Yis! I was sayin’ to Mrs Crowe theer this mornin’,
That things isn’ a bit what they were;
For in MY young days all of us childher
Had to say “Please” an’ “Thank yer,” an’ “Sir.”
But today all them youngsters of Alfie’s
Comes stormin’ right in through the dhure,
An’ “Hiya Gran!” they’re all shoutin’ – “Wha’s cookin’?”
As they stamp the mud over me flure.
Then out to the garden goes Bobby –
Fair clicky that boy is on flowers!
An’ he studies theer insides an’ outsides,
So theer’s norra word from that chile, not for hours!
An’ Meery’s jus’ as mad on her hist’ry,
With the book forever under her nose;
Though what good it’ll do her in some office
Typin’ testamints an’ wills, goodness knows!
Then theer’s Danny – the dead spit of his mother –
Makin’ a bee-line for them books on the shelf,
An’ his min’ is far out in the Wil’ Wes’!
So I’m lef’ theer to talk to meself!
An’ them knowin’ very well, the li’l divils,
That I’m wantin’ all the newses tha’s goin’;
But they’re not even hearin’ me vice, gel,
So I navar do git to know all tha’s doin’!
Though I asks about this wan an’ that wan,
An’ if theer’s anythin’ new in the town;
But I might jus’ as well save me win’ theer,
An’ git me carthans done upstairs an’ down!
All this learnin’ that goes awn in the schools now,
Why! The like wasn’ in in MY day!
But whether they’re any batther for it all, gel,
Theer’s no tellin’ – tha’s jus’ what I say!
For they’ll talk about splittin’ the atom,
An’ a whole lorra poor things like that;
But would they split up that pile of owl firewood?
I can tell yer, me gel – they would not!
Why the three o’ them takes afther theer mother
Is more than a wise wan would know!
For she’s a dhreamer if aver theer was wan!
It’s my Alfie tha’s got all the “go”!
Look who’s comin’! Why it’s Meery an’ Danny!
An’ Bobby too! – Well! dunt they look nice?
A rale credit to theer mother, all the lorra them!
Yis, they’re growin’ – an’ as sharp as li’l mice!
Aw ay! they’re good childher for all, though,
An’ smart awful, though I says it meself:
Wipe yer fate on the mat, yer young dirts, yer!
Wha’s that Danny? – AW! “HIYA!” yerself!
carthans = household jobs
(source: from the book ‘Where Curlews Call’, Manx Poems by Kathleen Faragher (1959); artwork is ‘A Better View’ by Shirley Reade)