Poet's Place

Gas Lamps Down Scottie

Coney Oney butties, spam and salt fish
Memories of mine and dreams that I miss
Scouse on a Monday, that great Irish stew
I remember it all - do you?

Gas lamps down Scottie
I remember those nights
Ice cold and frosty
Flickering gas lights
All snug in a bed my family and me
The wind blowing so cold in from the sea
The ships on the river we could barely hear
As they sounded their foghorns
To keep other ships clear
The wind shook our windows in our tenement flat
With gas lamps down Scottie I remember all that

Queues at the gas works
Waiting for coke
Just half a bag please
My mother's flat broke
Shivering with cold waiting your turn
The family all waiting for some thing to burn
And so back home, a fire to light
All nice and cosy as down came the night
Frost on the windows
And snow on the sill
I remember those times and I always will

An era that's gone and will never return
Parents were loving but ever so stern
The kids all scrubbed, cleaned and fed
Dripping butties and cocoa, then off to bed
With Great coats for blankets
And six of us to a bed
Feet at the bottom, by my brother's head
All lovely memories I'll take to my grave
Of friends that I knew, whose memories I'll save
Of times that have passed, the good and the bad
Yes, I remember old Scottie when I was a lad

by M J Gilfoyle

Click Here to hear this poem read to you by Terry Cooke in RealAudio (.ra) format (194K)

Goodbye Scottie Road

The years have past since my last abode,
was Dryden street in old Scottie road.
Times have changed since I was there,
No Chiappes cafe, no Vicky square.

There's no Rotunda, no Champion Whates,
No Paddy's market, no Mary Kates
The Gaiety's gone, the Derby too,
And those Mary Ellen's are very few.
Even the scuffer on the beat,
no longer walks the lonely street.
Once there where people with smiling faces,
now there's nothing but dust and empty spaces.

Once there were lamplighters who lit the gas,
while people were hurrying off to Mass.
In the summer the women would sit chatting on steps,
while bookies runners stood taking the bets.

Now Sunday football was played in the street,
and saltfish for breakfast was quite a treat.
we had fresh necks, spare-ribs and thick Barley soup,
and pans full of scouse what the old-girl cooked.

Now "Full Co!" was the cry of the kids in our street,
when they'd see their mates with something to eat.
And that lolly-ice man on his threewheeeler bike,
was always a nap to get into a fight.

Now there was a man with abirdcage with an apple inside,
he swore he had two but the toher one died.
and there was old Janey Swain who was very well known,
because she was allright if you needed a loan.

There was old Jimmy Gunnion a barber by trade,
and old Mary Blunne who sold a good fade.
There was Nelly and Josie the Ensor twins,
and Harry the muckman who worked on the bins.

There was old Johnnie Wallace who'd stand squeazing his plumbs,
"All Fresh This Morning!" he'd belch from his lungs.

And "Heads-a-Dollar!" was another old cry,
as the dockers tossed ha, pennies up to the sky.

"Exy Echo Final!" was another sound heard,
from the nespaper lad these where well known words.
And "Jam Jars or Rags!" you could hear someone cry,
as the ragman with handcart slowly walked by.

And the hooves of Dodds horses on cobblestones rang,
while in the distance a busker sang.
Now Laly-Ho and Rounders were the games played by kids,
and your ma and your da would join in for the kicks.

Now there were three famous shops were you could pawn gear,
these were Cooksons, Stanly's and old Jim O' Hares.
There was a scoff-house called Thorns were you could have a sly kip,
after your two college puddings and your big bowl of thick

. Now Telfords, the sweet shop, was just facing Thorns,
Where peardrops, caramels and chocolate buttons where bought.
Clarksons by the library was the biggest shop on the road,
where you could buy clothing and items untold!

There was the Wash-house were women forght for a mangle,
and after the fight they would have a good jangle.
There was the Morning Star pub where the Irishmen lurked,
while over a pint they'd talk about work.

Now the tramcars ran along old Scottie Road,
and believe me, in winter, inside they where cold!
They passed Saint Anthony's church, which is still standing there,
the only church on the road where you could say a prayer.

Now here's some famous boxers who to watch was a joy.
Volante, Gannon, Butcher, Tommy and Jimmy Molloy.
And here's some famous soccer stars I must give credit too,
Morrisey, Tansey, Melia, Campbell and the Gannons two.

Yes, these are only memories now of my last abode,
memories of my younger days in good old Scottie Road.
So it's "Goodbye Scottie Road!" old friend we'll never meet again,
for even though you're being rebuilt you'll never be the same!

Terry Baines 1970.

If you would like to submit a poem for inclusion on these pages send it to ronformby@scottiepress.org

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