Scottish Hallowe’en

Hallowe’en by Phil Burns

Click here to hear the words read aloud:


nae bairn can contain their excitement
as the end of October draws near
each wee brain fair itches
as they think about witches
it is the scariest night of the year

aye Hallowe’en is a night of fear-filled frolics
as long as you ca’ canny
ye might see a de’il
or a bogle for real
if you keek in each impenetrably dark nook and cranny

some traditions have lasted forever and ever
some changes we find quite surprising
in the US it’s neat
to say trick or treat
but in Scotland for the past 500 years we call it guising

there’s ay laughter and games for the wee yins
with treacle scones hung on a loosely-strung string
just mind your thrapple
when dookin’ for apples
in case a wild wean wi’ a sharp-pronged fork takes a swing

everyone carves out a lacklustre lantern
we use turnips but some folk use pumpkins
we may be old fashioned
but please show compassion
and don’t confuse us with near-extinct country bumpkins

though it’s now all modern and commercialised
we aw continue to do things we’re no’ supposed tae
it’s still the nerve-numbing night
that causes face-freezing fright
when we walk wi’ all sorts of gruesome ghouls and ghastly ghosties

Hallowe’en is the annual haunt of the bogeyman
he frightens the bravest bairns out of their hat-disguised heads
he has never been seen
but does that really just mean
he is hiding patiently under your bed?

*Glossary of Terms:

aye – yes
ca’ canny – take care
bogle – a bad thing, a spectre, a goblin
keek – look
ay – always
thrapple – throat, windpipe
dookin’ – ducking, trying to capture from a large basin or bath
wean, bairn – child
tae – to
bogeyman – boogeyman (USA), very bad (hopefully) imaginary person

This entry was posted in humour, Poetry, Scottish Stuff, funny and serious and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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