To an exile in Canada by Jock the Post (Jock Murray)

Dear Exile frae the Muckle Toon

Though you are far away,

I'm sure at times your thoughts come roon'

To "home" they'll oft times stray.


Your memories will take you back

To the days when you were young,

Oft times you'll see your native hills,

And hear the "Mither Tongue".


In dreams you'll live again, the fun,

The mischief and the joys,

The pleasures, aye, and sorrows too,

We shared when we were boys.


The "Brotherhood" at Station House

Will be simple to recall,

The good times, and the bad you shared

With Jimmy, Jock and Hall.


The "gang" who spent their playful days

As boys and as young men,

You'll remember Tommy Hosie,

Matt, Jock and Jimmy Glen,


The station staff whom we did plague,

Dave Snowdon - "Lofty Dave",

The pranks we played upon them all,

I'm sure their hearts would grieve,


Puffin' Billy, Sandy Brockbank,

An' Geordie Jeffrey too,

Jimmy Phillips, Big Wull Halliday

Will bring back these days to you.


The back yaird and the washhouse,

Where we had a frequent bath,

When we'd pinch Haldane's hot water,

And evoke his murderin' wrath.


And even when Hall got his turn,

The devil worked our mind

For we "sodded up" the chimney can

Till he was nearly choked and blind.


The last train coming in at nine,

Something we never missed,

Then up the street with the Block of Ice,

And the little bags of "yist".


To Pelosi's wi' the cash we'd earned,

Our hunger pangs to stay,

We could sometimes rise to peas and pies,

But it was mostly just "pea brae".


Those incidents and names I quote

To assist you once again,

To take with me a nostalgic trip

Down Langholm's "Memory Lane".


The High Street will hold memories dear

Frae the Toonfit tae the school,

To cast our minds back to it now -

With worthies it was full.


Ye'll mind the Toonfit Garden,

Occupied by Tommy Bell,

And of the apples and pears we pinched

We safely now can tell.


Ye'll mind Bob Jeffrey's smiddy

Up the auld Drove Road,

Where Bill Young and Johnnie Fletcher's horse

Would gaun when needin' shod.


Mag Eckford, she lived up the stair,

And you'll remember plain

That underneath the little hoose,

The abode of "Ersie Jane".


"Yeastie John" was ower the road

Where you got apple tarts and pies,

His special treat was "curnie squares",

Full of cinders and dead flies.


There was Jackie Little"s Barber's shop,

A wee room nice an' cosy,

And threepence got your hair cut then

By his assistant - Tommy Hosie.


Next door there dwelt the illustrious ones,

Without doubt the Elite,

Jane Hogg and young Prince Hendry

Lived in Paddy's Castle Suite.


Rob Stewart just across the street,

Further up Smith Lyons shop,

Where you got black streakit butcher meat

Or a wizened mutton chop.


"Wullie Taylor" across the way,

Where you got thick twist or rub,

And of course the Douglas opposite,

A long established pub.


Across the street we wander on

Continuing our muse,

Where "Spitty Adam" he supplied

The "Scotsman" and the news.


Let's linger in the Market Square,

If it were Auld Year's night,

Weel kent faces there would make

A most familiar sight.


"Fitba Ferguson" and "Jock Fun",

And of course, "Big Paul",

"Eileen Winthrope" and "Fat Wat",

Having quite a ball,


"Block Tom" along wi' auld "Blue Tib',

Were doing the Irish Jig.

"Hairy David", he was singing hymns,

Beside the Suspension Brig,


Big Geordie Graham was kinda lame,

But him an' "Chairlie Spugs"

Taking "Ersie Jane" and another dame

Up tae "Tibbie Lugs".


The New Year in, the Toon Clock strikes,

There dawns another day,

So with the Market Place deserted now,

We amble on our way.


In the corner where the Gents go,

The demands of nature to relieve,

We look ower tae "Telford's wa"

And see the familiar "Shitey Dave".


Lois Pelosi on the corner,

From Italy's sunny shore,

He made a noise when careless boys

Splooter peas ower a' the floor.


The "Little Temperance', the "Cloggers"

And Jimsie Telford's shop,

Then up the Wynd, twas there ye mind

They held the Band of Hope.


Old Rally kept the Chemist's shop,

He spoke through his "gills",

Whatever you got, he cured the lot

With his constipation pills.


The Tory Club, then Latimers,

Their window filled with "Lures"

You'd meet auld Giles, and with his smile

He'd say "Ir 'e gittin yours?"


Malcolms, where you could procure

Whisky, gin or orange crush,

We used to ca' him "Vaseline",

But he was best known as "Pish Tush".


"Ha'penny Annie's", Wullie Easton's shop,

Then the wee man aye sae grumpy,

The Langholm paper we got there,

Frae little "Wattie Wumpie".


Simon Heeslop's, then McCulloch's

Then another chemists store,

On the corner was the Post Office,

Wi' its big impressive door.


The Crown Hotel, you'll remember well

Where the thirsty went and drank,

An' if they'd money left they went next door

Tae the National Bank.


Little Jimmie Barr comes next

Selling hairnets, combs and slides,

A closer shave you couldna get

Or shorter "back an' sides".


Past the BL Bank was Jimmy Bell's,

Where the hens and duck they'd pluck,

And saut herring' and the kippers there

Would drive you to the Buck,


Here you might get a pint of beer,

Or maybe several nips,

Then you can go next door and get

Jim Stuart's fish and chips.


Opposite Wullie Eltons where

If on hard times you should fall,

You thought the "Burroo" would help you through,

But you'd come out with b....r all.


The High Street now comes to an end,

The Toonheid Kirk comes into view,

Where spiritual guidance you could get

From the Reverend "Geordie Boo".


To get away from bricks and mortar,

The countryside we'll view,

We look across our own Kilngreen

To the seat of the Buccleuch.


The "Lang Fall" and the "Curly Snake",

"Baggra" with its fields of corn,

The heathery slopes of Meikleholm

Were we looked for "Cowie's Thorn".


The "Cow Looning" heading to "Lamb Hill"

Where we sledged upon its slopes,

Where on the night afore the morn,

Was the scene of youthful hopes.


Up Copshaw Road tae Whita Hill

With the Monument on top,

Then for a drink at "Whita Wole",

The customary stop.


We look across to the "Roon Hoose",

Wi' Warbla to the West,

An' in between the road and rail,

Leads to the spot we love the best,


Through the "Sale Ring" back to Station House,

Back to where we started,

Where as boys we shared our joys

Twas from there that we all parted.


Dear Exile we return you now

To your adopted land,

We've enjoyed our trip down Memory Lane,

Just dreaming hand in hand.


We know the ties with your homeland

You'll never wish to sever,

Happiness we know you've found

With the Maple Leaf for ever.


Here we say adieu, but not farewell,

May our friendship ne'er be lost,

Good health be always with you and yours

Yer auld frien'