Mudcat Café message #978588 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #13337   Message #978588
Posted By: GUEST,Sarah F
07-Jul-03 - 06:11 PM
Thread Name: Whatever happened to Matt McGinn?
Subject: RE: Whatever happened to Matt McGinn?
This message just jogged my memory so I have had a look about and here's what's online about the late Great Matt McGinn.

Checkout    www.theballadeers.com      and   www.roots2thefuture.com

Matt McGinn was born in 1928 in one of the poorest areas of Glasgow, into a family of 9 kids. They lived near the Barras, Glasgow's famous market. After having gone to an approved school during the war he became interested in politics. He was a left-wing activist and won a scholarship to Ruskin College, Oxford. That was quite something for a poor Glaswegian !

While studying to become a teacher he won a competition for "Best Folk Song" and when he returned to Glasgow he taught for a while before becoming a full time folk singer / songwriter / actor / writer / poet. He is most famous for his songs which such as; the Red Yo-yo, The Wee Kirkcudrbright Centipede, Magic Shadow Show, Janetta, The Ballad of the Q4, the Ballad of John McLean, The Depth of My Ego and Troubled Waters. He wrote childrens' songs, love songs, funny songs, etc., but first and foremost he was a political animal and he wrote some great political songs, usually with a bit of humour thrown in.

As the previous message said, he died of smoke inhalation after falling asleep with a lighted cigarette in his hand. Glasgow and the world lost a lot in the shape of a down to earth talented man, often referred to as the Scottish Woody Guthrie.   

There is a bit of a Matt McGinn revival going on at present, including awards ceremonies and concerts in Glasgow and New York. Some of his work has been re-released as the "Best of Matt McGinn" and "The Return of The Two Heided Man". The book "McGinn of the Calton" tells of his life and has song lyrics. It's a gem of a book; and he was a gem of a person ! www.theballadeers.com has a bit of info on him.