When Lithgae folk have
left the street
sat doon at hame and pit up their feet,
as Friday night is wearing late
and the clock gets round to quarter to eight,
dancers have to move quite snappy
to get to the place where they’ll be happy,
for that is where they will have a ball,
ye ken it fine – it’s Chalmers Hall!
It’s aff wi’ the shoe and on wi’ the pump,
(country dancers musn’ae clump)
the music playing you have to get
“There’s eight folk here, let’s make a set
- keep the lines straight, stop the chatter.”
“Can we walk it through? – och it disnae matter”.
There’s reels across and reels on the side,
there’s teapots, wheels and sets too wide,
noo a circle, noo a square,
double triangles and up in the air,
there’s mony a dance ye dinna ken,
there’s even women dancing as men!
There’s demonstrations and hesitations,
consternations and panic stations.
The mirth and fun grows fast and furious,
mony a nicht it’s quite hilarious.
The treasurer counts – does the money make sense?
“Has a’body paid their thirty-five pence?”
But pleasures are like poppies spread
you seize the flower its bloom is shed,
you practice broun’s reel over and over
and then they give you the Irish Rover!
And ilka month thru’oot the season
we’re a’ here, puffin and wheezin’,
up the stair in the Burgh Halls
wi’ a’ the chairs aroon’ the walls,
up on the stage there sits Jack Stalker,
he plays a chord, we dance Johnnie Walker.
There’s a fit young lad loups like a stallion
He’s always asking, “Can we do Schiehallion?”
The auld yins groan, “This programme’s a killin’;
what’s the next dance – oh, its J.B. Milne”.
Another reel’s finished and the feet are sore,
but there’s always a madman yelling out “MORE”
Oh will we have cheese or will we have pate,
whit aboot sandwiches or hot baked tattie?
Then there’s a rush to collect the teas,
“In one door and out the other, please”
But bye and bye it comes the time
we all join hands for Auld Lang Syne,
then on wi’ the coats, and time for a blether
and we’re all off home through the cold night weather.
Noo wha this rhyme has heard tonight
and in country dancing tak’s delight,
when‘er to dance you are inclined
and a friendly crowd you have in mind,
the place to go abune them a’
is the Dancing Club at the Chalmers Ha’!
by Allan Macleod (written to mark the 10th anniversary
of the Club)