Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Bak Roon Wur Toon

Hae ye iver thocht bak tae tha wye things were years ago whur ye leeve? Bellymoney is a toon that haes changed bigly ower tha years but tha Toon Rhymer knows an oul boy who mines it richtly an shared a memory ir twa wie him aboot it.

A Danner Bak Roon Tha Oul Toon
Awa frae it aa in tha dark o mae room,
Mae mine goes bak tae mae times in tha Toon
As A watch tha peats glowin in tha grate ferninst mae
A hae tae accept that mae age is against mae
A hae nae enemies left fer A've ootleeved them aa
An freens are as scarce fer A've hardly nane left ava
So mae nichts are spent thinkin bak tae years ago
Whin A wus fitter an shairper an wisnae sae slow
Comin alang Castle Street wie Mickey Mallon as mae guide
Fer a dram in Rosie Higgins's Mickey follad mae inside
An he'd gie me tha benefit o his lay man's laws
An he'd bae up fer a challenge, nae metter tha cause
At tha enn o tha street, A'd meet Bobby Jake
An enjoy ten minutes banter o tha best Toon craic
A big hello frae John Johnston as he heads tae his shap
There's naeboady rushin; naeboady in a flap.
A wud waak up Main Street bae tha Manor Hotel
An see Jake Annerson gettin his boots aa ready tae sell
Across tha street Archie Hart wud bae sherpenin a blade
Gettin set fer a day o his butcherin trade.
A hear tha loud hollerin o Clark Duffin as weel
Gulderin an wavin an clickin his heels
Bae tha clock tha doag men are tellin their lies
Aboot breakin track records an wunnin big prizes
Big Archie Atcheson waaks by ram rod straight
Tae park his bike behint tha Diamond Bar gate
Whur half tha Toon parks their transport aa in a row
They're minded an guarded fer thruppence a go
As A head fer tha Pop In fer a warm tasty dish
A hear Henduck Wallace oot sellin his fish
"Herrin Alive", he gouls ower an ower
Tae tha fish are aa gone ir his throat turns sore!
But afore A get seated tae enjoy mae feed
A wake wie a start an see tha fire's near deid
It's bak tae reality an A'm gye sorry it's so
Fer A preferred tha Toon an it's characters as they were years ago.

A Ficht That Went Wrang

It's aptly no as common noo (at least, no sae much taaked aboot) but at yin tim, wur country wus host tae oany number o cock fichts. Heth it wus a gye blidy pastime an cruel forbye but it didnae aye enn that road. Tha Toon Rhymer tells iz aboot yin ficht his great-granda wus at whur tha oul maun wus lucky no tae bae jailed!

Tha Cock Ficht
It wus a simmer evenin wie hardly an air
An a meetin wus takin place amang freens,
In a corner o tha moss awa up bae tha Leck
As they went doon tha rodden wae a glint in ther een.
Tha screeghin o roosters bein cerried in crates
Cud bae hear't as money wus bein checked.
Fer it wisnae tae bother aboot tha cuttin o peats
That this gaitherin wus takin place at tha Leck.
Tha bets were placed an tha roosters prepared
As tha crowd gaithered roon fer tha show.
Whin oul John hear't tha caa o nature gie a goul
Sae hae set aff doon tha rodden tae go.
Staunin nearhan peats aa laid oot in rows
He hear't whistles blawin an roars in tha nicht
Hadn't tha polis landed tae bring them aa in
It had bin a gye lucky caa o nature aa richt!
Watchin his freens rinnin through heather an bracken
Bein chased bae tha lang airms o tha law
Oul John rouled up his sleeves an turned hissel aroon
An tha peats were tha furst things he saw.
So doon he got an he started tae wurk wie them
An bae tha time tha polis had his freens aa awa
John had echteen rickles set up in a row
An a score o castles built there an aa!

Monday, 22 October 2007

Mair Aboot Tha Hamecomin

A wee while bak, wae tuk a luk at whit some yins caa "Tha Plantation". As wae pointed oot, it wus mair a hamecomin nor oanythin else. Tha Toon Rhymer explains that here.

Return O Tha Exiles
In boats an ships they landed,
Oan an unforgien shore:
Tae till tha lan an break in grun
Lake ther faithers in days o yore.
These fowk wernae planters
Whin aff tha boats they filed
They were comin hame frae Scotland
Whur yinst they'd bin exiled.
But this tim these Dalriadic fowk
Wud naw bae driven oot again,
They were here tae stay in ther faithers lan
Regardless o famine, persecution ir pain.

Bae Wary O Wars

Even frae whin A wus a wean, A aye heared politicians an their kine taakin in glowin terms aboot tha sacrafice o wur young fowk in yin war ir anither. Yin thing that wus aye pointed oot tae me wus tha fact that maist o them daein tha taakin med brave an sure that their ain yins were niver oan tha front line - nir them ither! Tha Toon Rhymer sums aa that up below:

Whit War Wull Enn Aa Wars?
Tha "War Tae Enn Aa Wars" ended in nineteen echteen
An tha widas an orphans wiped tha tears frae their een.
Lloyd George toul tha country "It'll naw heppen again!"
Thar wull bae nae mair greetin, sufferin ir pain.
Twanty-yin years later, whin thon orphans wur tha age,
They wur sent aff tae France, tha oul foe tae engage.
Anither sax years o deein o a generation o wur men
Follad bae tha oul lie, "It'll naw heppen again
An then thar wus Korea whur wur boys hear't tha caa
An in thon foreign fiels wur finest did faa
An as tha widas an orphans wrung thar hauns an gret,
A politician sed gravely, "Lest we Forgyet".
But sure foarty years bak, wur ain troubles tane aff
They killed awa at their nybours an then had a laugh
As they watched their victims funerals safe in their hames
An within a fortnicht, they'd even forgot aa their names.
"We'll niver surrender!" tha politicians gouled an roared
An "We'll niver abide bae ony power sharin accord".
But sure they brocht them intae power oot o tha blue
Naw carin a whit fer tha lakes o me an you.
So tha nixt tim a war starts, tell yer sins "Stay at hame".
Fer tha politicians rants wull aye bae tha same -
They'll taak tha taak but they'll shane sell iz oot
So wait tae ther sins enlist an then let yours folla suit.

A Wile Narration

Afore A start here, A want tae mak it clear that naeboady here haes ocht agin bagpipes! Heth, thar's naethin cud bate a guid playin pipe band. But it haes tae bae said that whin someboady is joost larnin hoo tae play tha pipes, it's no aa music tae tha lugs. Tha Toon Rhymer foon that tae bae tha case tae!

Roosty Pipes
A mind it richtly, tha furst tim A heared it
A woke up wie a jump oot o bed!
Tha narration wus naethin lake A'd e'er heared afore
It's a wunner mae lugs hadnae bled!
A sprachled an spaltered across tha length o tha room
Puttin oan mae as quick as A cud dae
Tho A done mae best tae droon oot tha noise
A joost had tae know whur it wus comin frae.
A lukked in ivery room in tha hoose
But thar wus naethin there A cud see
That cud bae guilty o makin that serious noise
That wus tormentin an vexin poor me!
So then A went oot tae tha gairden
An tha louder an mair deafenin it got;
Lake forty banshees in a choir in tha nicht
Lake a baste that deserved tae bae shot!
An then as A turned tha corner o tha hoose
A saw mae brither playin pipes oan his ain
Unless cats in a bag bein swung roon an roon,
It wus mair nor eneuch tae drive ye insane!
Sez he, "A'm only tunin them, sure
They'll soun tha best afore wile lang".
Sez me, "Cud ye no hae bin a singer?
Fer A'd hae suffered less frae yin o yer sangs!"

Sunday, 21 October 2007

Tha Wather Forecaster

Yin thing we aa seem tae taak aboot whin we meet ither fowk is tha wather. A'm sure ye hae done it! Ye meet some yin comin alang tha street an tha furst thig ye say is "That's a quare day" ir "Luks lake it cud rain". Tha Toon Rhymer knows a boadie lake that but as ye wull see here, tha boadie he knows isnae lakely tae git a job wie tha Met office!

Tha Forecaster
If there's yin boadie A'll niver forget
It'll bae wee Barney frae doon wur street
Fer nae metter whit tha wather is lake
He'll mak a forecast each time we meet.
It's aye optimistic an it's aye upbeat
It wudnae metter if it wus lashin aa day
Barney wud aye see tha bricht side
An wud aye hae somethin heartenin tae say.
In a thunnerstorm if iver ye meet him
He'll say"A think it's gan tae clear"
An if lichtnin wus strikin in angry forks
He'll aye smile an say "Och niver fear".
If hail tha size o golf balls faa
An lee ye wie throbbin ears
He'll say "Sure this wather wull bae changin
Afore ye know it tha Spring wull bae here".
Whin sna is faain an pilin in drifts,
He'll come by wie his weltons oan
He'll say "A think tha thaw is comin
An sure aa this sna wull bae gone".
Yin mair thing A'll aye mind aboot his predictions
Nae metter whur A leeve ir fer hoo lang
Is that ivery forecast he iver gien me
Wus almaist aaways sure tae bae wrang!

Friday, 19 October 2007

Ullans is nae twang!

Yin thing A aye hated wus tha wye teachers an yins A went tae schule wie aye referred tae Ulster Scotch (ir Ullans) as naethin mair nor an accent ir a twang. It niver wus only that but its only lately that tha leid wae taak an screeve haes bin gien legal recognition as a leevin leid. Tha Toon Rhymer agrees an haes this tae say aboot it.

Mair Than A Twang

A've joost bin considerin tha wurds that A use

Whin taakin tae mates ir expressin mae views;

Tha Ulster Scotch leid, A'm gye heppy tae taak

Tho thar's aptly sniggerin gan oan ahint mae bak.

Whin A'm oot fer tha nicht an noisy fowk A'm among

A'll say "Wheesht" ir "Cud youse yins naw houl yer tongue"

Instead o "Potatoes or Fries?" A'll say "Prootas ir chips?"

An if its coul A'll say A'm founderin when tha frosty air nips.

An upper class woman micht bae "A snottery oul blade"

Whin she tells aa aroon hur aboot tha catter she's made.

I say "ferninst" instead o opposite and "heid" instead o head,

A'll say mae granda is "deid" whin A'm meanin he's dead;

If A say that A'm "Bate" it means A'm lukkin at defeat;

If A see cows in a fiel, A'll say "Luk at them kye",

If someone's "Intae Themsels", it means that they're shy.

At nicht whin A'm tired, A'll say that A'm done

A'll tell fowk A done richtly if A fin oot A've won;

The middle aged Romeo is joost a fool oul cod

Spalterin oor tha dance fleur lake a horse needin shod

If A'm coul A'll bae starvin, an no hungry ava -

A'm taakin foreign in London but untherstud in Buckna.

So tha moral o tha rhyme is forgyet society's conventions

An taak tha wye ye aye did withoot airs ir pretentions

An bae proud tae spake tha leid o tha boul Ulster Scot

Tha leid so moany o wur nybours haes sadly forgot!

Nae Hoochin Metter!

At yin time, ye cud hardly mair nor drive through a village ir a toonlan withoot seein a rake o grim faced men taakin pairt in a horse shoe contest. It deed awa fer a while but A'm gled tae see it makin a comebak, especially in the lakes o Mosside, Bendooragh & Stranocum. An mine ye, them thats at it taks it aa wile seriously! Tha Toon Rhymer tries tae bring this oot here. Ye'd think this boady wus headin tae a duel! Maybe in moanys a wye, he wus an aa!

Tha Title
Tha coontdoon tae tha hour wus bye
It wus sivin o'clock at last.
Sae A got up an A lifted mae hardware
Knowin fowk thocht mae prime wus past.
As A neared tha green, A sa tha gaitherin;
Fowk aa waitin fer tha ficht.
A swallad hard an quickened mae step
Fer this cud bae mae finest nicht.
Shinin steel glinted in tha sin,
A gien it mae aa an done fine
Aye, that wus tha nicht A throwed mae best
An tha Horseshoes Title wus mine!

Tha Hamecomin wus nae plantin!

Am no tha only yin who haes heared tha comin hame o wur ancestors caa'd a plantation. It wus a handy wye o makin tha Ulster Scotch fowk feel lake wae dinnae belang here an haes even bin tocht in wur schules. Tha Toon Rhymer haes anither opinion o tha hale trade.

Wur Hamelan Wus Aye Ulster
They keep taakin aboot a plantation
They say wae invaded this lan
They say we're misguided Irishmen!
Wie a loyalty tae a fool Rid Haun
Revisionists, historians an ither yins
Wud mak iz feel that wae dinnae belang
But gie mae a minute tae a show ye
Hoo they cudnae bae oany mair wrang.
Wur Dalriada forefaithers leeved here
As they had done fer hunners o years
They wur persecuted but kept oan gan
Tho it cost them aa sufferin an tears.
Eventually they set sail ower tha water
(They wur caa'd Scots in their new plaice)
The wye they'd bin forced oot o Ulster
Wus naethin shoart o a disgrace.
They settled in tha Lallans
An wrocht hard in their new domain
Aaways hopin, prayin an thinkin
That they micht see oul Ulster again
Centuries later King James tuk a notion
O settin Ulster bak oan hur feet
An sae he sent tha Lallan fowk hame again
Determined this time they'd niver bae beat
Sae its naw a 'plantation', its a hamecomin
Bak tae tha plaice whur we leeved lang afore
An this time we're naw gan tae lee it
As they did in bygone days o yore.
Here's a toast tae tha Ulster Scotch!
A'm prood tae bae here tha day.
Fer whither tha rest lake it ir lump it
It's in Ulster that we're gan tae stay!!

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Wur Aakward Kin

Tha Ullans leid can bae used tae tell stories an gie accoonts frae days o yore but it can bae used tae gie an opinion on current issues an fowk forbye. Tha Toon Rhymer haes used it here tae tell iz aa aboot an oul aunt he had who, bae aa accoonts, wisnae aisy wrocht wie!

Mae Contrary Aunt
She leeved tae bae a year ower ninety,
An in aa them years she niver yinst spake
Withoot complainin o an ailment ir a seekness
A fever, an infection ir an ache!
She read a wee bit ivery day in hur life
It was aye tha death notices she read;
An if she seen a name she recognised,
Ye'd near hae thocht she wus gled!
Hur will was read yesterday moarnin -
She left aa she had tae hur doag an hur cat
An left wurd that she'd left iz naethin ava
An that naw yin o iz was worth even that!

Dunseverick Castle

Although tha Tourist Boord haes done gye little tae promote it, Dunseverick Castle is yin o tha maist important historical sites in an aroon north Antrim. Aye, there's naw a big loch o it left but its worth a luk at aa tha same. The Toon Rhymer was inspired tae screeve tha fallowin rhyme in it's honour.

Dunseverick Castle
A wheen o stane wa's are aa that's left
O Dunseverick Castle the day;
But at yin tim it wus a plaice o glory
Where Fergus MacAirt had tha final say.
King an owner o aa he beheld,
A can see him staunin lukkin ower tha sea
Or gan alang tha road tae Tara
Tae ficht wars sae his ain yins cud leeve free.
Hoo can aa that glory bae gone?
Why tak tha Throne tae Scottish soil?
If it has stayed, we'd hae bin pairt o a kingdom
Instead o twa wa's at tha tip o tha Moyle.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Beware o tha Doag!

If theres yin sicht that's aa too common aboot north Antrim it's a boady oot waakin yin ir mair greyhoons. But is tha keepin o greyhoons a hermless hobby ir is it a risky business? Tha Toon Rhymer haes a tale tae tell.

Mae da bocht a doag whin ages thirty-twa
He had 40 acres o lan tae his fairm
Mae ma wisnae heppy but mae da joost hooched
An said, "Sure haein a doag wull dae me nae hairm".
A mind thon miserable lukkin wretch -
As she rin ower ivery acre we had,
Mae granny toul mae ma tae pay it nae heed
It wus joost mae da gan through yin o his fads.
Whin tha oul boy eventually reached forty
His acres wur reduced doon tae ten;
Fer ivery shillin he bet oan thon doag tae win
Wus loast tae tha Bookies time an again!
So he bocht anither doag tae double his luck
But didn't he manage tae dae twice as bad!
An noo we're sittin oan less than an acre
Cas o a doag that drove mae da mad!

Let's naw forgyet wur deid

This wee rhyme wus screeved bae tha Toon Rhymer efter he had read an accoont o a weefla that shaped tae rin awa frae tha monotony o life at hame bae joinin tha army tae ficht in tha Furst Worl War. He wus frae aboot Seacon, atween Ballymoney an Coulraine. He niver leeved tae see tha war's enn. God bless him an aa lake him.

Frae Drills Tae Trenches
In a ten acre fiel, unther a blisterin sin
He laboured wie a spade an tilled tha grun
A young maun daein an ouler maun's work
Twalve lang hours a day wie nae tim fer fun
He snedded ivery turnip wie a brutal slash
Angry that this wud bae his loch in life
A damp, dark cottage he had fer a hame
Consumption had tuk his wean an his wife.
An then he hear't it - Marchin feet oan tha road
He stapped tae watch his freens settin aff tae tha war
They waved an they gouled oan their wye tae tha toon
Fer enlistment an trainin; tae bae stationed afar,
So he throwed doon his spade an rin ower tha fiel
He jumped ower a gate an faa'd in at tha bak;
But a wheen o months later he lay deid in a trench
A hapless young victim o tha General's latest attack.

Saturday, 13 October 2007

Mae earliest memory o tha Twalth o July
Was a wairm day oot in Bushmill
We got thar early whun thar was few aboot
But in nae tim it stairted tae fill
Banners went by iz, flutterin in tha breeze,
Tha great lambegs rattled oot thar rouls
Orangemen gouled an waved at tha watchers
An maun they wur lukkin lake gye heppy souls.
Flutin bands blawed tunes A know'd
Pipers played a Highland tune
Fer a youngster o only ten year oul
A felt lake tha furst maun that stepped oan tha moon.
Last year A tuk tha road bak tae Bushmill
An seen it again as a maun
Thar were that mony fowk aboot thon place
A cud hardly sit nir stan
It wus great tae enjoy tha great day oot,
An A'll bae bak at it again nixt year
Fer it med mae proud tae waak this time
Wie tha yins A'll aye houl dear.

Car Bother

Hae ye iver bocht a motor an wushed ye hadnae bothered yer heid? The yin that screeved tha rhyme below knows aa aboot that!

Car Bother
Tha furst car A iver bocht
Was frae a fairmer who leeved at tha Aird
Tha tyres wur bald, tha boady wus rugh
But he swore that he'd niver drove hur hard.
A tuk it hame an gien it a dicht wie a clout
An left hur gleamin frae tha front tae tha bak
But whit thon oul boady niver toul mae
Wus that gan roon a corner required a knack!
Gan doon tha Bendooragh Road, A turned tha wheel
An it throwed mae clean intae tha hedge
A steggered hame wie shooglie legs
Fer mae nerves wur richt oan edge!
Tha nixt yin A bocht wus frae a wummin
It had 15 thoosand mile oan tha clock
But whit she maun hae forgot tae mention
Wus that she had gien tha oul car a knock
A skidded oan ice a month later
A hut a post an thon car broke in twa
Tha wee wummin haes moved frae hur hame noo
An is bein chased bae tha lang airms o tha laa.
Mae last motor came awa ower frae England
Tha engine seized an A got hut frae behin
When A rung tha boady who had sowl it
He sed "Och, maun that's a sin!"
Sez A, "Ir ye gan tae mak things richt?"
He joost hooched wie a wile hearty laugh
A tried tae ring him a dizen mair times
But his phone wus aaways switched aff.
Sae noo A'm usin mae legs an mae feet
Tae get maesel frae A tae B
It micht no suit tha rest o youse
But it's tha safest option fer me!
Toon Rhymer 2007

Screeve yer Rhymes

This Blog haes bin created tae promote tha airt o rhymin in Ulster Scotch. As weel as iz pittin oan rhymes we hae putt thegither, we wud bae gled tae hear frae onyboady oot thar who lakes tae screeve yin. Wie tha permission o tha writer, we wull putt oan aa tha' comes wur road. Point yer quill an git screevin an enjoy the crack wie iz oan Ulster Scotch Rhymes.