- 60 Years Ago (G.G. Ross, Geanies Street, Tain)

I’m very glad to see you, John,
  Come back to good old Tain.
We’ll crack of happy days we’ve known
  And live them o’er again.

It’s sixty years since you and I
  Were little boys at play,
The years have passed so quickly by,
  And now we’re old and grey.

How eagerly we looked ahead
  In view of market day,
Saving our pennies, plans were made
  To see the grand display.

The market place with tubs and shoes,
  Fish creels, and skates with tails,
Crabs, flounders, cods, for you to choose,
  And pigs and water pails.

And when we saw the great High Street
  And heard the fiddle play,
It tried us hard to keep our feet
  From dancing the Strathspey.

There’s “Teenie’s” stand, and fortune wheel,
  The fairings and the candy,
The sharper, too, is there to steal
  Whatever comes in handy.

There’s wheeps and whistles, jump-an-jecks,
  And cairties there with wheels,
Both trumps and bugles, wood corn-craiks,
  And everything appeals.

And rising high above the noise,
  A single voice is heard,
Singing in praise of fashion’s joys,
  Which ladies most regard:

“It’s the Dolly Vardon this,
  And the Dolly Vardon that,
And the fashion of the day
  Is the Dolly Vardon Hat!”

And when you moved among the crowd
You heard the distant blare
Of cornets, horns and drums so loud,
It makes the people stare.

Fine ponies come with ladies fair
And beautiful to see,
Bespangled all with jewels rare –
How happy they must be.

There’s Jimmie Rose, his father, too,
And Jonny on the stilts,
The crowd hoorays when comes in view
Their mother in the kilts.

In front of the old Royal door
A carriage takes its stand,
A Gentleman we saw before
With silk hat dressed so grand.

He takes a purse and packs it full
 Of fivers and a crown,
And offers all to him that will
Just put two shillings down.

The eager folk soon buy them up
And then look for the notes –
But all they find is just a slip
And imitation Groats!

There on the Links, the shows are grand,
And lions roaring loud,
And on the platform plays the band
Each player very proud.

With satin hat and scarlet coat,
With stripes and twirls of gold,
I’m sure their clothing cost a lot
Far more than can be told.

The lions, tigers, elephants,
The camels and the bears,
Make big demands to meet their wants
Before this show appears.

And as the Market nears its end,
Tho’ lions cease to roar,
The shouts of revelry ascend
Much louder than before.

Those days, those scenes have passed away
 And many changes come,
 In some respects, we dare to say,
Improvements – only some.

It isn’t Commerce, then or now
That makes our Paradise,
Nor does experience teach us how
To profit and be wise.

And in the higher better sense
We fail to see it yet,
With strained relationships intense
 And discontent beset.

If we would know the Golden Rule,
 Esteem our brother man,
Then learning in the Higher School
Would prove the better plan