In an attempt to cushion the blow for Santanta, on his imminent return to his ‘ain native toun’, we publish this earlier tract from another Ulsterman.
My Ain Native Toun by David Herbison
Since I was a boy in my ain native toun
There’s naeting but bigging an pu’ing wa’s doun;
The streets are grown wider, the houses are high
And half o’ the windows peer into the sky:
Their doors wad let in ony cart from the street
Their owners ne’er think o’ a shoe for their feet
They a’ maun hae boots ere they venture abroad;
Their claething appears to an auld body, odd:
How changed from the times when our forefathers lay
In houses weel streekit wi’ heather and strae!
Happy hames, happy hearts, we had ilka place roun’
When I was a boy in my ain native toun.
The castle is gane and its garden destroyed
Nae langer about it our Easters’ enjoyed:
Its banks an’ its braes are a’ weedy and fogg’d
And felled is the tree where the rebel was flogg’d:
There’s naething I see has the same hue it had
When I was a boy in the arms o’ my dad
Except the wee house whare the poet was born
It still braves the blast o’ the wild wintry morn
Was’t for it now, as I saunter alang
I wad scarce know the place whare I first sung my sang
Its chimneys and windows and scraw-covered croun
Are a’ that I see o’ my ain native toun.