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The Game ©

Jim McRobert
Edinburgh, Scotland
2005

Are you going to 'The Game' are you going by bus?
We’ll meet at the cross it'll save us a fuss
I'll phone for the tickets, will I just get two
It'll save us the crush and will get a grand view

Packed coaches have travelled from near and far
Some folks have come by plane or car
Trains and subways packed with folk
A seething mass--------------a monster awoke

Police stewards in yellow coats
Knighted officers--------------mobile forts
Coaxing onwards this mass of sheep
Crush at turnstiles------ dozens deep

Vendors there with wares to sell
Programmes, T-shirts and that smell
Peas, pies and burgers too
Hurry, hurry join the queue

Steaming tea or fizzy drink
Wrapped in fingers frozen pink
Puffs of breath------talking air
Touts with tickets going spare

Colour, colour everywhere
Blues on voices curse and swear
Scarves and hats all hooped and stripe
Smoke from fags and briar pipe

Into the stadium, pick your seat
With leathered shoe or trainered feet
Pickpockets keen to make their mark
Drunkards reeling around the Park

Pressmen gathered behind the goal
Camera, book the Press console
Tripods lenses the biggest the best
Sensational pictures hot to the Press

With roars and cheers and clapping hand
From folks in stalls and in the Stand
Watch their Gladiators run out from the Tunnel
To fight a war on this green jungle

From the crowd our famous song
'Flower of Scotland' make us strong
Banners waving everywhere
Stirring hearts our Anthem air

Across the park a wondrous sound
'Men of Harlech' round the ground
There the fans are red and white
Leeks abound--what a sight

Balls are kicked about the place
Stretches done at lazy pace
Officials move upon the Park
Referee, linesmen to their mark

Ballboys standing very proud
Banners waving in the crowd
A ball is placed upon the spot
The coin is tossed --to kick or not

The centre-half he takes the ball
It's him to kick he's won the call
At his back the team are ready
Keep your nerve, now steady boys steady

The ball drifts long, they're on a charge
To get the ball they'll push and barge
It's caught and marked they get the kick
Into touch…well that's the trick

The line-outs taken they quickly rise
"It's not straight in!" the linesman cries
Again the throw, it's straight and true
And to his hands that ball it flew

Out it goes onto the wing
For palm to palm, it's out then in
A forward touch, it is knocked on
The men from Wales are playing strong

A scrum is call, they're in a ruck
The ball goes in they're out of luck
The ball is held it's in the back
The hands are seen amid the pack

He's got the ball he ducks and dives
A prop, a second, can he survive
He's grabbed, he's down, the ball is free
They'll hack it out with heel or knee

Out the wing the ball does go
From hand to hand what a show
Back and forward in that running line
How to pass the Welsh front line

He's out he's shaken loose
Now there's surely no excuse
He's there, he's there, and he has touched down
A tree-mendous roar goes round the ground

He's opted to go and take the kick
He carries it back and makes a nick
The ball is placed with loving care
Hushed the crowd everywhere

The linesmen stand behind the posts
The ball is kicked, in the air it coasts
Neatly it drops over the bar
The Scottish kicker now a star

The flags go up, the crowd does roar
Seven points up, we need some more
And so the game goes on and on
Soon the whistle for half time is gone

They've left the pitch for bite of fruit
Whilst marching bands a fond tribute
With rousing tunes in smart tattoo
Lifted up with notes so blew

Now they're back upon the park
The whistles blown a kick to start
Players charge to catch the ball
Hold it now that charge will stall

Players grunt and groan out load
Oaths profound within their crowd
Tackles brutal and hard are seen
Rugby played on this sea of green

Knock on, knock on and then a scrum
Rank the sweat and glower on bum
Blood from cuts, snot and tears
Lose the ball their only fear

The ball is out with heave and grunt
No quarter given to bear the brunt
And back it's heeled to waiting hands
A toe to ball three points it lands

The crowd is jubilant, their anthems sung
Scots keep your heads and you have won
The Welsh are keen they have the ball
A long pass out the man does call

Along the line with chasing pack
To beat them all can't look back
A flying leap the ball's touched down
The sound is magical around the ground

No kick is taken they need to catch
With timely luck the game they'll snatch
But not today the Scots are firm
They'll win the day the points confirm

The whistle's blown the Scots have won
And from their seats the young boys run
Autographs, perchance the ball
Take a place in the trophy hall

Off the park they quickly funnel
Screened by the stewards in the darkened tunnel
Maybe you'll beat them the next time you meet
As the crowd soon dissolves right into the street

The Vendors are gone the ticket touts too
The police and the stewards no longer a queue
The coaches are gone; the fans have gone home
Replaying those moments for some just to groan

Scotland as a team have rarely won
Playing the game they've had a bad run
But as this game can show luck it can change
A touch at that moment, a clash or exchange

So drink up your pint and remember this day
Long may we cherish the points in this way
Some day we'll be the envy of nations around
When we win every match when we visit their ground.


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