Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Lamplighter

My tea is nearly ready and the sun has left the sky;
It's time to take the window to see Leerie going by;
For every night at teatime and before you take your seat,
With lantern and with ladder he comes posting up the street.
Now Tom would be a driver and Maria go to sea,
And my papa's a banker and as rich as he can be;
But I, when I am stronger and can choose what I'm to do,
O Leerie, I'll go round at night and light the lamps with you!
For we are very lucky, with a lamp before the door,
And Leerie stops to light it as he lights so many more;
And O! before you hurry by with ladder and with light,
O Leerie, see a little child and nod to him tonight!

by Robert Louis Stevenson. This poem is about the days when "Leerie" the lamplighter went round to lignite the gas lamps in the streets of Edinburgh. Stevenson was a sickly child (hence the reference to "when I am stronger) and looking out of the window to see the lamplighter would be a frequent occurrence for the lonely child.

This is a sweet little song about the lamp lighter. It is not Scottish but it fits.


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