Tag Archive | Songs

 The Year Of The Christmas Songs

In continuting my recent trend of posting Christmas themed poems I’ve written this one on Christmas music as I take a trip down memory lane and recall my last Christmas at primary school. I’ve titled it The Year Of The Christmas Songs I hope you enjoy the read. 

The Year Of The Christmas Songs 

1973,  my last Christmas at primary school

the first year real Christmas songs 

dominated the charts 

Elton John, Wizard, and Slade 

fought it out for the number one slot 

in the days when we all watched top of the pops 

before listening but not really listening to the Queen’s speech 

it was Slade who eventually reach the coveted number one position

though not hearbreakers like David Cassidy or Donny Osmond 

they had Noddy Holder with his booming voice and funny hat 

at 12 I thought Christmas was made for that kind of fun

and in the year of the Christmas songs 

they created something to last 

far longer than just one Christmas

© Gayle Smith 2017 


Runrig For Millennials

This poem was inspired by a comment from my friend and flatmate Janette whilst we were watching at my insistence the Scottish Traditional Music Awards (aka #NaTrads) On  seeing the band Tidelines and being more impresed than she thought she would by them (It has to be said traditional music is not Janette’s usaul area) she claimed they were the world’s first Gaelic boyband. It has to be said that this set me thinking and I’ve written this poem which I’ve titled Runrig For Millennials. I came up with this title purely because of the enduring popularity of Runrig over the years and I can assure you it has nothing to with the looks in which Tidelines definitely have the edge I hope you enjoy the read. 

Runrig For Millennials 

I  saw them at Na Trads

my flatmate called them a gaelic boyband

they can sing in two languages

stardom beckons within the traditional music world

and if enough girls follow them

they could be Runrig for millennials 

shining a light on the future

with songs for the 21st century

with positive progressive lyrics

and an identity shaped for the modern age

they will help to make our ancient language

relevant for a new generation

multi culturalism isn’t just confined

to gaining knowledge of Polish or Arabic

sometimes it can be found closer to home

in the understanding of our own language, culture, and traditions

so often mocked by those who beg for privilege 

and call our culture feinian talk

the colonials who walk in the loyal marching season

give no reason for their misplaced allegiance

I question why they give their loyalty to another country

but ugly shouting as all they’ve got 

meanwhile a new band shows the way forward

promoting understanding through stories told in songs

they cannot change the wrongs

of a past written before they were born

but instead tell the stories of this time 

their time to shine

like the stars you see

shining on a hebrideen sunset 

© Gayle Smith 2017

Kindred Spirits

On Halloween I post a seasonal poem to celebrate this important day and the beginning of the Celtic winter. Bearing in mind the ghostly goings on that this night will hold I’ve given it the title Kindred Spirits. I hope you enjoy the read. 

Kindred Spirits. 


 the last day before the Celtic winter starts 

the time when  spirits walk among us 

on the evening of the day of the dead 

this is why we use disguises 

in the shape of masks and costumes 

to keep ourselves hidden from those 

who would do us harm

only those who guard us will know the real truth of our story 

they keep us safe as children when we go round the doors guising

on in later years 

when as adults we party with friends in  city centre bars

all they ask from us is 

that we hold them in our hearts

thoughout the coming year 

and get ready to celebrate the gatherings winter will bring 

remembering the coldest of seasons 

 is a time when the warmest of hearts join with loved ones 

to cherish memories made by kindred spirits

in stories songs and friendship

© Gayle Smith 2017

True Colours

Hey Readers On day 18 of NaPoWriMo I cover the topics of
football and identity and nowhere is football used as a badge of identity more than Glasgow and West of Scotland when Celtic play Rangers. To say this game is explosive is I think putting it politely. The contrast between the two supports couldn’t be greater, Celtic the club of the Irish-Scots, the club of the diaspora  against Rangers the club of the establishment whose support base comes mainly from those with what can at best be described as an Anglo-Scottish unionist mentality. Now before anyone asks, I have got a bias when it comes to this game and that bias is very much in favour of Celtic. It is I think safe to say, that as neutral as I’ve tried to be, that bias will to some extent at least come through in this poem which I have titled True Colours I hope you enjoy the read.

True Colours

A game neither side likes to lose  divides a city in two
us against them
green versus blue
as true colours are displayed
this is war with football as the battlefield
there is nowhere to hide
in a game played with passion and pride
the fans demand no less
tribal loyalties sung from the heart
the songs kick off before the game
they taunt us for being immigrants
children of another nation
yet can’t see the irony
that they who believe in inbuilt superiority
voted to remain a colony
when the question was asked
whilst many of us said
take it down from the mast
this flag of an unequal union
we come from different places
my green represents the culturally oppressed
whilst those in scarves of blue
chant simply the best
and songs about walls of division
loyal to a united kingdom that mocks their loyalty
royalty will never fear
losing their privileges
whilst these guardians of Britishness
sing their praises
yet can’t put food on the table
this is not your average game
despite what some may claim
this is a culture clash
the symbols of shamrock and sash explain why
this matters
not just for the bragging rights or the banter
this is a war of identities
Celtic creative, unbowed
the Irish-Scot plays to win and please the crowd
with flair and immigration
the pride of free nations
against crude Britannia’s
child of conformity
who dreams of glory
but settles for poverty
as long as they are in it together
for Rangers Ulster and Westminster
this is yesterday’s wars and tomorrow’s aspirations
played out on a football field
the fans refuse to yield
and the players in both teams
must never give an inch
it matters who wins this game
it matters not what the score was
or how the game was won
but believe me it matters
to the fans who know
what it’s like to lose
Celtic view or Rangers news
it matters and it always will

@ Gayle Smith 2016 

NB. This poem was written on day 18 but I was unable to post until now as my phone needed to be charged