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Elphinstone Kist   Music

Ony Spare Change?     by: Robertson, Stanley

Tune: Ye Banks an Braes

‘Ony spare change?’ The young loon cawed as he lay upon the gutter,
Alang came a man in a pin-striped suit these angry wirds did mutter.
‘Yer a lazy bum, yer a rotten scum, gang awa and get a job’
And he left mi lying on the road wi nae as much as a bob.

‘Ony spare change?’ the cheil he speired as he lay on the tarmacadam,
‘Hiv ye got a copper or twa tae spare, please, kind sir or madam?’
Some craturs growled and ithers howled and some give a coin.
A coorse fella wi tackety beets kicked mi on the groin.

‘Ony spare change?’ I desperately pleaded frae aff the Castlegate fleer
‘I hinnae the price o a cup o tea nor a freen sae dear.’
A wifie came by and gied me a hot pie and a kind word forbye,
A lump in mi throat for a genteel act, it brought a tear tae mi eye.

‘Ony spare change?’ I asked twa loons wha trodged doon Union Street.
They smirked and they sniggered intae mi face like something under their feet.
They telt mi tae gang awa hame, awa hame tae mi hoose.
I dinnae hae a place tae bide so I crawl intae the hole like a moose.

‘Ony spare change?’ I guildered oot as I lay in Market Street.
‘I dinnae smoke or I dinnae drink. I hae nae sheen for mi feet.’
A trawler cove rough as nails passed wi half drunken glee.
But he teen peety on mi distress and spoke tae me tenderly.

‘Ony spare change?’ I asked o him, his hands were coorse and sair,
Wi the salty sea and the Winter’s fish and the roch nippy air.
He took a key aff a ring and gaed mi a room tae bide
Frae that day on mi life it changed and luck it teen mi side.

I noo hae a room, I noo hae a job, I noo hae got an address
Mi claes they are clean, mi sheen they gleam, nae mair tae go in a mess.
I pay mi rent tae the trawler lad wha gaed me the room tae stay.
Noo things are guid I dinnae mair need mi life’s a better way.

So if a voice frae the gutter calls, somebody cries in vain.
‘Ony spare change?’ a laddie cries, dinnae let him plead in vain.
We’re nae aa junkies or low life scum as some folks think we are.
We’re some mither’s loon doon on we’re luck, so gie a copper, and care.

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