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Lyr Req: Willie Macnamara (Matt McGinn)

01 Oct 01 - 07:46 AM (#562449)
Subject: Matt McGinn Songs
From: Dunc

I have tried on several occasions to track down two songs that Matt McGinn used to sing.
The first one, I am sure he wrote himself.
It's called 'Willie McNamarra'.
The opening line goes something like:
There was a fellow frae the Galla' Gate
His name it was Willie McNamarra
And the way that he made his livin' was
By gi'in a short weight frae a barra

It then goes on about 'a wee fly man' that Willie gets into a fight with over the price of something on his barra.

The second one is called 'Old Johnny Bull' but I don't know if Matt wrote this one. It has a opening Chorus of:
Old Johnny Bull was a silly old fool
He was drunk both night and day
He swore that the hair on his head was fair
But the ruddy old stuff was grey, was grey
The ruddy old stuff was grey

I have a copy of the book McGinn of the Carlton which contains many of his songs... but neither of these mentioned above. I have tried various search engines and drawn a blank.
I would also add that the Mudcat Cafe has never let me down in the past when it comes to finding info on songs so with no pressure what so ever...over to you.
01 Oct 01 - 07:57 AM (#562452)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Matt McGinn Songs
From: GUEST,MC Fat

Glasgow City Libraries published a wonderful book some years ago called 'McGinn of the Carlton'. It was for many years their best seller. It consists of an biography with photographs and a song and poem section. I had my own copy but someone has had it on loan for a year. Try and see if Glasgow Libraries have a web site you might still be able to order it. Jim

01 Oct 01 - 08:18 AM (#562459)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Matt McGinn Songs
From: Micca

Rel records recently reissued some McGinn recordings called the "Return of the Two-Heided man" on RECD 538. It seeems to beThey have a web site and an e-mail = hope this helps as this recording has kept me well amused since I acquired it.

01 Oct 01 - 05:09 PM (#562834)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Matt McGinn Songs
From: GUEST,Annegi

I have 'McNamara' on CD - The Best of Matt McGinn'. I think I know most of the verses but cannot check it at the moment. If no-one else helps I'll check if I've got it right and post it later.

02 Oct 01 - 05:18 AM (#563251)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Matt McGinn Songs
From: Mark Cohen

I know very little about his songs, but I understand he specialized in humorous songs and parodies, which is a plus in my book. I once heard that "The Rolling Hills of the Border" was the first serious song that Matt wrote--and then he was chagrined to find that John Roberts and Tony Barrand had turned it into "The Rolling Mills of New Jersey". I suppose turnabout's fair play...but does anyone know if there's any truth to that?


02 Oct 01 - 01:20 PM (#563499)
Subject: Lyr Add: WILLIE MACNAMARA (Matt McGinn)
From: GUEST,Annegi

I found the words to Wullie McNamara. I don't know how to put in the line breaks though I know I should learn - so apologies.

There was a wee man frae the Gallowgate
His name was Wullie McNamara
And the way he earned his lining was
Gi'en short weight frae a barra

A wee fly man frae Charlotte Street
He's lost the place a' 'ra gerra
He went up tae Wullie in the middle of the street
And said 'Hve ye got eithteen and a tanner I can borra

Says Wullie it would cause me pain
And even cause me sorra
But though I am a very generous man
I wouldna gie my granny an orange frae my barra

The wee fly man has the haud o' Wullie
And he's shaking him tae the marra
And after he's shaken his entrails oot
He's thrown him on tap o' the barra

The polis are searching for the wee fly man
Through streets both broad and narra
Frae Glasgow Cross tae Springfield road
Tae Parkhead and even farther

The polis have got the wee fly man
And put him in the black maria
And he'll be up before Langmuir
For causing a' this borra

Now this is the end of my sad sad tale
My sad sad tale o' sorra
But I'll keep writing these rare wee songs
And I'll maybe have another one for you tae sing 'ra morra

Hope this is intelligible. Obviously it's sung in a real Gesca accent - I haven't tried to get all the 'phonetics' right Cheers Anne

Line breaks -
- added. --JoeClone

02 Oct 01 - 03:46 PM (#563623)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Matt McGinn Songs

02 Oct 01 - 04:04 PM (#563632)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Matt McGinn Songs
From: GUEST,willie doig

wish i could help,with 2 other hippys we played in matts club,the crazy daisy..1969...70.matt would spring up on stage sometimes and suddenly we were his backing group,though to be honest i did,nt know that many of his songs,but now i rate him as an unsung scottish legend as i,m older wiser,and sober. his son would get up and do a mime to rod stewarts maggie may,great craic.

02 Oct 01 - 04:13 PM (#563639)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Matt McGinn Songs
From: Dunc

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
I sing several of Matt McGinn's songs and Willie McNammara will now be added to the list. The man is without doubt one of the greatest characters to come out of the Scottish folk scene. His songs still get audiences laughing, even after all these years.
Thanks again

07 Jul 03 - 06:36 PM (#978602)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Matt McGinn Songs
From: GUEST,Sarah   has got info on Matt's songs plus links to contacts and   a link to      where you can read about the Matt McGinn revival that is going on !

12 May 04 - 03:21 AM (#1183517)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Matt McGinn Songs
From: GUEST,

Has anyone got the words and chords for the Gallowgate Calypso

12 May 04 - 03:46 AM (#1183526)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Matt McGinn Songs
From: Dave Hanson

By the way it's ' McGinn of the CALTON ' not carlton.

12 May 04 - 09:11 AM (#1183761)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Matt McGinn Songs
From: Big Tim

I have recordings of both "Old Johnny Bull" and "Gallowgate Calypso"; I'll try to transcribe and will post later, if you don't find them eleswhere before that.

12 May 04 - 10:55 AM (#1183865)
From: Big Tim


Old Johnny Bull, was a silly old fool,
He was drunk both night and day,
He swore that the hair on his head was fair,
But the ruddy old stuff was grey, was grey,
The ruddy old stuff was grey.
(First verse is also chorus)

With his umbrella and a great "Huzza"!
He set out o'er the seas,
Kicked every black, till he started to connect????
And he crawled home on his knees.

He put up his mitts to his old pal Fritz,
Saying, "I'll soon stop your larks",
Till the mighty Pound was held to the ground,
And arose for a million Marks.

He tried for a dance from La Belle France,
In a great big fancy ball,
She cried "disgrace" and she slapped his face,
And she barred him from the Hall.
[De Gaulle's 'non' to UK in Common Market??]

He didn't have a bone, so he went for a loan,
To his friends in the USA,
Says Uncle Sam, as he stuck him in the pram,
"To Hell now, all the way".

Now to end this tale, his heart did fail,
After several false alarms,
When the shovel??came in, he did look thin,
Though he still had mighty [nuclear??] arms.


Maggie, Nellie, and Mary Ann,
Lizzie, Wullie and Phil McCann,
Get yer jaiket and don't be late,
Murder polis in the Gallowgate.
(First verse is also chorus).

In the Gallowgate on a Friday night,
Folk'll gather tae see the sights,
They come fae miles and miles aroon,
- Ten O'Clock when the pubs shut doon.

The "time-up" bell began tae ring,
Then the barmaid began tae fling,
Big souls, wee souls, every kind,
Aa stone drunk wi the cheap red wine.

First man oot was big Shug [Hugh] Grant,
"Up the Celtic", wis his chant,
He roars it oot just tae show who's boss,
He shouts "up Rangers" at Brigton Cross!

Blackpool May?? came oot and ran,
Followed by a wee fat man,
If she catches him, she'll surely choke,
She drank his wine and she picked his poke!

Danny Holmes?? came oot tae fight,
Threatens every man in sight,
He grins and fa's and he's oot the game,
His wife'll murder him when he gets hame!

Two big polis are the nixt we see,
"Eat the Hoose"?? and John McPhee,
Into the public hoose they ran,
[For a] Late night drink wi the Publican!

18 May 04 - 04:08 PM (#1187924)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Matt McGinn Songs

Thanks for the words of galowgate calypso.

I'm also looking for the chords to sugary cake and candy man can anybody help


18 May 04 - 04:33 PM (#1187943)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Matt McGinn Songs
From: akenaton

Tim...Hope you dont mind....a couple of corrections to "Old Johnnie",
Matt used to sing it regularly in the Oban Bar on Ferry Brae....Now called Ingrams.

With his umbrella,and a loud huzza,
He set off o'er the sea.
Kicked every black,till they started kickin' back,
then he crawled home on his knees.

He put uo his mitts ,to his old pal Fritz,
saying Ill soon stop yor larks.
With a mighty Pound ,Fritz fell to the ground,
and arose with a million Marks.

A great writer and an even greater man....Mahatma Ginndi lives

18 May 04 - 07:37 PM (#1188084)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Matt McGinn Songs
From: Tattie Bogle

Anyone got the words to the Dundee Ghost handy? I've got it on CD but no words in the sleeve. It's not yet on his website, though the number of lyrics there is slowly increasing.

19 May 04 - 04:34 AM (#1188298)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Matt McGinn Songs
From: Scabby Douglas

earlier thread

... has it nearly right, although I think Matt sings :
"Noo a deid MAN seldom walks
An very rarely talks.."

But I'm only nit-picking, and besides, I may have the walks/talks order reversed.

19 May 04 - 08:53 AM (#1188397)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Matt McGinn Songs
From: Big Tim

Thanks Ake, I took the words from a recording and some not too clear. Matt on Ferry Brae, [Dunoon]amazing?

19 May 04 - 06:28 PM (#1188902)
Subject: Lyr Add: THE DUNDEE GHOST (Matt McGinn)
From: Dickmac

(Matt McGinn)

Now a deid men seldom walks they very seldom talk
It's no very often you see them runnin aroon
But I am a refugee frae a graveyard in Dundee
And I've come tae haunt Some hooses in Glesca toon

Noo the reason I arose was tae get masel some clothes
Fur it really gets hell o' a cold below the grun (ground)
But then I whispered tae ma sel' I think I might as well
Hang aroon fur a while and have some fun

A man put out his light on a cold and wintery night
I showed him one o' ma ees (eyes) and a slapped his heid
He said "Oh" and I said "Boo" He said who the hell are you
A said don't be feared am only a man that's deid

Noo the fella knelt and prayed and this is what he said
Why in the name o' God have you picked on me
So I pulled away his rug and slapped him wan on the lug
The reason fur that I'll very soon let you see

When he brought the polis in I battered him wan on the chin
The polis turned aroon and he blamed ma fren (friend)
He marched him tae the jail, he'll be in there quite a while
But I'll see naboby steals his single end (a wee house)

The polis thought him daft and a lot o' people laughed
When the fella said a ghost wis in his hoose
But whit the fella said wis true and a might be visiting you
Fur don't forget that I'm still on the lose

Check out for words of"hundreds" of Scottish and Irish songs and a link to the Matt Mcginn site.

Matt had a wonderful talent, a very funny man who I was fortunate to see performing frequently back in the 60's. Along with my wife we once even managed a spot on the same gig.
Keep singing his songs.

20 May 04 - 06:11 PM (#1190162)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Matt McGinn Songs
From: akenaton

While were on about Matt....Theres a new CD out by Davie Robertson on Greentrax.
I rate Davie as at least the equal of Matt at the songwriting.
His Cd is full of brilliant character observations and hilariously funny.
If you loved Matt McGinn have a listen to Davie ....You'll not be disappointed.
The CDs callED "Star O' the bar",all songs written by Davie...Ake

23 May 04 - 01:30 PM (#1192044)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Matt McGinn Songs
From: Tattie Bogle

Thanks for the words of Dundee ghost, Dickmac.
Agree, Davie Robertson's great (what a volume too!): will be getting the CD asap