A Rhyme o' the times
Alex Sutherland, (1881-1935), "The Bard of Findochty"
It's noo the twenty first o' Mairch nineteen thirty twa'
Simmer's comin' soon again and winter's gaun awa',
The birdies they are on the wing an' chirpin' at daylicht,
Busy makin' nesties when the sun is shinin' bricht.
They dinna ken the pressure o' this weary warl' o' oors,
The bees will get their honey in simmer frae the flo'ers.
But man must toil and sigh, trying to get ends to meet,
And if he canna pay his rent, he may land oot on the street.
O'er a' the warl' it is the same sad, doleful tale --
Bairnies noo for want, their cheekies turning pale,
They ken aboot the hens, they aften hear them cackle,
'Tis seldom that they see an egg, aftener loaf an' treacle.
But we should aye be thankful an' keep a cheery smile
Thankful o' a living, though we canna mak' a pile.
For we've a' been provided for aftener than since,
And we prize an honest shilling tho' it's only brakin' stanes.
It's won'erfu' fit's turned up, a lot o' work there's been
The braes are lookin' bonny noo, richt ower tae Strathlene.
Last week I wandered ower there, a lot o' men I saw,
Makin' the greens a' ready for playing the golf ba'.
Strathlene Road is bonny if you come tae oor toon,
You'd hardly ken Finachty as you come walkin' doon,
The Stroop Waal rins as fresh and pure, mony a change has been
Since lassies cairried watter home especially by the meen.
Nature seemed to reign a queen in the days of yore
They cairried watter frae the waal an' fish up frae the shore.
Noo there's a tap in every hoose an' a'thing looking fine
There wasna near sae muckle debt wi' the al' mussel line.
Things hae gaen to sic a pitch we certainly maun own
We're very often oot o' change because we want the poun'.
An' what a great relief it's been the makin' o' the roads,
Stores gaun steady past the hoose every day in loads.
An' we wid seek tae gi'e oor thanks to a' oor magistrates
For mony an honest fisherman couldna pey his rates.
The fishing's been a failure, whatever could they have deen
Gin the local public bodies hadna come upon the scene.
An' they deserve great credit -- they've deen their very best
To try an' help the poor, the suffering and distressed.
We never saw the like, since ever fish had bones
Wha'ever thocht that we wid see the fishers brakin' stones.
We'd seek tae hae a thankful mind fitever wey things turn
It canna help the thing a bit though we begin to mourn.
There's ane abeen that kens oor needs whither big or sma'
An' withoot His ain permission a sparra' canna fa'.
A' things for the verra best, tho' I should hurl a barra'
Or tak' a turn at brakin' stanes or workin' in the quarry,
Like mony other fishermen it's nae for want o' savvy
But it's for want o' something else my "nom-de-plume" is `Navvy.'
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