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Awa hine back in 1904

The stork he visited Kinnoir

An bein a gie wily bird

He kent the date wis March the third

He swooped an birled or he wis giddy

Syne drapped his bundle at the Smiddy


Francie an Mary were ower the moon

This latest littlin wis a loon

An tho it soon't a bittie silly

They thocht they wid baptise him Willie

The howdie lookin somewhat ruefae

Said "William McWilliam" - what a moofae!


Noo ilka bairnie has its place

But he aye held a special space

In his mither’s hert - tho ane o nine

She lost three sons as weel's a quine

Ilness and war left her bereft

Bill wis the only laddie left


He wis the aipple o her ee

Nae ill she thocht could Willie dae

An Mary, Aggie, Meg an Jean

His sisters - they were jist as keen

Weel brocht-up quines - they liked tae mither

This loon that wis their only brither


For music he had sic a gift

The saddest hert he'd fairly lift

The soorest face wid surely grin

 When he took his fiddle till his chin

He wis a maestro in his day

There wisna much he couldna play


Stumpie, The Cradle'Song, The Deil

Waltzes, Polkas, Eightsome Reel

Fae Strip the Willow tae the Lancers

He kent foo tae please the dancers

In halls fae Glass tae Tarrycroys

McWilliam's Band they war the boys


Noo lang ago it wis the rule

When country loons were throu wi school

The usual thing for them tae dee

Wis ging fae hame an tak a fee

So aff on's bike did Willie crank

Tae work for the mannie at Widbank


But smithin hid been in his bleed

An afore he hid been that lang fee'd

He left the lan an learnt his trade

At Moss-side Smiddy in Drumblade

Afore gaun hame tae work as weel as

Ony man at the muckle bellows


Ringin wheels an sheein horse

Fae Rivvies, Auchmill an The Corse

Makin socks an horses sheen

The Smiddy work wis never deen

He chapped an hemmered wi a will

An awfa man tae work wis Bill


As smith he hid tae keep the craft

An grow some corn tae full the laft

His mither wis some auld for kye

An feedin hens an stirks forbye

So hame tae this idyllic life

 Willie resolved tae tak a wife


At Christmas Nineteen Thirty-Seven

Bill fair thocht he wis in heaven

He mairriet Nellie an hame they went

Tae Millburn far sax year they spent

Till granda dee't - this only son

 Noo landed back far he'd begun


Complete wi wife an bairnies three

Margaret, James an Peter tae

But he wisna finished there - na faith

There cam Barbara syne Elizabeth

An when he thocht his work wis deen

Isobel cam on the scene


Time marched on - the bairnies grew

Ane by ane the nest they flew

Tho' they aye cam back tae The Smiddy steadin

The last time for the golden weddin

Syne ae coorse nicht o frost an snaw

Nellie quietly passed awa


He wis gie lost withoot his mate

But quietly he accepted fate

Tho nae forgettin better times

Wi some tuition fae the quines

He yokit wi the fryin pan

An learnt tae feed the inner man

**********

The Smiddy's noo a memory

There’s naething left o it tae see

Willie bides in Huntly noo

A proper toonser through an through

He washes, irons, cleans an cooks

His hoosie spick an span aye looks


An operation left him frail

Syne he lost his darlin Isobel

But his strength came back he's good as new

In spite o athing he came through

0 wisdom he is never short

The sense o fun - the quick retort

A tower o strength - good times and bad

Happy Ninetieth Birthday Dad

Happy 90th

Published here by kind permission of Margaret Grant

(Willie’s eldest daughter)

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A Poem dedicated to Willie McWilliam