Generation of Change. (Matt Armour)

My faither is a baillie frae a wee fairm at Caiplie,
He worked on the land a’ the days of his life.
By the time he made second he aye said he reckoned
He’d ploughed near on half o’ the East Neuk o’ Fife.
He feed on at Randerston, Crawhill and Clephinton,
Cambo and Carnbee and big Rennie Hill,
At Kingsbarn he married, at Boarhills he’s buried.
But man, had he lived he’d be ploughing on still,

For those days were his days, those ways were his ways
Tae follow the ploo while his back was still strong,
But those days have passed and the time came at last
For the weakness of age to make way for the young.

I wisnae fir plooin’, tae the sea I wis goin’,
Tae follow the fish and the fisherman’s ways.
In rain, hail and sunshine I’ve watched the lang run-line,
Nae man mair contented his whole workin’ day.
I’ve lang-lined the Fladden ground, the Dutch and the Dogger Bank,
Pulled the big fish frae the deep Devil’s Hole.
I’ve side-trawled off Shetland, the Faroes and Iceland,
In weather much worse than a body could thole.

For that day was my day, that way was my way,
Tae follow the fish while my back was still strong,
But that day has passed and the time come at last
For the weakness of age to make way for the young.

My sons they have grown an’ away they have gone,
Tae search for black oil, in the far northern sea.
Like oilmen they walk an’ like Yankees they talk,
There’s no much in common ‘tween my sons an’ me.
They’ve rough rigged on Josephine, Forties and Ninian,
Claymore and Dunlin, Fisher and Awk.
They’ve made fortunes for sure for in one run ashore
They spend more than I earned in a whole season’s work.

But this day is their day, this way is their way,
Tae ride the rough rigs while their backs are still strong,
But this day will pass and the time come at last
For the weakness of age to make way for the young.

My grandsons are growing, to the school they’re soon going,
But the lang weeks of summer they spend here wi’ me.
We walk through the warm days, talk o’ the auld ways,
The cornfield and cod-fish, the land and the sea.
We walk through the fields that my father once tilled,
Talk wi’ the auld men that once sailed wi’ me.
Man, it’s been awfae good, l’ve shown them all I could
O’ the past and the present, what their future might be.

For the morn will be their day, what will be their way?
What will they make of their land, sea and sky?
Man, I’ve seen awfae change but it still seems gie strange,
Tae look at my world through a young laddie’s eyes.

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