…thoughts on a wild thing… nostalgia’s still what it used to be…

…this ol’ Jurassic Scot needs very little (read ‘none at all’) persuasion to jump into the mem’ries of the past… but not just the immediate ten minutes ago, or even a coupla years before, nor yet a decade or two… no, Mabel, I’m casting back beyond that time scale… like fifty years or so (I’m not really that old, am I?)… to a different passage of my life… in particular, to six incredible years spent in Tobermory, (back then, total population 873) on the beautiful Scottish Hebridean Island of Mull (total population at that time, circa 2,000)…


…in my mid-teens, thanks to two wonderful lady teachers from the local school, I learned to speak and sing in Gaelic... one tutored me in the language, the other in how to sing it, grace notes and all… I went on to gain medals in swatches during those times, but more importantly, it left with me an irremovable love of all things musically Celtic… but back to the ‘mem’ries’ thing-y… Tobermory’s own Mishnish Hotel was owned by one of the finest accordian players ever to grace the Scottish music scene… bobbyBobby MacLeod Snrbobby 2his famous Dance Band played all over Scotland  and many invitations to perform abroad in expatriate Caledonian company were the order of the day… in the band, the magical fiddle player, ‘Pibroch’ Mackenzie, couldn’t read a note of music, but made that instrument sing and dance with us at the local ceilidhs… long before the internet… long before the ballyhoo of the MTV channel and its imitators… long before the drugs scene and night clubs proliferated… self made, home-spun music… we danced, we sang, we laughed, we fell in love, we had our hearts broken, we recovered… until the next time… the regular weekend dances at the various village halls around Mull always rang on into the early hours, often spinning into spontaneous ceilidhs in folks’ houses and cottages… and we LUVVED IT!… here’s a wee thing I tacked together after one such village hall dance/ceilidh… walking a young lady home in the wee small hours… (take a look at the date!)… enjoy…


A kindly evening breeze

blows its welcome cool

where perspiring hotly beads

their burning course have run.


Mirrored with mercuric detail,

the coil of tousled hair

and cheeks

flushed with fast and furious flurry

reflect happily the history

of a hurly-burly flinging reel

and the execution quite profound

they called a strip-the-willow.


The same cool air

sends a shiver

through the muffled avenue

of leaf-laden birches

which dance in simulation

to an earlier pleasing version

that blessed a saintly waltz,

copied by ages through ages,

then by us.


The wind in spasmodic gusts

whips lightly at the branches

and a vision becomes reborn.


Now feel again the polka

dashing fire to the heart.


Thankful breath recalls how,

tempered with these,

the subdued Pride of Erin

rests its stamp.


Still, a daring foxtrot

leaves its poignant legacy

to a happy, tired memory

and another wild thing is dead.

Seumas Gallacher

September 1969


…see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

6 responses to “…thoughts on a wild thing… nostalgia’s still what it used to be…

  1. Wow, you were even a poet and master of words (and romanticist) back in 1969! What wonderful memories of youthful dancing darting passions.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely, Seumas. It seems your writing career began with poetry. Well written. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Rosa Ave Fénix

    No doubt you’re a Master of the pen!!!!!! It’s nice to bring back our memories when we were young,,, however there is a saying… “Bow the past, enjoy the present, leap high into the future”, though the future of our world is not clear….

    Liked by 1 person

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