Scottish Poetry Selection
- Oor Neibor's Pianny

This amusing poem by David Taylor describes a time before hi-fi music players and guitars - but before present-day "anti-social behaviour orders" were invented!

      Oor Neibor's Pianny

A'm a guid-natured man, an tho sayin it masel
Gin ye speir at the wife, the same story she'll tell,
An it taks a guid deal whyles ma patience tae try
Or tae ither fowk pleisure attempt tae deny;
But oor neibors, wae's me, a pianny hae got
An it stirs up ma bluid till it's whyles bilin hot,
For fae mornin till nicht aye upon it they thrum,
An aw that it plays is jist reetle te tum!
      Reetle te tum, reetle te tum
      They try lots o tunes, but there's no ane'll come;
      O gin A were deif, or that pianny dumb
      For it has me near daft wi its reetle te tum.

At nicht ower the news A hae a bit look,
Jist eftir ma supper, by the ingle neuk,
Ma wife wi her knittin, she sits beside me,
An a mair couthie couple ye cuidnae weel see;
A read aw aboot the frontiers o Afghan
An the battles oor sodjers fecht in the Sudan,
But ma readin's sune spoilt, for wi a crash like a drum
Oor neebor's pianny plays reetle te tum.
      Reetle te tum, reetle te tum etc

No even on Sundays fae it they'll refrain
But strum awa at it wi micht an wi main
An, tae let the soond oot, their doors open they keep -
Ay, even at nicht, when fowk shuid be asleep.
A hae borne it till nou, jist as meek as a lamb,
But A doot it will sune mak me flee tae a dram -
Eithir that, or the 'Big Hoose' near Liff, it maun come,
Gin there's no a stop sune tae the reetle te tum.
      Reetle te tum, reetle te tum etc.

A'm real fond o music. Tae hear a guid tune
Maks ma bluid dance fae ma heid tae ma shuin;
Gin trumpet or even the bagpipes ye blaw,
I carena, gin music fae them ye can draw,
Aye, even a tin whistle A'll stand still tae hear,
For when in richt hauns it soonds tunefu an clear;
But oh! That pianny ma heid will be numb,
Gin it disnae stop tootin oot reetle te tum.
      Reetle te tum, reetle te tum etc.

The puir organ-grinder wha plays on the street,
Tho his music is no jist melodious an sweet,
Yer brains winnae rack, jinglin aye the same thing,
For his tune he will cheenge, gin a bawbee ye fling.
An een tho he'll no fae his grindin refrain
It'll maybe be lang till ye hear him again;
But oor neibor's pianny, A fear twill ay bum
Till we're aw in the mools wi the reetle te tum.
      Reetle te tum, reetle te tum etc.

Meaning of unusual words:
Gin ye speir at=if you speak to
wae's me=woe is me
couthie=agreeable, sociable

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