Document 253

The Mumps

Author(s): Anna Blair

Copyright holder(s): Anna Blair


Just me in the wall-bed
Getting' over the mumps
A bit peely-wally
Kinda down-in-the-dumps.

Well, that's no' true really,
It's nice to be here
Happed up in the blankets
The cold of the year.

For it's winter outside there
Black-dark in the hall,
But in-here the fire's
Making shapes on the wall.

You see queer dark shadows
That's made by the clo'es
Hanging up on the pulley
In four droopy rows.

You've combies and bodices
Flowery cretonnes
And dangling like ghosts
Pa's bow-leggèd long-johns.

There's great whopping bloomers
Stiff stays and brasseers
And drawers in positions
That's fright'ning and fierce.

There's stockings, like eerie
Black legs there that crawl,
Sarks and chemises
That dance on the wall.

See, them forms in the firelight
Plain things and yet weird,
One dervish from Hell
One a goat with a beard!

I ken my own things
And I'm no' feart for them
But my Ma's and my Pa's clo'es
Is no' just the same.

So I lie and I look
And I cannae but wonder
What the two of them look-like
In what they wear under.

I've only seen ever
Their faces and toes
Have to guess from the pulley
What they're like atween those.

Wi' all your imaginin's
Fancies and fears
It's nice in the firelight,
Ev'n with your sore ears.

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Cite this Document

APA Style:

The Mumps. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 25 June 2024, from

MLA Style:

"The Mumps." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2024. Web. 25 June 2024.

Chicago Style

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech, s.v., "The Mumps," accessed 25 June 2024,

If your style guide prefers a single bibliography entry for this resource, we recommend:

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. 2024. Glasgow: University of Glasgow.


Information about Document 253

The Mumps


Text audience

General public
Audience size 1

Text details

Method of composition Handwritten
Year of composition 1998
Word count 251

Text setting


Text type



Author details

Author id 127
Forenames Anna
Surname Blair
Gender Female
Decade of birth 1920
Educational attainment College
Age left school 17
Upbringing/religious beliefs Protestantism
Occupation Teacher/author
Place of birth Giffnock
Region of birth Glasgow
Birthplace CSD dialect area Gsw
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Glasgow
Region of residence Glasgow
Residence CSD dialect area Gsw
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Business
Father's place of birth Glasgow
Father's region of birth Glasgow
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area Gsw
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's occupation Business
Mother's place of birth Glasgow
Mother's region of birth Glasgow
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area Gsw
Mother's country of birth Scotland


Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes
French Yes Yes Yes Yes Visits to France, correspondence
Scots Yes Yes Yes Yes