The New Teacher

by Jim Douglas
Tune by Gifford Lind

Now is a dove a doo Da, is a doo a dove?
Is a cow a coo Da, a sparrow just a speug?
And is a wall a wa Da, is a dog a dug?
She's goin tae box ma ears Da, insteed o skelp ma lug

Noo, oor teacher's awfa posh Da, she changes aw oor names,
Oor Shuggie is now Hugh Da, and Jimmy's ayways James
I'm puzzled wi it aa Da, the way she shoogles words
And I must be glaiket no tae ken that feathered friends are burds

You've taught me aw wrong Da, you call a ball a ba
Yer wife is noo ma mother Da, you said she wus ma maw
It fairly maks me scunnered Da, I'll never pass ma test
And I'm no sure what I'm wearin noo, a semmit or a vest

Ah gave ma nose a dicht, Da when it began tae dreep
She gave me sich a fricht, Da, ah near fell aff ma seat
“Haven’t you a handkerchief?” she roared as if in pain
“No, Ah jist use ma sleeve, Miss” and wiped ma nose again

Ah ca’d a mouse a moose Da, Ah shid hiv held ma tongue
That’s manure on yer bits Da, nae langer is it dung
It’s turnips and potatoes, no tatties noo and neeps
She said Ah’d ripped ma trousers when Ah’d only torn ma breeks

Now there's twa words for everythin aw shoogled in ma heid
How can I be well bred Da, when ah keep sayin breid?
Now is a crow a craw Da, is a bull a bul?
Ah'm goin' tae try ma hardest Da, Ah wull, Ah wull, Ah wull

Ayways: always
Bits: boots
Dicht: wipe
Dreep: drip
Fricht: fright
Glaiket: stupid
Shoogled: shaken up
Scunnered: sickened

Jim Douglas has written a sympathetic and funny song which makes its point on a serious subject – the suppression, when children go to school, of the Scots language they use at home and at play, and the danger that results of making children feel “glaikit.”

Jim Douglas comes from Keltie in Fife. He has a mining background – his father was a stripper in the mines – but Jim followed a different path. He is described as a poet ands a teacher in the note for his song “Lassodie”, on the New Makars CD Between The Tay And The Forth: new songs celebrating Fife.

Jim has been closely involved with the New Makars Trust, both as a singer/songwriter and an artist. His illustrations appear on the covers of many New Makars CDs.

New Makars, the brain-child of songwriter Gifford Lind, is an organisation that aims to encourage people to write about the history and culture of their own community, with the support of established writers. Starting out in Fife, it has reached out to other areas and created many CDs of new songs.