By Exile


There was a sleet in the cauld wind we decided to brave

As we trudged up the hill to find Wee Smeekies grave

The lush grass was sodden, it was muddy underfoot,

As we stopped to draw breath whilst surveying Bankfoot

This historic village cemetery was kept sae neat and tidy

Was whaur Smeekie had been buried four weeks past on Friday

And a braw, braw place tae lay in rest I thought untae my’sel

A reception room for Heaven, no’ a waiting room for Hell

Gravestones o’er the centuries o’ granddads, daughters, brothers

Cousins, nieces, nephews, grannies, fathers, sons and mothers

Orderliness most evident, o’ that you would expect

Auchtergaven’s way o’ saying “To our dead we pay respect”

This graveyard had seen many tears, an’ deaths for many reasons

And the evidence on the headstones by the monumental masons

Whau’s inscriptions were reminders o’ the fragility o’ life

And the tenderness and devotion o’ a husband and a wife

Going through life together, sharing everything they’ve got

Then going to meet their maker and sharing the same plot

Takes a special compatibility wi’ warmth and understanding

Wi’ forthrightness and courage, determination not withstanding


But we’d come to find Wee Smeekies plot an’ say a word or two

And think about him lying there in his red and white and blue

His dying wish, a Rangers strip to replace the funeral shroud

For Smeekie was an Ibrox man, o’ that he was fair proud

And he was in this churchyard lying somewhere underground

Yet hunting through “God’s acre” no trace of him was found

We were checking every tombstone, trudging up and down

Then when glancing to the left I detected Camsie’s frown

Then the frown disappeared and he started to scowl

His shoulders hunched forward, he stared to prowl

The searching continued, the hour was getting late

I thought we’d found Smeekie when I heard a shout from Pate

“A funny thing” says Camsie, “I’ve examined every stane

There’s something very odd out here I canny we’el explain”

I watched him quite intently, he was serious as he spoke

“No finding Smeekie’s one thing, but I’ve lost my Uncle Jock!”

I’ve checked every single headstone, he’s nowhere to be found

I was here when he was buried, when they put him underground

Cams was mystified and flummoxed, worse than he had feared

His Uncle Jock and Smeekie couldnae baith have disappeared


Ye hear some awful stories, and you’re filled with morbid dread

Grave robbers in the darkness, digging up the dead

A shiver went through my body, I looked up tae the skies

As I thought about the butcher and his local home-made pies

Sleep well in Auchtergaven, sleep soundly in your bed

Steer clear of your necropolis, your ‘city of the dead’

Strange things may be happening up on your Boot Hill

Which looks at first a picture so peaceful and tranquil

May be hiding awful secrets of ghouls and bloody vampires

Bogeymen, werewolves or blazing human bonfires

Have close at hand a crucifix, eat garlic for good measure

And put them in your coffin if the hereafter you treasure

Now Rangers men and crucifixes don’t mix very well

But keep at bay the vampires or you could end up in Hell.


Copyright Calluna Publishing 2003