The Cooncil Man……….(To Hugh Hainey)

The cooncil man dressed in black garb
came noakin at oor front door
hiz point wiz vague fur us at furst
yasin forty wurds whin twa wid dae
Mah grannies broo goat furried when he left
oor days at the jungle wur no tae last.
Auld gran paw di had deed a miners wae
wae lungs awe black an riddled wurs thin
ony bullet scorched hero’s he dragged back tae hiz lines
when they asked him tae save oor souls back then.
aye a miner fur the Bardykes men
they pied us oaf wae lumps o’ coal and dust
the wains wur gone and merrit then
the hoose wiz big and lost its soul.
The cooncil man wiz good enough at furst
then spied hur goods and offfered his concern
aboot hur tea set from china wiz wurth a baubee or twa
she could sell fur hur furst weeks rent
gave hur a flat in scunner place Hillhoose
nae coal wiz needed nae gairdin either
wae electric light and a meter.
The means test man come tae pick at crumbs
to document all she had and wurth
to balance cooncils books wae pennies
taen fae mah grannies purse
Awe this from a wuman who reared seven wee yins
oan a miners piy she pied fur a lair tae rest hiz bones.
and watched them awe get called to war a second time.
The pennies the cooncil man took helped them to wurk
in a cozy nook up scunner st
tae look doon their noses at oor like
while they took the reserves warm seat
to offer support the best they could
who took their wurthless shilling tae provide
fur able bodied men to dee fur them
then take mah grannies pennies wan mair time
Mah Grannie telt us awe the day
the black garbed cooncil man hid cawed
and took oor life away.
So ah took mah bawe and dribbled oan
ah left behind awe that wuz mine
the silver river ah rode doon and settled in anither toon
oh ah look back awe right wae pride of course
ah never let oor side doon
ah fought in battles too cruel and wan
but the cooncil man won honds doon.
The above poem was written for Historic Hamilton by John Stokes.