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A Findlay Family History
Descendants and Relations of Alexander Findlay

Poems of Robert Bryson
Dunbartonshire, Cumbernauld County, Scotland

The following poems were written by Robert Bryson of Cumbernauld County, Scotland.  They tell of reportedly true events that his good friend James "Dick" Findlay were a part of, and which these poems help make legend.  The poems, as presented below, were transcribed from photocopies of type-written sheets, which were reportedly edited by a Findlay relation to remove offensive or profane language.  The date of the poems or information about Mr. Bryson are currently unknown.

by Robert Bryson
by Robert Bryson

This story noo that I shall tell
It started at Righead Hotel
'Twas a Saturday night we had soom booze
'Twas a lucky night for Dick tae choose
'Twas the summertime and days were fine
the pheasants were all brooded
The army then they needed men
And poachers were included

Noo on that night wis a competition
It wis played with Dominoes
Wee Dick he had a great ambition
He wis fairly on his toes
Noo at these times, I worked the mines
And miners were exempted
Though I will say there were sometimes
That I was sairly tempted.

Noo ma freen Dick he won the prize
Presented by Archie Logan
Tae me it wisna nae surprise
It will never be forgotten
I worked by day for little pay
Ma spare time mending nets
And though I made them and also laid them
I never had regrets.

The prize it wis a Billy Goat
The stink o' it near made me choke
Around its neck wis a tarry rope
Tae get it hame it wis nae joke
Last night I had a funny dream
I dreamed of Pastures fresh and green
The rabbits fur it looked like mink
I said tae myself I need a drink

The folk they fairly stared at us
As the goat we gently took
Dick marched it proudly on the Bus
A brought the carryout
As I went doon tae the fit o' the street
At the Spur door there I chanced tae meet
A figure there it looked like Hitler
I said tae myself I need a Snifter

Twa fares tae Cumbernau'd said Dick
A hauf yin fur the dug
The Goat it nearly tain a fit
I saw it cock its lug
He wis not pleased as he stood at ease
His hands were clasped behind him
He wis in Khakki, Heid tae fit
Oh my God I wondered

The Conductress swore she never saw
Frae the day that she wis born
A dug wae hooves instead o' paws
On its heid a pair o' horns
I looked at him then looked again
His face it seemed familiar
Full five fit wan he stood a man
An Argyll and Sutherland Highlander.

The folk on the bus began tae greet
They spoke o' smells and shame
The goat it sat upon the seat
It never yince complained
As times may come and times may go
I felt being struck a mortal blow
Oh weel ye speak so I can tell
and dinna drive me near tae Hell

It sat majestic like a king
Who sits upon the throne
Wee Dick he asked it fur tae sing
It didnae hae the tone
So then he spoke like a puddocks croak
He says that am nae dodjer
Oh my God it must be him
Ma wee pals joined the sodjers

The're Goats that eat and some that bite
and some eats this and that
Oor Goat it had an appetite
Fur eating bowler hats
Am gone awa and far frae hame
Tae fight fur you and your wife and weans
A said tae him you must be bummin'
He said tae me are you no' coming.

A wumman sitting next tae me
Wanted some milk fur her weans
But where an udder wis wont tae be
There hung a pair o' stanes
Ye ken fair weel that I'm exempt
So dinna try fur me tae tempt
And when you're lying in Stirling Castle
I'll always mind tae send you a parcel

On the seat in front of us there sat
A gent who tried tae rest
Upon his heid there wis a hat
The kind oor goat loved best
And if you happen tae meet big Ned
See and no get fu'
I widnae like you tae pish the bed
and bring disgrace on him and you

The Goat wis breathing doon his neck
That gent he wis nae laddie
He chose anither seat tae get
It stunk like a last years haddie
Noo when your Sergeant makes your tea
He will be a second mither
He will ask you how you want your egg
So tell him wae anither

The Goat it jump't and grabbed the hat
It knocked the man flat on his back
And when he tucks you up in bed
And says the coorie doon
Tell him tae mind and cover your legs
And pit on your wee night goon

The tug-o-war finished wae no a winner
The goat the wan hauf the gent the ither
The gent he moaned aboot his hat
The Conductress roared its time yer aff
And when you go tae fight the hun
And find that you are over run
Drap me a note that I will get
And I'll come over wae ma long net.

By noo we were at Cumbernau'd
We made fur wee Dick's hoose
The goat he still wis keen tae hau'd
And me the Carryout
If intae battle you are led
And you see a bullet coming
Always mind duck your head
And see you're guid at running

By noo wee Dick he lives alone
His mither is now deceased
The Kirkyard has become her home
We pray she Rests in Peace
Noo I started having dreams galore
I saw ma wee freen steeped in gore
As he wis killing them galore
They lay in heeps upon the floor

When we arrived t wee Dick's home
He took the carryout
The goat I took outside tae chain
A was a while nae doot
He knocked them doon ten a penny
You wid never hae thought there wis sae many
He wis telt tae stop he took nae heed
They got nae time tae bury their deid

When I got back tae wee Dick's hoose
Ma spirits fairly sunk
He had finished oor carryout
He wis lying mortal drunk
I dreamed I saw him on parade
His chest wis hung wae medals
The bravest sodjer ever made
He wis treated like a General

I lifted him intae his bed
And o' who he did snore
I gently clapped him on the head
and then went oot the door
I saw him walking up the street
The weans they were a' singing
Oh wull ye no come back again
The bells were softly ringing

I went oot the door intae the night
And then I met the goat
It fair gave me an awful fright
It had eaten through the rope
The Band wis marching on in front
It walked tae face the sun
The tune they played Scotland the
Brave Big Billy on the drum

I took it in and tied its legs
Alang wae him it went tae bed
I asked it if it wanted fed
It wanted tae give me the head
He looked like one who's work wis done
He put the Germans on the run
When asked if he wis going back
The Yanks have asked me tae finish the Japs.

They were a queer assorted pair
The wan wis dark and the ither fair
The wan slept on and never cared
The ither blew intae his beard

Noo wee Dick had a neighbour
Her name wis Kettlwell
I telt her sae quiet and careful
The Devils got oot o' Hell

by Robert Bryson

Go in there and tak' a look
The roar she gave the building shook
You wid thought the goat wis loose
She fairly stotted oot that hoose
Up Dullator Glen came three young men,
They looked a wee bit wabbit,
Their jackets bulged was easy tae ken
They had been after the Captain's Rabbit.

She oot the close and on the street
She shouted murder polis
She got the man upon the beat
He quietly then took notice
Noo tae carry rabbits on that road
You needed a line tae state
That these rabbits you had not caught
On Cumbernauld Estate.

Noo the policeman wis Angus Connor
He swore tae her upon his honour
The Devil he wid shin get rid o
He locked it up in Pollock's smiddy
The Estate was owned by Captain Burns
His Keepers were Beaton and Keeler
The Policeman was Willie Begg
He was only a great big squealer

Noo Dick wis sober on the Sunday morn
The polis near killed him deid
The goat went back where it wis born
Dick walked it sadly tae Righead.
Oor mind alert, oor een were shap
When through a hedge we notice
a bicycle lying in the park
We knew it was the polis.
Noo the Warren Wood was half a mile
Tae it we had tae make,
But we could run it wae a smile
It wis a bit o' cake.

by Robert Bryson
Noo the big lang legs ol Willie Begg
He after us did chase
But we wore young and we could run
'Twas a hare and hedgehog race.

'Twas a moonless night, the wind was right
'Twas the last week of October
The stars shone bright 'twas the only light
Wee Dick and I were sober
We made the wood in real good time
And then we stopped tae listen
'Twas then that Jimmy said tae me
Oor wee pal Dick's amissing.

Wae three long nets, we meant tae set,
This big lea field for Rabbits
Where the green grass grew and the late night dew
It takes a bit o' setting.
It's easy tae ken whit's happened tae him
He is lying doon for the want o' win'
He is getting auld before his time
The effects ol drinking and Wild Woodbine.

We quietly went on a long detour
The time de take is very poor
And when we get at the back o' them
With a great long cord we lash them in
We then decided tae go back
In case Begg roughed up Dick
By giving his head an awful whack
On their way down to the nick.

We lashed them in as the wind did sigh
When a noise got up like a baby cry
I roared tae Dick there's hares in the net
We will need tae hurry and break their necks
Noo Willie Begg he made a bargain
That made him seem bighearted
We should have paid nae heid tae him
The dirty lying bastard.

Now when a hare is in a snare
Or caught in a poacher's net
It's cry is like a now born wean
It sounds worse when at night
If we took oor Rabbits tae the station
And didna' cause hilarity
He would see the Captain and get us off
With a donation tae some charity.

Now rabbits there were fifty nine
And hares there were but three
A fair guid carry for ony man
The nets you aye kept free
He 'phoned up Beaton and also Keeler
And then they each in turns
Inspected the rabbits and then declared
They belonged tae Captain Burns.

The rabbits we paired and also cleaned
Then intae bags we filled them
The weight o' them or so it seemed
Wis close taea couple o' hundredweight.
The Charity wis Dumbarton Court,
The Matron, Sheriff Menzies,
Twa pounds or thirty days he said,
And you've got a month to got it paid.

We carried them tae wee Dick's hoose
Because it was the nearest
We went as silent as a moose
Though we were no the feartest
I watched that smile on the Keeper's face
I never felt sae much disgrace
I made a vow that very day
The fines to get I'd make them pay

We spread them oot across the flair
Tae it wis covered and held nae mair
Noo that wee house wis aye weel kept
For on the bed his mither slept
We picked a night when the sky was black
The air wis rent wae thunder clap
The wind it howled and the rain did pour
We made oor way to the Gamekeeper's door.

Noo wee Dick's mither they cried auld Jenny
Got up that night tae spend a penny
When she put her feet upon the rabbits
Ma wee son's bought me a Persian carpet.
He kept his hens in a big stane turret
Awa' week back frae his dugs and ferret
The door wis hold wae wee thin latch
Tae clean them oot wis an easy snatch.
We quietly did oor work together
We left that hoos without a feather
Like the wise old owl we never spoke
And on the door these words I wrote.
"Your hens have flown to parts unknown
Your cocks will crow no more
So when you go to bed at night
Please mind tae lock the door."