Ailsa Craig

All you who mean to tramping go, and cross the foaming sea

A while draw near and you shall hear what happened late to me
O Mary Cleary is my name, I'm twelve years old and pretty
And when my father passed away we had to leave our country
My mother took me in her arms, said do not cry my darling
In Scotland we will try our luck, we're leaving in the morning


She said Scotland she is rare and sweet
Scotland she is pretty
All Scottish towns are green and neat
And none beats Glasgow city

We sailed that morning right enough, that truth I'm not denying
But when I spotted land draw near, I thought my mother lying
For Scotland she was just a rock, a-sticking out the sea
An old worn tooth or caved-in skull, with stone of dirty grey
No pretty towns nor parks of green, just cliffs and seabirds shrieking
A lonelier place I'd never seen, the sight soon had me weeping

What ails you dear my mother said, why look so broken hearted?
I told her why I shed a tear and this she then imparted
Fear not my love that island stump is not our destination
That's Ailsa Craig, the Fairy Rock, a landmark for our nation
For that old Milestone marks the spot 1/2 way between our lands
We'll soon be docked at Broomielaw and shaking Scottish hands

Repeat Chorus

Now here we are in Gallowgate where the closes they are spacious
The tenements in good repair, the landlords not rapacious
There is no dirt upon the streets, no factory smoke is choking
Our fortune's made, we're filthy rich. Perhaps you've guessed I'm joking.
My mother lied in what she said, for Glasgow is no haven
Now Ailsa Craig looks not so bad, to one who can't be leaving

Repeat Final Chorus


Barrack Street


Copyright 2017 © Jane Harris