Robert W. Service

In honor of St. Andrews Day and for all proud Scots.

The Ballad Of How Macpherson Held The Floor

Said President MacConnachie to Treasurer McCall:
"We aught to have a piper for our next Saint Andrew’s Ball.

Those blaring saxophones give me the syncopated gripes.
I’m sick of jazz; I want to hear the skirling of the pipes."

“Alas! It’s true,” said Tam McCall. "The young folk living here
Are fox-trot mad and dinna ken the reels we hold so dear.

Now, what we wants’ a kiltie lad, primed up wi’ mountain dew,
To strut the floor at supper time, and play a lilt or two.

In all the North there’s only one; of him I’ve heard them speak:
His name is Jock MacPherson, and he lives on Boulder Creek;

An old-time hard-rock miner and a wild and Celtic sort
Who spends his nights in glory, and some days before the court.
I’ll seek him out; beyond a doubt on next Saint Andrew’s night
We’ll proudly hear the pipes to cheer and whet our appetite.

Oh lads were neat and lassies sweet who graced Saint Andrew’s Ball;
But there was none so full of fun as Treasurer MacCall.

And as Maloney’s rag-time bank struck up the newest hit,
He smiled a smile behind his hand, and chuckled: “Wait a bit.”

And so with many a Celtic snort, and the devil in his eye,
He watched the merry crowd cavort, till supper time drew nigh.

Then gleefully he left the room and sought the Nugget Bar,
Wherein there sat a tartaned lad as lonely as a star;

A huge and hairy Highland man as hearty as you please
A glass of whisky in his hand, his bag-pipes on his knees.

“Drink down your doch and doris, Jock,” cried Treasurer MacCall;
"The time is ripe to up and pipe; they wait you in the hall.

Gird up your loins and grit your teeth, and here’s a pint of hooch
To mind you of your native heath - jist pit it in your pooch.

Play on and on for all you’re worth; you’ll shame us if you stop.
Remember you’re of Scottish birth - keep piping till you drop.

Aye, though a bunch of sissy boys should bluster and implore,
For the glory of the Highlands, lad, you’ve got to hold the floor."

The dancers were at supper, and the tables groaned with cheer,
When the president exclaimed: "Now what is that I hear?â€