We got back to the Pad and everyone crashed. Between the excitement of the contest, the ordeal on the way home, the gig and dinner, we were all exhausted.
I was the first up the next morning, or rather afternoon. Isa had called her editor before we headed to the Cassandra and gotten the day off, and Mr. MacTavish had canceled the night’s gig to give us time to rest. I woke up at two in the afternoon, feeling very groggy. I headed to the kitchen and rummaged in the fridge for breakfast. As usual there wasn’t much . . . and only Coke to drink.
"Bleah. I think I’ll forgo the caffeine today." I ambled over to the bandstand and grabbed the 12-string, heading out to the back porch. I gently probed the new mental link and found that Micky was still dead to the world. No surprise there. I sighed and fiddled with the guitar strings, then started improvising a simple accompaniment to an old Scots ballad I knew and loved.
"I ken ye dinnae like it lass, tae winter here in toon. The scaldies a’ miscry us, and they try to pit us doon. And it’s hard to rear three bairns, in a single flea-box room, but I’ll tak ye on the road again, when yella’s on the broom. When yella’s on the broom, when yella’s on the broom, I’ll tak ye on the road again when yella’s on the broom.
"The scaldies cry us tinkler dirt, an’ sconce our weans in school. But who cares what a scaldie thinks, for a scaldie’s just a fool. They’re never heard the yorlin’s sang, or seen the flax in bloom, for they’re aye cooped up in hooses, when yella’s on the broom. When yella’s on the broom, when yella’s on the broom, for they’re aye cooped up in hooses, when yella’s on the broom.
"Nae sale for pegs and baskets now, so just tae stay alive, I’ve had tae work at scaldie jobs, fae nine o’clock tae five. But we ca nae man oor mester, for we own the world’s room, and we’ll bid farweel tae Brechin, when yella’s on the broom. When yella’s on the broom, when yella’s on the broom, we’ll bid farweel tae Brechin, when yella’s on the broom.
"An I’m weary for the springtime, when we tak the road aince mair. Tae the plantin and the pearlin, and the berryfields o’ Blair. When we’ll meet up wi oor kinfolk, fae a the countrie roon, when the ganaboot fowk tak the road, an yella’s on the broom. When yella’s on the broom, when yella’s on the broom, when the ganaboot fowk tak the road, an yella’s on the broom."
I jumped as I heard clapping behind me. Whirling around I saw all four guys standing there clapping.
"Where’d you guys come from? Y’all were fast asleep when I came out here!"
"I woke up when I heard you rummaging in the fridge," Peter replied quietly.
"Your mental probe woke ME up."
"When you grabbed my 12-string, somehow I woke up."
"Petah woke me up shutting the bedroom door."
I rolled my eyes. "Why do I ask?"
"That was a really groovey song, Len. What is it?" Micky asked.
"Like you don’t know!" Mike snapped. Micky stuck his tongue out at the tall Texan.
"It’s called ‘Yellow on the Broom’ and it’s about the ganaboot fowk -- travelling people in Scotland. I found it on an album at my library a few years ago and I loved it so much I memorized the lyrics."
"But not the music I see. You were just plucking away." Peter grinned, showing off those incredible dimples, and sat beside me. Abruptly, I noticed that his eyes were now the most beautiful blue, and I had a hard time not melting right then and there.
"There is no music. It was originally sung a capella, but I was kinda fooling around with accompaniment." I shrugged and ran through a C scale on the 12-string. "I was bored."
"Bored? Man, you know how beautiful that sounded?" Mike gasped.
"YES!!" all four cried.
"Now . . . why don’t ya translate it," Davy asked as he sat down next to me.
"You mean you didn’t understand every last word?" I gasped. "I thought you, of all people would know!" Davy rolled his eyes. "Okay sorry. Um, well it’s all about the ganaboot fowk, like I said. They spend their winters in town, with the townspeople -- scaldies. ‘The scaldies cry us tinkler dirt, an sconce our weans in school’ is about the ganaboot fowk being teased in school by the townspeople’s children. The yorlin is the yellowhammer bird. One of my favourite lines is ‘But we ca nae man oor mester for we own the world’s room’ -- we call no man our master for we own the world’s room. And the last verse is about them taking the road ‘aince mair’ -- once more, and spending the summertime on the road planting and picking. They take the road when the ‘yellow’s on the broom’ -- when the broom bushes are in bloom."
"And you memorized the translation too?" Peter gasped.
"Nope, I know the Scots dialect."
"Of course," Mike drawled.
"Aw man, that is such a groovey song! We gotta come up with a great accompaniment for it and add it to our set list!" Micky cried.
"It’s just a little song I like fooling around with . . . "
"Nonsense!" they all insisted.
After breakfast we sat down on the bandstand and tooled around with accompaniment to "Yellow on the Broom." Isa walked in as we did a run-through of one arrangement. We didn’t notice she was there until we heard her clapping. I instinctively did a "Monkee scare" and cried, "Augh! I wish y’all would stop doing that!"
"What?" they all asked.
"Nevermind," I growled. "I think that was good but maybe a little less on the bass. The acoustic and the keyboards should dominate."
"Good point. Let’s try it again." Mike counted off and played the complicated opening to the song that he’d devised. We ran through the song flawlessly and unanimously voted to keep that arrangement. We then ran through a few more numbers before lunch.
Last updated 13 OCT 98
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