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Devolution Quoted

17th December 2009

Ten years of Scottish devolution are to be celebrated today with the formal unveiling of new quotations on the Canongait Wall. The wall, which forms the boundary of the Scottish Parliament building on the Canongait of Edinburgh, already has several quotations in languages including Scots. One of the new quotations is from the Mary Brookbanks song ‘Oh Dear Me (A Mill Sang)’ which describes the harsh life in the Dundee jute mills. There are several versions of the song and the parliament has chosen the following quotation:

‘Oh dear me, the warld’s ill-divided,

Them that work the hardest are aye wi least provided,

But I maun bide contented, dark days or fine,

For there’s no much pleasure livin’ affen 10 and nine.’

Ten and nine refers to the wage of 10 shillings and nine old pence. The quotation has been carved on marble by Gillian Forbes.

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