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Lyr Req: The 37 Bus

29 Jul 97 - 08:43 PM (#9802)
Subject: The 37 Bus
From: John Nolan

Running on from Cod Liver Oil and the Orange Juice, recorded by Hamish Imlach - on the same 1970s album he sung The 37 Bus. I have unfortunately lost the record, (which featured Robin Williamson of the ISB on whistle, I think.) Anyway, bone fragments of The 37 Bus are lodged in the brain. Can someone please ease the pain by supplying the whole song? And who wrote it? The Glasgow Corporation bus in question connected two toughish areas - Springburn and Castlemilk, and as a beat cop, back in those days in Sprinburn, the words have great nostalgia for me - especially, well on in the fight, when "by that time 40 polis hats hud floated doon the stank."

29 Jul 97 - 09:59 PM (#9808)
Subject: RE: The 37 Bus
From: Barry Finn

Hi John sorry , this isn't a reply to your question- don't know it, but thought I'd say how nice it is to have you drop in, hope you visit more often. The familys' going to Champlain, how about you. I f any one reading this thread has questions about Scottish Boarder Ballads John here is a great resource. Ha Ha you just got here & you've been put to the spot. See ya Barry, I'll call.

29 Jul 97 - 11:57 PM (#9824)
Subject: RE: The 37 Bus
From: John Nolan

Boarder Ballads, e.g. Lodging wi Big Aggie, or a Lodging Hoose in Rothsay-o. Those Boarder Ballads, Barry? Hey, chaos already. Back to that 37 bus.

30 Jul 97 - 02:20 AM (#9831)
Subject: RE: The 37 Bus
From: Simon Beaton

I have got the lyrics and will post them in a day or two.

31 Jul 97 - 04:39 AM (#9922)
Subject: Lyr Add: THE 37 BUS (M Toner)
From: Simon Beaton, New Zealand & Arbroath

(M Toner)

As I was on the upper deck of a 37 bus,
I saw big Jimmy swilling wine and kicking up a fuss.
The driver stopped the bus right sharp and belted up the stair.
"You can get to hell right off my bus if ye gee us ony mair."

"Och, pal, no offence," Big Jimmy said. "If you knew what I'd been through,
You wouldnae say such things to me or blame a man that's doon.
I lost a pile on the dogs the night, I'll have yae for to know.
All my wages doon the stank for a dog that wouldnae go."

The driver said he didn't give a monkey's or a tinker's curse.
"Your shoutin' and your bawling is distressing all of us.
I've had just about enough of you, a lot mair than I need.
If you don't hold that big tongue of yours, I'll stuff it down your heed."

Big Jim he smiled and picked his nose and finished off his wine.
He said, "The way you just spoke to me has gone right out of line.
I finish aff fifteen like you when I get into a fight.
Get down on your knees and pray for help, you dirty little shite."

The bus was in an uproar as people got off fast,
With good old Glasgow chivalry, allowed women and children last.
They gathered round and shouted out 'cause they didnae like Big Jim.
"Come on, driver! Sink the boot. Get stuck right intae him."

The driver smiled and waded in a-kicking, swinging brogues,
Until finally he got Jim's square head a-planted on his nose.
Jim's knee came up. His fist came doon. The driver moved no more.
So, he jumped a couple of times on his head as he twitched on the floor.

At this, a hundred polis men came up to capture Jim.
In threes and fours and dozens, he laid them out round him.
Till finally they sorted him out when the army brought a tank.
But I counted forty polis hats a-floating doon the stank.

So now, there's a notice on the upper deck of a 47 bus.
If you see Big Jimmy swilling wine and kicking up a fuss,
Don't try to act the hero and put Big Jimmy aff.
Our poor old Glasgow polis force still cannot afford the staff.

Sung by Hamish Imlach written by M Toner

Roughly translated from 'Glasgae' to English

Simon Beaton

31 Jul 97 - 06:22 PM (#9952)
Subject: RE: The 37 Bus
From: John Nolan

Simon, yer a pal. Thanks a lot. Now you wouldn't have the words of "Who stole the poltice aff the scabby-heidit wean?" by any chance, to make my life complete.

01 Aug 97 - 05:07 AM (#9962)
Subject: RE: The 37 Bus

Sorry John I've not heard of that one, but how about a parody about Big Jimmy's girl froiend Hairy Mary

In a sweet little village called Glasgow
To the dancin I was bound
It was there I met Hairy Mary
Who flogged it for half a crown

Her eyes were covered wi' mascara
She was the queen of Barrow Land
And her baubles hung down from her shoulders
held up with a big navvies hand

This is called the Black Velvet Gland and is also by Hamish Imlach. (To the tune of course of the Black Velvet Band)

PS Which part of the world are you from?

31 May 00 - 07:53 PM (#236590)
Subject: Lyr Add: THE 37 BUS (Ian McCarry and Tom Docherty)
From: GUEST,little John Cameron

Here ye go mah boy. Mah favorite.

(written by Ian McCarry and Tom Docherty)

Ah wiz sittin on the upper deck o' a 37 bus
Ah seen big Jimmie swillin wine An' stirrin up a fuss
The driver stopped the the bus right sharp an' belted up the stair
"Yie can get the Hell right aff this bus if ye gie us any mair"

:Pal,no offense "big Jimmie said : "if ye knew what I 've been through
Ye widnae say such things tae me or blame a man that's fu'
fur Ah lost ma pile on the dugs taenight , Ah'll huv yes fur tae know
Fur Ah put down all ma overtime pay on a dug that widnae go"

The driver said " Ah dinnae care nor gie a Tinker's curse
Yer swearin an yer bawlin is disturbin a' the bus
Ah've hud aboot enough of you,a lot more than Ah need
If ye dont haud that big tongue o' yours , Ah'll stuff it doon yer heid."

Big Jimmie looked up and he sighed and he finished aff his wine
He says " The way ye've spoke tae me has went right oot o' line
Ah've sorted out 15 like you tae get intae a fight
Get doon on yer knees and beg fur help ,yah dirty little shite."

At this the bus began tae clear as people got off fast
Wi' good auld Glasgow chivalry the wimmen an children last
They gathered round and they shouted out fur they didnae like big Jim
Come now driver sink the boot, get stuck right intae him."

The driver smiled and waded in kicking and swinging blows
Until he got Jim's big square heid aplanted on his nose
His knee came up, his fist went doon that wiz the battle o'er
So he jumped a couple o' times on his heid as he lay upon the floor

An' staightaway the polis came up tae capture Jim
In threes an' fours an' dozens , well he laid them oot round him
An' when wi' forty stoatin him he finally sensless sank
Ah counted fourteen polis hats washed away doon a stank

So if ye'er ever sittin on a 37 bus
An see big Willie swillin wine and kickin up a fuss
Don't try tae act the hero an throw big Jimmie aff
Cos the poor old Glasgow polis, They huvnae got the staff.


John Cameron

31 May 00 - 08:08 PM (#236599)
Subject: RE: The 37 Bus
From: Stewie

'37 Bus' and 'Black Velvet Gland' medley has been reissued on CD: Hamish Imlach 'The Definitive Transatlantic Collection' Essential/Castle ESM CD522.


31 May 00 - 11:52 PM (#236683)
Subject: RE: The 37 Bus
From: little john cameron

Aye Stewie, they always bring oot stuff efter ye're deid'
Hamish fell aff the stage an' got a big brooze in his leg an' it turned intae a blood clot an' he died.Ah wis talkin' tae him a couple o' nicht afore that.
Anither ane bites the dust!

01 Jun 00 - 03:27 AM (#236726)
Subject: RE: The 37 Bus
From: Stewie

Greetings John, the great man stayed with me when he came to Darwin (Australia) decades ago. I've still got the tapes of the great concert he did here - totally pissed, but it didn't matter. He said that, when he died, they could throw all his organs in the bin because, given their condition, they would not be of use to anyone.


01 Jun 00 - 01:22 PM (#236913)
Subject: RE: The 37 Bus
From: little john cameron

AH Stewie, Ah,ve got many stories o' adventures wi' Hamish.Did he tell ye aboot the time him an Ramblin Jack Elliot hit the roo in the outback,or the time him an' me were haein a"draw" AN' HE SET HIS FALSE NAILS ON FIRE WI' TE ROACHE?
Anither time we were tryin' tae drive up Barters hill in St Johns an' had tae come back doon as mah caur couldnae make it wi' Hamish as a passenger.
Ah still miss the big gowk. John

29 Jan 11 - 08:31 AM (#3084616)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The 37 Bus
From: GUEST,Frances McCarry

As a result of a conversation last night, I have decided to put the record straight about who wrote The 37 Bus. My husband Ian McCarry, now a retired solicitor, wrote it in about 1976. His cousin lived in Bridgton, Glasgow at that time and took the 37 Bus into the centre of town. His tales inspired the song. Ian discovered that Hamish Imlach was singing it (and people assumed he wrote it) and successfully sued Transatlantic Records for royalties. All of this can be vouched.

29 Jan 11 - 08:46 AM (#3084621)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The 37 Bus
From: GUEST,Eliza

I lived and taught Primary School in Glasgow for years during the seventies and adored the place. I remember Hairy Mary in a song "Ahm no Hairy Mairy, ahm yer ma!" The Barrowlands was a fascinating place, is it still there? I rented a flat in 'Pairtick', rough but gloriously alive and friendly. I still long to be called 'hain' once more! Oh, and "Ally bally ally bally bee". I actually spoke broad Glasgae to my pupils and their parents as they didn't understand my Southern accent too well. One mum came up to school and said "He's no cummin, Miss. He's ay lying doon on the flair greeting, he's feart o' the big yins.' It was my first day and I hadn't a clue what she'd said!

08 Nov 13 - 05:45 PM (#3574008)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The 37 Bus

Ian McCarry a solicitor in Maryhill wrote the song which was later passed off by one of the scottish singers as his own. Ian used to perform it at parties. I don't remember the name of singer who recorded the song as his own but he was sued by Ian & had to pay damages. If you want further info he still has offices at the top of Maryhill rd as well as st George's cross & can give you a copy of the words.

08 Nov 13 - 09:48 PM (#3574054)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The 37 Bus
From: GUEST,Jim I

I knew that 1976 was wrong. I was singing the 37 Bus long before I left Scotland that same year. Hamish recorded the song on his Before and After album of 1967. (XTRA 1059)

Don't get me wrong, I am not arguing about the author just clarifying the year.

09 Nov 13 - 08:04 AM (#3574129)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The 37 Bus
From: Dave Hanson

Hamish never recorded ' The Black Velvet Gland ' he said the lawyers wouldn't let him.

Dave H

09 Nov 13 - 11:28 AM (#3574181)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The 37 Bus
From: GUEST,Jim I

Dave H said "Hamish never recorded ' The Black Velvet Gland ' he said the lawyers wouldn't let him."

I wonder who I heard doing it then because I was one of the unfortunates who never managed to see Hamish live. And I still occasionally sing bits of it!

09 Nov 13 - 11:32 AM (#3574184)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The 37 Bus

Have a look at track 9 on that link.

11 Aug 15 - 05:29 AM (#3729546)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The 37 Bus

There's a mistake on the last verse where you have wrote 47 instead of 37