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Fleshmarket Close ©

H Marshall
Scotland
2002

Fleshmarket Close is a steep-stepped Close just off the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. It leads down from Cockburn Street to Waverley Station and is a favourite haunt of the poor beggars of Edinburgh. Some of them sleep there, lying on damp cardboard and wrapping themselves in polythene bin liners to keep warm and dry.

Oor Queen drives past Fleshmarket Close,
Warm an snug in a big flash car.
Passin' by on her way tae Holyrood,
Folk in the Close are no' aware.

Oor Queen has much land and riches
She always has plenty tae eat.
The beggars in the Close are very poor
And they hardly hae ony meat.

Oor Queen has mony Palaces
The beggars huv'nae got a bed.
Her Palaces have silk sheets an' pillows.
Beggars use cardboard for their head.

Oor Queen has mony fine Castles
Like Edinburgh, that's sae braw.
The Close is near Edinburgh Castle
But it is cauld, filthy an' raw.

Oor Queen has mony Welsh Corgis,
They walk her estate ev'ry day.
The beggars cannae afford a Corgi
Tae walk wi', or talk tae, or play.

Oor Queen lives a pampered life,
She gets maist ev'rythin' wi' ease.
Pair folk huddlin' in the Fleshmarket Close
Keep sayin', "Got any change, please?"

Oor Queen gets expensive presents,
That keep swellin' her awesome wealth,
While the paupers in the Close hiv' nuthin'
Except perhaps lice an' poor health.

Our Queen is meant to be caring,
And show concern for me and you.
About the poor folk in Fleshmarket Close
What now, is she going to do?

Could she no' help them wi' their lives,
By sharin' some o' her fortune?
Instead o' accumulatin' mair wealth,
While the beggars sink further doon.

Our Queen is the head of the church,
A pillar of society.
The church teaches us from an early age,
On your fellow man take pity!

And as our Queen grows much older,
Of Scotland, she still is the head.
Before she helps the paupers in the Close,
I suspect they will all be dead!


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