Charlie Gillen - tha bard o North Entrim
Ullans Speakers Association - Article 33 - August 2011
By Charlie ‘Tha Poocher’ Reynolds
Noo, A wus jest swutherin tha ither dey aboot tha wye wae taak roon these airts. Its jest pairt o wha wae ir - an withoot it wae wud bae aa tha poorer. It maaks is wha wae ir an sets is apairt as baein Ulster Scots an proud o it. Aff coorse that’s the wye o things an Am gled tae dae mae best tae try an pit forrit tha beauty o wur ain Ullans tongue.
Hooiniver, thaur ir some yins wha hae wrocht for years tae keep oor ain wye o taakin tae tha fore - an yin o these is mae guid freen, Charlie Gillen. Charlie is a North Entrim man through an through an is a man wha loves tha place whaur he leeves, tha countryside roon aboot, an sees beauty in things that maebae some o is niver notish.
Charlie is better knoad tae maist o is roon aboot as ‘Tha Wizard’ - an mann, tae maesel, A think he is jest that, a wizard wae wurds. Doon tha years Charlie haes scrieved awa in haes ain North Entrim wye, lang afore onyboady iver thocht it wus worth while tryin tae presarve oor ain wye o taakin.
Aff coorse Am naw tryin tae get him made a saint ir onythin lake that but in mae ain opeenyin, naeboady kan houl a cannel tae him in tha rhyming o wurds. He haes, ower tha yeirs, scrieved rhymes aboot garvey mills, fairies, midges, kailyin an a hale rake o things that he haes sa heppen frae time tae time. He haes a wye o scrievin that pits him apairt frae maist. Hae kan tell ye a story an maak ye beleeve that yer leevin the very story yer sel. Ye kan feel tha very stoor blinnin ye whun he taaks aboot it, ir see tha oul mill wheel turnin as if ye wur stannin lukin at it.
Am sure yins wha hae ether read ir h’ard Charlie dae his rhymes wud hae yin that they lake maist o aa. Onywye here ir twarthy lines o Charlie’s that keep rennin through mae heid.
What heppen’t tae tha countryside since you an I wur weans,
An folk had time tae taak tae ye an aa tha kye had names?
The Clydesdales stud abane men, as gentle as a lamb,
The oul men proud o’ whut they dane, they know’d aboot the lan.
Wurds that tak ye there, A think Rabbie Burns wud hae bane proud o wuds lake that.