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The Wee Kirkcudbright Centipede

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The Wee Kirkcudbright Centipede

A bouncing, dancing tale of doing what comes naturally, written by Glasgow’s Matt McGinn.

The Wee Kirkcudbright Centipede, she was very sweet
She was ever so proud of every one of her hundred feet
Early every morning her neighbours came to glance
She always entertained them with a beautiful little dance

As leg number ninety four gave ninety five a shunt
Legs number one and two were twistin out in front
As legs numbers nine and ten were wriggling up the side
Legs seventy three and four were doing the Palais Glide

Her neighbour Jenny Longlegs with jealousy was mad
She went out and bought herself a pencil and a pad
She came a month of mornings and made careful note
Of every step the centipede made and this is what she wrote

Armed with exact notation young Jenny Longlegs tried
To dance just like the centipede, she failed and nearly cried
She grabbed a hold of the centipede, she says ‘Now, have a look
And tell me how you do these steps I've written in my book?’

Said the centipede ‘Do I do that?’, and tried to demonstrate
She'd never thought on the thing before, she got into a terrible state
Her hundred legs were twisted, she got tied up in a fankle
She fractured seven shinbones, fourteen kneecaps and an ankle

As legs number one and two were tied to three and four
Legs number five and six were trampled on the floor
Leg number fifteen was attacked by number ten
Ninety seven and ninety eight will never dance again

The Wee Kirkcudbright Centipede, she suffered terrible pain
And some of us were very surprised she ever danced again
But now she tells her neighbours, every one that calls to see
Never try an explanation of what comes naturally.

The Wee Kirkcudbright Centipede performed by Tryst Recorded for Learning and Teaching Scotland for Scotland’s Songs, Gallus recordings.