Rough Scan
 






 
       
        XVII
         
        AT THE SELECT CHOIR’S CONCERT.
         
        SIN’ 
          Friday nicht I’ve been gaen aboot wi’ my hert an’ moo fu’ o’
        musik!  Eh, hoo I did enjoy yon Gleska Koir’s singin’.  
          I hinna heard onything like it for mony a day.  
          D’ye ken, fine musik juist affeks me like a gude preeehin’—an’ 
          waur whiles.  I canna help frae thinkin’ aboot it.  The tune I’ve been hearin’ ‘ill come into my 
          heid at a’ times; an’ here I’ll be maybe croonin’ awa’ i’ the shop to 
          mysel’ “Will ye no’ come back again?“ an’ gien somebody mustard instead 
          o’ peysmeal, an’, of coorse, it comes back again, an’ a gey wey o’ doin’ 
          wi’t, an’ nae mistak’.
        But, 
          eh, I enjoyed the Burns Club concert!  
          Sandy an’ me was doon at the hall on the back o’ seven o’clock, 
          an’ we got set doon at the end o’ ane o’ the farrest-forrit sixpenny 
          seats, an’ got a lean on the back o’ ane o’ the shilliny anes.  
          We was gey gled we gaed doon early, for the hall was too juist 
          in a clap; an’ gin aucht o’clock, Sandy tells me, they were offerin’ 
          half-a-croon to get their lug to the keyhole.  
          It was an awfu’ crush.
        There 
          was a gey pompis-like carlie cam’ an’ tried to birz Sandy an’ me up 
          the seat; but Sandy sune made ajob o’ him.
        “Have 
          you a ticket?” says Sandy.
        “Ay, 
          have I,” says the carlie, curlin’ up his lips gey snappish-like; “I 
          have a three-shillin’ ticket.”
        “Ay,
        weel, awa’ oot o’ this,” says Sandy.  
        “This is the sikey seats, an’ we dinna want ony o’ you chappies 
          poachin’ amon’ his lads.  If 
          you’ve only a three-shilliny ticket, you’ll awa’ oot o’ this, gey
        smert,” 
          says Sandy; an’ a lot e’ the fowk backit him up, an’ faigs, mind ye, 
          the carlie had to crawl awa’ forrit again, whaur he cam’ frae.  
          The cheek o’ the cratur!  Thocht, 
          mind ye, he wud get crushed in amon’ his sikey fowk wi’ his three-shilliny 
          ticket!
        Whenever 
          the singin’ began ye wudda heard a preen fa’.  
        “There was a lad was born in Kyle,” juist nearhand garred Sandy 
          jump aff his seat.  He cud hardly 
          keep his feet still, an’ he noddit his heid frae side to side, an’
        leuch, 
          like’s he was some noo-married king drivin’ awa’ throo the streets o’ 
          London till his honeymune.  Syne 
          at “My luve she’s like a reed, reed rose,” he smakit his lips, an’ turned 
          his een up to the ruif, an’ lookit to me twa-three times like’s he was 
          genna tak’ a dwam o’ some kind.  That used to be a favourite sang o’ Peeker 
          Donnit’s when he precentit up at Dimbarrow.  
          Eh, mony’s the time I’ve heard him at it.  Ye’ll mind fine o’ the Peeker?  
          He bade ower i’ yon cottar hoose, wast a bittie frae the Whin 
          Inn.  He had twa dochters, ye’ll mind, an’ a he-cat 
          that killed whitterits wi’ a blind e’e.  
          Eh, ay; that’s mony a lang day syne!  
          But I’m awa’ frae my story.
        I 
          cudna tell ye which o’ the bits I likeit best.  
          I juist sat nearhand a’ nicht fairly entranced.  I thocht yon twa kimmers that sang “The Banks 
          an’ Braes o’ Bonnie Doon” did awfu’ pritty.  Raley, my hert was I’ my moo twa-three times when they were at the 
          bitties whaur they sang laich, juist like the sooch-soochin’ o’ the 
          hairst wind i’ the forenicht amon’ the stocks.  
          Sandy was sweengin’ aboot in his seat, like’s he was learnin’ 
          the velocipede, an’ takin’ a lang breath ilky noo-an’-than, an’ sayin’, 
          “Imphm; ay, man; juist that.”  He 
          riffed when the lassies sat doon, till ye wud thocht he wudda haen his 
          hands blistered; but I think he was gled o’ onything to do, juist to 
          lat him get himsel’ gien vent.
        When 
          the koir startit to sing aboot Willie Wastle, Sandy nickered awa’ like 
          a noo-spain’d foal, an’ aye when they cam’ to the henmist line o’ the 
          verse he gae me a prog i’ the ribs wi’ his elba, as much as to say, 
          “That’s ane for you, Bawbie!”  But 
          I watched him, an’ at the henmist verse, when they said terriple quick, 
          “I wudna gie a button for her,” I juist edged alang a bittie, an’ Sandy’s 
          elba missin’, he juist exakly landit pargeddis in a fisherwife’s lap 
          that was sittin’ ahent’s.  There was plenty o’ lauchin’ an’ clappin’ whaur 
          we was, I can tell ye.
        I 
          likeit “Scots wha hae,” an’ the “Macgregor’s Gaitherin’.”  I thocht yon was juist grand.  When they were singin’ “Scots wha hae,” Sandy 
          glowered a’ roond aboot him like’s he wudda likeit to ken it onybody 
          wantit a fecht.  What a soond 
          there was at the strong bits.  The 
          feint a ane o’ me kens whaur yon men an’ weemin’ get a’ yon
        soond.  At some o’ the lines o’ the “Macgregor’s Gaitherin’” it was like 
          the wind thunderin’ doon Glen Tanner, or the Rooshyan guns at
        Sebastypool.  I cudna help frae notisin’ hoo it garred a’body 
          sit straucht up.  When yon lassie 
          was singin’ sae bonnie, “John Anderson, my Jo,” a’ the fowk’s heids 
          were hingin’; but at “Scots wha hae” they sat up like life
        gairds, and 
          ilky body near me lookit like’s it wudna be cannie speakin’ to them.
        There 
          was ae thing they sang that wasna on the programme that I thocht awfu’ 
          muckle o’.  It was something 
          aboot “Tramp!  Tramp!  Tramp!“ 
        Ane o’ the lassies sang a bit hersel’ here an’ there, an’ eh, 
          what splendid it was.  She gaed up an’ doon amon’ the notes juist 
          like forkit lichtnin’, an her voice rang oot as clear as a bell.  It was raley something terriple pritty.  When she feenished ye wudda thocht the fowk 
          was genna ding doon the hoose.  “Man, 
          that raley snecks a’ green thing; it fair cowps the cairt ower onything 
          ever I heard,” says Sandy, gien his nose a dicht wi’ the back o’ his 
          hand.  “That dame has raley a grand pipe; ye wud winder 
          whaur she fand room for a’ the wind she maun need.”  A fell curn fowk startit to the lauchin’ when 
          Sandy said this; but, faigs, mind ye, the lassie fairly astonished me.
        When 
          the votes o’ thanks were gien oot, Sandy riffed an’ rattled oot o’ a’ 
          measure.  I thocht ance or twice 
          he wud be up to the pletform to say a wird or twa himsel’, he was that 
          excited.  Syne when “Auld Lang Syne” was mentioned, he 
          sprang till his feet, evened his gravat, pulled doon his weyscot, put 
          a’ the buttons intil his coat, an’ swallowed a spittal.  An’ hoo he tootit an’ sang!  I 
          thocht the precentor that was beatin’ time lookit across at him twa-three 
          times, he was roostin’ an’ roarin’ at sic a rate.  He sang at the pitch o’ his voice—
         
        Shud auld acquantance be forgot,
        An’ never brocht to mind,
         
        an’ 
          syne gien me a great daud on the shuder wi’ his elba, he says, “Sing 
          quicker, Bawbie“—
         
        For the days o’ auld langsyne.
         
        There 
          was a fisher ahent’s that strak’ in wi’ the chorus an’ made an’ awfu’ 
          gutter o’t.  He yalpit awa’ a’ 
          on ae note, juist like’s he was roarin’ to somebody to lowse the
        penter; 
          an’ though Sandy keepit gaen, he was in a richt raise.
        “That 
          roarin’ nowt’s juist makin’ a pure soss o’t,” he says, when we finished.  “Ye wud easy ken he had learned his singin’ 
          at the sea”; an’ he glowered roond at him gey ill-natir’d like, an’ 
          says, “Haud your tung, ye roarin’ cuif.” 
        Syne he grippit the fisher’s hand wi’ ane o’ his, an’ mine wi’ 
          the ither, an’ startit—
         
        An’ here’s a hand, my trusty
        freend, eksettera.
         
        The 
          fisher lookit gey dumfoondered like, an’ never lut anither peek, but 
          Sandy stack in like a larry-horse till the feenish, an’ he cam’ hame 
          a’ the road sayin’, “Man, that’s raley been a treat!”
        It 
          was that, an’ nae mistak’, an’ a’ the chairman said, it’ll be a memorable 
          concert to mony a ane.