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Elphinstone Kist   Play

Jockie Mann: A free modern translation and adaptation of the Mediaeval Morality Play     by: Gardner, Rev. B. K.

CAST (20):
GOD [Does not appear]

SCENE: The curtain opens to reveal a stage with a low grassy hump, mid-rear left. (It later becomes the grave). Behind it, is a staircase covered with a veil. As the play opens, the veil is not backlit, so the stair is unseen. Later it will be. As the audience trickles in, so do the CAST (bar GOD and DAITH) in their casual clothes, with costumes and props. When the show starts, they go downstage for the Prologue.

The Prologue:

Gweed evening tae ye, bonny audience.
We prig yer patience…an a bittie reverence.

Patience, fur it's an affa moral play,
[She dabs her eyes with a hankie]
Aboot foo JOCKIE MAN maun dee Ae Day,

UNCLE CHAIRLIE (no-nonsense)
Lat’s hae some Reverence tae, freens – nae daft claitter -
Fur Life is serious. It’s nae laughin maitter.

We'll learn that Man's Saul is gey precious;
That Daith is real, bit God is gracious,

The Bible sterts wi: "In the beginnin..."
Bit it warns ye: dinna forget yer endin

[FIVE SINSES come forward as a group. GLAISSES has Elton John specs on and HEARIN dangly earrings; NOSEY wears a Groucho Marx plastic nose; TACTILE has a fur (fake) wrap on; TASTE is posh, like Audrey Hepburn. Each wears a top with their name clearly displayed on it, and as they dance forward they flash the name and illustrate their function in slapstick. The rest act as chorus, as each does their part.]

We’re the original famous five:
The sinses that keep ye alive.

[GLAISSES comes forward and looks around curiously and short-sightedly.]

SICHT wears her GLAISSES, an she spies,
Sae naethin taks ye by surprise.

[HEARIN steps out and tugs Glaisess’ jacket from behind as if in Blind Man’s Buff. GLAISSES return to the group and HEARIN flashes her earrings and cups her ear.]

HEARIN lats naethin gyng unheard,
Nae car-horn, nor the sang o bird.

[HEARIN is so busy listening, she trips over NOSEY who wanders down to sniff. HEARIN returns to the group and NOSEY leans forward like a big bird, beakily.]

SMELL’s gey NOSEY, luivs tae sniff;
Turns up ‘er nose at ony niff.

[TACTILE wanders laconically down and lazily stretches arms skyward. NOSEY sniffs her armpit and reacts disgustedly, escaping back to the group coughing.]

TACTILE is TOUCH, fa likes tae tickle;
She luivs tae dae it - jist a bit ower muckle!

[TACTILE starts by stroking M8Z’s chin but suddenly tickles him. He is not happy, as it spoils his cool image. He slaps TACTILE on the rear. She gaes back aggrieved.]

TASTE is ane fa savours flavours.
An her fashion-sinse jist nivver wavers.

[TASTE does a catwaulk. GLAISSES comes forward with a tray and G & T. TASTE reacts somefat unimpressed and pits it down, takes oot a throat spray and uses it.]

We’re aa FIVE SINSES, fae the Sinses Union.
This play says Daith shall hae dominion,
Bit Life’s ‘e best – ‘at’s oor opinion.

GLAISSES (pop-eyed):
Look at Life wi an aipen ee!

Wi hearin, Life’s nae surprise tae ye.

Wak up! Smell ‘e coffee! Sniff ‘e skies!

TACTILE (caressing her sfoulders in a Marilyn Monroe voice):
Be Touchy Feely (ye’ll look – och - sae wyse).

Be sherp; get taste an win the fashion prize!

FIVE SINSES (together):
There's naethin wrang wi us haein fun!
Bit Life can eynd fan it hes jist begun.
Sae oor advice, afore it’s ower late,
Is use yer sinses – orientate!

Noo, here’s some ithers that are in oor play:
First, ‘ere’s M8Z – a “freend fur life”, fowk say.

(M8Z is a cool, cool dancer wi rapper style)
“Daein yer ain thing really feels sae sweet,
On the toon be a loon sherp fae heid tae feet.

FIVE SINSES (together):
Next comes PLASTIC - she’s a bisom.
She meets fowk free bit they eynd in prison.

PLASTIC (flashing a string o credit cards)
“Gallus Loons and Quinies - seize the day!"
(I’m nae richt buthered ye’ll lie doon in clay.)

FIVE SINSES (together):
Next comes a looker, fas name is Beauty;
She does fur pleisure fit some dae fur duty.

BEAUTY: (looking at M8Z, using a breathless voice)
Ma looks may fade fan naisty Daith comes roond:
Mak-overs fur Mortality maun be found!

FIVE SINSES (together):
Dae we hae a doctor, somewhaur in the hoose?
Wi heidache pills fur a freend fa’s douce?
She’s tyauvin aa the day, as ye’d expect.
Her name’s DISCRETION – show her some respect.
[DISCRETION holds up her hand to show the party is over. FIVE SINSES and other cast members fade into the wings. DISCRETION waits, then turns to the audience.]

DISCRETION (with clear change of rhythm):
We noo begin oor sombre moral phase,
Faur JOCKIE MANN maun eynd his wastefu’ days,
An ye wull hear fou Hivven's Michty King
Calls JOCKIE MANN tae his ain reckonin.

[JOCKIE MANN steps forward, centre stage. The Pastor looks at him and sighs.]

Listeners, heed noo fit the Great God says,
Then thank yer lucky stars…an coont yer days.

[Exeunt all bar JOCKIE MANN.]

Scene 1:

[Enter two ANGELS and DAITH who stand triangularly with JOCKIE MANN in the centre. Lights reduce to three spotlights on the ANGELS and DAITH, head bowed, waiting. JOCKIE MANN sits in frozen position in half-shadow.. The voice of GOD is heard. ANGEL ANE and ANGEL TWA are played by cast wearing fite sheets ower their casual clothes. A DRUM ROLL AND CLASH OF SYMBOLS. When ANGELS speak, they parade to and fro, examining the audience with cool dignity. They are not unsympathetic but their task is to speak for God and His Glory, not for themselves.]

GOD (Off):
I look upon Ma Warld, in wounded Maijesty,
I, fa wes crucifyit fur aa Mankind.
They live sae gallus in prosperity,
Bit, speeritually, they’re deif an blind.
Fur, droont in sin, they dinna ken thair Lord.

They fear nae punishment, nor yet Yer Wurd,
Nor the Commaundments that Ye peyed fur, fan Ye dee’d.
They forget the sheddin o Yer Cleansing bleed.
Fan Ye hung atween twa thieves, the hummlt Lord.
Tae grant them life, Yer saul wes sold tae daith,
Giein up the ghost tae send them Hivven’s breith.

I could dae nae mair than I’ve done aready;
Bit noo I see the warld’s fowk, aa forsake me.
They sook up sieven deidly sins like damnable
Pride, Covetousness, Envy, Wrath, Adultery -
Aa that, in thair warld, is ca’d commendable.

They turn’t thair backs on Angels an God’s table.
Ilk’ man luivs drunken pleisure’s empty soonds;
The lives they lead hae nae real solid foonds.
Look, Lord, tho generously Ye forbear,
They jist get waur, fae year tae sinfu’ year.

Aye aa live in greed, in carelessness an waste,
Sae Lord, wi aa due speed, in haly haste,
Accordin tae yer Wurd, because ye can
Bring furrit, noo, a reckonin fur Man.

That wad be just, Lord: if aa live recklessly,
Pursuin drunken pleisures aimlessly,
They’ll droon in sin, as floods tummle the blind:
Indulgence pits tae sleep the God-gien mind;

GOD (Off):
It braks ma Haly Hert tae see Sin growin,
Like weeds that strangle flooers, aa-unknowin.
O Loons and Quines, made in ma image, tell
Yer bairnies tae choose Hivven, an shun Hell!
Fur I, on Earth, fulfilled Salvation’s Story,
Sae ye could mak yer hame in Hivven’s Glory,
Luiv God an yer neighbour: dinna forget
That, on the Cross, I paid yer sinfu’ debt.
Yet ye despise the mony gifts I’ve sent
An dinna thank me fur the Life I lent.

[ANGEL ANE and ANGEL TWA walk forward, and speak, in unison.]

ANGEL ANE and ANGEL TWA (Looking at the audience, wondering):
God poors oot vast reserves o Living Grace,
Jist a puckle kneel tae drink, an seek His face.
They’re sae enamour’t o thair goods an chattels,
They forget, forbye: He’s ca’d the God o Battles!

[The ANGELS turn and look upward and backstage.]

Oh, Lord, judge JOCKIE MANN. Yer Wrath he’ll bear.

Scene 2.
GOD (Off, loudly):
Faur are ye, Daith, ma michty messenger?

[DAITH looks up suddenly at the mention of his Name. The ANGELS bow heads.]

Almichty God, I’m here, tae dae yer wull:
Yer solemn summonses, I’ll aa fulfil.

GOD (Off):
Gyang noo tae careless JOCKIE MANN
An show him, in ma Haly Name,
The pilgrimage that he maun undertak,
Which naebody can jink an come richt back;
Tell him tae mak his reckonin on the wey:
The explanation o his life, wi’oot delay.

By Yer leave in this warld, Daith rules ower aa.
I’ll cruelly search oot sinners, great an sma.
Each ane fa lives by basic instinct, solely,
Ignores God’s laws an flounders in his folly.
He fa luivs riches, I’ll strike through the hert:
I’ll dull his sicht, fae Hivven tae depairt.

ANGELS ANE AND TWA (interrupting to moderate Daith’s over-enthusiasm):
Bit aa fa wull believe in Christ as Freend
Gain Hivven – an shun Hell - warld wi’oot eynd.

[JOCKIE MANN moves around downstage guzzling fast food brightly.]

Look ower there: there’s JOCKIE MANN, oot waulkin.
We’ll watch him, fur he winna hear us talking.

His mind’s on Self an Lust an empty Treisure,
Though sic things bring great pains men maun endure
Fan they staund afore ‘e Lord, Great Hivven’s King,

[ANGEL ANE AND ANGEL TWA move backward offstage, take off their white robes and sit amongst the cast, squeezing in with good-humour and then watching].

Oh, JOCKIE MANN, hae ye forgot yer God - an aathin?

Why dae ye speir sic an eerie question, Meester?
Sic frichtenin wurds micht gie me indigeesters.

[JOCKIE MANN, stops, belches, then skirts round DAITH, as if to go on eating.]

Ye hae a sense o humour, I can see.
Bit I wes sent tae keep ye company,
By God fa calls ye in his Maijesty.

[On the word ‘GOD’, JOCKIE MANN halts and looks round.]

Fit’s aa this nonsense? God sent ye tae me?

Aye, God hes sent me tae ye, sure as Daith.
Though ye’ve forgotten him, file livin here.
As ye wull shortly ken, wi yet last braith,
He thinks aboot ye in the Heavenly sphere.

Awa! Fitivver wad God want wi sic as me?

DAITH (peremptorily, then softening fan it has the desired effect.):
Staund still - fur ae wee mintie - an ye’ll see:

[DAITH holds up a mirror to JOCKIE MANN who stares into it fascinatedly, first of all recognising things, then pleased, then horrified, then pleased again, in turn. At the side of the stage, two cast members remember their cue, rise and re-clothe in fite.]

The reckonin o yer life hes come – this day.
It’s unexpeckit, bit ye’ll nae delay.

Ma reckonin o life? I’m ow’r young yet!

[The ANGELS stand before JOCKIE MANN. He staggers, suddenly seeing them.]

Angels! ‘is maks nae sense! I’m aa upset!

Man, richt yersel: ‘is is yer judgment day.
Yer accoont o life tae God noo ye maun bring,
Nae turnin back! Ye’ve started on yer wey.
Sae tak great care wi yer life’s reckonin.

An there, afore yer God, tell Him the truth,
About yer bad deeds – an ‘e few gweed - o yer youth;
ANGEL ANE and ANGEL TWA (together):
Fou ye hae spent yer life, fit wes yer plan:
Tell Him, the Great Lord an the Judge o Man.

DAITH (appearing between them):
Be honest wi yersel file upon yer journey,
Fur ye wull be yer sins’ only Attorney.

JOCKIE MANN (rebelling, panicking):
I’m totally nae ready fur that day!
I dinna ken ye. Fa are ye, gadgie? Eh!

[A drum roll again. The Angels veil their faces. JOCKIE MANN falls to his knees]

DAITH (authoritatively):
I’m DAITH, vain man - the DAITH ye nivver feart.
Fur aa men I hae come, tho puckle spear’t;
Tae me, yer eynd is jist ane mair assignment,
It’s God’s Wull. Ye an I maun be obedient.

DAITH, ye come fan ye are least in mind!
Bit, can we mak a deal? Turn this aroond?
O ma free wull I’ll gie, if ye’ll be kind -
A heap o cash – a hundred thoosand pound! -
Jist leave ‘is business till anither day!

DAITH (with grim laughter):
O JOCKIE MANN, wi Daith, there is nae wey.
I set nae store by siller, gowd nor riches,
Nor rank – Emperors, priests, dukes or princes!
Fur, if I wanted earthly things,
The warld is mine: the treisure-hoose o kings.
I dae God’s wull: tae Him new sauls I bring.
Nae deal is possible wi me. Ye maun leave aathing!

Leave noo? Nae preparation! It’s ower quick!
I maun say,, ye dinna gie fowk muckle warning!
Tae think aboot it, maks ma hert feel sick,
Fur aa unready is ma buik o reckonin.
Anither 50 years, ye could tak yer pick
O moments: charities I’d pile up clear;
Nae reckonin wad I hae need tae fear.
I beg ye noo, fur God’s sake an famed mercy,
Spare me, please, till I work oot some remedy.

It’s useless, here, tae weep an wail an pray;
Ye’ve had some time tae think upon yer wey,
An mak some loyal friendships, if ye can.
Fur y’ken that time an tide bides fur nae man:
DAITH (Cont.):
Ilk’ craitur, great or sma, fate’er its stringth -
An even Adam’s line - maun dee at length.

JOCKIE MANN (frustrated):
DAITH, since ye say this pilgrimage I’ll tak,
Wi a grim reckonin that ye say I’ll mak,
Tell me - is it, like some mystic makars say:
Tomorraw’s bairn is ane that dee’d the day?

Na. Sauls dinna ‘flit’ through tae a neighbourin room
Man dees aince, says God; syne comes his doom.
Sae trust me, freend: ye winna escape the tomb.

O gracious God, enthron’t in highest hicht,
Wull naebody support me, as is richt?
Hae mercy on me in this hour o trial!
Can I phone a freend? A helpful mate I’ll dial!

DAITH (Pausing and smiling):
Oh aye, if onybody’s that feel tae dee,
Tae gyang wi ye an bear ye company.
Knowing ye gyang tae God’s magnificence,
Tae gie yer reckonin afore His presence.

[Daith laughs and turns his back. The ANGELS move forward to confront JOCKIE.]

Fit, did ye think yer life belong’t tae ye?

An aa yer worldly goods an chattels tae?

I suppose I did - it seem’t tae staund tae reason.

[The ANGELS throw up their hands, as if giving him up for lost. Exeunt ANGELS.]

Na, na. Thae things were lent ye fur a season.
Fur men should ken, as soon as they hae dee’d,
In a gey wee file, since they winna be alive,
Anither man wull tak thair wealth an thrive.
Ye’ve lost yer money, an yer life o greed,
Fur here on earth ye wadnae mend yer weys.
Noo, suddenly, I’ve come tae eynd yer days.

JOCKIE MANN (panicking):
O JOCKIE MANN, ye feel! Faur can ye flee,
Sae ye micht yet escape an endless sorraw?
Noo, Daith, be kind an spare me until tomorraw.
Lat wisdom mak a better man o me
Ane fa hes sinse an some kind o discernment.

Tae sic requests, I canna gie consent.
Fur nae man hae I ivver done ‘at, like;
Bit on men’s herts I, ding an dunt, tae strike
Wi’oot ony soond advice or freendly warnin.
Bit…I wull leave ye noo…lat’s see…till mornin.

[JOCKIE MANN falls forward, overwhelmed with gratitude. DAITH points at him.]

Tak tent that ye mak ready, b’ the wey.
Syne, I’ll be ca’in fur ye, by and by.
Ye can be share the morn is yer last day:
Fur nae man ivver slipp’t ma net, I say.

[Exit DAITH]

Scene 3.
Dear God, I feel ma wound an doul sae deep!
I need some pal tae gyng alang wi me,
Tae help me on the road that seems sae steep.
Gweed sakes, ma reckonin is sae unready.
Fit could I say? Fit wild excuses slee?
I wish tae God I nivver had been born!
Tae hae nae saul wad profit be tae me,
Fur noo I fear Hell’s pains wull strike the morn.
Sun, dinna haste across the skies tae flee –
O lente, lente currite noctis equi!
Run slower noo, ye horses o the nicht
Stars, dinna ye pit Hivven’s Sun tae flicht!

[He calms downs suddenly and sneers ruefully at his dramatic mood.]

I’m a feel! ‘is Drama Queen’s nae eese ava.
The time gaes past. Lord, help! Forgie me aa!
The time gaes past an soon it wull run oot;
I dinna ken fou tae balance ma accoont.
Fa can I ask, tae help me face ‘is fear?

[M8Z enters, swaggering, looking pleased. He waves cheerily to all onstage and off.]

Fit if I tell M8Z, fae brings gweed cheer,
Shaw him this tapsalteerie, grim mischance?
In him, I’ve ayeweys had great confidence.
We’ve waulkt this warld thegither mony a day.
We’re best o freens, life-lang, in sport an play.
Look at him waulkin bravely, certainly.
Aye, surely M8Z wull bear me company?
I’ll spick tae him tae soothe Daith’s deidly scorn.
Fit like, M8Z? I micht need ye sair the morn!

Tomorraw? Aye - nae problem, if I’m able!
Bit, freend, why be sae glum an miserable?
If onythin’s amiss, jist tell me aa -
I’ll chase the whigmaleeries aa awa!

Oh M8Z, ye are the best - ‘at I can see!
The truth is, M9Z, I’m noo in jeopardy.

Ma gweed freend, lat me ken fit’s on yer mind.
I’ll nae forsake ye tae ma ain life’s eynd!
Ye ken - I’ve ayeweys been gweed company.

JOCKIE MANN (emotional):
That wes weel said, M8Z – an gey lovinly.

There. There. Tell me fit causes ye sic dour distress.
It braks ma hert tae feel yer heaviness.

[M8Z taks out an imaginary sword and stabs the air to make JOCKIE MANN laugh.]

M8Z (Cont. Prisoner of Zenda style, with a posh, 1930’s English actor’s accent):
If any knave has done you wrong, I sweah,
I’ll take revenge. Though death lurks unaweah!
Ev’n though grim Fate would lay M8Z in the dirt!

[He drops the imaginary sword, clutches his hert and falls, legs up then splayed.]

Oh bliss ye, M8Z! Yer wurds cheer up ma hert.

[M8Z rises up breezily and dusts himself down]

Nae need tae thank me – that’s fit freens are fur,
Fit’s nagging ye noo - delay nae mair, young sir!
I ayeweys found ye solid tae the core.

An ayeweys wull, (mimics’ religious intoning) “both now an evermo-o-ore!”
Fur, truthfully, if ye even went tae Hell,
I wadna forsake ma gweed freend; that I’ll say.

JOCKIE MANN (relieved):
We are the best o freens: ‘at’s plain tae tell.
I’d bet gweed money on ye ony day.

Weel, it’s nae bragging, man – it’s jist plain true:
The ane fa boasts - bit winna follaw through -
Is nae worth keeping company wi - fur me.
Sae come on, fit’s sae hivvy on yer hert?
Jist lay it oot afore me - mak a stert.

Richt, M8Z, I wull explain it noo: ye see,
I’ve been telt tae gyng on this… lang journey -
An affa wey - teuch an dangerous fur me…
….Tae gie ma Life’s accoont, wi’oot delay,
Afore the High Judge, an ma debt tae pey.
And as ye promis’t, on yer saul, the day,
Sae, noo, I beg ye: keep me company.

Och, that’s a weird ane! Promises dae bind,
Bit…consequences also fill ma mind.
I’m affa sure some pain wad come wi it;
An that maks me gey feart, I wull admit.
Sae I maun reconsider, as I can:
Yer wurds wad terrify the strangest man.

Ye said if ivver I had muckle need,
Ye wadna forsake yer freend, alive or deid,
Though it wes the road tae hell, truly.

I said that an, o course, I meant it fully,
Bit I hae jobs tae dae - aye, ane or twa.
An tell me - if we tak this “trip o pain” -
Fanivver wad we mak it hame again?

Nivver, til Hivven an Earth hae pass’t awa.

Syne coont me oot! ‘at’s ‘e short straw!
An fa wes it, fa telt ye sic a thing?

DAITH came tae see me, sent by Hivven’s King

Whoa! Say yer prayers: he speaks the truth ayeweys,
If Daith himself hes been yer courier,
Trust his news – he’s nae jist ony worrier.
Nae man that’s living, ev’n in these days,
Escapes cauld Daith. I winna gyng ‘at journey
Fur faither, mither, luiv - nor ony money!

Ye promis’t itherwise, ma ‘loyal’ freend.

Weel, that’s afore I kent ye’d met yer eynd.
Noo, if ye’re up fur eatin, drinkin, deals,
Or hangin roond wi impty-headed chiels,
I winna forsake ye on Life’s primrose wey,
Trust me: I’m up fur aa that, I wull say.

[JOCKIE MANN texts desperately on his mobile phone.]

Oh aye, ye’re up fur aa that, M8Z. Ye’re richt!
Sic daft-like ploys would pit the stars to flicht:
Brainless stamashes, bourachs ivery day -
Yer mind wad seener dae ‘em, willingly,
Than keep faith wi me, in ma last journey.
Sae wounded am I by ‘is coorse smert,
I’ll ca in ither freens tae soothe ma hert.
Yer cauld wurds cut me, leave me sae perplexit:
I’ve sent an S.O.S. and textit it!

M8Z (wonderingly unperturbed):
Gweed luck tae ye but …face it, man – it’s tatties.
If ye’d a contract oot on some loon, I wad kill,
Even murder, I could help ye wi gweed wull.

I canna jink daith by takkin some chiel’s life!
I’m desperate! Help me, M8Z, in ma necessity!
I looed ye langer than some looed a wife;
Noo, in ma maist need, ye abandon me!

M8Z (hesitates):
Aye, we have ayeweys hed a friendship, Man,
‘at coonts for something…. (Jockie looks hopeful) - Na! I’m still nae gaan!

Weel, come tae the edge o the toon, onywey!

Na! I’m aff tae Channel Five fur CSI.!

Ye aren’t gaan, min? Ye’ll forsake yer freend?

It’s nae time fur ma eynd – ye got it in ane.
It’s hard cheese on ye, min, bit life’s a keeper.
Sae fare ye weel! Aa the best wi the Grim Reaper!


Scene 3.

Gweed riddance, M8Z! Ye’ve cut ma hert in twa.
I canna believe I trusted ye at aa.
Bit tae some ithers, fur ma help, I’ll flee,
Ev’n though ma best freend abandons me.
Ask faimily tae help me wi ma…problem.
They’ll staund by me – o that, ‘ere is nae doot,
Fur kin staund fast, though pals micht chicken oot.

[Enter AUNTIE MAY and UNCLE CHARLIE. She is sentimental and a bit helpless while he is no-nonsense and self-confident - even where he has missed the point.]

I textit them an here they come, I see.
Fit like there, fowkies – fou’s the faimily?

We cam as soon as we picked up yer text.
Fit’s up? Wi ye, we’re nivver sure fit’s next,
Bit we drappit aathin, nevertheless.

AUNTIE MAY (fussily and conspiratorially):
Keep warm, peer JOCKIE MANN. Oh, cousin Jess
Sends aa her best bit - och, her sare tae!
She’d come hersel bit, weel, she suffers sae.

Sae come on, loon, lat’s hear it. True are we:
Hellfire or high watter, we’re here fur ye.

Thank God, Charlie. It is sic a grand relief.
Afore ye cam, I wes near gyte wi grief:
I got a summons fae this…messenger
(Ye micht ca him a sort o royal officer).
He’s sent me on a road…a windin track,
I’ve got a feeling I winna mak it back.

Is it tae Africa? Tae Timbuktu?
Weel, dinna drink ‘e watter - an dinna use ‘e loo.

It soonds gey queer tae me: a trip ye say?
Bit surely ye’ll come back anither day.

Okay, I’m desperate…I wull tell ye straight:
I’m in a steer – och, fit an affa state!
I hardly ken fit wey tae turn, ye see.

AUNTIE MAY (reassuringly, pointing tae Charlie):
He’ll sort things oot. I’m sure ye’ll be delightit.

Hmmm, bit fit accoont dae they desire fae ye?
I’d like tae ken. Fur maybe we can fight it.

[As JOCKIE MANN speaks, we realise that he knows the game is up, that his faimily don’t unnerstaund and that it is unlikely that he will persuade them to go with him.]

JOCKIE MANN (thoughtfully, as if to himself only):
Fou I hae lived, an fou I spent ma days;
Fit folk I treated weel, anes I bad-used,
The reckonin o the life that God hes lent,
The vices - an the virtues – I refused.
Sae noo, I ask ye: wull ye come alang
Tae help wi ma accoont, ma ain swan sang?

Michty! ‘at’s affa, that!

UNCLE CHAIRLIE: Fit d’ye say?
Na, Loon, I’d rather eat girss ony day
Than leave ma golf an beer, ‘is life o bliss.

I canna credit I wes born tae dee like ‘is!

Peer loon, I’ve got an aspirin in ma purse.

Ma time’s near up. Could things get ony worse?

Oh aye, if faimily forsake ye, Life’s a curse.
Bit, come on, Loon! Cheer up! Daith’s nae that bad.
Did I nae tell ye o the first wife I had?
File she wes living, life wes little worth.
Ae day she dee’d – then aa wes fu o mirth.
Noo she’s in Hivven, sortin angels oot.
It’s win-win on aa sides, wi’oot a doot.

AUNTIE MAY (conspiratorially tae the audience):
She wes a bit sharp, an an ugly craitur.
Suspicious, girning, wi an affa naitur.
She dee’d o food-poisoning, the pathologist said.
Then Charlie proposed. Three months efter ‘at, we wed,
We got on like a hoose on fire at hame.
Syne, we tied the knot fan she wes deid an gane.

Noo, tak hert, JOCKIE MANN! Dinna complain!
Bit as fur me, Son, ye maun gyng yer lane.

JOCKIE MANN (hopelessly):
Can I convince ye, Auntie May, tae gyng wi me?

AUNTIE MAY (hastily):
I’d get cramp afore ower lang, Loon. Affa sorry!

It seems ye twa are really o ae mind:
I’m gaan awa - ye choose tae bide behind.

Oh, yer journey? Och, I couldna gyng upon it
Wi’oot ma medicine, and woolly bonnet.
Then there’s ma tablets (for ma wind) ye ken.

An I hae - fur masel - a reckonin,
Which noo, I think, micht need some orderin.
Sae, be a gweed loon an - dee wi dignity.
Scene 4.

Noo, Lord, I unnerstaund human fragility.
The finest wurds o feels hae little worth.
Ma kinfolk made sic high-born promises,
Bit, pregnant wi wind, cam tae nae final birth.
Sae ilk’ ane fails tae dae ev’n fit he says.
Look at them! Making gey haste, fast tae flee.
Jist as ma fickle M8Z abandoned me.

[The ANGELS are at the back. Spots fade up on their faces, behind JOCKIE MANN.]

The clock ticks on toward yer final breath.

Ye maun find soon fa’ll gyang wi ye tae daith.

[Fade spots on ANGELS.]

They’re richt. This is nae time tae lose ‘e place.
Ma hale life lang, I’ve looed ma money best.
I canna trust, faimily, freens - the human race! -
Sae I’ll check the staundin o ma treisure chest.
Afore I find that things hae got ower drastic,
I’ll blether wi ma bendy blonde noo: PLASTIC.

[PLASTIC enters. She is bendy and slippery, darting around and behind JOCKIE.]

Ye ca’d me? JOCKIE MANN? I’m smert an clean:
The slimmest, neatest pal ye’ve ivver seen.
I’m better ‘an gowd bars lockit in a vault:
If ye lack cash, I’ll mak up yer default.
I slip intae yer wallet like a knife.
I’m like a mistress – be’er than a wife.

Plastic, come ‘ere, wee kist o sin, nae seen.
The best o times are fan ye’re neist ma hert.

PLASTIC (flirtatious):
Jockie, like manna sent doon fae abeen,
I’ll warm yer haunds an ayeweys tak yer pairt.

I’m gled tae hear that, fur I’m on ma wey,
Tae face God on ma personal judgment day.
Ayeweys, ma greatest pleisures were wi ye.
I’ll fash nae mair, gin ye wull gyng wi me.
It micht be - jist afore ma doom is set -
I’ll turn the tables fan ye pey ma debt,
Fur money maks things richt, fan aa is wrang.

[He makes as if to embrace her, but she slips down and out of his arms.]

Whoa, Romeo! I sing anither sang.
I follow nae man in nae pintless enterprise.
Forbye, gin I left Earth fur God’s Eternity,
Yer doom wad be eve’n waur on accoont o me.
It’s me fa dazzl’t ye ‘n’ confus’t yer mind,
I spilt yer reckonin an made ye blind.
Yer accoont hes fauts ye canna even see -
An aa because ye fell in luiv wi me!

JOCKIE MANN (bewildered):
Lat’s gyng thegither, since ma credit’s sure,
Fur fit else wad ye dae bit pey ma fee?

Na! Na! I’m fragile, I couldna there endure,
Bit naebody lasts in this warld quite like me.
Forbye, yer debt - though insubstantial stuff -
Is huget: nae bunk could ivver pay enough.

Plastic, I’ve looed ye an had great pleisure.
Aa ma days, I’ve tummelt wi ma treisure.

‘at’s why ye wull be damned tae fires infernal.
Ma luiv runs clean contrair tae luiv eternal.
Fur if ye had jist looed me moderately
(Tae God, an tae the peer, gien pairts o me)
Ye wadna be in sic a speeritual danger.
Here, I’m yer mistress; in Hivven, I’m a stranger.
Did ye kid yersel I wes yer luiver shair?

That’s fit I thocht.

PLASTIC: A loan I wes. Nae mair.
I wes the ane ye thocht on, muckle brawly.
Bit did ye think that I wad follow ye?

Weel, aye. Ye ayeweys made ma saul feel gweed.

I’m a hoodie craw. Yer saul, tae me, was feed.

Ye, traitor, Plastic! Ye are noo a curse!
We seemed ae flesh - fur better or fur worse.
An noo ye’ve claucht me in yer lying snare!

I telt nae lees - ye telt yersel tae care.
Ye kent ‘e score, bit lust made ye run mad.
Ye ken: I lauch – I canna aince be sad.
A gweed lang file ye lived fur me alane,
An noo ye’re feenish’t, Loon: ye’re on yer ain.

[PLASTIC runs giggling fae the scene shouting “Taxi!”. JOCKIE MANN slumps.]

Scene 5.

[Enter the ANGELS, coming to either side of JOCKIE MANN. He sleeps exhausted.]

ANGEL ANE (tenderly):
JOCKIE, this is nae time tae mump an main.
Fa’ll waulk wi ye upon the judgment road?
First M8Z said he wad gyang, “warld wi’oot eynd”;
His wurds were cosy an made licht yer load,
But he’d lat ye dee, he said. He’d gyang nae mair.
Sae, noo fa’ll bind yer broken hert sae sair?

Ye trustit, syne, yer faimily ‘gainst the Deil;
Fine soonds they spak an seemed tae treat ye weel;
There wes nae lack o threidbare promises,
Bit in the eynd they tauld a pack o lees.

Ye went on tae the Money ye looed best:
Ye looked fur comfort bit she fail’t the test.
PLASTIC shairpen’t her cuttin-edge tae tell
That she brings mony doon tae wayward Hell.

Sae, noo, ye’re desolate an feel asham’t,
Believin that ye’re worthy tae be blam’t.
Yer luiv o wealth hes brocht ye tae self-hate.
An still ye hae yer reckonin on yer plate.

[ANGELS retreat. Music. GRACE goes to JOCKIE and touches him. He wakes]

Scene 6.

Ma mind is clearer noo. Ma reason leads
Me tae think on ma past GWEED DEEDS.
Peer thing, I’ve done near naethin. She’s sae sick
That she can hardly waulk upright or spick;
Yet I wull ca her, fa I treated shamefully.
GWEED DEEDS, faur are ye? Are ye gaan wi me?

[Spotlight on GWEED DEEDS lying on the ground. She can only crawl along.]

O JOCKIE MANN, I lie here on ‘e grun.
Sin an neglect hae hinner’t ma bleed tae run.
Even tae waulk’s nae possible, tyauve as I micht.

[JOCKIE MANN gaes over to her and looks down distraught on his handiwork.]

GWEED DEEDS, I lat ye doon! Hae ye heard ma plicht?

Aye, JOCKIE MANN, I ken. I unnerstaund
That ye’ve been summoned tae yer final reckonin
If ye’ll gie me a bosie, tak me by the haund.
I’ll try to hirple on ‘is journey ye’re takkin.
Bit there’s ae source o stringth afore God’s face:
GWEED DEEDS maun be accompany’t by GRACE.

Earth’s pouers, help me this gweed dame, GRACE, tae find
May GRACE an GWEED DEEDS help ‘is hurtin mind!

This warld hes nae discernment. Seek ‘e Lord;
He sends His GRACE on aa fa seek His Wurd.

[She takes a Bible from beside her and lays it before him. He starts to read.]

JOCKIE MANN (distressed):
This buik should be God’s precious Wurd tae me
Bit Sin sae blins me: nae wurds can I see!

There’s aye blind panic in time o distress.
Bit look tae God, fa offers richteousness.

JOCKIE MANN (clutching GWEED DEEDS’ arm):
Richteousness? Me? O, help me in ma need,
Or else I am fur ivver damn’t indeed!
Sae, GWEED DEEDS, help me mak ma reckonin
Afore The Lord o Lords – Great Hivven’s King!

JOCKIE MANN, I’m sorry fur yer plicht,
Gin I were able tae, I’d pit things richt.
Yet - help me tae ma feet – there’s aye redress.
Bit it needs a stringth GWEED DEEDS disnae possess:
I hae a sister, GRACE, ye need as weel:
Wi her voice in our herts, new pouer we’ll feel.
Grace first, syne I, empouered by her renewin.
Wull help ye mak yer dreidfu’ reckonin.

[Enter GRACE.]

JOCKIE, I’ll gyang wi ye an be yer guide,
In time o maist need, I’ll waulk by yer side.
Wi me, GWEED DEEDS is strang, an ye wull learn;
We three wull gyang. And Destiny wull turn.

I feel grand confidence noo, in everythin.
I’m rarely warm’t; ma hert begins tae sing.
Thanks be tae God, ma Great Creator King!

Fan I bring ye tae the foot o Calvary
Faur fowk are healed o aa thair wounds o sin,
Ye’ll find the transformation o yer reckonin,
Yer mind an hert - even yer GWEED DEEDS.
I, GRACE, wull gie the joy yer hurt hert needs
Afore the Lord, the Blessit Trinity.
Sae noo we’ll gyang thegither, God lovin,
Tae CONFESSION, at the cleansing river-crossin.

JOCKIE MANN (Overcome wi relief):
Fur joy I greet; I wish that we were there!
As I’m incapable o recognition, faur
Oh faur is that haly man, CONFESSION?

In the gracious Hoose o Aa Salvation:
We’ll find Confession in that haly place,
Confession wull comfort ye wi Gifts o GRACE.

Scene 7.

[CONFESSION is dressed in a monk’s habit by an altar. JOCKIE approaches.]

Here is CONFESSION. Kneel doon and ask fur mercy.
Repentance finds ‘e Wey tae God Almichty.
(touching JOCKIE’s heart) I, GRACE, bestow Christ’s Luiv in ye,
Tae embrace new life, sae gie thanks graciously.

[JOCKIE MANN falls tae his knees and raises his arms fur a time, in supplication.]

Flow, glorious fountain o Christ’s richteousness!
Fae Jesus’ side, fa dee’d fur aa ma sinfu’ness!
Wash fae me aa the stains o vice unclean,
Sae, on ma saul, nae wicketness be seen!
I come wi GRACE fur ma redemption -
Oh, redeem ma hert wi deep contrition,
Fur I’m compell’t a pilgrimage tae tak:
Afore ma God, ma great accoont tae mak.

I ken yer sorraw weel, peer JOCKIE MANN.
Because ye come by GRACE, sae pure an free.
I’ll comfort yer hert’s pains, as best I can.
Think fou yer Saviour, pierc’t upon ‘e tree,
Wes mock’ an scourg’t, bit triumph’t ower the grave;
The time draws gey near fan yer saul is save’t.
Ask God fur mercy an He wull grant it truly.
Hold back nae sins, sae He may cleanse them fully.

O Blessit God, in Highest Hicht Divine,
Forgie this sinner ivvery gross offence!
I beg yer mercy here in Christ’s presence,
Tae speir that His Atonement micht be mine.
O Speeritual Treisure, Ransom an redeem!
Ye are the Warld’s True Licht, fas steady gleam
Is mirror’t in joy, reflectit by God’s mercy,
That brichtens Heav’n an Earth, baith land an sea.
I’m nae mair nor sinner, gypit, lost,
Bit yer bleed on Calvary hes peyed the cost.
Oh, save me fae the pouer o ma enemy,
Fur DAITH assails me cruelly, pitilessly.

JOCKIE, Oor God, beyond aa Time an space,
Hansels ye Life fat’s foundit on a Rock.
Faith’s anchor on the Cross o Christ is lock’t:
Condemn’t by LAW, ye’re noo set free by GRACE!

[As he speaks, GWEED DEEDS, who is sitting, stands up. Exit CONFESSION.]

I thank God, noo, that I can rise an gyang,
For I’m deliver’t, an feel ma hert is strang.
Wi JOCKIE MANN I’ll waulk – hert licht as air! -
His gweed works, dichtit by GRACE, I noo wull share.

Welcome, ma GWEED DEEDS! Fou luivly is yer voice.
I hae the licht o God tae guide ma sheen.

JOCKIE, dinna be doon – but aye rejoice!
God sees yer hert’s need fae His Throne abeen.
Pit on this garment o free richteousness,
Earned by Christ’s bleed, weet wi ilk’ fauin tear,
Ye’ll weir it in the Speerit o Contrition:
An by it, receive Hivven’s ain recognition.

[He pits on the white habit offered him by GRACE.]

SISTERS, hae I a reckonin that’s clear?

GRACE and GWEED DEEDS (together):
Aye JOCKIE MANN, indeed, we hae it here;
It’s fite as snaw: Christ’s bleed hes made it clean.
He’s wash’t it in His bleed - nae sin is seen.

Then lat His Perfect Luiv cast oot aa fear!
Gweed freens, lat us nae pairt, bit gyng as ane!

Nivver fear, JOCKIE – we’re baith richt here.

JOCKIE MANN (enthusiastically):
The mair the merrier! There’s room fur aa, abeen!

Scene 8.

[GWEED DEEDS, GRACE & JOCKIE stand together. Enter BEAUTY, STRINGTH, DISCRETION and FIVE SINSES. These are all confident but, like JOCKIE, they lack foresight of what the journey entails. There is an air of unrealistic bravado.]

GWEED DEEDS (soberly – she and GRACE know fat will happen at the last):.
Five Sinses say they feel, wi ye, at hame.
Discretion, Stringth an Beauty feel the same.

Syne, freens, come here tae me an dae yer duty.
Discretion, Stringth, Five Sinses aa - an Beauty!

JOCKIE, fativver ye say, we’ll follow ye!
Sae, tell us: fit wad ye like us aa tae dae?

JOCKIE MANN (warming to the task):
Jist ‘is, freens! Lat’s, thegither, tak the road
An on ‘is journey help tae spread ‘e load.

Richt! We’ll keep ye safe; ye’ll nivver tire.

We’ll be the shairpest irons in Life’s fire!

We’ll mak oorsels look gweed tae aabody – see?
We’ll mak a special effort – (to their applause) look at me!

FIVE SINSES (in unison):
FIVE SINSES wull pitch in as weel, pell mell!
We’ll gyng tae Hivven! (Aside) Bit nae sae thrilled wi Hell.

GLAISSES (pop-eyed):
I’ll look aheid an navigate oor wey.

I’ll listen tae fit the Haly Scriptures say.

If there’s ony danger, syne, ye’ll hear me toot:
Naethin wull threaten I canna sniff oot.

Fan ye feel tire’t, I’ll soothe yer fever’t brou.

TASTE: We’ll gyng in style, an I wull show ye fou.
Stringth, Discretion, Beauty, Sinses Five!
GWEED DEEDS an GRACE! Och, I feel sae alive!

As lang as we waulk the hale wide warld wi ye,
JOCKIE, yer hert will sharely bear the gree!

[STRINGTH, BEAUTY and DISCRETION sit side-stage, watch and listen.]

Ma freens, God bliss ye fae His heavenly sphere.
Noo listen tae me, aa fa’re staunding here,
Fur I wull mak ma haly wull an testament:
Half o aa I hae, I noo present:
I gie it tae charity, wi a pure intent.
Lat the ither half o fit I hae, remain
In trust fur creditors, tae be restore’t again.
I’ll dae this deed, despite the fiends o hell.

‘at is weel done…bit GRACE maun spick hersel.

JOCKIE MANN, ma freen, hear fit I say:
Gyang tae the Pastor o yer saul today.
Prepare yer hert fur yer last day on earth,
Wi breid an wine an unction o great wurth.
Sic gifts are gien as comforts in redemption
Which God wull use fur yer saul’s medicine.

Scene 9.

[Enter PASTOR. Enter ANGELS with table an elements. They stand as assistants.]

Here is the Sacrament o God’s Son seen,
Fur aa wi faith tae feed on Hivven’s Breid,
Fur God is Trinity an God is Ane,
An Christ hes dee’d fur sinners in thair steid.

[JOCKIE MANN receives the Sacrament, fed by the angels.]

PASTOR (says, chants or sings):
God gied commaunds fae skies serene;
By the licht o graces sivven;
He rain’t doon manna fae abeen:
Men ate the breid o Hivven.

PASTOR (Cont.):
Men ate the breid o angels there;
He sent them food tae eat.
He sent His Son wi loving care
Tae be thair Manna sweet.

[PASTOR anoints the kneeling JOCKIE MANN while the ANGELS remove the table]

PASTOR (Cont.):
The Blissin o Oor Lord on aa
Come noo, an nivver cease!
Communion’s ended: gie God thanks;
Rise up, Man - gyang in peace.

In Nomine Patris et filii et Speeritus sancti
God, Faither, Son and Speeirit, bide wi ye.

[Exeunt PASTOR and ANGELS.]

Scene 10.

[JOCKIE comes downstage. BEAUTY, STRINGTH and DISCRETION join him.]

JOCKIE MANN (enthusiastically):
I’ve noo receiv’t the sacrament o redemption,
Forbye the pure, warm oil o Blissit unction.
Blissit be GRACE, fa urged me tae partak,
An Blist be God, fas journey I maun mak.
Noo, freens, haud gaan. God shows ‘e wey!
I’m looking furrit tae ‘is road, forbye!

Gweed JOCKIE MANN, we wull not lat ye gyang
Till ye hae taen this trip, fouivver lang.

Discretion wull stay faithfu’ by good men.

Although the challenges be ne’er sae strang,
Be certain sure: we’ll nivver part again.

Yer stringth wull nivver fail, as ye sfould ken.

[They go on boldly until JOCKIE sees the open grave. He stops. DRUM ROLL and CLASH of CYMBALS. Shock is seen on all but GRACE and GWEED DEEDS.]
JOCKIE MANN (staggering):
Fit’s happen’t? I’m gey faint…can hardly staund.
Ma limbs below me fold toward ‘e mowd.
(He sighs) I’ll wander nae mair through Life’s desert lands,
Nor sins, fur aa the warld’s collectit gowd,
Bit intae this cool place I’m ca’d tae creep,
An turn tae earth. Here, I maun welcome sleep.

Fit, intae this grave? Nae wey! It’s sic a mess!

Aye, aye, the grave. Ye’ll be consum’t here, mair or less.

It means the ruination o ma dress!
Then fit? Wull I lie an smother here?

Aye, of course, an nivver mair appear:
This bricht warld, you an I wull nae mair see
Bit in Hivven’s Greater Glory, thanks we’ll gie.

Ye dae it! Here I cross oot ma ivvery vow!
I’ll quickly pack ma stuff an tak ma bow.

[Wi a flourish, BEAUTY slings her sfoulder bag, pits on her shades and leaves.]

Anither freend hes gane… fa can I trust?
Am I doom’t tae sleep alane in this auld dust?
For the warld’s fleetin joys, lat Beauty flee .
Tho she promised Jockie, here tae live an dee.

Yer bad news isnae feenisht - I’m awa.
This grave is nae fur me, faur pouer’s sae sma.

Why, then, wull ye forsake me ane an aa?
Sweet Stringth, please stey tae help, in case I fa.

Na, JOCKIE MANN, this game’s ower teugh, I see!
Daith hes a bad effect on musculature:
It staunds tae reason; it’s jist the wey o Nature.
Dinna think ower mony harsh tfoughts aboot me
Bit I maun skip oot o ‘is Slimming Plan,
Sae - brak a leg. It’s cheerio, JOCKIE MANN.
JOCKIE MANN (Burlesquing an earnest voice):
“I’ll stay wi ye”, is fit I heard ye sweer.

I’ve done ma bit, bit I canna nae mair.
Besides ye’re old enough, I unnerstaund,
Tae tak sic pilgrimages weel in haund
I’m sorry that I ivver cam tae there. (indicating the grave).

Fit’s yer point, Stringth, that I’m the ane tae blame?
Ye made a promise an on it pit yer name.

That’s naethin, man. An why should ye mak main
An waste time, spile the moment wi a dull brain?
There’s naethin here tae say that’s ower deep,
Sae move yer carcase - in the grun and sleep!

[Enter the ANGELS.]

The man fa trusts in his ain, fading stringth
Wull be deceived by passing years, at lingth;
Baith stringth an beauty falter in Daith’s shade
Fitivver early promises they made.

Nor is yer trial ower, JOCKIE MANN,
Fur nane bit GRACE an DEEDS by ye can staun’.

Aye, aye, he’s richt, I hardly like tae mention:
Daith deters me, despite ma gweed intention.
After Stringth an Beauty, I’ll be gane.
Ma job is daen, sae I’ll leave ye alane.

Discretion, dinna leave! I need ye noo!
Tae Loyalty and Mercy be ye true!

Na, na, ma JOCKIE MANN - it’s nae ma place.
The job’s noo up tae yer GWEED DEEDS an GRACE.
We’ve done nae bad thegither, as ye see,
And wi Stringth an Beauty gone, the last is me.


JOCK, ye, GRACE an GWEEDE DEEDS are by yer lane:
Beauty, Stringth, Discretion - they’ve aa gane
They only bide till Daith soonds his dreid blast,
Then they desert ye. They aa flee at last.

[The ANGELS withdraw sidestage to watch JOCKIE MANN’S story unfold.]

Scene 11.

[Enter the FIVE SINSES. They come forward nervously.]

FIVE SINSES (together, in unison):
JOCKIE MANN, we hardly like tae bring this up…
Bit, like them, we canna drink this bitter cup.
It’s a decision that’s really hard tae mak,
We feel at hame here, bit oor leave we’ll tak.

I’m sure ye’ll see ma decision is fair richt;
In God’s Great Presence, there’ll be Speeritual sicht.

Listen: at last, ye really maun depend
On heavenly voices fan ye reach life’s eynd.

Dinna think I’m nosey, or rude, wi’oot remeid,
Bit graves smell bad - an that canna be gweed.

The grave is cauld an damp, roch tae ma fing’er’s eynd;
We dinna seem richt suitit, tae ma mind.

It’s lower than the lowest but and ben.
It wadnae suit me either, as ye ken.
I hae ma reputation, ye maun see.
An eating dirt, ma loon – it’s jist nae me.

JOCKIE MANN (reaching out blindly):
I treated ye, ilk’ ane, like ma best freen’.

[GRACE and GWEED DEEDS move beside JOCKIE MANN, ready to support him.]

FIVE SINSES (together in unison):
We luiv ye tae, bit on ithers ye maun lean.

[FIVE SINSES move backwards and fade.]

Scene 12.

Kind Jesus, help me noo! I’m on ma lane!
Sic emptiness could drive a man insane.

Na, JOCKIE, Though, like Christ, forsaken fully.
GRACE is wi ye an GWEED DEEDS: freens truly.

Aye JOCKIE MANN, we’re wi ye, sicht unseen.
I, GWEED DEEDS stick close tae ye like a freen’.
Ma sister GRACE, wull even closer stey,
Forever true, upon yer pilgrim wey.

JOCKIE MANN (hugging them both)::
Wi Jesus Christ, ma Lord, Faith nivver ends!
Thank God fur Calvary, which maks amends.
However, noo, I think, the time is near
Tae mak ma reckonin, wi aa debts clear,
Noo tae its eynd ebbs oot Life’s day sae sma,
Aa fa I thocht looed me, hae rin awa,
But GWEED DEEDS an her sister, lovely GRACE,
Fa’ll gyang wi me tae Hivven’s Eternal Place.

Aa earthly things are jist fair vanity:
Beauty, Stringth, Discretion - aa maun leave,
Foolish freens, even faimily, deceive.
Aa that bides then is God, the TRINITY.

It’s true: hae mercy on me, God, an bliss!
I staund here by the Cross o Christ, ma Lord!
Haein nae confidence in ma richteousness,
Bit only on yer Sacrifice an Wurd!

[GRACE and GWEED DEEDS stand on either side of the blinded JOCKIE MANN.]

Dinna be feart, peer Man: we’ll spick fur ye
We’ll be yer eyes an ears, yer nose an touch;
Assurit Peace the Lord wull gie tae ye;
Fa nivver luivs ower little, nor ower much.
Fur He is Luiv, unstintinly, fur aa
Fa bow afore His Cross an heed His Ca.

[JOCKIE panics and struggles back, held firm by GRACE and GWEED DEEDS.]

Cry, Grace, fur me! O a sudden, I feel feart!
I dinna weel deserve sic lovin grace!
I fear the mony errors that I’ve made
Wull keep me fae ma God an hide His face!

Oh that can nivver be, Belov’t o God;
Yer faither luivs ye an hes spar’t the rod:
Fur Christ on Calvary took aa yer sin
Sae that, in Hivven, ye’d be welcom’t in.
Aa sin ye had, wes punish’t on that tree.
The Work is daen: Ye are, by Faith, noo free.

[JOCKIE MANN ceases tae struggle and finds relief in their comfort.]

Lord, aa ma foolish doots I here resign;
Noo, I embrace the truth: that Ye are mine.
I’ve lived a slave tae Sin: ye ken it’s true.
But I commit ma saul tae Ye, richt noo;
In manus tuas - Faither, Speerit, Son -
Commendo Spiritum meum - alow ‘e grun.

[JOCKIE slips tae the floor beside the grave, his arms held out as in crucifixion, then up in supplication. He is lowered gently into the grave. The CAST gather round.]
He’s sufferit aa that Man maun drie and mair;
Lat’s sing oot his Faith’s testimony share.


[PASTOR takes centre stage in the grave tableau. He, the CAST & ANGELS sing verse 1 of Psalm 23 in Scots [trans. Gardner, 2007, 2009]. During it, some members of the CAST parade around the stage and audience. At the end of v. 1, they freeze.]

The Lord is ma shepherd. I’ll nae wint fur naethin:
He couries me doon in the green girss o hame;
By sparklan watters, He leads tae tranquilitie;
He bosies ma saul back tae lyfe jist the same.

Stanza repeated as chorus:
The Lord is ma shepherd. I’ll nae wint fur naethin:
He couries me doon in the green girss o hame;
By sparklan watters, He leads tae tranquilitie;
He bosies ma saul back tae lyfe jist the same.

Haly Haly Haly, Lord God Almichty;
Hivven an Earth are full o Yer Glory;
Glory be tae Ye, O God maist heigh.

[They turn towards the grave and stretch out their arms.]

Blessit is He fa comes in ‘e Name o the Lord!
Hosanna in the Hicht! An praise His Wurd!

Noo that oor JOCKIE MANN hes met his eynd;
I ken the angels songs fae Hivven wull send.

[CAST awaken to sing verse 2 of Psalm 23 in Scots]

Fur His Name’s sake, He guides me by stracht and richt pathways.
Tho I gang by the Glen o Daith’s Shadaw, forbye,
I’ll fear me nae evil: Yer crummock will curb me,
But Yer crook will gie comfort, for Ye’re waulkan nigh.

The Lord is ma shepherd. I’ll nae wint fur naethin:
He couries me doon in the green girss o hame;
By sparklan watters, He leads tae tranquilitie;
He bosies ma saul back tae lyfe jist the same.

[The CAST around the grave part to reveal JOCKIE MANN. He strides downstage, dressed in dazzling wite, looking confident. He stands, smiling, between GRACE and GWEED DEEDS, aware of them, but looking up. ANGELS come down either side of GRACE & GWEED DEEDS, facing outward singing. The verse ends. CAST freeze.]

They’re aa ready fur the ceilidh in High Hivven;
Tae JOCKIE MANN - a skellum - GRACE is given!

[The ANGELS step forward, turn and face the excited and happy JOCKIE MANN.]

Come hame tae Christ, sweet Bride, fae sin set loose!
Tae live, forever looed, in Yer Lord’s Hoose.
Because Christ dee’d an took yer sins, we say,
Yer saul shall bide wi Him in Eyndless Day,
Noo ye are fittit fur the Heavenly sphere:
Yer reckonin is peyed, an crystal-clear.

[The ANGELS come forward, take JOCKIE MANN’S arms and walk toward the back of the stage where there is a staircase. A light appears, shining on the stairs.]
An, Sister GWEED DEEDS, lat’s gyang, haund in haund,
Tae see Christ fold His airms roond JOCKIE MANN.

[They link arms and follow the ANGELS and JOCKIE MANN. CAST unfreeze as if in a trance and watch in wonder. As they watch, they sing the last verse of the Ps 23.]

Ma tabil Ye’ve set oot afore aa ma faes, Lord;
Wi ile o anointan, Ye’ve blissit ma croon;
Ma quaich’s rinnan ower, an guid an love chase me
Aa ma days til Yer hoose, faur, fur aye, I’ll lay doon.

The Lord is ma shepherd. I’ll nae wint fur naethin:
He couries me doon in the green girss o hame;
By sparklan watters, He leads tae tranquilitie;
He bosies ma saul back tae lyfe jist the same.

[As the psalm ends, the PASTOR comes forward and CAST all gather around him.]

The moral o ‘is tale keep weel in mind.
Ding doon fell Pride, which hinners faith, I find.
Tak it tae hert: reflect on it at lingth
That Beauty, Aa Discretion, Sinses, Stringth
Wull, at the last, peer fowk like us reject.
GWEED DEEDS an GOD’s GRACE anely, we expect,
Can gyang wi us tae Hivven as oor freens:
At Calvary’s Cross, these twa wull aye be seen,
Sae, he fas Life’s accoont is hale an soond,
By virtue o Christ’s cross, by Christ is crooned.
An tae that Joy may God bring aa ye, here:
Til ye, ae day, see Jesus Christ appear.
He’ll tak aa intae Hivven, freed fae shame,
Fa trust in Him an bliss His Haly Hame.

[Pastor makes the sign of the cross in Benediction.]

PASTOR (Cont.):
May God, the Faither, Speerit, Son Unseen,
The Haly Trinity, bliss ilk an ivvery ane. Amen.

All (loudly): Amen!

[Ps. 23 or other psalms or ‘weel-kent’ hymns or spiritual songs may be (re)sung. As they are, CAST bow, hug each other and go to the audience, hugging and/or dancing.]

[Fur permission to perform this play, or for general enquiries, write to the author, Bruce Gardner, at: or call him at: +44-7891186724.]
Additional Psalms:
Psaulm Ane: Metrical Version (CM)

1. O fortunat’s the man fa’ll nae
In skellum’s counsell walk,
Nor staund in sinners’ wey, nor bide
Faur fowk luif scornfu talk.

2. But wi the Law o God, His Lord,
He’ll fynd maist precious gle:
An ilka day and ilka nicht,
His Law he’ll warsle wi.

3. As ane transplantit by a burn,
He sall be lyke a tree
Fas fruit’s on tyme; fas leaf ne’r faas:
His ploys sall bear the gree.

4. The skellums surely arena sae
But, skailt lyke caff in hairst,
Thay’re fletherit by God’s ain braith
An blawn tae aa the airts.

5. For this, nae skellums e’er sall rise
Tae deem, wi heids held hie,
Nor sinners tak a wycelike place
In lawfu’ companie.

6. Fur God kens weel the leal fowk
Fa follow His richt wey;
The gait the skellums gang sall God
Maist utterlie destroy.

Psaulm Twa: Metrical Version (CM)

1.Fit wey dae foreign fowk aye rage,
An fash ilk’ alien horde?
2. Kings tak thair stand; hie-heid-yins plot
‘gainst God an His sained Lord:

3. “We’ll rax aff aa thair slave-lyke bands
And fling thair cords awa!”
4. He fa in Hivven sits jist lauchs
An maks feels o thaim aa.

5. But then He spicks tae thaim in wrath
And fashes them in rage:
6. “On Zion’s haly hill, I’ll forge
Ma king, for aa this age.”

7. I sall declare fit’s set in steen,
The Lord has said tae me;
“Ye are ma Son; this very day,
I hae begotten ye”.

8. “Ask me: thae gadgies I sall gie,
As heritage thay’ll faa;
The furthest airts ye sall possess
Tae ye I’ll gie thaim aa.

9. Wi wand o iron ye sall wreck
The hale jing-bang o thaim;
Like potter at the wheel ye’ll smash
Tae bits - tae mak again!

10. And noo, behave yersels, ye kings!
Tak, judges, wyse rebuke;
11. Dae service tae the Lord in dreid,
Wi tremmlan, joyfu luik.

12. Embrace the Prince, lest He get wroth –
Destroy ye in the wey;
His furie kinnles in a flash:
Bliss’t aa that on Him stey!

© 2008 Aa psaulms are renderit stracht fae Hebrew intae Doric an versifyit be Bruce Gardner.

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