Dandie Dinmots
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Streets Away


I watched the road gang working at a spot just past my gate

Four of them were not on time, whilst the other three were late.

It took them forty minutes to unload their tools from off the cart

It was nearly time for their morning break, so they just didn't start.

They had erected their wee canvas tent, equipped with benches and a table

The tent, it sort of leaned a bit and to me looked quite unstable.


The youngest lad was sent to fetch hot water for their tea,

He must have tried six houses, before he got to me.

"Will you be after giving us a boiling, so that we can make the brew,

Sure it's tursty work, all this digging for me and dat road crew."

I obliged them with hot water, filling four black and smoked stained cans,

"Is your foreman out there with you?" 

"Sur he's gone back to get the plans."


About an hour later the foreman arrived and gave a shout,

"How many of yis in there?" 

"Siven sir." 

"Then half of yis, come out.

Now Paddy, Shaun and Kevin, and dat udder fellah Mick

I brought yis each a shovel now, so come and take your pick."

"Sure we canna dig with these sur, the road is much too hard."

"Eejit, we'll use the compressor." 

"Sur, we left it in the yard."


"We have got to have this hole dug, to a depth of siven feet!"

"We can dig it on the grass verge sur, its softer than the street."

"Now dares a man dat knows the game, I'm sure dat he'll go far,

And when you've dug the spoil from dare, just pile it round dat car.

No more than siven feet now" he advised them without a grin

"For if you take out more dan dat, it'll not all go back in."


They started on their digging, and did so methodically

And that is when the tent fell down, exposing three others drinking tea.

"I want half of yis on traffic cones, the rest can fix the tent"

They scampered quickly to their ordained tasks, and off the foreman went.

The owner of the house next door came out to check his car,

A 'Denver Boot'  of spoil and soil clear up to his tow-bar.


"What in blazes are you doing digging up my drive and verge?"

At this point they hit a water pipe and water did emerge.

The neighbour and the road gang did argue in the spray,

"Pack up your gear me bhoy- ohs and let's be on our way."

The foreman had returned to them, to rescue his road crew,

"The hole we've dug in this Park Drive, should be in dat, Park View!"







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Copyright 2005 David Burt , all rights reserved