The Storm on the Paisley Canal



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Pray look on this victim of Cupid,
Tae my tale of woe give an ear,
As sure as death I'm knocked quite stupid,
I'll gang wrang in the head tae, I fear,
An' it's a' through a lass that I gaed wi',
Ay, Mary McPhail was her name;
My affections she has cruelly played wi',
And left me like a wandered wean.

Spoken : Aye, mony a time I hae laughed at the idea o' folk gaen wrang in the head an' committin' suicide through love, but there's naebody kens the impression it leaves when your lass leaves you. I ken mony a time I hae fun' mysel' daunering owre by Jamaica Brig wi' the full intention o' throwin' mysel' owre, but on second consideration when I thoucht on the trouble it would gie ither fouk, fairly spile my claes, au' maybe catch cauld, I thoucht it would be as weel tae never mind. Aye, Mary McPhail hasna failed tae mak' me fail plenty.

Chorus : I wish that I never had seen her,
She has cruelly caused my doonfa'
She's awa' wi' the mate o' a steamer
That sailed on the Paisley Canal

Ye mann ken that her parents resided
In that famous place Paisley toon,
Tae first-fit them we baith had deeided
When Hogmanay nicht would come roun'.
She said wi' the train she was tired,
And would like tae gang doon by the sea,
So a berth for us baith I then hired
In the Crossmyloof steamship "Bumbee."

Spoken: Ay, freens, I spared nae expense tae mak' her comfortable, I took a cabin passage in that large and commodious steamship O' twa hunder punds burthen, the "Bumbee,'t o' Crossmyloof. And before starting that nich I bocht a bottle o' the hard stuff, nane o' the "Weekly Mail" kind, mind ye, but the rale Glen tak'it, some curran' scones, same potted head,some wulks, and several ither luxuries. I took ane last look o' the shore o' Glesca', a carter gied us a shove aff, and awa' we started, but I micht hae kent there wis something gaun tae tak' place, for before we left the Quay there
wis a punt lying opposite tae us wi' a lot o' man-o-war sailors on board, and they aye kept winking at Mary, and she seemed lt ke it.

When passing the Shaws a great storm
Wi terrible fury cam on
I got my Sunday troosers r torn
And Mary she lost her chignon.
I thocht I wad faint wi alarm,
When, A hauns on deck, the Captain roared,
And the crew was a chap wi yae arm,
He says, Throw the main deck overboard.

We hadno gaen far up the channel
When we felt such a thunderin shock,
The Captain gaed aft wi a candle,
And found out we had struck on a rock,
I lost Mary amidst a' the commotion.
On a flour barrel I sprang across,
And by chance was rescued from the ocean,
By a passing punt loaded with dross.

Spoken : There was a nice predicament tae be in. Talk aboot first-fittinn, I wis bobbin aboot for three or four hours on the briny ocean whustlin wi my fingers in my mooth as a signal o' distress, but at last ane o' Drummonds Government screws cam in sicht, but they either took me for a buoy, or else the spirit o the storm and were frichted to tak me on board, but at last they got convinced I was a human being, so they hove to, and before you could count three I was on board and related my sad tale tae the Captain. But I think a the Captains ere tarred wi the same stick, for he jist gied
his troosers a hitch up an he says. Avast, you landlubber, the girl will be right enough. She micht be richt enough for them she was wi but no for me; but however I arrived back frae whaur I started, a sadder but a wiser man I met a the ither fouk gaun hame quite happy singing the Days o Auld Lang Syne, and Let us be happy together, but I had tae gang hame singing in tae mysel.

I wish that I never had seen her, etc.

I had jist been twa days hame tae a letter
Cam frae Mary that did mak me stare.
She said I should try and forget her
For she couldna see me ony mair
She got spliced the day after the storm
Tae the Captain for saving her life,
So noo I'm left quite forlorn,
Daunerin aboot lookin oot for a wife.

Spoken : Aye. the day I got that letter I kent at ance it was frae Mary, I could aye tell her han write, ye wad think it was wrote wi the end o a potstick. It commenced wi, Dear Bauldie (aye she was dear enough tae me ony way, for the excursion cost me ane an fivepence, my hail years gatherin, no speakin o three pence hapenny I spent wi her up at the shows during the fair time), she says Dear Bauldie, I hope youll no tak it amiss o me marryin the Captain o the Bumbee, for what is to be will be. During the tempest me an the mate got haud o an egg box an clung tae it tae we were picked up by a large troopship o ane horse-power and carried back tae the foreign port o Strabungo. When, without ony hesitation, he asked me if I would be his partner for life, so I just said aye, because him saving my life I thoucht he had the richt tae get me; so when the clergyman asked me if I would tak him for better or worse, I said I would tak him for the better the warst o't bein disappointin you, but it canna be helped noo. I'm appointed stewardess on board ane o the canal liners, so as there is to be a soiree on board the nicht, an I hae tae attend a a party o coalheavers. for the present I'll bid you an everlasting fareweel. At the fit o the letter there was a P.S. (I suppose that meant Puir Sowl), it said, If you came tae Strabunge on Monday next I could get ye a job as pilot
tae pull up ane o the canal ironclads frae Paisley every morning. But I would prefer bein at my ain trade weavin at hame, an content mysel singin -
I wish that I never had seen her, etc.


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The Storm on the Paisley Canal
Price One Penny.
Copies can always be had at the Poet's Box, 190 and 192 Overgate, Dundee,
Tune - Original.