Scottish Poetry Selection
- Hey, Jock, Are Ye Glad Ye 'listed?

Neil Munro (1864-1930) was born in Inveraray in Argyll and worked as a journalist on various Scottish newspapers. He became well known for his Highland historical novels but achieved lasting fame for his humorous stories written under the pen name of Hugh Foulis about the fictional Clyde puffer the Vital Spark and her captain Para Handy.

This poem shows Munro in a more sombre mood, althoug there is a bit of gallows humour from the enlisted men at the battlefront in the First World War.

Hey, Jock, Are Ye Glad Ye 'listed?

Hey, Jock, are ye glad ye 'listed?
   O Jock, but ye're far frae hame!
What d'ye think o' the fields o' Flanders?
   Jockey lad, are ye glad ye came?
Wet rigs we wrought in the land o' Lennox,
   When Hielan' hills were smeared wi' snaw;
Deer we chased through the seepin' heather,
   But the glaur o' Flanders dings them a'!

This is no' Fair o' Balloch,
   Sunday claes and a penny reel;
It's no' for dancin' at a bridal
   Willie Lawrie's bagpipes squeal.
Men are to kill in the morn's mornin';
   Here we're back to your daddy's trade;
Naething for't but to cock the bonnet,
   Buckle on graith and kiss the maid.

The Cornal's yonder deid in tartan,
   Sinclair's sheuched in Neuve Eglise;
Slipped awa wi' the sodger's fever,
   Kinder than ony auld man's disease.
Scotland! Scotland! little we're due ye',
   Poor employ and skim-milk board.
But youth's a cream that maun be paid for,
   We got it reamin', so here's the sword!

Come awa, Jock, and cock your bonnet,
   Swing your kilt as best ye can;
Auld Dumbarton's Drums are dirlin',
   Come awa, Jock, and kill your man!
Par's the cry to Leven Water
   Where your fore-folks went to war,
They would swap wi' us to-morrow,
   Even in the Flanders glaur!

Meaning of unusual words:
rigs = fields
wrought = worked
glaur = mud
dings = beats
morn's mornin' = tomorrow morning
graith = equipment
Cornal = Colonel
sheuched = covered over
reamin' = overflowing
dirlin' = vibrating noisily

Return to the Index of Scottish Poetry Selection

Where else would you like to go in Scotland?


Separator line