The Gaffer at the Eisteddfod


I wouldn’ ha’ gone but a falla said “Right!
Ye’re comin’ to our Eisteddfod to-night!”
“Wha’s that then?” I axes, “is it good? Is it bad?”
An’ he smiles an’ he sez, “Well the bes’ thing, me lad,
Is to go there an’ see.”
So go I went,
An’ the time I had!
Aw, the tissimittee,
Shee banney mee,
At a place near Rhenshent.

It was full to the dhoore,
Norra sowl could move;
Theer was sweatin’ thallure,
With the hate of the place,
An’ down avery face
Parspirashuns did poore;
We were stuck to the floore.

Well the time it was startin’ was quarter to eight,
But no one was mindin’ it bein’ a bit late’
So when avaryone settled, all ready an’ fine
The cheerman sez, “Frien’s, it’s a quarter to nine,
So per’aps we can start. Thear’s a power to get through,
An’ I’d lek to get home before half-pas two!”
So we sizzled an’ groaned,
An’ we ha’ved an’ we moaned;
But the clappin’ was hearty
For avery party.

Aw, the childher sung sweet though,
All theer v’ices in tune;
We kep’ time with our feet, though,
Ay, avaryone.
The singers had come from all aroun’
From Ramsa’ an’ Peel,
An’ up Kerrowkeil,
From Douglas itself an’ from oul’ Castletown
There was big ones an’ small ones,
An’ short ones an’ tall ones,
An’ fas’ ones an’ slow ones.
An’ some that had faces as red as a rose,
An’ some had to h’ise an’ pull at theer clothes;
An’ some were so nervous they shook all the hut;
An’ some that had knees that were knockin’
An’ some had coughs that were shockin’
An’ some had heads that were rockin’,
An’ some had mouths that would naver keep shut.

But not only moosic, la;
Aw the dear sakes no.
Theer was spellin’s to know
An quashtuns to answer,
Standin’ all in a row
Lek a queue for a bus.
An’ then takin’ it in turns each
To gerrup on his hin’ legs
An’ make a speech
About all sorts of things from kippers to eggs.
Aw, thremenjus, thremenjus!
Jus’ lek the Kays
On theer windier days
Havin’ a bonanza;
Or the craythurs in Parliament
Spoutin’ an’ blindin’
An’ nobody mindin’,
But clappin’ an’ clappin’ when he sat down,
Not knowin’ the half of what he meant,
But clappin’ all the same,
A mos’ encouragin’ come-all-ye-able soun’.

Then we come to the en’
It was pas’ half pas’ ten,
But the averin’ was only half-over;
Theer was cakes then to sell
An’ some priddhers as well
An’ a feas’ that was fit for Jehovah!
An’ we sat cheek by jowl on the sates,
An’ we balanced our mugs an’ our plates,
An’ we munched an’ we drank
With great wide open mouths jus’ lek skates;
An’ the moore we was swallowin’,
An’ the moore we sank,
The moore that kep’ followin’,
Till we had to be jus’
An’ stop, or we’d bus’.

Then at las’ the finish came,
It was gone a bit pas’ one
Tho’ some sowls would still go on
An’ kep’ shoutin’ for a game –
“Postman’s Knock” or “Silly Oul’ Man”,
But the cheerman called for urder
An’ said finish we mus’.
Well, well! Goy hei, we couldn’ move,
It was lek the Black Hole murder,
Stuck fas’ lek dates,
An’ we sat an’ sat,
An’ that was that,
For thou mus’ see we’d all grew fat.

It looked as if we’d be theer yet;
At las’ however, move we did,
Slow at fus’, then surt of slid
Over the floors
To the open dhoors
Where a squeeze an’ a push,
An’ a nudge an’ a shove,
We were out in the air—aw, the sweet it smelt,
An’ the stars lookin’ down, an’ the j’y we felt,
An’ the relief at bein’ out of the crush—
An’ that’s an Eisteddfod I’ll navar forget!