The cover for this album includes extensive sleeve notes about the history of the Clydesdale horse by Robin Laing, who was responsible for bringing this album together.

Davy Steele and John McCusker

A've ay worked on farms and fae the start
The muckle horses won ma heart,
Wi' their big broad backs they proudly stand,
The uncrowned kings o a' the land,
An' yet for a' their power and strength,
They’re as gentle as a summer's wind.


So steady boys walk on,
Oor work is nearly done,
No more we'll till or plough the fields,
The horses' day is gone,
An' this will be oor last trip home,
So steady boys walk on.
You'll hear men sing their songs of praise,
Of Arab stallions in a race,
Or Hunters that fly wi' the hounds,
To chase the fox and run him down,
But none o' them compare I vow,
Tae a workin' pair that pulls the plough.


A’ the years I've plied ma trade,
An’ a’ the fields we've ploughed and laid,
I never thought I'd see the time
When a Clydesdale's work wid ever end,
But progress runs its driven course
Noo tractors hae replaced the horse.


As we head back our friends have lined
The road tae see us one last time,
Not one o' them will want tae miss,
The chance tae see us pass like this,
They'll say they saw in years tae come,
The muckle horses' last trip home.


Tom Clelland

Brush your weary dreams away,
Brace your spirit, face the day.
It's for this tough old world you're cast.
What's waiting for you'll no go past
Eighteen hands, as God allows,
You haul the cart, you draw the plough
Through summerburn and winterblast.
What's waiting for you'll no go past.

So fare thee well thou lowland towns.
Crack of dawn - we're outward bound,
Pastures new and fresh green grass
What's waiting for you'll no go past.

You're roped to harness, rack and rein,
Though silver ribbons grace your mane.
From smiddy steel to burnished brass,
What's waiting for you'll no go past.
They'll take you where the oceans roar
To streets of Cleveland, Baltimore.
Big cities shine like  polished glass.
What's waiting for you'll no go past

It's toil and trouble, work and woe,
Will it every day be so ?
'Til peace and rest shall come at last,
What's waiting for you'll no go past.

Robin Laing

Heavy horses, see how they stand
Leaning ahead, shoulder to the land,
Heavy horses, Oh the mighty Clydesdales
Long may they shine
And the line
Never fail.

Sometimes I see one, in a slow-motion dream,
By misty blue hills where the Clyde's just a stream;
Pulling a plough, stepping with grace,
A hard-working friend with a good-natured face.

Heavy horses…
 I often wonder if you ever heard
The whispering charms of the Horseman's Word,
Or late in the day, when the light would fail
And bothy men shared cornkister tales.

Heavy horses...

A world in transition, stepping out of its past;
Old ways are fine, fine, fine but old ways don't last.
And the furrow you turned grew seedlings of change,
As you carried us on into the industrial age.

Heavy horses...

So here's to the Baron, Blaze and Bold Stride,
Footprint and Star, Hiawatha and Clyde.
The ribbons they wore and the prizes they won;
The leather and chains that creaked in the sun.

Heavy horses...

Long may they shine and the line never fail.

Archie Webster

Come aa ye young ploughboys that list tae ma tale,
As ye sit roun the tables aa drinkin yer ale;
I’ll tak ye aa back tae a far distant day,
When I drove the last Clydesdales tae work on Denbrae.
There were twa bonnie blacks wi white faces and feet,
In the hale o the roond they had never been beat; [i.e. the whole neighbourhood]
An ye’d look gey far twix the Forth and the Tay,
For tae match thae twa Clydesdales, the pride o Denbrae.
They were matchless in power in the cairt or the ploo,
An’ ma voice and ma haund on the reins they weel knew;
There was only ae thocht in their minds but obey,
My twa gallant Clydesdales, the pride o Denbrae.
But the time it wears on, an the winters grow cauld,
An horses, like men, can dae nocht but grow auld;
But I mind o them still, as it were yesterday,
For I drove the last Clydesdales tae work on Denbrae.

Ewan MacVicar

Gone are the strong ones I knew in my day
Broad backed, big legged, not much to say
They did their work well though they got little pay
We’ll not see their likes any more

I grew up on a Highland farm with Dolly, Jock and Dick
Dick would take us into town to meet the train from Wick
Slow and safe along the road, tik tak tik tak tik
Counting every flower along the way

Dolly was so good with bairns, through I was only nine
I worked her with trace and long rope at the harvest time
Loop the rope around the rick and pull it into line
So Jock and Dick could haul the hairst away

Jock was a big one, a truebred Clydesdale brown
Thick hair and heavy feet, perfect for the plough
He’d pull from dawn to sunset, on any kind of ground
The Clydesdales earned their oats and hay

The Clydesdale horse was bred, they say, to carry armoured knights
I learned that at Newmore School, and teacher’s always right
They’d take so long to get up speed they’d be late for the fight
But they’d smash down anybody in their way

But one year the grass sickness hit the North full hard
It killed so many horses, it raged near and far
Sally, Jock and Dick went to the knacker’s yard 
A tractor towed them away

Alan Cairney

For he looked sae braw taller than them a’,
Whitna size powerful and wise,
Aye weel dressed wi a barrel o a chest,
He was the Baron O Buchlyvie.

Now the crowds all came for mighty was his name,
Far and wide across the countryside,
Strong and proud the darling of the crowd,
He was the Baron O Buchlyvie.

And when he marched in the grand parade all the menfolk cried,
Here comes the king of champions,
And all the ladies sighed.


Now the folks came down from every heiland town,
Up from the south his name on every mouth,
From the east and west they came to see the best,
He was the Baron O Buchlyvie.

In the pubs they`d dwell wi tales to tell,
Of his strength and might far into the night,
And every man would raise a dram,
To the Baron O Buchlyvie.

They`d toast his pedigree with the Barley Bree,
In the Rob Roy Inn fair foo,
Whils`t others gaed doon the Main Street,
And filled the Red Lion too.


He had a famous son who`s work was never done,
Dunure Footprint was never one to stint,
And Bonny Buchlyvie later did arrive,
To boost the Baron O Buchlyvie.

But then one day such a tragedy,
As his latest love he wooed,
The mare lashed out and kicked him,
And broke his leg in two.

So they put him down though it saddened half the town,
The mighty Clydesdale king had had his final fling,
And to Kelvingrove his muckle skeleton they drove,
To show the Baron O Buchlyvie.

But we mind him braw taller than them a’,
Whitna size powerful and wise,
Aye weel dressed wi a barrel of a chest,
He was the Baron O Buchlyvie.

Billy Stewart


Pull the plough pull the cart pull the strings of my heart
And I will miss you when you’re gone when you’re gone
From the metal shoes you wear to your flowing mane of chestnut hair
I’ll miss you when you’re gone when you’re gone

I’m a plough boy on the farm and I wake up every morning
To the crowing of the cock with the sun
I come to where you stand a gentle giant of the land
And I know another working day’s begun


Then I come to where you stand a gentle giant of the land
With your harness made from leather, brass and chain
And you stand there fully dressed like an elder in his Sunday best
And we will walk the furrows once again


When you’re harnessed to the plough you’re as graceful as a Clipper now.
That sails the seven seas from coast to coast
When the virgin ground you break and lines of symmetry you make
The Champion of Clydesdales is your boast


But now your time is passed this working day will be your last
And no more will you toil beneath my hand
Your harness will hang slack all you’ll feel is warm sun on your back
And I’ll miss my companion of the land

Chris Rogers

Long long time they’ve worked together
Through wind and weather, side by side
Honest toil for those who need them
Who keep and feed them from the soil

But when the working day is over
Samson dreams of running free
Of jumping fences and of flying like the wind
Delilah knows to let him be

Day by day they haul and carry
No time to tarry, such a heavy load
Speed the plough and guide the harrow
Straight as an arrow, then down the road

But when the working day is over
Delilah dreams of running free
Of chasing rainbows and of dancing on the sand
Samson knows to let her be

Light and steel serve to remind us
That love and kindness show the way
Blood and bone have finer fettle
Than oil and metal, come what may
And now the working day is over
Both can dream of running free
Of quiet shelter and of lazing in the sun
And all the world will let them be

C. Corrigal

Ah’ll sing ye a song o’ a canty auld body,
A kenspeckle figger was auld Wattie Broon,
A trustworthy hand at the Mains o’ Drumcloddie,
Sin’ the day he began tae work there as a loon,
And syne there as baillie he proved himself canny,
His work conscientious, particlar and clean,
Till a’e day his maister said, ‘Wattie, ma mannie,
Ye’ll tak’ the third pair, they’re ca’d Princie and Jean’.
And in a’ bonnie Scotland there wasna a human,
So happy as Wattie wi’ his dandy pair,
He sune held his ain wi’ the rest as a plooman,
And, oh, was he prood o’ his gelding and mare!
A grand pair o’ blacks, no’ their like in a hunner,
Wi’ coats o’ a rich glossy ebony sheen,
And at plooin’ matches for years worthy winner,
For grooming was Wattie, wi’ Princie and Jean.
So Wattie aye bided content wi’ his duties,
Bit life’s fu’ o’ changes as a’body kens,
Decrepit auld age claimed the baith o’ his beauties,
And tractors began tae appear at the Mains,
A steerin’ wheel Wattie just widna be grippin’,
He wrocht on as a orra man – didna compleen,
Bit a’body noticed puir Wattie was slippin’
Doonhill, he was pinin’ for Princie and Jean.
And noo he’s awa’, a’ his trauchles are ended,
A God-fearin’ body that aye did his best,
His life was a sermon, the mourners a’ kent it,
On Tuesday last week when we laid him tae rest,
And we a’ had a thocht, though we didna divulge it,
As wi’ hankies we dabbit the tears fae wir een,
That if He wha was born in a manger so wills it,
They’ll be waitin for Wattie – his Princie and Jean!

Robin Laing

Goliath was a Clydesdale Horse
Nineteen hands and four feet across
A champion of his day
He ended up in Glasgow town hitched to a brewery dray

Goliath was a popular horse
He was carrying beer of course
And men pricked up their ears
For the hammer fall of Goliath’s hooves and barrels of fresh brewed beer

Goliath he was stubborn and thrawn
Looking for feet to trample upon
With a wicked smile on his face
And Davy the drayman frequently found his feet in a dangerous place

David and Goliath
The drayman and his horse
Every day except the Sabbath
On the streets of Glasgow from Barlinnie to St Georges Cross

Then one day – sad to say
Old Goliath passed away
And was sent to the knacker’s yard
But Davy asked for one of the hooves that had made his life so hard

Goliath’s hoof was big and roundTwelve inch across and weighed four pound
It made a fine ashtray
And Davy the drayman emptied his pipe inside it every day

David and Goliath…

Now Davy’s wife was a decent soul
But the burnt hoof smell she could not thole
She said there was nothing worse
And she put her foot down Davy found harder than a Clydesdale horse

So Davy put the hoof in to boil
To fertilize his allotment soil
And his roses that year were grand
Thanks to the feet of a horse and a wife and a drayman’s loving hand

David and Goliath…

John Malcolm

It was in England’s pleasant land
So the story goes
Manor Farm was run down
By the farmer Mr Jones
He didn’t mend the fences
The fields were full of weeds
The barn roof was leaking
He wasted all the seeds
His animals were starving
And they could take no more
One night as Jones was lying drunk
They burst the storehouse door
The farm hands tried to stop them
Lashing with their whips
But they were forced to run away
From butting horns and kicks

Now horses pigs cows and sheep
Hens and ducks and geese
The farm dogs and the farm cat
Agreed to live in peace
They vowed to live as equals
And work and share the farm
And from then on in no animal
Should ever come to harm
Boxer was the carthorse
A huge eighteen hands tall
The strongest of the animals
Did more work than them all
But the pigs had all the cunning
And began to rule the roost
Though all were to be equal
Some were more equal than most

Now you may not believe me
Say how can this be true
But it’s already happening
And it could happen to you

Now the head pig was Napoleon
A big fat Berkshire boar
Who came to power through tactics
You’ve heard that somewhere before?
And fading dreams of equality
Diminished through the years
And returning was hard labour
Secrecy and fear
But boxer never questioned
His duty to obey
And held fast to his motto
To work harder every day
He liked to work and do it well
His joy to work for others
The smaller creatures on the farm
His sisters and his brothers

A faithful friend is the heavy horse
With a heart as pure as gold
And none more so than Boxer
As the years they took their toll
His hide began to lose its shine
This worker true and honest
Looked forward to retirement
And the pension he was promised
Each day five pounds of wholesome corn
And fifteen pounds of hay
A field that he could ramble in
And pass his autumn days
But these promises were empty
For the years he’d worked so hard
His reward was to be shunted off
In a van to the knacker’s yard

Now you may not believe me
Ands say how can this be true
But it’s already happening
And it could happen to you

Alan Reid

When I was a tousy, freckled lad we would visit Uncle John
Wi’ his ruddy cheeks and muckle lugs on his ferm at Ritchie’s Loan
Every year he got his finest duds and his bonny Clydesdale pair
Wi’ his bunnet hingin’ jaunty they would set oot for the fair
They would set oot for the fair

Each horse wis braw and handsome ,they had sinews weel defined
Each collar decorated and the colours they were fine
Hector was the chestnut and Bessie was the roan
The baith o’ them majestic steppin’ oot fae Ritchie’s Loan
Steppin’ oot fae Ritchie’s Loan

Hector stood at sixteen hands , his neck was arched and long
His ribs were bent like barrel hoops, his back was straight and strong
Bessie she was smaller , her legs were stout and straight
She could labour a’ the ‘oors God made and by her side her mate
By her side her mate

My uncle had a neebor and they met up at the fair
And he wagered fifteen guineas he could best Carmichael’s pair
So they harnessed up the horses ,each team tethered tae a ploo
And when they got the nod tae start twa pairs began tae pu’
Twa pairs began tae pu’

Just then the heavens opened and the rain came pourin’ through
And ma uncle John got drookit and the field was turned tae glue
But soft he spoke in Bessie’s ear and gamely she ploughed on
And wi’ Hector by her every step the match was easy won
The match was easy won
Each time I see a Clydesdale noo' I mind on uncle John
He came rollin’ hame quite late that night but his bunnet it was gone
Though he was rough and ready man and his workin’ life was hard
He aywis had a gentle way wi’ the horses in the field
Wi’ the horses in the field

We are stewards of the ocean, we are tenants o' the land
We can use the power of sunlight, we can harness wave and wind
There's a wheen o' different answers for the problems that we face
But let’s not forget the Clydesdale he's the honest working horse
Each Hector and each Bessie they have a part to play
And every humble horse should have his day

G.S Morris and J.S Kerr

Words to follow

Rev. R.A. Calder

The gloaming winds is sighing saft,
Aroon my lanely stable laft,
and frae the skylicht dusky red,
The sunbeams wander ower my bed.
The doctor left me words o’ cheer,
But something tells me death is near,
My time on earth has nae been lang,
but noo’s the term and I maun gang.
Ah me, it’s but a week the morn,
Sin’ I was weel and hairstin corn,
As fu’ o’ health as blithe and strang,
As ony ane amang the thrang.
But something in my breist gaed wrang,
A vessel burst and blood oot sprang,
And ere my sun was in mid skies,
I laid me doon nae mair tae rise.
Fareweel my nags, my bonny pair,
I'll never yoke and lowse ye mair,
Fareweel my ploo, wi you this hand,
Shall turn nae mair the fresh red land.
Fareweel my freens, and parents dear,
My voice again ye’ll never hear,
Fare weel for aye thou settin sun,
My day is ower, my work is done.

I've served ma maister weel and true,
And weel deen work I dinna rue,
But yet forby I micht hae striven

Tae win the fee and arls o’ Heaven

Oh has the Maister got my name?
And shall I get a welcome hame?
Thou who does help in need afford
Receive me in Thy bosom Lord

Matt Armour

When I left the school, barely twelve years of age,
I had to find work for we needed the wage
To haud wi’ tradition and keep me from harm
‘Twas decided that I would be fee’d to the farm.
So, in that summer, I signed at Crawhill
If youth was still on me, I’d be working there still.
I was happy up there as a lad e’er could be
And the Wilsons o’ Crawhill were aye kind to me.

In the barroom you cry me a puir used-up man,
Who drinks as he thinks of the days that are gone
I put up wi’ your laughter; I smile at your cracks
As I wait on the day when the horses come back.

At first it was redding and scraping the yaird
Jumping and turning at every man’s word.
At the end of long hours, the best job tae dae
Was tending and caring for Bluebell and May,
Twa muckle great Clydesdales, eighteen hands height
That were yokit at morning and workit till night.
Of a’ things at Crawhill that I mind the day
It’s the kind eye o’ Bluebell, the sweet breath o’ May.

I served my time, was made up tae the ploo
But the tricks that I won then are nae use the noo.
Nae mair darkling stables, nae brass-jangling tack
And the horses are pensioned on the pasture out back.
Now it’s diesel and oil and the smell o’ the smoke
A rank-going reek that wid gar a man choke
There are gauges and glass bits like ye’ve never seen
And how can you talk to a great dumb machine.

I saw you smile at the sight of the oil
Tae ease all our labours and end all our toil
Fareweel to poverty, welcome to wealth
And it lay in the sea and no’ in the earth.
So, ye all went and ye quitted the land,
Said I was daft – I could no’ understand
The promise o’ plenty and where the future might be
But goldmines in oceans mak’ sma’ sense tae me.

Now I hear the rumours flying about
That your big, black bonanza of oil will run out.
You’ll come back to the land and you’ll fare none the worse,
But which of you kens how to talk to a horse.
Now the young laddies, wi’ an eye on the farm
Come by the bar and they buy me a dram.
They close in by the ingle and aye listen tae
The auld tales o’ Bluebell, the stories o’ May.

Nae mair now ye cry me a puir used-up man
Wha drinks as he thinks of the days that are gone
I’ve put up wi’ your laughter, I’ve smiled at your cracks
As I wait on the day when the horses come back.

Now I’ll see the day when the horses come back.

Dave Gibb

Born into this world of your mother’s pain
I saw you stand for the very first time
Will we ever see your like again?
Or will you be the last of your line
Will you be the last of your line?

You were bred for the strength you would bring to the toil
To take the load off the working man
And with gentle grace you bore it all
Your power was his to command
You’d dip your head and take the strain
Of the coach or the cart or the plough
But your time is over now

Born into this world of your mother’s pain
I saw you stand for the very first time
Will we ever see your like again?
Or will you be the last of your line
Will you be the last of your line?

When it seemed your power had tamed the land
Did you see how the times moved on
You were never enough for the wants of man
His need for your gifts had gone
History just passed you by
And you watched as it rolled along
Your glory days were gone

Born into this world of your mother’s pain
I saw you stand for the very first time
Will we ever see your like again?
Or will you be the last of your line
Will you be the last of your line?

The feather feet rise and the feather feet fall
As you pound the earth and you pull the plough
Your work was hard and your days were long
Now your working days are done

Now you’re pulling carts at the county shows
People stare amazed at your size
And you’re all dress up in your ribbons and bows
In the hope of a winner’s prize
But you know your worth and you’re marking time
You’re playing a patient game
Your time will come again

Born into this world of your mother’s pain
I saw you stand for the very first time
Will we ever see your like again?
Or will you be the last of your line
Will you be the last of your line?

Ewan McVicar and P4 class Biggar Primary School with Ms Forbes

Whup and whoa, off we go, turning up the ground.
The seagulls fly to follow us, they come from miles around.

The Clydesdale horse, the Clydesdale horse
Together we will work

Strong white hooves, muscular back, a brown mane down his spine,
He ploughs the fields and pulls the carts, and does his work just fine.

We scare away the wee field mice, when we break their nests.
Wee sleekit cowerin beastie – I forget the rest.

At harvest time the big combine comes to cut the corn.
The team works hard till the farmer’s wife blows the dinner horn.

In the stable there’s a necklace, made of stones with holes.
They will keep the witches out, and protect the foals.

When our work is over, I clean him with the comb.He sleeps in the stable, and I go hirplin home.