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Eh Mind O That book cover

Eh Mind O’ That


Back in 2010 four people got together to self publish a Dundee poetry book called “Eh Mind O’ That” which was full of their memories and other people’s stories about old Dundee. The whole book was written in the wonderful Dundee dialect which is so different to many others.

The original Dundee Community Podcast website was given permission to publish a small selection of the wonderful poems in this book which was advertised in the old news page back in November 2010. Above is a photograph of the books front cover. The book sold very well leading up to Christmas 2010 and beyond until all the copies were gone. When this page was first published there was a Dundee’s Own website to gain copies but as far as we believe the book is now out of print.

We would like to give special thanks to all the writers for allowing us to publish this originally, as well as our visitors a glimpse of this wonderful book.

Champion The Wonder Horse that used to be in the City Arcade

Craigowl Hill

CHAMPION THE WUNNER HORSE

Frankie Laine never kent
Whut a stooshie he had made
Singin Champion The Wonder Horse
In Dundee’s own arcade.

Frankie wisna really there
“It wis a record that he sang”
Beltin oot ”Champion….”
An’ abidy sang alang.

Setterday moarnin’ in the queue
”Is it near meh shottie yet?”
Bu’ the bairn afore had peed her drahers
An’ left the sate a’ wet!

Sittin on the cuddy’s back
Runnin fae thon Injuns
Bu’ the ride wis ower way too soon
An’ the next twa bairns wir winge’in

A tanner got twa meenits
It wis never lang enuff
Eh cudna wait ti next week
Dragged hame in the huff.

© D. Smith

THE EXILE

She surely raised her bairns well
Taught us strength and pride
Gave us love o’ homeland
But couldna’ make us bide

We set off young, we set off auld
In search of pastures new
Yet one by one, along life’s way
Find little that would do

We have our homes, we make a life
On every foreign shore
Choose a husband, find a wife
And still we yearn for more

To soothe a restless, aching heart
We chase another scheme
Follow one more rainbow
Yet we never still the dream

Aye, she let us go so easily
With never a backward look
But…how could we know as we sailed or flew
Our heart was a baited hook

With a line as long as we want it to be
To wherever we may roam
Til out of the blue, with one sharp tug
“Mother” Scotland reels us home

© Nancy Cleveland

BUSTERS IN THE MARKET

Setterday’s at twel’ o’clock
The market beckoned me.
Wi meh granny an meh mither
Fir rolls an’ cups o’ tea.

Sittin in the cafe,
”Kin eh hae some chips ‘n’ peas?”
Mither screeched – ”A BUSTER???
No, ye’ll nivir eat yer tea!”

”But busters ur meh favrits…”
And meh face wid start ti fa’
But granny iy stuck up fur is –
”Och, eh’ll hae ane an’ a’ ”

”Three busters please,” granny wid say.
”Wi a daud o’ broon sass.”
”Ye’d better eat yer tea, hen,
Or ye’ll git a skelpit arse.”

The smell o’ vinegar wid sting mi nose
Mi mooth wid start ti drool
At the thought o’ a mushy buster,
Wi didna get THEM at school.

In a cracked an’ chippit bowl
A wahtery ‘mush’ wis presented.
The best pea buster in the land
In ecstacy eh near fehnted!!

Eatin’ done and bowl licked dreh,
Gran wahnted tae play the bingo.
Eh’d wahnder roond the record stahlls
Singin’ wi Paul an Ringo.

Fancy stuff an’ a’ fir cheap
Brass holders and some dishes,
Eh bought masel a fishin’ net
So eh cud catch wee fishes.

The market stank tae Heaven,
The smell stiyed up yer nose.
It wis a’right beh’in toys an’ plates
But we drew the line at clothes.

We headed fir hame, belly’s fuhll
Anither successful mission.
Eh got mi buster an’ a yella net
Eh wis ready fur minnow fishin’ .

Every week wis the same,
”Let’s gae ti Dens Road Market”.
Ye’d wipe yer feet comin’ oot
Cuz the place wis bliddy barkit!!.

© D. Smith

Dens Road Market cafe

NOSTALGIA

I sometimes sit alone at night
While oft my thoughts do flee
And if you have a minute, friend,
I’ll tell you what I see

The bonnie lambs that dot the fields,
Wild floo’ers by the Dichty Burn
Lowerin’ Sidlah’s, sparkling Tay —
All thoughts that mak’ me yearn

For the days all past an’ gone noo,
And times that yased tae be
When we went for oor summer wah’ks
Meh Mum, Dad, Anne an’ me

Catchin’ minnows in the Swannie Ponds,
Feeding rabbits at Dudhope Park
Evenin’ sails on the “Fifie”
Just before the dark

Stoppin’ for a slider
As we wah’ked aroon’ the toon
Sundays fu’ o’ magic
If we went tae Camperdoon

We’d gae tae meh Gran’s on a Setterday nicht,
Efter we’d been tae the show
For a’ the fehmly gathered there an’ —
Oh, the fun wid flow

Dad an’ uncles wid gae tae “The Gunn”
An ha’e a nip or three
The bairns wid gae for fritters
Tae ha’e wi’ a cup o’ tea

Jimmy, meh cousin wid sing “Westerin’ Home”
For that wiz Gran’s favourite sang
An’ abode’s be speakin’ through ither
While the bairns laughter rang

Och, it was rare tae be a
Pehrt o’ sich a fehmly
When ha’ein money wisna the thing
For the best o’ times cam’ free

At Easter we went tae Barry “Downs”,
Whaur meh auntie had a hut
A’body an’ their bairns came tae;
Speak aboot bedlam? But we’d rou’ oor eggs,
In the sand pits we’d play…

Needed sittin’s for oor tea
Then we’d run tae catch
The last bus hame —
Meh Mum, Dad, Anne an’ me

Oh, eh wish eh could tak’ meh bairn back
Though a woman now is she
To see things jist as eh saw them,
Lang ago when eh wiz wee

For her Granny’s an’ auld woman, now;
Grandad’s gone, ye see
But how eh wish she kent whut it wiz like
when it wiz Mum, Dad, Anne..and me.

© Nancy Cleveland

GERRY’S PEH

A guy crehd Gerry Rafferty
Aince wrote a fine wee sang
Aboot London’s popular Baker Street
Whad’ve thocht it’d gae si wrang?!

He cah’sed a flimmin’ riot
Atween fowk here in Dunde-eh
Did he dander aroon the Stoabbie
Eatin’ a Wahllace’s peh?

The myth gaes on an’ on
It’s drehvin’ iz aff mi napper
The real story – HE WENT TI DORA’S
An’ bocht a big fish supper!!

© D. Smith


Doras Dura Street 1s

Dundee pie  Fish Supper

hilltown 01s

hilltown 02s

Looking down Hilltown towards Wellgate 1950s

46 HULLTOON (SHEPHERDS PEHND)

“The Pehndie” – Shepherd’s Pehndie
A magic place tae be
We left meh gran’s an’ moved there
When eh wiz nearly three

We only had twa rooms, it’s true
Up twa flights o’ stairs
An ootside lav at the plehtties end
Yet..it seemd we’d fewer cares

Oor playgroond wiz a coortie
O’ cement an’ dirt-packed braes
Whaur a’ us bairns laughed – and focht
The length o’ childhood days

We shared oor ba’s, a’e roller skate
A scooter an’ a sledge
Climbed ower railings, shimmed doon poles
Aff the plehtties’ ledge

Rehearsals for oor concert
At the end of the seeven weeks
Lassies wearing’ Ma’s auld frocks
The laddies, faither’s breeks

We sang, we dance…recited
On oor stage beh the washie door
Aye – nane had mair than inither
But darena’ ca’ us puir

Mind…a’e wee’ chum – her mither de’ed
Twa ithers lost their Dad
Anither wee lass had cancer
Och – times were often sad

But mony years alang life’s road
An’ the pehndie lang pulled doon
When meh fehmly planned a reunion
Word spread aboot the toon

A’body an’ their brither came
We’d tae turn fowk awa’
They appeared fae places…
Far and wide Australia an’ a’

Eh looked aroon’ the faces
While cheenged in mony weys
Withoot a doot, livin’ “up the pehnd”
We’d a’ shared oor happiest days

© Nancy Cleveland

Discovery and Discovery Point 02 (2006)

WIR BIG BOAT

An auld boat sits in the wah’er
She’s called The Discovery
She hud a wee jaunt roond Antarctic
Bu’ now she’s back in the Tay.

Fuh’ll o’ holes an’ woodworm
Up from England she came
Thoosants o’ pounds it cost us
Tae bring the auld wifie hame.

Some guy called Mr Scott
Sailed her through sna’ an’ ice
Although she came back, he didnae
That wisnae affy nice.

Fir years she’s been an attraction
Fowk come from far an’ wide
Yi git tae see whut the deck’s like
An’ hae a wee squinty inside.

She once sat beside the Unicorn
Anither old lady to boot,
But then she got a transfer
Eh think thi baith fell oot.

So now she’s doon beh the sweemin
In her ain speshly built quay
And makkin Dundee money
The RRS Discovery.

© D.Smith

RRS Discover and HMS Unicorn


H.M.S. UNICORN

There’s a ship doon beh the Custom Hoose
Ca’ed the “Unicorn”
A bit bedraggled, masts are gone
The puir thing looks forlorn

Now eh’m tae young tae mind o’ her
If she had a glory day
But eh mind richt weel the day they came
Tae haul her doon the Tay

The hale toon was assembled
They kent each ither’s fears
She’d been in dreh-dock, never moved
For far too mony years

Wi’ creaks an’ groans an’ rum’les
The tugs had her on her wey
We held our breath, shair we’d see
The “Cressy’s” end that day

But, no! She didna’ come apart
The lady did us proud
To see her once mair on the river
Man…ye should’ve heard the crowd

An’ though she had nae billowin’ sails
Her masts were stately tall
In the years she slept at Earl Grey dock
We’d let a grand auld lady fall

TV cameras an’ a’ were there
Tae film the lass’s cruise
An’ we a’ hurried hame tae see
It played back on the news

They’ve spruced her up a wee bit
Still she has nae crew
But the memory’s sweet o’ that Setterday
Back in 1962

© Nancy Cleveland

A WALLACE’S PEH

Setterday wis Wahllace’s day
Fehmily’s ower the toon
Wid hae a peh or bridie
On the go or sittin doon

Men on coarners oot a poke
A waft as you went beh
”Find the nearest Wahllace shop
Eh wahnt a greasy peh.”

Tattie, ingin’ beans or plehn
Each ane wid mak yi fu’
Ye wir iywiz really stervin’
Efter standin in the queue.

The langest queues in the toon
Wir at the shop in Crichton Street
Fowk wid wait fir ages,
It wis like that every week.

”Twa plehn pehs an’ an ingin’ ane an’ a”
Fowk wid seem ti sing.
It wisnae the same wi bridies
Nae juice ran doon yer chin.

The Stoabbie shop wis the same
Yi’d queue ti beh yer ‘prehz’
But it wis worth it cuz yi cudna beat
The taste o Wahllace’s pehs!!

© D. Smith

Dura Street

Crichton Street

Dundee Peh