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Elphinstone Kist   Seasons

The Collieston Hogmanay.     by: Mackie, Dr. Lewis

Fan this year sidles tae its end an kinsfolk hameward fitsteps wend,
In Collieston the spirits stir for Hogjnanay is nearly there
We check oor store o’ cans an’ bottles tae see if we’ll survive the battle
For Hogmanay’s a fearsome time as seen as midnicht souns its chime
The drink flows free, the wits are oot an naebody his ony doot
That hiterin feet will pound each path wi’ nae thocht o’ the aftermath.

The chimes ring oot, the glasses raised, the New Year toasted, the auld year
An’ kith an’ kin toast een anither. Faither, mither, sister,brither
Gweed wishes frae the faimly cam, some o’ them nae worth a damn.
Bit wi’ the help o’ Barleycorn illusion laists intil the morn.
An’ so the boozin starts anew, getting happy an unco fou’
Maist are merry, few ill- natured, companionship couldna be bettered.
Black bun an’ coal come oot o’ pockets, cans an bottles frae inside jackets
An’ fowk fa’ve niver met for years,greet een anither wi’ maudlin tears.

“Div ye min’ this, div ye min’ that?” fast an’ furious flows the chat.
Arguments will follow later fan they’ve hid too much o’ the cratur.
Bit noo the whisky’s rosy hue gies nae warnin o’ fit we’ll rue.
The hangowers. the upset belly, the bruises an’ oor legs like jelly,
As stagger we towards oor hames, tae met an face neglected dames.
Scowlin looks we darna charm. Looks the Deil himsel’d alarm!
That scowl could send me tae the pier tae mak an’ end tae a’ that’s dear!

Yet, we hiv auld John Barleycorn tae brichen up this New Year’s morn
Thochts o’ oor wives fade tae the past an’ whisky’s glow taks ower at last.
Bit first we’ll keep the paunch contented, though whisky’s bocht, beer’s bit
So up the road tae find a party where we can drink an’ sing maist hearty!
Noo we move frae hoose tae hoose an inhibitions are let loose,
Takkin oor neebors a’ through han, tacklin the government o’ oor lan,
Intil the arguments we blunder till fellowship is torn asunder
Then only drink can satisfy the restless soul the inward eye.
Oor host then says tae his great shame ‘We’ll awa tae oor beds an’ let ye hame!’
Noo a’ the lichts are oot an darkness hides the toon in deathly stillness
An’ sae fuddled wi’ gin an beer, the brain sees things that are’na there,
Up on the rooftops, ahin the dykes, boggles an’ gremlins an the likes
An’ I must pass the cemetry far Kennedy’s ghost is said tae be
Maybe meet the Deil himsel lookin for drunks the tak tae Hell!
Sae now wi’ hair stannin on its end, I stagger past the kirkyard bend,
An’ come again tae my auld hoosc as quiet as a wee kirk moose!

Noo, cannily I lift the latch an’ hope the wife’s nae there the catch
Me comin in sae quiet like. Ae soun’ll raise a bumbee’s byke.
Saftly, saftly intae bed, listenin for the word I dread.
Bit no! She’s snorin loud an clear, the sleep sae deep naethin’ tae fear.
An’ aff I go deep intae slumber the snore an’ snore like rolls o’ thunder.
Bit Oh!, Gweed sake fan I awaken, athing’s sae loud my brains are shakkin
The afterglow of whisky stops. Ma heid spinnin like birlin tops.
Niver again will I ging first-fitten. Next Hogmanay I’ll jist be sitten
At hamc, sae quict wi’ lemonade. Nae hangowers frae that whisky jade.
Gweed Lord I’ll niver drink again.Jist free me frae this affa pain.
I’ll gie a promise that I will be teetotal till eternity.

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