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Document 44

Great duck race

Author(s): George Hynd

Copyright holder(s): George Hynd

Audio transcription

The last one is no' for [?]cows[/?] or eavesdroppers, so if you're a [?]cow[/?] or a eavesdropper stick your fingers in your ears and shut your eyes so you cannae see the subtitles. It's called 'The Great Duck Race'.

One night when up in auld Saint Claire
To see some ritual on the flair,
While signin’ in the visitors book
Up tae my left ah chanced to look.

An' there before ma very e'en
Was a notice on the wa' where it could be seen;
A muckle big thing richt afore ma face;
It was a proclamation o' a great duck race.

"Well now", says I and thinks to me,
"Whitever can a duck-race be?
Would they swim or would they fly?
Could ducks race high up in the sky?".

And a duck race was a thing that ah'd never seen
And ah had visions o' auld Rosslyn Green
Fu' o' ducks runnin’ roond in circles, numbers on their backs,
A' squawkin’ and quackin’ and goin’, "Quack, quack".

Then a' was explained to me by J. P. Munro;
That doun the Esk the ducks would flow;
A money-makin’ idea that was quite fantastic;
For a pound ye got a wee duck made of plastic.

An appealin’ idea and it seemed quite sound
As the winnin duck got a hunderd pound.
So, haein a few bob and feeling a bit lucky
Ah purchased masel a wee racin ducky.

When ah got the number o' ma racin duck
Ah honestly couldnae believe ma luck.
Ah just stood there dumfounded, completely transfixed;
It was a sign fae the gods, it was number ten sixty-six.

For if in front o' ten sixty-six you put six six nine,
That's the telephone number o' a guid freend o' mine.
In masonic circles he's known very well
As wee Andy Bryce o' the [?]Seabies[/?] Hotel.

But when ah thought this a' oot my hert beat a bit faster
[inaudible] Saint Claire in the toon and he is a past master.
A' they facts and ma duck to me were related
An’ the feelin it leant me: highly elated.

Well when the news o' that number it went roond the flair
Some brethren, my guid fortune, they wanted to share.
An’ o' forming a syndicate some started to blether
But ah wasnae sharin my duck, no' even a feather.

To share wi' my brothers never entered ma heid
For ah was fair fu' o' that thing they ca' greed.
Ma wee lucky duck would be first ower the line
An’ that hunderd pound was gonnae be mine.

So came the race day, the eighteenth o' June
And tae RosslynGlen a' the brethren trooped doon
And folks had come fae a' ower the place
Tae see the main event; the great Duck Race.

The starter he shouted, "On your marks, get set, go!"
And intae the Esk a' the ducks he did throw;
A seethin' mass o' wee ducks that twisted and turned
As they swiftly got caught in the fast flowin’ current.

The crowd started cheerin’ and some started to scream
As the ducks they bobbed and weaved doon that turbulent stream
Then all of a sudden one raced ower the line
And the number ca'd oot well it just wasnae mine.

I just couldnae believe it, ma wee duck had got beat
An' ah sat doon on the bankin’ and had a wee greet,
For that lost hunderd pound I started to grieve
An’ ah wiped ma nose on ma pullover sleeve.

Then certain things they came back to me
Aboot whit ah wis taught in my first degree,
Things like brotherly love and helpin the needy
Things like carin and sharin and no' being greedy.

So feelin’ a bit uplifted ah walked oot o' the glen
An’ stopped in the main street at a place ye a' ken
As ah looked up at that roof it made me feel great
Tae think o' my pound note lyin’ a slate.

Fur ye see the duck race wasnae aboot winnin’ or just takin’ part
It was an appeal for help an' ah shoulda gave fae ma heart.
Fur a' the pound notes pit thigither they a’ helped to fix
The roof o' the temple o' Saint Claire six oh six.

That's the end Bill, ah hope ye listened to it a', son.

This work is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

The SCOTS Project and the University of Glasgow do not necessarily endorse, support or recommend the views expressed in this document.

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Cite this Document

APA Style:

Great duck race. 2020. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved September 2020, from http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/document/?documentid=44.

MLA Style:

"Great duck race." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2020. Web. September 2020. http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/document/?documentid=44.

Chicago Style

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech, s.v., "Great duck race," accessed September 2020, http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/document/?documentid=44.

If your style guide prefers a single bibliography entry for this resource, we recommend:

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. 2020. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk.

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Information about Document 44

Great duck race

Audio

Audio audience

General public
For gender Mixed
Audience size 1

Audio awareness & spontaneity

Speaker awareness Aware
Degree of spontaneity Spontaneous

Audio medium

Radio/audio

Audio relationship between recorder/interviewer and speakers

Speakers knew each other Yes

Audio transcription information

Transcriber id 631
Year of transcription 2004
Year material recorded 1995
Word count 732

Audio type

Poetry reading/song/ballad performance

Author

Author details

Author id 611
Forenames George
Surname Hynd
Gender Male
Decade of birth 1940
Educational attainment None
Age left school 15
Upbringing/religious beliefs Protestantism
Occupation Retired Plasterer
Place of birth Dunfermline
Region of birth Fife
Birthplace CSD dialect area Fif
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Bilston, Roslin
Region of residence Midlothian
Residence CSD dialect area midLoth
Father's occupation Plasterer
Father's place of birth Kelty
Father's region of birth Fife
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area Fif
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's occupation Housewife
Mother's place of birth Kelty
Mother's region of birth Fife
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area Fif
Mother's country of birth Scotland

Languages

Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes
Scots Yes Yes Yes Yes

Participant

Participant details

Participant id 611
Gender Male
Decade of birth 1940
Educational attainment None
Age left school 15
Upbringing/religious beliefs Protestantism
Occupation Retired Plasterer
Place of birth Dunfermline
Region of birth Fife
Birthplace CSD dialect area Fif
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Bilston, Roslin
Region of residence Midlothian
Residence CSD dialect area midLoth
Father's occupation Plasterer
Father's place of birth Kelty
Father's region of birth Fife
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area Fif
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's occupation Housewife
Mother's place of birth Kelty
Mother's region of birth Fife
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area Fif
Mother's country of birth Scotland

Languages

Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes
Scots Yes Yes Yes Yes

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