Robert Burns


Poems about the Vale of Leven

On this page we intend to feature poetry and prose about the Vale of Leven. Please send us your submissions both old and new.


1. The Wail of the Vale

(by Duncan McLean)


As I look roon aboot me
an' see what they have done,
They've torn the beauty fae ye
And created ye a slum,
No' any Cosy Corner, Nae Bank,
Nae Co-op, nae Pawn,
McKim and Kerr and Duffy,
And Don di Felice a' gone.


Victoria and Albert, Steven, Mitchell, John,
Alexander, some say Craft street ,
Noo where can we a' staun?
Matha Thompson's, Kelly's, Jack's, McNaughton's tae,
The Fountain Bar, McLeran's and Boardman's Grapes, away.


Susanna hud a school o' fame,
The Main Street it hud wan the same,
The gas works hud its lights pit oot,
And the auld Vale laundry's doon tae soot,
The auld Hibs hall in Random Street ,
Where many a yin danced wi happy feet,
It's nae longer staunin' there,
And come tae that it's a' laid bare.


John Angus wis the baker, who made the guid tea-bread.
McLetchie wis the man who cam tae fetch ye when ye deid.
And there's no anither Melly if yer lookin fur a feed.


Matha Haggerty, a plumber, Kinloch wis wan an aw,
Their places staun nae longer,
They too have hud tae fa',
Wull Tyler wis the Jiner, doon Tooraladdie lane,
The Shincut oot o' Bridge Street ,
Intae Bank Street , near the train.


Nae Donald Hunter, Cannon or Co-operative coal,
And aw that's left o' where they were,
Is jist a great big hole.
Johnnie Bain's garage, Sarah White's wee shop,
Anither bit o' Bridge Street that's hud an awfy knock.


No any midnight grocer
Nae fruiter man named Dan,
No any Bunny Baxter, anither barber man,
Nae Granny Smith, Nae Mrs Moss,
And Riddy Broonin he's a loss.


Nae Burgess and Buchanan,
Who collected aw the rents,
And if ye didny pey them,
Then ye hud tae pitch a tent,
Doon alang the Leven side on the Cricket park,
Or else it wis a flittin' soon efter it wis dark. 


Cherly Smith, the Slater, hud a place in Mitchell Street ,
Bob Martin wis his neebor jist alang the same wee street,
He worked in his auld smiddy and he made an awfy din,
But some aulder yins they tell me it belanged tae Jock McGinn.


Nae Argyll or Millburn Terrace,
It's enough tae make ye greet,
In that wan in the Main Street ,
That's where Dick man did yer feet,
And if ye still think ye need him,
tae gi'e yer feet a treat,
Then ye'll get him no faur fae me,
Alang in Middleton Street .


John Glen's in Castle Danger,
Wi' pumps an' paraffin ile,
He takes ye up the hill noo, aw dressed in tails and tile,
He's worth it, every penny, fur dae'in it in style,
He'll tak' ye our tae Cardross but no fur wulks or tea,
He'll huv ye done well fired, and awfy deid ye'll be.


Noo some will likely question aw av hud tae say,
But this wis how it wis laid oot, in aboot ma day,
But when the change is completed and the beauty's aw restored,
Then we will hiv whit we can call,
The beautiful Vale once more.


Noo there's plenty a could write aboot.
If a took time tae think,
For a hiv plenty paper and av plenty pen and ink,
But if you don't mind I'll jist sit doon and hae anither drink!

Duncan McLean

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