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GANDIEGOW ( 2016 )

Available at Amazon 


Ride the waves, fight the wind
That the blurs the line, between sea and sky
I shake this frost, from these tired wings
Beating hard, beating strong, over the sea

Rainbow arc, tall and proud
Spectral rays of glistening light
How good to breathe, to smell the earth
Sacred tree, stony field, so far away

I pray these wings will carry me
Give me strength to cross the sea
Won’t you cast some light to guide my way
Think of me, when I’m far away

By night I steer, celestial paths
Using maps of stars, to guide my way
By day I chase, horizon lines
Forever straight, endless flat
Through clear blue sky

Steely, blue light, distils blue to gray
Comes the dawn, at end of night
There is no sleep, in endless flight
Catching thermals, lost in sky, over the sea


In times of trouble we stand as one
No room for doubt  when the time is short
But we must make haste using secret paths
Fly through the sky to where the river flows

And the young men speak
Through the barrel of a gun
Their tongues are forked spit metal rain

Sound no warning, sirens calling
Bad dreams of the blitz
Shown no pity Holy city
Having bad dreams of the blitz

Its an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth
Observe blackout at all times
Kiss your children to sleep
Place your gas mask by their bed

I see you crying but there’s no sound
A thousand tears fall on holy ground

Criss crossing lights climb up so high
Burning fires glow in the sky
Concussion seems like a dream
Deafens the blasts and mutes the screams

And we must fight as one
The Holy City’s time has come


O luely, luely cam she in
And luely she lay doun:
I kent her by her caller lips
And her breists sae sma’ and roun’.

A’ thru the nicht we spak nae word
Nor sinder’d bane frae bane:
A’ thru the nicht i heard her hert
Gang soundin’ wi’ my ain.

It was about the waukrife hour
When cocks begin to craw
That she smool’d saftly thru the mirk
Afore the day wud daw.

Sae luely, luely, cam she in
And luely wis she gaen
And wi’ her a’ my simmer days
Like they had never been


Hey little darlin’
Hey little darlin’
Are you waiting for me
Are you waiting for me

Hey little darlin, see the summer sun
come shining upon your face
I’m so happy to be with you in this place
But we can’t be here for long
So savour it till we’re gone
I’m gonna rock n’ roll you right
through till the dawn

Could I just be dreaming
Where did those minutes go?
Lying here being tantalised by you
I’m drunk upon your potions
Blinded by your spell
Lying here being mesmerised by you

Sitting here I’m dreaming by a river far away
Staring at the white clouds
Cruise and disappear and there’s me and you
There’s just me and you


Divided in two colours is the city where i live
Like when oil meets water, no quarter will they give
Around two squares of turf on the saturday
They swear and shout and chant away

Singing songs of the green and songs of the blue
Each side hates what the other side does
When they walk into their churches on the
And sing their praise to god

On a warm summer day you might
Hear the flute and drum
See a royal caravan that will stop you till it’s done
Tramping over town waving their proud history
Built on division hate and bigotry

They say it’s in the football like cancer in a man
Contaminates the young with a crazy masterplan
To use religion as a weapon of hate to hide a fear
Their pious institutions will die and disappear

From the trenches thay have dug, fixed
Immobile they remain
To defend their rights forever in a partnership of pain
Ask a bluenose in a collar or a tim in a crown
They’s rather fight and die and go to hell instead

So here’s top the orange order and the violence of the sash
To the holy place of worship with the
Guilt trips and the cash
Say 3 hail mary’s for salvation in a paradise of green
Drink to the royal colours raise your bowler to the queen


Beech-wood fires burn bright and clear
If the logs are kept a year; 

Store your beech for Christmastide 

With new-cut holly laid beside; 

Chestnut’s only good, they say, 

If for years ‘tis stored away; 

Birch and fir-wood burn too fast 

Blaze too bright and do not last; 

Flames from larch will shoot up high, 

Dangerously the sparks will fly; 

But ash-wood green and ash-wood brown 

Are fit for a Queen with a golden crown. 

Oaken logs, if dry and old, 

Keep away the winter’s cold; 

Poplar gives a bitter smoke, 

Fills your eyes and makes you choke; 

Elm-wood burns like churchyard mould,
Even the very flames are cold; 

It is by the Irish said; 

Hawthorn bakes the sweetest bread, 

Apple-wood will scent the room, 

Pear-wood smells like flowers in bloom; 

But ash-wood wet and ash-wood dry 

A King may warm his slippers by 


The hedgehog’s a funny wee fellow
Who keeps himself well out of sight
When he’s hungry and wanting a feast
You might see him about in the night

He keeps cockit his lugs when he’s guzzlin slugs
To the sound of the faintest foot fa’
When he’s chased by laddies or foxes or dugs
He’ll curl himself intae a ba’

He’s round as a barrel wi wee hairy legs
On his back is a hantle of thorns
That gies them that meddle a guid wheen mair flegs
Than any big bull with its horns

Like a big scotch thistle he calmly reclines
With the thocht who daur meddle wi’ me
When folks get fed up being jagged by his spines
And go off somewhere else for their tea

You might think the hedgehog is lucky
But would you ever feel at your ease
Not able to scratch when it’s yucky
A back that’s aye hoachin wi fleas


To the dancin’ we will go, To the dancin’ we will go
Go put on your best dress And wear your dancing shoes
I have waited so long For this moment to come true
We will walk the walk together, to the dancing we will go

To the dancin’ we will go To the dancin’ we will go
Go tell all your best friends And let your family know
Standing in a line As the music starts to play
We will walk the walk together, to the dancing we will go

To the dancin’ we will go To the dancin’ we will go
Round and round with your best dress on
Round and round we go
Dancing to a tune Written many years ago
We will walk the walk together, to the dancing we will go

To the dancin’ we will go To the dancin’ we will go
Dizzy on your sweet perfume For anyone to see
when that we must part Many years ahead from now
We will walk the walk together, to the dancing we will go

From the stormy shores of Scotland,
To the warm winds of the Gulf
On a passage to Jamaica,
For cotton, spice and snuff
40 sail and 200 hands,
Heaving in the swell
Set your course upon the stars,
And pray the winds blow well


My distant son
Where the trade winds blow
That’s where you’ll go
Lost between sea and sky

So she gets a little older,
Becomes a touch more frail
Until the ship comes in the harbour,
Then she feels that same old thrill
That night he dances with her
Like he’s never danced with her before
They go round and round
Like a spinning top birlin’ upon the floor

It takes four months to remember, and
Eight days to forget
Until the ship it leaves the harbour,
To where the distant sun must set
She pulls her scarf around her head, and
Stares out at his sea
Where defiant whitecaps framed on gray,
Scream their ecstacy


Read to me a story
And carry me away
Carry me to where I want to go
To your place of peace,
So gentle and so calm
Your words tumble softly in my ear

The world spins faster every day
Easy to daydream precious time away  
Looking back I must have been blind
Couldn’t see we are two of a kind

Eyes that hypnotize me
Catch me with surprise
Smiling as you turn to say hello
I see you in the morning
And at the end of day
Off to sleep when all the work is done

See the stars up in the sky
How they flicker and wave goodbye
Goodbye my love

Rolling round on the hands of fate
Clinging onto that swinging gate
You and I my friend
Two of a kind
Sticking to the end of time


A squall of wind and rain, a heavy shower.
Cf. Gandaguster. In pl.:“appearance on sea to ‘eastert’ before a heavy gale” (Bwk. (Eyemouth) 1916).
Scottish National Dictionary (1700-).


Originally Inspired by Migration and the resultant struggle in adversity. Since writing
it has acquired a new level of poignancy with the current European migrant crisis.

On the nights of 13 and 14

March 1941 German bombers attacked the munitions

factories and shipyards of Clydeside. 260 bombers

arrived on the first night, and with rescue work continuing, 200 bombers returned to

wreak havoc for over seven hours the following
evening. 528 civilians were killed, over 617 people were seriously injured, and 48,000 civilians
lost their homes, many of them shipyard workers and their families. Prior to the bombing,
Clydebank was known as the Holy City because the cheaply built flat roofed tenements
resembled Jerusalem when viewed from the river Clyde.

Sadly religious sectarianism

was a normal backdrop to life growing up in Glasgow
in the 1970/80s. Thankfully

our society is increasingly

taking a zero tolerance
approach to the blight of religious intolerance and bigotry.

A song about the crews of the clipper ships, that sailed the trade winds from Britain
to far flung corners of the

world throughout the growth

of trade and empire in the
18th/19th Centuries. The

song highlightes the families and loved ones left behind.

This song was inspired by community dance and it’s increasingly restored
prominence in contemporary Scottish culture. The Cèilidh is derived from
the Old Irish céle (singular) meaning “companion”. The word later became céilidhe
or céilidh and was originally used to describe a social gathering or event.

The words are believed to

have been written by Lady

Celia Congreve and first published in the Times on the 2nd March 1930 as ‘the Firewood Song’. The poem gives a sense of the
significance and reverence of wood that existed in a world before the convenience of electricity.

Hedgehogs are a unique point of contact with the natural world. Their distinctive appearance makes them a much-loved species. Sadly they are in decline due to industrialised farming methods and

increased road traffic.

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