A Cottage of My Own
An Old Woman of the Roads

O, for a wee little cottage!  To own the hearth and stool and all!
The heaped up sods upon the fire, the pile of turf against the wall!
To have a clock with weights and chains and pendulum swinging up and down!
A dresser filled with shining delph, speckled and white and blue and brown!
I could be busy all the day, clearing and sweeping the hearth and floor,
And fixing on their shelf again my white and blue and speckled store!
I could be quiet there at night beside the fire and by myself,
Sure of a bed and loathe to leave the ticking clock and that shining delph!
Och!  but I'm weary of mist and dark and roads where there's never a house nor bush,
And tired I am of bog and road, and the crying wind and the lonesome hush!
And I am praying to God on high, and I am praying Him night and day,
For a wee little cottage, a house of my own, out of the night wind's way.
-- Padraic Colum
Granny's Hielan' Hame

Away in the hielans there stands a wee hoose, it stands on the breast of the brae,
Where we played as laddies sae long, long ago, and it seems it was just yesterday.
I can still see my Granny, a smile on her face, as sweet as the heather dew,
She kissed me goodbye, wi' a tear in her eye, and said, "Laddie, may God bless you."

The heather bells are blooming just outside Granny's door,
Where, as laddies there, we played in the days of long ago...
'Neath the shadow of Ben Bhragie and Golspie's loudly stane,
How I wish that I could see my Granny's hame again.
-- Sandy MacFarlane
An exile from home, splendor dazzles in vain;
Oh, give me my lowly thatched cottage again!
The birds singing gaily, that came at my call...
And the peace of mind that's the dearest of all.
-- Dyer
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Charles Cumming contacted me after visiting this page and noticing "Granny's
Hielan' Hame."  I'd always thought the verse was from a poem, but it was actually
a song.  Mr. Cumming wrote:
"The song was written by my great-uncle, Sandy MacFarlane, in the 1920's. Sandy
married one of my grandfather's sisters and the song was written about his
mother-in-law, my great grandmother. Sandy made his living originally as a mason,
who built chimneys, especially on public buildings around Boston during his career,
but was an excellent singer who became well known as a radio personality amongst
the many Scots and Canadians from Nova Scotia who settled in the area.
All but one of Grannie's children emigrated from the tiny village of Embo, on the
northeast coast of Scotland before WWI, and settled in and around Boston. Grannie
died before WWII and when I was very young (in the 1950's) the seven surviving
children sold Grannie's house. Sadly, Grannie's Hielan Hame is no longer a cottage,
and barely resembles the family pictures of the old place. Grannie, who my
great-uncle made famous in Scotland, is buried with my great grandfather
some distance away from their home."