The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #6827   Message #41391
Posted By: John Nolan
12-Oct-98 - 07:20 PM
Thread Name: Hamish Imlach (1940-1996)-info, songs, etc.
Subject: RE: hamish imlach
I always assumed the song was written by Adam McNaughtan, and know it in its Glasgow vernacular, rather than the Anglified version above. When I was a very young policeman, in the mid 1960s, I was put on an Easterhouse beat in the east end of Glasgow, with an old and cynical plodder named J.F. In those pre-Strathclyde Police days, Glasgow police's jurisdiction ended at the city boundry, beyond which lay the wilds of Lanarkshire. The Monkland canal wound through the Easterhouse housing scheme, and on across the city line - and one dark night, F. found a body floating in the canal, very near that boundry. Assuming it was a suicide, or more likely a drunk, and not wishing to give up his own drinking time by writing endless reports and hanging about the mortuary F.(as he told it)decided to get a clothes pole from a nearby back court, and poke the dead floater under a bridge and into Lanarkshire, which he managed to do quite successfully. He then made a muffled, anonymous call to Coatbridge Police to report the presence of a body in the Lanarkshire portion of the canal. Whether this incident, which is not too widely known, had any bearing on the penning of the song, I can't say, but Hamish lived in Motherwell, not far distant, and McNaughton, if indeed he had any hand in writing it, was just over the Clyde in Rutherglen.