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Scottish American Society

The Tay Bridge Disaster
by William McGonagall 

Beautiful Railway Bridge of the Silv'ry Tay!
Alas! I am very sorry to say
That ninety lives have been taken away
On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember'd for a very long time.

'Twas about seven o'clock at night,
And the wind it blew with all its might,
And the rain came pouring down,
And the dark clouds seem'd to frown,
And the Demon of the air seem'd to say-
"I'll blow down the Bridge of Tay."

When the train left Edinburgh
The passengers' hearts were light and felt no sorrow,
But Boreas blew a terrific gale,
Which made their hearts for to quail,
And many of the passengers with fear did say-
"I hope God will send us safe across the Bridge of Tay."

But when the train came near to Wormit Bay,
Boreas he did loud and angry bray,
And shook the central girders of the Bridge of Tay
On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember'd for a very long time.

So the train sped on with all its might,
And Bonnie Dundee soon hove in sight,
And the passengers' hearts felt light,
Thinking they would enjoy themselves on the New Year,
With their friends at home they lov'd most dear,
And wish them all a happy New Year.

So the train mov'd slowly along the Bridge of Tay,
Until it was about midway,
Then the central girders with a crash gave way,
And down went the train and passengers into the Tay!
The Storm Fiend did loudly bray,
Because ninety lives had been taken away,
On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember'd for a very long time.

As soon as the catastrophe came to be known
The alarm from mouth to mouth was blown,
And the cry rang out all o'er the town,
Good Heavens! the Tay Bridge is blown down,
And a passenger train from Edinburgh,
Which fill'd all the peoples hearts with sorrow,
And made them for to turn pale,
Because none of the passengers were sav'd to tell the tale
How the disaster happen'd on the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember'd for a very long time.

It must have been an awful sight,
To witness in the dusky moonlight,
While the Storm Fiend did laugh, and angry did bray,
Along the Railway Bridge of the Silv'ry Tay,
Oh! ill-fated Bridge of the Silv'ry Tay,
I must now conclude my lay
By telling the world fearlessly without the least dismay,
That your central girders would not have given way,
At least many sensible men do say,
Had they been supported on each side with buttresses,
At least many sensible men confesses,
For the stronger we our houses do build,
The less chance we have of being killed.

Recently the Sas'y Group held a William McGonagall poetry contest.  It was monitored by Gene Marcus and there were three competent judges, including members Betty Marcus and Lori Neidert.  Although there were many superb contenders, the three poems on the right were judged to be the prize winners. 

Honorable (?) Mention
by Asnard P. Snirfleblitz *
Oh, pretty River Tuscarawas
With lapping waters so sonorous
Wending greenly through the factory plots
Leaving bright green algae spots.
How merrily you wind amid the tanks and stacks
Built with abatements in the tax.
You may not wind as much as your brother to the north,
Almost a moist ouroborus as he presses forth,
But you twist respectably through the twon
As you wind forward, as you wind down
Toward the river named for the state
Through the state named for the river, never late.
I tread your limestone path so white,
Ignoring dead muskrats as 'twere night,
Pretending I smell fresh aromas riparian
Instead of disgorged nutrients agrarian.
Oh, tiny river, more a creeck,
How can I my affection aptly speak?
My town was founded on your banks,
So here you have my heartfelt thanks.
*Writer stated:  "You didn't seriously think I'd use my real name!"
Umm... Don't blame you Bob.


1st Prize:  Jim Frost
2nd Prize:  Dreama Powell
3rd Prize:  Judy Hunter

And By The Way, The Stew
Jim Frost
I would like to get the person who
Prepared for me this awful stew
The pain I suffer in my viscera region
Mkes me quite cranky and miserable even
I can only state that I'll grudgingly pay
That is, if I live through the rest of the day
I eg to point out the problems within
The stew itself was exceedingly thin
Carrots of a color not found in nature
Onions which force a new nomenclature
Spices not to be mixed with each other
Clung to my spoon like a babe to its mother
I spotted a morsel of meat on the rim
Attracting a fly that'd dived in for a swim
A membrane of fat my foot couldn't have cleared
I dar not eat it, further upset I feared
A small piece of bread was ll you provided
At least it was something to eat I decided
This was another of the mistakes I would suffer
A tired old shoe couldn't have been tougher
Please help me out of this den of bad food!
But wait, to the counter, my tie has been glued
By whatever I coughed up as I fought with the bread
Oh, and the gentleman next to me appears to be dead.

Tribute to a Poet You'd Like to Forget
Dreama Powell
I know a sentence is to never end with,
and a poem should never show pith
Literature should give us a good mental whiff
Of sounds and sense, not prithee and sniff
McGonagles works are grumble and gaggle,
So he gets a short ramble on babble.

Here's to the Great McGonagle
Judy Hunter
Here's to the great McGonagle
Whose words reach to your very soul
His verse was so inspiring
We could hear it untiring
The tomatoes and apples that
were thrown
Showed how fond of his word folks had grown.
So gather that fruit and depart
Before further praise these folks
try to impart.

1st Prize:  Bill Heflin
2nd Prize:  Margaret Frost
3rd Prize:  Larry Hunter

MacNugual and O'Shea
by Bill Heflin
MacNugual and O'Shea
Properly all lit in the pub one day
Laid promise to each other for a recovery day.
Which ever went first
Shall not lay with thirst,
Three drams of Black Label into the sod
And three drams for the other with a sad  nod.
Ah - MacNugual, he went away
And laid to rest one chilly day -
A year to grave arrives O'Shea.
Bottle in hand, for Old Mac's last stand.
He MacNugual you were forever so frugal
Ye shall lay lay thirst,
And I am about to burst.
Ye mind if I pass it through my kidney first?
The Doves on the Deck
by Margaret Frost

They crooned and spooned, and sang a tune,

Then the doves built a nest, they think it's the best.

We don't agree, it's a bad place you see

They've built it smack dab on our deck

Our plant is their home, very low tech.

We like our cooked eggs to eat

They guard their eggs - eat would defeat

Their reproductive urges,

If lost they'd croon dirges.

Mama sits silently - we see only her neck

Papa calls loudly - he'd like us to peck

But we eat our eggs and drink all our coffee

They think we should go elsewhere and maybe eat toffee.

Soon their eggs will hatch,I'm sure a big batch

They will all go away

Peace will reign in our day.

I suppose we should be thankful

Our noses could be stankful

The skunks have babies, too

In spring there are quite a few

We don't want to smell that kitty cat

The doves are better by far than that.

We'll just have to put up with their fuss

And know they will soon croon good bye to us.


An Appeal to McGonagle

By Larry Hunter

McGonagle, McGonagle, we call out your name.

Your cult needs guidance to achieve great fame.

When you wit is withered and your youth  you have twittered,

Your best is judged the worse, it must be a curse.

The honor of receiving your coveted award last year

Caused me to ponder and shed a tear.

Oh to repeat two in a row.

The committee will probably ask me to go

And go if I must all covered with crust

The memories remain of rotten tomatoes and stain

McGonagle, McGonagle, inspire me right now.

This poem is so bad I might have a cow.



1st prize
   by Larry Hunter
My assignment today
For which I pray
Is to write my worse poem ever.
This is quite an endeavor.
The group is Scottish you see
Should the topic be
About hoarding money?
Or perhaps about the beauty of the motherland?
I'm told it is absolutely grand.
Or the beverage called Scotch
Which is quite the drink.
The people who invented it are neat I think.
Or the plaids of their clothes
Which cover from their heads to their toes,
The topics are many for such a diverse group.
It's like searching for a letter in alphabet soup.
Since a theme evades me
I will go sip some tea.
My thoughts have departed.
I better quit before I'm martyrd.
2nd Prize
by Jim Frost
What a strange thing is the barnacle
It sticks to my boat when to my farm I go
Here an explanation I should give
For it's not on a farm that I live
I go to my boat that's on a lake
Along side the road that I always take
To get to my farm that's far away
But someday maybe I'll go astray
Missing the road that goes to my boat
Alas, too long it could remain afloat
Coveed with barnacles, dozens and dozens
Perhaps I'll go over and use my cousin's.
3rd Prize
By Ann Douglas Heflin
The teapot, that most civilized of inventions.
The teapot, always bodes us well of it's intentions.
Some are small, serving up a delightful treat for one.
Some are quite large, made heavy, sturdy, designed for a party fun.
The teapot, small, cunning in it's shape. 
Perhaps with flowers on it's sides.
Dainty, feather light, for the hand of a fair young lady.
Whom in my heart abides.
Perhaps with a matching set up cups.
Small, too, for that dainty hand.  Sweet little
treats, cookies in matching colours for that same
dainty hand.
The large teapot, the common teapot as one has
seen in a pub. 
This common fellow, this container of hot comfort for
the weary. 
Is a friend to all.  A penny or two, paid to a serving
maid, will buy us a cup and lift the winter pall.
A dash of good spirits.  A large bun, and a smallish
bit of cheese.  Let the rain fall!
The Master of the house, on the hill.
He of the oveflowing till. 
He has his own teapot. 
The one made in far off China. 
The one with the dear little boys, all
done up in pigtails and blue pajamas.
He has first pouring.
His tea is strong. 
The cook in the kitchen, she bides her time. 
She will have her second pouring of the tea when the Master
is tucked in for the night and she hears him snoring.
Her teapot is smaller, not so grand.
It is of pottery made in the town.
And it is brown.
The teapot of Old Granny that lives in her chill rooms,
Provided by her son.
She gazed at her Dear old teapot.
The one with the chips and cracks.
It's time almost done.
As is hers.
She remembers it new.
She sees the face of her son.
Rapt and excited to be given a taste of grown up fun.
Alas, he does not come to tea with her now.
He has a wife and four children of his own.
He pays for her keep.
He buys her less costly tea.
But he will not stay and visit.
So she sits and dreams of days gone by.
She and her teapot.
Tiny play teapots.
Sturdily made, to survive the tine hands that serve
up pot after pot of plain water 'tea' for the little girl's tea partys.
She had invited all of her dollies.
Teddy bear and giraffe look on from a shelf.
Sometimes Mother will stop by and have some 'tea' herself.