My first piece was inspired by my mother when she was looking through old family photos and came across this one of myself. Apparently my father was given compassionate leave and when he arrived home and pushed my pram I just howled. That story got me thinking about how many soldiers were on the front line, at that time, and never saw their child? Imagining a Scottish soldier staring at his child’s photo before going over the top led me to write this poem. I have placed it during the First World War in France, but it could be any war, anywhere, at any time!
You are a lucky bairn sitting in your pram, Dressed up sae bonny by your loving mam A cheeky smile is on your face So,- welcome to the human race
Your pram is the colour of your eyes, dark blue And with a shining body, to me it looks brand new Who will you look like when you grow older Will you be the image of your daddy gone to be a soldier?
He’s gone to fight in the Great War for Country and for King This war will end all wars, so listen for the Church bell’s ring He will be living in the mud in a rat infested trench And in his nose the smell of death a vile and noxious stench
He will be fighting for his life and others he must kill With comrades dying all around they must capture yonder hill The trenches are a vivid red, coloured by the young men’s blood Boys of only sixteen lie dying, crying, to be buried in the mud
The battlefield is a hellish place, the guns roar out like thunder The piercing screams of dying men their souls the enemy plunder “OH GOD! Have mercy on me, please save me from this sorrow Let me see my bairn just one time before you take away my tomorrow”