For the Night Shift and Poets Corner!
Many Many moons ago I posted on here a wee rhyme of mine which some folk liked but others thought was a bit narrow minded.
In particular Chennaiseabird, an irregular but excellent contributor, commented that I should extend it a bit to demonstrate that essentially, irrespective of creed, we are in essence all the same.
So for all the night birds, here is the result of my efforts.
The first four verses were the original version and admittedly as you will see, a pathetic attempt at one-upmanship humour.
The remainder is my attempt to make it more widely considered and acceptable.
I have to acknowledge Dickens’ novelette – a Christmas Carol – as inspiration the concept.
Though not yet oot o’ nappies ah wis telt the folk next door,
Were no the sort tae mix wae, they were rotten tae the core,
Their songs came frae the devil, their souls were black as sin,
They ate their first-born wean, and dumped its bones intae the bin.
Their hame was like a midden, but it didnae smell sae nice,
On Sunday they ate jobbies, their hair ran thick wae lice,
They cursed, they swore, they boiled newts, and cast their spells o’ doom,
As midnight’s hour pressed doon on them, they’d rob a new filled tomb.
And with that corpse jist barely cauld, they’d conjure up auld nick,
And slake their thirst wae fresh tapped blood, and gorge on cups o’ sick,
They’d bow and laud their clove-hoofed boss and offer gifts of shite,
And orgy till their evil lust had melted into night.
But when the sun would crack the dawn, they’d scurry tae their lair,
For fear of turning into dust and lose their palms o’ hair,
‘And where’s that lair?’ o’ them ah’d ask, ‘where hides that evil coven?’
“It’s a place of putrid fetid hate… a fitba’ grun’ near Govan!”
Then wance ma towellin’wiscast aff, an ah could staun tae pee,
I learnt that heaven wis reserved fur those who had like me,
Had water sprinkled on their heid, their soul wance mair brand new,
Selected by the hand of God, wan o’ the chosen few!
So wae each rising o’ the sun, I navigated life,
An’ preached my righteous credo, ma tongue honed as a knife,
Ah’d point a finger at yon folk and scream ‘Yer wrang!…. Ah’m right!’
Then PUNCH!… and KICK!…. wae humble heart!…. then go tae Mass that night.
And as I knelt on weel scuffed knees, sae Pharisaic humble,
With prayers entreating Heaven’s praise, as wae ma beads ah’d fumble,
‘How can they be sae blind oh Lord, and deif tae all yer glories,
Ah fear that they are lost tae you, they’re worse than Thatcher’s Tories’!
So when the time came tae depart and the candles wir snuffed oot,
Ah’d cross masel wae gratitude sae glad that ah’d been put
Upon this world of heathen hordes tae haud ma grun’ an’ fight,
For the ways of man, decreed by God, for whit wis just and right!
Wan night however traipsin’ hame, rapt smug in selfish wonder,
Frae darkened clouds that frowned on me a clap rang oot like thunder,
A spectre blocked ma homeward path,wis it the bogie man?
To claim ma soul for hellish fire frae oot the frying pan!
Wae icy haund it grasped ma heart, then wae a roar of doom
We soared back through the sands o’ time, tae someone’s living room
A room ah knew frae childhood years where by the coal-fire light,
Next door tae me, sat Billy boy being spooned ‘their’ view of right!,
‘Yon papists eat big scabbie dugs, they feed their kids wae maggots,
An’ aw their wumin live like sluts, an’ aw their men are faggots’!
They live in holes wae mice an’ rats; they dine on cows’ entrails
They paint their walls wae faeces, an’ a’ their weans huv tails!
I tried tae shout tae Billy boy, tae make him realise
Whit he wis telt tae turn his heid were nuthin mair than lies,
But the phantom grabbed me by the scruff and at the speed o’ light,
We landed by Hadean gates, an’ whit an awfy sight!
As though within a night-time’s dream, ah witnessed lines tae hell,
Each row jist like yon days at school, as we filed afore the bell,
But now in chains they shuffled by to suffer Satan’s fire
To scream for all eternity on that white-hot blazing pyre.
But as ah took a closer keek tae see the huns cast doon,
Ah wis fair amazed tae find that there were ithers hingin roon,
Agin the things that ah hud learned, there standin’ in that queue
Wis Cafflick, Mormon, Muslim, Prod, Agnostic, Pagan, Jew.
Ah looked around a bit confused, why wur ma ain folk there?
There! In among those hellish huns, it a’ seemed sae unfair,
Cos efter a’ we’d never strayed from a’ that we’d been taught,
We’d never stained our holy souls,..well at least we’d no’ been caught!
I tried to warn them o’ their fate, at least the wans ah knew,
But the spirit grabbed we wance again and frae the fires we flew,
This time we looked down frae on high as oot a courthouse came
A lad in chains, his head obscured, Ah asked the ghost his name
‘That’s in your hands’ his eyes explained, ‘your future’s not been set’,
‘If you have learned by what you’ve seen, there’s hope for your soul yet’
‘There’s many gifts bestowed upon the folk who walk this realm,
‘But some are blind and some are deaf until I come an’ tell’m’
He whisked us back through time that’d passed and in the pouring rain
He left me wae ma thoughts confused tae gauge ma life again.
And as ma mind began to grow, I questioned youthful mores,
Yon stories ah’d been telt as facts were bigot’s weeping sores
I found that truth wis nurtured by a parent’s guiding hands
That virtue bloomed frae seeds being sown in multi-cultured lands,
That black and white, and left and right, and tall and short lost sense,
When the map of life confined us tae the wan side o’ the fence!
For narrow minds and narrow hearts are nowt to celebrate,
They’re outlaws from that bitter past where birth-right set our fate,
We may not choose our start in life or pick our kith and kin,
But free will in our hearts can cleanse us of such stunted sin.