The Boy in the Train

The Boy in the Train
Whit wey does the engine say 'Toot-toot'? 
Is it feart to gang in the tunnel? 
Whit wey is the furnace no pit oot 
When the rain gangs doon the funnel? 
What'll I hae for my tea the nicht? 
A herrin', or maybe a haddie? 
Has Gran'ma gotten electric licht? 
Is the next stop Kirkcaddy? 

There's a hoodie-craw on yon turnip-raw! 
An' seagulls! - sax or seeven. 
I'll no fa' oot o' the windae, Maw, 
Its sneckit, as sure as I'm leevin'. 
We're into the tunnel! we're a' in the dark! 
But dinna be frichtit, Daddy, 
We'll sune be comin' to Beveridge Park, 
And the next stop's Kirkcaddy! 

Is yon the mune I see in the sky? 
It's awfu' wee an' curly, 
See! there's a coo and a cauf ootbye, 
An' a lassie pu'in' a hurly! 
He's chackit the tickets and gien them back, 
Sae gie me my ain yin, Daddy. 
Lift doon the bag frae the luggage rack, 
For the next stop's Kirkcaddy! 

There's a gey wheen boats at the harbour mou', 
And eh! dae ya see the cruisers? 
The cinnamon drop I was sookin' the noo 
Has tummelt an' stuck tae ma troosers. . . 
I'll sune be ringin' ma Gran'ma's bell, 
She'll cry, 'Come ben, my laddie', 
For I ken mysel' by the queer-like smell 
That the next stop's Kirkcaddy!
Mary Campbell Smith
Mary Campbell Smith

The author of the well-known poem about the boy on the train to Kirkcaldy, Mrs. Smith was the wife of the headmaster of Merchiston Castle School in Edinburgh. When asked to contribute to a schoolboys' magazine, she produced 'The Boy in the Train', thus immortalising a noisy lad who had once been in the compartment when the Smiths were on their way by train to their annual Easter holiday in Elie. The poem was then reproduced in the official school journal in 1913, and thereafter included in many anthologies of popular Scottish verse. 

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