, get us a dug. Will yi ?                                      Oh, Daddy, get us a dog. Will you?

                                           Whit! An' whose dug'll it be when it durties the flerr,          What ! And whose dog will it be when it dirties the floor?
                                           An' wets the carpet and messes the sterr?                           And wets the carpet and messes the stair ?
                                           Its me ur yer mammy'll be tane furra mug.                          It is me or your mummy that will be taken for a fool
                                           Away oot'n play. Yer no getting a dug.                                Away out and play. You are not getting a dog.

                                           But daddy thur gi'en them away                                          But daddy they are giving them away
                                           Down therr at the RSPCA.                                                    Down there at the RSPCA
                                           Yu'll get wan fur nothin, so ye will.                                      You will get one for nothing, so you will. 
                                           Aw. Daddy, get us a dug, Will ye?                                       Oh. Daddy get us a dog, will you?

                                           Dji hear um? Oan aboot dugs again?                                   Do you hear him? On about dogs again?
                                           Ah think that yins goat dugs'n the brain.                               I think that one has dogs on the brain.
                                           Ah know whit yu'll get: a skite oan the lug                            I know what you will get : a hit on the ear.
                                           If ah hear ony merr aboot this bloomin dug.                         If I hear any more about this blooming dog.

                                           Aw, Daddy, it widny be dear tae keep                                   Oh, Daddy, it wouldn't be dear to keep
                                           An'ah'd make it a basket fur it tae sleep.                               And I would make it a basket for it to sleep
                                           An'ah'd take it fur runs away ower the hull.                           And I would take it for runs away over the hill.
                                           Aw, Daddy, get us a dug. Will ye?                                         Oh, Daddy, get us a dog. Will you?
                                           A doan't think thurs embdy like you:                                       A dont think there is anybody like you :
                                           Yi could wheedle the twist oot a flamin' corkscrew.               You could remove the twist out of a "Flaming" corkscrew
                                           Noo! Get doon aff my neck.  Gies nane a yur hugs.                Now ! Get down off my neck. Give me none of your hugs 
                                           Aw right. THAT'S ANUFF. Ah'll get yi a dug.                           All right. That's enough. I will get you a dog 


                                                                            The Holy Mice  by Tom Sorbie


                                               Within the Church Hall we do run.

                                               Around the nooks and crannies having fun.

                                               We appear at times and cause alarm

                                               If only they knew we meant no harm. 


                                               In the Kitchen we eat the crumbs

                                               It is obvious leaving these we’re chums

                                               However if they change their mind

                                               We better go, leaving nests behind.


                                               Now we're told we are a pest

                                               Not a place that is our rest

                                               Where to go we do not know

                                               Out into the cold winter snow.


                                               Before we go it was nice to hear

                                               The hymns being sung loud and clear

                                               It will be hard to find another Hall

                                               With food and music to suit us all.


                                               St Machan’s was a lovely home

                                               Now we have to search and roam.

                                               To find a warm place without a cat

                                               Another Church, a Hall or cosy Flat.



                                         SPECIAL POEM FOR SENIOR CITIZENS!!


                                      A row of bottles on my shelf
                                       Caused me to analyse myself.
                                        One yellow pill I have to pop
                                          Goes to my heart so it won't stop.
                                         A little white one that I take
                                            Goes to my hands so they won't shake.
                                           The blue ones that I use a lot
                                            Tell me I'm happy when I'm not.
                                            The purple pill goes to my brain
                                             And tells me that I have no pain.
                                            The capsules tell me not to wheeze
                                            Or cough or choke or even sneeze.
                                           The red ones, smallest of them all
                                             Go to my blood so I won't fall.
                                             The orange ones, very big and bright
                                               Prevent my leg cramps in the night.
                                             Such an array of brilliant pills
                                                Helping to cure all kinds of ills.
                                                         But what I'd really like to know...........
                                              Is what tells each one where to go!


                                           The Moosie's Prayer by Unknown Poet

                                            Scots                                                                              English 

                                A puir wee moose guy forlorn                                   A poor wee mouse very forlorn

                                  Its furry coat fair sairly worn                                  Its a furry coat very sorely worn

                                Sank doon upon its baney knees                                 Sank down upon its boney knees

                               And prayed for just a wee bit cheese                          And prayed for just a wee bit cheese


                             The tears ran doon its wee thin cheeks                        The tears ran down its wee thin cheeks

                            But nane could hear the saddest squeaks                       But none could hear the saddest squeaks

                             That drifted on the cauld nicht air                             That drifted on the cold night air

                    Till whiles it couldnae pray nae mair.                           Till it couldnt pray no more


                            Syne daylicht cam,the kirk bells rang                          Then daylight came,the church bells rang

                            The doors swang open wi a bang                                The doors swung open with a bang

                  Communion day had come oan bye                               Communion day had arrived

                           Wi wine and plates o'breid piled high                           With wine and plates of bread piled high


                             The wee moose lay as still as daith                             The wee mouse lay as still as death

                              And watched it a' wi baited breath                            And watched it all with baited breath

                            Then thocht 'if I keep awfee quate                            The thought if I keep awful quiet

                               A bit might just fa'aff a plate                                 A bit might just fall off a plate


                          And so it gazed as roond they went                            And so it gazed as round they went

                              Then just as tho' twas heaven sent                             Then just as though it was heaven sent

                              Whit landed richt upon its heid                                 What landed right upon its head

                             But twa lumps o' communion breid                               But two lumps of communion bread


                                The staff o' life lay on the flair                               The staff of life lay on the floor

                              Then,bounteous answer tae his prayer                          Then bounteous answer to his prayer

                                Just as he thoct'It looks fell dry                             Just as he thought 'It looks so dry'

                                Ae body couped some wine forbye                              A person tipped some wine as well


                            Wee moosie stoated up the aisle                                We mouse bounced up the aisle

                               Wearin' sic a boozy smile                                       Wearing such a drunken smile

                             The folk stopped singing,fair aghast                            The people stopped singing really aghast

                           Tae see a drunken moose walk past                              To see a drunken mouse walk past


                               The organist fell aff his chair                                  The organist fell off his chair

                             The meenister could only stare                                  The minister could only stare

                              Tae see this drunken sinfae moose                              To see this drunken sinful mouse

                                Cavortin' in his sacred hoose                                    Cavorting in his sacred house


                               At last it staggered up the nave                                At last it staggered up the nave

                                 Then turned an' gied a happy wave                             Then turned and gave a happy wave

                                 I ken noo when it's time tae pray                               I know now when it's time to pray

                                   I'll dae it oan Communion day                                   I'll do it on Communion day.      



                          "Bonnie" by Tom Sorbie

                                    My wee Collie dog is called Bonnie

                                    If a boy it would have been Ronnie

                                    Every morning at six I am awake

                                    Not with a noise or a good shake

                                    But with a cold nose on my cheek

                                    Glad she’s not a bird with a beak

                                    Then out to the garden for her wee.

                                   Same spot beside a small rose tree

                                    I have to watch her like a hawk

                                    She is off at times with my sock

                                    With sharp teeth she eats my shoe

                                    Just as well the shoe is not new.

                                    Soon Bonnie will be fully grown

                                    What will face her is not known

                                    To me Bonnie is a great wee Gal

                                       A lovely collie dog, loyal Pal





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