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    Glesca poems I

Page 1    GlescaPals The Ragman  Coming O the wee Malkies Butchers of Glasgow    The Glesca Mould  
Page 2  Nostalgia for a Tenement (2),  Born in Bridgeton   ( three poems about oor Tenements )
Page 3  Farewell to Glasgow   Glasgow   Glesca Party 'Glasgow' Glasgow kiss
Page 4  Memories   Festival 1988


Page 5 A Glesca wean A Glasgow Lullaby A Glesca Party Lucky Middens Blue 'n Green


A wee thought about GlescaPals frae GlescaPal maggieM 29 Feb 2008

A thread that runs aroon this wurld
A tie that binds us aw'
A link tae hame fur those away
Who still hear Glesca’s call

So many in the USA
From sea tae shining sea
We’re spread oot o'er Canada
Nova Scotia tae B.C.

Thailand, France, South Africa
We’ve all found pals from there
The British Isles, New Zealand too
Advance Australia fair

Each corner of the world is here
Tae laugh and reminisce
Of places, people, bygone days
And the city that we miss

So raise a gless, dear GlescaPals
And shout a hearty cheer
Let’s toast Webmaister McArthur
It’s thanks tae him we’re here

~ ~  ~


Here is my story of one of the most influential men you could find in the 
East end of Glasgow when I was a child;
by David Reilly  author of Oot the windae
The Ragman  

1. He gave you fair warning whenever he came

though the tune he played was never the same

in a neighbouring street a bugler played

and it wasn’t the lifeboys or boys brigade

all the young mothers gripped with fear

as this dreaded bugler came ever near

tis the ragman playing a chordless tune

the bedragled Pied Piper of Glesga toon


3. Took out a Woodbine the last of his fags

then he bellowed toys for rags

last blast on the bugle and then he'd hush

lit up and waited for the expected rush

the kids in the street would all go mad

looking for rags from their mum and dad

in all the cupboards throughout the rooms

a handful of rags for a couple of balloons  

2. Came into our street pushing his cart

blowing his bugle right from the start

his old brown case was full of toys

like Santa's grotto to the girls and boys

paint sets and crayons and coloured chalk

to create a design on your whipping top

spud guns and peashooters and catapult slings

the toys of war the ragman brings  


4. With great anticipation they stood in line

eyes fixed on the ragman all of the time

no pounds or ounces of imperial measure

just a bundle of rags for unlimited treasure

though I could only stand and stare

we never seemed to have rags to spare

now looking back and assessing the facts

all of our rags were on our backs  

The Coming of The Wee Malkies ( by Stephen Mulrine)

Whit'll ye dae when the wee Malkies come, if they dreep doon affy the wash-hoose dyke 
an' pit the hems oan the sterheid light, an' play keepie-up oan the clean close wa, 
an blooter yir windea in wi the baw'    missis, whit'll ye dae?.

Whit'll ye dae when the wee Malkies come, if they chap yir door an choke the drain. 
an caw the feet frae yir sapsy wean, an tummle thur wulkies through yir sheets, 
an tim thir ashes oot an the street,   missis, whit'll ye dae?.

Whit'll ye dae when the wee Malkies come, if the chuck thur screwtaps doon the pan, 
an stick the heid oan the sanit'ry man, when ye hear thum come shuchlin doon yir loaby, 
chantin, "Wee Malkies" The gemme's a bogey!   
haw missis, whit'll ye dae?.   

.sent in by Glesga Pal Ronnie McPhee.

( Matt McGinn 1976 )

The butchers of Glasgow have all got their pride 
But they'll tell you that Willie's the prince 
For Willie the butcher he slaughtered his wife 
And he sold her for mutton and mince 

  It's a terrible story to have to be telt 
And a terrible thing to be done 
For what kind of man is it slaughters his wife 
And sells her a shilling a pun 
For lifting his knife and ending her life 
And hanging her high like a sheep 

You widnae object but you widnae expect 
He wid sell the poor woman so cheap 
But the Gallowgate folk were delighted 
It didnae cause them any tears 
They swore that Willie's wife Mary 
Was the best meat he'd sold them for years. 


April 2003, received this poem from John Caldwell


Take a big chunk of Glesca ma toon by the clyde
Add a single end in the slum wi the people inside

Some clabber and middens wi laughter and pain
Then some splashing in puddles jist efter the rain 

Add watching & listening, taking awe in
Enter the pools jist hoping yi’ll win 

Add peevers – peeries – tarry baws oan a string
Wi seturday night parties where they forced yi tae sing 

Add a big jam piece drapped frae a height
And feel safe and secure by day and by night 

Add the school furr yer reading and learning the sums
Wi the best teacher the street and the folk in the slums 

Add grannies & grandas wi uncles and aunts
Maw and Da scrimping for all of yer wants 

Mould them all together as you would with clay
The result you will find is the man I am today

John Caldwell
McAlpine St Anderston 1938
Muslin St Bridgeton 1950

Australia 1965

Webmaister, thanks. You have done me proud. Next door to Matt McGinn of all people. 
Your a champ, take care....John Caldwell

 Poems  page1   page2   page3    page4   page5



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