Scottish Poetry Selection
- The Tramcar of Rhyme

David Reilly wrote his book "Oot The Windae" to recall Glasgow's east end in the fifties and sixties. It is based on observations and anecdotes about growing up in the days when he was a lad. This poem is the first in the book and explains the reasons for writing it.. See also Oot The Windae.

This poem is reproduced by kind permission. See also the Oot the Windae Web site if you would like to buy the book.

The Tramcar of Rhyme

Allow me to take you into my past
back to my childhood that happened so fast
and to help us on this journey in time
we’ll climb aboard my tramcar of rhyme
we will take it down to memory lane
turn left at Glasgow when I was a wean
so cast away doubts and open your mind
and savour the pleasure I’m sure you'll find

Born after the war and a baby boomer
of married parents despite the rumour
my story is told in Glasgow's east end
in the fifties and sixties when we set the trend
it is based on observations and anecdotes
from hundreds of hastily scribbled notes
you will find my story both funny and sad
my growing up days when I was a lad

I want to remind all you fifty pluses
about our tramrides before there was buses
there is no need for the three ha’penny fare
as the rhythm of the tram will take you there
we will go back to when we were nippers
long before the pipe and slippers
we’ll cross the bridge of generation
no matter creed colour or political persuasion

I want to tell the kids of today
what it was like to go out and play
what it was like before the telly
when we went to bed on an empty belly
but I also want them to share in the fun
of the all the games played in the sun
I would like to teach them a few of our tricks
when we shared a lolly so we all had licks

So allow my childhood’s observation
to paint pictures in your imagination
and let us revisit those bygone days
when the sun shone brighter through the haze
let me take your hand and we’ll go together
down through the years to the sunny weather
for in my memory the sun always shines
so all aboard my tramcar of rhymes

Meaning of unusual words:

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