The First Cold Day

First Cold Day

  1. The Valley of Strathmore
  2. An Hour in the Gloaming
  3. Down in Alabama
  4. The First Cold Day
  5. Schiehallion
  6. The Road Not Taken
  7. The Train from Perth to Lochearn
  8. The Shearing
  9. Money Making Money
  10. Maggie’s Bairn
  11. From the Clyde to the Susquehanna





The Valley of Strathmore
Words and music Andy M Stewart

By the clear and the winding stream
In the valley of Strathmore
Where my love and I have been
Where we’ll wander never more

But if time was a thing man could buy
All the money that I have in store
I would give for one day by her side
In the valley of Strathmore

From the glen of the golden and the green
I left for a land far away
Where sadness has never been seen
And joy only costs a day’s pay

In Strathmore there’s a long working day
For a man with his hands on the plough
But it’s work I’d be happy to do
If at night I were lying with you

As I take a long draft from my glass
Oh I’m drinking alone here again
And I try not to think of my lass
For the old days will ne’er come again.

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An Hour in the Gloaming
Words and music Jim Malcolm MCPS PRS

When you rise in the morning
In the fair month of June
Shield your eyes from the sunlight
It would brighten any room
And be sure hae your breakfast
For you’ll toil all the day
For the weeds are aye growin’
And the lambs are astray

And an hour in the gloaming’s
Worth ten in the day
Wi my love by the waters
Where the wild fishes play
When I’ve topped all the thistles
From the whole farm around
You will find me wi’ my darling
By the banks o the Doon

Well the life of a ploughboy
Can be easiest in June
For the plough must lie idle
While the barley’s in the groun‘
But the farmer if he’s minded
Aye can find a thousand things
Frae the first crow of morning
Till the bats find their wings

Oh my Jean she’s as lovely
As the hawthorn in May
she’s as comely as a swan
On the strand of Alloway
If her faither will allow me
For a wedding I’m prepared
But my daddy’s just a cottar
And her faither he’s a laird

If her faither will not hear me
I will surely be forlorn
For the chances of a suitor’s
Oft decided when he’s born
But if fortune can be taken
By some quest to foreign land
I’ll adventure for my darling
And return a wealthy man.

Down in Alabama
Words and music Jim Malcolm MCPS PRS

Driving through those cotton fields
Down in Alabam
Dreamin’ about those catfish meals
Down in Alabam
Driving here and driving there
Down in Alabam
Can’t get enough of those fancy pears
Down in Alabam

Down Down Down in Alabama
Down Down Down in Alabama
Down Down Down in Alabama
Down Down Down in Alabam

You get grits in Alabam
You don’t need to ask for them
Dropping peanuts in their coke
Seriously that’s no joke
Down in Alabam

Picking pecans round a tree
Crackin’ those nuts ain’t so easy
Don’t forget those turnip greens
I don’t even know what that means
Down in Alabam.

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The First Cold Day
Words and music Jim Malcolm MCPS PRS

On the first cold day
Of the end of the year
When the sun still strayed
And the sky was clear
On the first cold day
It was perfectly still
And the frost still lay
High on Craigie hill

Now I’m out on my own
Driving on through some place
And the Tennessee sunshine
Is burning my face
I’m not totally here
For my mind slips away
To be walking with you
Along the river Tay

On the first cold day
It had iced the windscreen
It was still two weeks
Shy of Hallowe’en
On the first cold day
You were scraping it free
And you made a hole
So we all could see
Now I’m out on my own
Driving on through some place
And the Tennessee sunshine
Is burning my face
I’m not totally here
For my mind slips away
To be walking with you
Along the river Tay

On the first cold day
I was flying away
And I said goodbyes
That were hard to say
On the first cold day
When it was perfectly still
I began to move
And I’m travelling still

Now I’m out on my own
Driving on through some place
And the Tennessee sunshine
Is burning my face
I’m not totally here
And my mind slips away
To be walking with you
Along the river Tay.

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Words and music Jim Malcolm MCPS PRS, Gordon Gunn and the children of Kinloch Rannoch Primary School

In the centre of our land
Stands a mountain squarely
Made of quartz and soft limestone Stronghold of the fairies
Every year the fairies meet
From the glens around the seat
Great Queen Mab is always there
Long green gown and golden hair

From the mountain of Schiehallion
There are many marvellous views
In the caves of mount Schiehallion
Trolls and fairies rule the roost

In the cold and wintry days
Clouds will gather round her
Flowing in to cover her
Snow and ice abound her
Aberfeldy sun shines low
Light behind the great Munro
Orange, yellow, golden glow
All the way to us below

Cal yach vare, the cold blue witch
Said to haunt the mountain
Wintertime she is reborn
Summer turns to stone again
There are many passageways
Running from the scary caves
Crawling in and then you’re trapped
Must go forward, can’t go back

Once there was a hump-back man
Met up with the fairies
When he sang they loved his voice
Made him tall and healthy
When his hump-backed friend tried too Fairies heard him out of tune
Cursed him with a double hump
Made him ugly, made him slump.

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The Road Not Taken
Words Robert Frost; music Jim Malcolm MCPS PRS

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

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The Train from Perth to Lochearn
Words and Music Jim Malcolm MCPS PRS

My name is Archie McAllister
The driver of a train
I served my time on the Strathearn line
From a childhood near Dunblane
Where school books never spoke to me
Likewise the land or sea
I set my course on the iron horse
A railman I would be

Well I started off as an engine boy
Barely out of school
I spent long days polishing away
And oiling every tool
In my twenties I was a fireman
Longing for the time
I began my career as an engineer
Upon the Strathearn line

Time will not fail my boy
Time will never still
And time does not care my boy
Who it trundles over the hill
But I won’t despair, my child
I have time to learn
I have had long years as an engineer
On the train from Perth to Lochearn

I remember the spring of the year ’03
A time of floods and gales
when the Earn broke free at Monzievaird
and washed away the rails
And the long cold winter of ‘47
when we had to plough the line
The road was blocked for over a week but the train still ran on time

I was 38 in the year ’14
When the Kaizer waged his war
Picking up young men along Strathearn To volunteer by the score
I was 62 back in ‘39
When Hitler threatened the Poles
And the wide-eyed sons of the fallen ones
Rode to Perth to parade once more

And now I am a retired man
With a grandchild on each knee
And the age of steam seems like a dream
Now that diesel’s all you’ll see
And the Strathearn line is abandoned now
Doctor Beeching closed her down
And children play where the track once lay
And the ghost train’s all that will sound.

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The Shearing
Words and Music traditional

Oh the shearin’s no for you
My bonny lassie oh
Oh the shearin’s no for you
My bonny lassie oh,
Oh the shearin’s no for you
For yer back it winna boo
And yer belly’s growin’ fu’
My bonny lassie oh

Dae ye mind yon banks o Ayr
My bonny lassie oh
Dae ye mind yon banks o Ayr
My bonny lassie oh
Dae ye mind yon banks o Ayr
When ye held me in yer snare
And our love we did declare
My bonny lassie oh

Pu’ the buckles frae yer shin
My bonny lassie oh
Pu’ the buckles frae yer shin
My bonny lassie oh
Pu’ the buckles frae yer shin
For ye’ve married sic a loon
And yer dancin days are done
My bonny lassie oh

Pu’ the ribbons frae yer hair
My bonny lassie oh
Pu’ the ribbons frae yer hair
My bonny lassie oh
Pu’ the ribbons frae yer hair
And let doon yer ringlets fair
And we’ll sleep withoot a care
My bonny lassie oh.

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Money Making Money
Words and music traditional

Daddy takes his children
for a drive-through
They both get toys
and they don’t need fork and knife
The folks who make those toys
need silent words for
The forces who are ordering their lives

Money making money making misery
Money making money making pain
Money can’t make money out of nothing
Someone somewhere has to take the strain

The tycoon owns the plane
that he takes off in
Checking on his copper shares online
Out in Bogata there’s miners coughing
Up the dust that’s going to kill them all in time

The football player poses for an advert
A million pounds
to wear these boots he’s paid
Out in Indonesia children sew them
For a place to sleep
and a bowl of rice a day.

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Maggie’s Bairn
Words and music traditional

Well I’m just getting back frae a wee social crack
At the public hoose doon by the station
We blaw’d off oor heids, wi a’ oor grand deeds
And the things that’s important tae nations
When my guid brother Jim, he come
runnin in,
And by God, he did gie us a swearin’,
Ye ocht to feel shamed for ye should have been hame
For your Maggie she’s haein a bairn

Well I didna tak time for tae bid them goodnicht
‘Fore oot the pub door I gaed spinning
I ran up the lane, the shortest road hame
Never lookin tae where I was running
When I tripped ower a stane, nearly brak my shin bane
I rowed intae a heap o coo’s sharn
My clathes were a sicht, would gie ye a fricht
The nicht that oor Mag had her bairn

When I got tae the door there was whisky galore
On the table was cheese, the best gowdie
And a neighbour she spied and here’s what she cried:
“Ye’d best run awa for the howdie.”
Wi a glass in her hand, she bid me nae stand:
“Run away now for Mistress McLaren,
She’s the best in the toon when a woman lies doon
And ye’ll soon hae a bonny braw bairn.”

Well I ran for the midwife and I soon found her oot
She thocht I had left o my senses
When I fell through the floor and I started tae roar:
“Come awa wife, and I’ll pay all expenses.
If ye don’t see my wife, she will soon lose her life,
She’s as fat as yon bundles o yarn.
If ye dee yer job richt, ye’ll be well paid the nicht,”
The nicht that our Mag had her bairn

When you’ve got on in life, and ye have a braw wife
Yer troubles and joys to be sharin’
I’m sae happy within I could leap oot my skin
For my Maggie’s jist had a braw bairn.

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From the Clyde to the Susquehanna
Words and music Jim Malcolm MCPS PRS

I was born near Dunfermline
Eighteen hundred and twenty nine
And my family all were miners
Working where the sun won’t shine
Father said “Don’t be a miner, son,
Or you’ll live your life in shade
Sail across the western ocean
Where there’s fortunes to be made.”

From the Clyde to the Susquehanna
Looking for the promised land
You won’t find it as a miner
With a coal pick in your hand

My friend Dave and me walked to Glasgow
Boarded ship at the Broomielaw
And we rounded the coast of Ireland
Till we heard the ocean roar
When we landed in Philadelphia
I swore I’d never set sail again
That old ship was racked with fever
And I lost my only friend

Well I lingered long in Delaware
Where the folks were warm and kind
But I hankered to travel westward
Find some land that could be mine
So I trailed across to Harrisburg
Through some country I thought
Till I saw the Susquehanna
Running wider than the Clyde

I claimed land across the river
And began to clear the trees
And I borrowed three hundred dollars
To buy stock, a plough and seed
But my first years were struck
by pestilence
And my third went up in flames
In my despair I sought the table
Where I gambled everything

I abandoned life as a farmer
Seeking work in a Jonestown mine
And though the work is dark and
And fickle nature she can’t me find
Though my hands are stiff and
broken now
Drinking whisky dulls the pain
If I repay my obligation
I’ll mine gold across the plains.

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