Iron Horse, The

 A comic portrait of a first-time railway traveller going from Dundee to Perth soon after the railway was opened. 


Come Hielandmen, come Lowlandmen, come every man on earth, man
And I’ll tell you how I got on atween Dundee and Perth man [Note 184.1]
I gaed upon an iron road, a rail they did it ca’ man
And draggit by an iron horse, an awful beast to draw man

Then first and foremost near the door, there was a wee bit wicket
It was there they gar’d me pay my ride, and they gi’ed me a ticket
I gaed awa’ up through the hoose, Sat doon upon a kist(1), man
To tak a look on all I saw on the great big iron beast man

There was hooses in a long straight row, A-Standing upon wheels man
And them, the chiels(1) that fed the horse, Were black’s a pair o’ diels man
And ne’er a thing they gave the brute, But only coals to eat, man
He was the queerest beast that e’er I saw, For he had wheels for feet man

A chap came up and roond his cap he wore a yellow band, man
He bade me gang and tak my seat, says I “I’d rather stand, man”
He speered(1) if I was going to Perth, says I, And that I be, man
But I’m weel enough just where I Am, because I want to see, man

He said I was the greatest fool that e’er he saw on earth, man
For twas just the hooses on the wheels that gaed from this to Perth, man
And then he laughed and wondered how I hadnae mair discernment
Says I The ne’er a ken kent I, I thought the whole concern went.

The beast it roared and off we ga’ed, through water earth and stanes(1), man
We ran at sic’ a fearful rate, I thought we break our banes(1), man
‘Til by and by we stoppit at a place called something Gowrie [Note 184.2]
But ne’er a word had I to say, but only to sit an glower, aye

Then after that we made a halt and in comes Yellow Band man
He asked me for the ticket and I all my pouches fand man
But ne’er a ticket I could get, I’d tint it on the road man
So he gar’d me pay for’t ower again, or else gang off to quod man.

Then after we had crossed the Tay and landed into Perth, man [Note 184.3]
I vow it was the queerest place that e’er I saw on earth, man
For the hooses and the iron horse were far abun the land, man
And how they got them up the stairs, I canna understand, man

But noo I safely landed and my feet are on the sod man
When I gang to Dundee again, I’ll tak anither road, man
Though I should tramp upon my feet, till I’m no fit to stand, man
Catch me again when I’m ta’en in, wi a chap wi a yellow band, man