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Origins: Glasgow Corporation Song

GUEST,Jack Foley Hamilton Scotland 24 Oct 19 - 06:19 AM
John MacKenzie 25 Oct 19 - 09:18 AM
weerover 26 Oct 19 - 04:34 PM
Tattie Bogle 27 Oct 19 - 08:24 PM
John MacKenzie 28 Oct 19 - 04:26 AM
Scabby Douglas 29 Oct 19 - 07:37 AM
Gavin Paterson 29 Oct 19 - 05:05 PM
Joe Offer 29 Oct 19 - 05:26 PM
Jim McLean 29 Oct 19 - 06:24 PM
Tattie Bogle 29 Oct 19 - 08:37 PM
andymac 30 Oct 19 - 02:47 PM
Tattie Bogle 30 Oct 19 - 02:56 PM
Gallus Moll 30 Oct 19 - 08:14 PM
keberoxu 31 Oct 19 - 05:21 PM
GUEST,Ewan McVicar 31 Oct 19 - 05:45 PM
GUEST,Ewan McVicar 01 Nov 19 - 05:45 AM
Tattie Bogle 01 Nov 19 - 08:53 PM
GUEST,Kenny B(Inactive) 02 Nov 19 - 06:29 AM
GUEST,Gallus Moll 03 Nov 19 - 03:06 PM
GUEST,Gallus Moll 03 Nov 19 - 03:10 PM
keberoxu 03 Nov 19 - 03:20 PM
GUEST,Gallus Moll 03 Nov 19 - 03:51 PM
GUEST,Scabby Douglas (sans cookie) 03 Nov 19 - 09:50 PM
GUEST,Ewan McVicar 05 Nov 19 - 04:28 PM
GUEST,andymac 06 Nov 19 - 05:23 AM
GUEST,Gallis Moll 10 Nov 19 - 05:21 PM
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Subject: Origins: Glasgow Corporation Song
From: GUEST,Jack Foley Hamilton Scotland
Date: 24 Oct 19 - 06:19 AM

Can anyone help me find out who wrote this song about the old Glasgow Corporation establishing housing schemes (estates!)? The mention of the "famous singer" has to refer to Frankie Vaughan, who visited Easterhouse in 1968.

The tune is almost certainly that of English song, The Tailor's Breeches, which became popular in Scotland with the publication of the Marrowbones collection by the EFDSS.

The Glesga Corporation Song

The Glesga Corporation does an awfy lot of work
The Provost in the city never ever wants tae shirk
One morning efter breakfast they sat him doon tae dream
He invented that monstrosity they call a housing scheme

A scheme, a scheme, a scheme m’lads, a scheme
He invented that monstrosity they call a housing scheme

He started off wi’ Easterhouse, Drumchapel, Carntyne
Castlemilk, Barlanark, Ruchazie built them fine
Pollock, Penilee, Nitshill, he threw them up wi’ speed
Saying: “I’ll go down in history for this atrocious deed.”

This deed, this deed, this deed m’lads, this deed
Saying: “I’ll go down in history for this atrocious deed.”

There's hooses upon hooses, oh and here and there a shop
There’s murder, rape, there’s violence but ye never see a cop
There’s great big dugs and bleedin’ lugs and greetin’, screamin’ weans
At night The Drumy and The Toye, wi razors, knifes and chains

Wi’ chains, wi’ chains, wi’ chains m’lads, wi’ chains
At night The Drumy and The Toye, wi’ razors, knifes and chains

Now a famous singer came tae town tae see what he could do
“There’s far too many children and amenities too few”
They opened up a swimming pool for Easterhouse’s neds
Now they don’t stab the passers-by, they droon them noo instead

Instead, instead, instead m’lads, instead
Now they don’t stab the passers-by the droon them noo instead

Each hoose is like its neighbour, painted yellow, green or cream
It’s the lesser of two evils living in a housing scheme
For the provost of the city, he’s clearing oot the rats
He’s changin’ a’ the tenements tae multi-storey flats

Tae flats, tae flats, tae flats m’lads, tae flats
He’s changin’ a’ the tenements tae multi-storey flats


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Subject: RE: Origins: Glasgow Corporation Song
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 25 Oct 19 - 09:18 AM

Nice to see Jack Foley posting on Mudcat. Glad he's still around too.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Glasgow Corporation Song
From: weerover
Date: 26 Oct 19 - 04:34 PM

I spent quite a lot of time in folk music gatherings, mostly in the West of Scotland (some of them at the same time as young Mr. Foley) and don't recall ever hearing this one. I also have many collections of material in print and recordings, and I can't even hazard an educated guess terms of the style relating to anyone with whose material I am familiar. I would be interested if anyone can come up with an answer, or even an informed suggestion.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Glasgow Corporation Song
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 27 Oct 19 - 08:24 PM

I have certainly heard it, but don't immediately remember who sang it or wrote it.
Various possibilties spring to mind: Adam McNaughtan, John Eaglesham, Hamish Imlach, Matt McGinn (he did write another song about Frankie Vaughan).
Guess someone like Ewan McVicar or Scabby Doug might know, but not sure if they still drop in here.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Glasgow Corporation Song
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 28 Oct 19 - 04:26 AM

My favourite among the candidates mentioned would be Adam. Mainly because of the tune used


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Subject: RE: Origins: Glasgow Corporation Song
From: Scabby Douglas
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 07:37 AM

Thanks to Tattie Bogle for drawing my attention to this thread.
I have to say that I can't recall having heard this song. (Hello to Jack Foley, by the way. Good to see you at Motherwell last week)

It *could* be by Adam McNaughtan, but I'd have said that it doesn't strike me as having quite the spark of wit that I associate with Adam. Of course if it does turn out to be by Adam, I'll just have labelled this song as sub-par. It's pretty direct, and has some of the energy of Matt McGinn, but I think if it was one of Matt's we'd have been aware of it.
Datewise, the Eaterhouse/Frankie Vaughan reference makes it post-1968, but I can't find a reference to when the swimming pool in Easterhouse opened - but sometime after that, presumably.

I'll maybe ask on Facebook, and see if anyone has more info.
I suspect we'll get lots of people saying Adam McNaught and Matt McGinn, though.

:)

Cheers

SD
(Steven)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Glasgow Corporation Song
From: Gavin Paterson
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 05:05 PM

I watched recently a documentary recently, the subject, I think, was politics in Glasgow. *I think*.

It could have been on Beeb Scotia digital but it may have been online. But there was a song in it, played by a pub/folk band, and I think it was this song.

I meant to film it on my phone but I don't think I was able. I may not have been entirely sober.

I'll rake around the t'internet and see what I can find.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Glasgow Corporation Song
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 05:26 PM

Can anyone contact Ewan McVicar and ask him? I won't be able to, until the power comes back on here in California.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Glasgow Corporation Song
From: Jim McLean
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 06:24 PM

Like previous posters, I have never heard this song. Nigel Denver and I met with Frankie Vaughan in Easterhouse. We spoke to a delegation from Easterhouse and I gave the royalties of a Decca single of my song The Barras sung by Nigel to the fund at that time.
I still have a letter from Frankie to this effect. If I was to guess as to the author of the song I would have said Adam but I'm sure he would have recorded it. It's not Matt's style, too tight.
A good song.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Glasgow Corporation Song
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 08:37 PM

Hope you're safe in California Joe: horrendous fires again.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Glasgow Corporation Song
From: andymac
Date: 30 Oct 19 - 02:47 PM

I'm another who has never heard it but I'm pretty sure it's not by Jack Eaglesham either.

Just an idea but could be Carl McDougall? He's obviously written poetry and songs around similar topics. I recall he once had me and the rest of the audience in stitches with a long poem about an overheard conversation at a housing office.

Andy


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Subject: RE: Origins: Glasgow Corporation Song
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 30 Oct 19 - 02:56 PM

I have messaged a few other people with long memories in hopes of finding an answer!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Glasgow Corporation Song
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 30 Oct 19 - 08:14 PM

Hi Jack - good to see your post! Greetings from Dunoon -- -
I was wondering how you came by the words of this song?
I thought if it was posted on the Lost Glasgow facebook page it might spark off a memory - I can do this if you like.
(You might even know the guy who set it up - think he was a journalist on - the Record maybe?! - not sure, but he was horrified to learn that all the paper's archive photos were to be dumped and asked if he could have them (think they had been digitised?) He then set up the facebook site- which has widened to include lots of other angles about Glasgow, memories, stories, artwork - and the odd song or poem. A xx


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Subject: RE: Origins: Glasgow Corporation Song
From: keberoxu
Date: 31 Oct 19 - 05:21 PM

Robert Carlyle comes to mind.
When his parents' marriage broke up,
he and his father went from neighbourhood to neighbourhood,
such as Polmadie,
and he lived in places like this.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Glasgow Corporation Song
From: GUEST,Ewan McVicar
Date: 31 Oct 19 - 05:45 PM

Trish asked for my thoughts about this one. I do not know it, and none of the suggested makers seem quite right to me.
Other names occurring to me include the prolific Alastair Hulett, but no-one I would strongly suggest, sorry.
Ewan


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Subject: RE: Origins: Glasgow Corporation Song
From: GUEST,Ewan McVicar
Date: 01 Nov 19 - 05:45 AM

Thinking on - another name to consider is of course Ian Davidson, but the over anger and chunky lyrics are not typical of him or the others considered above.
Anyway, Ian, Jim and Adam all wrote also about the shortcomings and evils of the tenements that were replaced by the schemes etc. This songmaker only does so as a final addon, and I speculate is of the next generation, so did not see the tenements in action.
Yes, the schemes have their own shortcomings and evils, this writer knows them at first hand and hates them, but places the blame on one person to represent all the politicians, town planners, social planners, architects, etc.
I've never lived in a scheme, but I had friends who did, and I was in my time in out of many houses, and involved with various projects, arts events. etc run by people who lived in 'schemes'. Most of the people I knew and worked with would I fear feel insulted and wronged by the accusations and oversimplification of these lyrics.
There is more to the story of Glasgow schemes than this furious song talks of.
Ewan


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Subject: RE: Origins: Glasgow Corporation Song
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 01 Nov 19 - 08:53 PM

Many thanks for your input, Ewan. I agree that some verses are a bit "strong" and therefore don't fit with certain songwriters who you and I have mentioned. Alistair Hulett also crossed my mind, but sadly we can't ask him, nor several of the others mentioned. But perhaps the lyrics are "of their time" when it was deemed permissible (by some) to joke about such serious issues: I'm not sure that deliberate insult was intended.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Glasgow Corporation Song
From: GUEST,Kenny B(Inactive)
Date: 02 Nov 19 - 06:29 AM

Could it be Cliff Hanley who was around that era


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Subject: RE: Origins: Glasgow Corporation Song
From: GUEST,Gallus Moll
Date: 03 Nov 19 - 03:06 PM

Hi Jack, I posted this on the Lost Glasgow Group on Facebook and there have been a couple of suggestions. One is Freddie Anderson, maybe for one of the Easterhouse productions?
I you are on facebook you can ask to join, think it is a private group, but has a lot of members so there is a possibility that someone, somewhere will come up with an answer!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Glasgow Corporation Song
From: GUEST,Gallus Moll
Date: 03 Nov 19 - 03:10 PM

Is this song political enough to be in The Janey Buchan Political Song Collection?
Another person who just might know is Jim McLean?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Glasgow Corporation Song
From: keberoxu
Date: 03 Nov 19 - 03:20 PM

Gallus Moll,
Jim McLean already posted to this thread earlier ...


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Subject: RE: Origins: Glasgow Corporation Song
From: GUEST,Gallus Moll
Date: 03 Nov 19 - 03:51 PM

Oops, forgot - am a bit stressed at the moment....xxx


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Subject: RE: Origins: Glasgow Corporation Song
From: GUEST,Scabby Douglas (sans cookie)
Date: 03 Nov 19 - 09:50 PM

The suggestion about Carl McDougall is an interesting one. I might fire a message in his direction to see if it rings any bells with him.

Steven


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Subject: RE: Origins: Glasgow Corporation Song
From: GUEST,Ewan McVicar
Date: 05 Nov 19 - 04:28 PM

I still think the names being fired in are too old guard for this, unless of course it is a show song, put into the mouth of a conflicted character. Ruchazie Ruchazie was such a show. If it had a reggae feel I would suggest the band - Scheme were they? - who went on the Castlemmik or Easterhouse to London march [which was it?].
Does not sound like wee Freddie, he was always more lyrical.
But I've been wrong before, and expect to be so again.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Glasgow Corporation Song
From: GUEST,andymac
Date: 06 Nov 19 - 05:23 AM

One other suggestion. There was a Mayfest (1990?) play called "The Corpy" dealing with the creation of the post-war schemes. It could possibly have been written for that or something similar.

I have tried to track the play down but with no success so far. Does anyone else recall it?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Glasgow Corporation Song
From: GUEST,Gallis Moll
Date: 10 Nov 19 - 05:21 PM

Hi Jack, did you manage to check out tge thread i began on the facebook Lost Glasgow Group? There were some other suggestions about possible authors /origins of the song....you have to join the group i think to read posts? A xx


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