A summer morning bright and clear
Nae traffic or a morning rush
Tae frighten wains by the gates
Playin their ane we gems
Wae bools an rifle by their side
Fur the coming war.
Ah see wee sammy’s curtains open
Jist five minutes ago
Ah telt mah brither Robert
Tae get his jakeit oan
You get his flank an ahl go straight
Ah hear he hiz a wee pal styin
Tae fight us tae the death
Ur afore oor maw starts cawin.
Awe summer long we fought fae street tae street
An ambush here a picket their barricade an awe
The lassies widnae jine oor war but laughed at us insteed
A block hoose guardin Livy brae
Lookin doon tae stanley street.
We cawed in the boys fae kenilworth
An charged them wae oor boggies
They wull nae come back tae oor street
Until the winter comes tae shine oor slides
And laugh wae us fawin doon the brae.
The snaw wiz thick an white the sallies were awe singin
The curtains were closed and the blinds were shut
Billy cotton was shoutin wakey wakey
The lum wiz reekin fae oor hoose
That gave the gem away.
A hit squad was assembled ahint the raspberry canes
Tae hit us first as we came oot the back door
They came in fae Kenilworth oan oor back grun
And waited patiently fur their turn
Tae seek the spoils o’ war.
Snawbaws tae the back and side whistlin past oor ears
We didnae see them comin we didnae make the gate
Got cut off fae the street and crawled tae oor front door
Ah hud tae drag mah wee brither in he wiz in a state
He wiz sore and wounded wae snaw baws whizzin
Ah bandaged him and cleaned the jam oaf hiz hawn
Tae fight another day.
Mah maw led the coonter attack
And beat them awe back fae sight
She chased them oot the gairdin
Back the wey they came
Telt them awe she knew their maw
And ahll be roon at yir hame
Yir da wull skelp yi tae be sure
Fur pickin oan mah wains.
Ahint the co we could find arrows long and straight
Tae make a bow like Robin Hoods
And practiced day an nicht
And bonfire nicht we had a plan
But we were beaten back
The boys fae king street outdid us awe
Wae their rockets fae three streets doon.
The night wiz rent wae whistling sounds
Fae salvoes o’ russian rockits
It might have been a stray wan
That came crashing through oor lines
It felt like hundreds mair wur whizzen
Fawin oot the skies.
Awe aroon me wur Scared and injured sobbin
Red cross nurses administering tae the burned and blinded
First aid was in triage out by command post one
The front line wiz over run….i tried to tell mah maw
She said its your imagination you should write a story
It could hiv been the Hill st boys careless o’ the wind
Noo go tae sleep an nae mair stories afore yir da comes in
Who ever heard of a wee squib causin awe that din.
The above was written for Historic Hamilton by John Stokes.