The Ballad of Saughton Park.

The Ballad of Saughton Park was written by Professor Alan Spence, Edinburgh Makar, specifically for Saughton Park and read aloud to attendees at the official opening on the 6th of June 2019.

 

The Ballad of Saughton Park

Come walk with me in Saughton Park

Come walk with me a while.

Come walk with me in Saughton Park

We’ll step it out in style.

Our neolithic ancestors

first settled in this place -

first farmers, fishers, foresters,

they barely left a trace

of how they lived, of who they were

that first community

beside a loch no longer there,

all ghosts, as we will be.

The name is Gaelic, seilach tun,

the place of the willow,

the willow grove. Say it - Saughton -

hear the winds sough and blow.

Centuries passed, Saughton became

a place of sanctuary -

a place of refuge, asylum,

pure healing energy.

Water of Leith, flow by, flow by.

Water of Leith, flow by.

Carry all care and grief away.

Water of Leith flow by.

The whole world came to Saughton Park

a century ago -

some visionary lit a spark

and watched it glow and grow.

The call went out, Come one, come all,

the world is welcome here.

Our nation’s international -

come see what we can share.

They came, from Russia, Canada,

Japan and Senegal

from Italy and India,

from a the airts. Come all.

A festival, an exhibition,

trade fair and jamboree

in just a year three million

folk came to look and see.

On switchback railway, helter skelter

water chute and maze,

in spider’s web and hall of laughter

they passed the endless days.

Before the-war-to-end-all-war

they gathered here in peace.

Before the-war-to-end-all-war

they gathered here in peace.

Water of Leith, flow by, flow by.

Water of Leith, flow by.

Carry all care and grief away.

Water of Leith flow by.

And now we’re in another time,

another century.

This green space is a paradigm

of how things have to be -

a world made new, now celebrate

this re-imagining.

Walk up the path, open the gate.

to glorious flowering.

Friends of the Park, this is your place

this is your time, your day.

Skateboarders, Dreamers of Peace,

come in to play and pray.

You’ll find the goddess Parvati

bestowing light and grace.

She’s Mother Earth, fertility.

See her compassion-face.

The old bandstand has been restored

to what it used to be.

So get in tune now, strike that chord

and let the music play.

Come walk with me in Saughton Park

Come walk with me a while.

Come walk with me in Saughton Park

We’ll step it out in style.

Alan Spence

Edinburgh Makar,

6th June 2019

 

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Friends of Saughton Park.

Winter Gardens

Saughton Park,

Balgreen Road,

Edinburgh,

EH11 3BQ​

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© 2019 by Friends of Saughton Park.