Song Lyric Sunday: “The Song Of The Clyde”

Occasionally I get into a “Scotland” mood. Hearing the theme “river/stream/brook” did it this time.

“Song of the Clyde” was written by R. Y. Bell and Ian Gourley as “an affectionate tribute to the River Clyde in Scotland, name-checking the majority of towns and villages on its banks. Although its opening verse includes the line From Glasgow to Greenock with towns on each side, the song includes references to Lanark so fair on the river’s upper reaches and Arran on the Firth of Clyde’s southernmost outflow,” according to The Blogger’s Best Friend ™. The Scottish tenor Kenneth McKellar (from Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland, which straddles the White Cart Water, a tributary of the Clyde) is most famous for singing it.

Even though the lyrics are in the video, I’ll add them here, from ElectricScotland.com:

I’ll sing of a river I’m happy beside
The song that I sing is a song of the Clyde
Of all Scottish rivers it’s dearest to me
It flows from Leadhills all the way to the sea
It borders the orchards of Lanark so fair
Meanders through meadows with sheep grazing there
But from Glasgow to Greenock, in towns on each side
The hammers’ “ding-dong” is the song of the Clyde

Oh the River Clyde, the wonderful Clyde
The name of it thrills me and fills me with pride
And I’m satisfied whate’er may betide
The sweetest of songs is the song of the Clyde

Imagine we’ve left Craigendoran behind
And wind-happy yachts by Kilcreggan we find
At Kirn and Dunoon and Innellan we stay
Then Scotland’s Madeira that’s Rothesay, they say
Or maybe by Fairlie or Largs we will go
Or over to Millport that thrills people so
Maybe journey to Arran it can’t be denied
Those scenes all belong to the song of the Clyde

Oh the River Clyde, the wonderful Clyde
The name of it thrills me and fills me with pride
And I’m satisfied whate’er may betide
The sweetest of songs is the song of the Clyde

There’s Paw an’ Maw doon at the Broomielaw
They’re goin’ “doon the water” for “The Fair”
There’s Bob an’ Mary on the Govan Ferry
Wishin’ jet propulsion could be there
There’s steamers cruisin’ and there’s “buddies” snoozin’
And there’s laddies fishin’ frae the pier
An’ Paw’s perspirin’ very near expirin’
As he rows a boat frae there to here
With eyes a-flashin’, it is voted “smashin”
To be walkin’ daily on the prom
And May and Ev’lyn are in seventh heaven
As thy stroll along with Dick and Tom
And Dumbarton Rock to ev’ry Jean and Jock
Extends a welcome that is high and wide
Seems to know that they are on their homeward way
To hear the song of the Clyde

Oh the River Clyde, the wonderful Clyde
The name of it thrills me and fills me with pride
And I’m satisfied whate’er may betide
The sweetest of songs is the song of the Clyde

The sweetest of songs is the song of the Clyde

And that’s Song Lyric Sunday for February 10, 2019.

15 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday: “The Song Of The Clyde”

    1. That was why it was written. Scots is somewhere between an English dialect and a whole language of its own. There are some good YouTubes on the subject that I wish were around 40 years ago when I started meeting a lot of them…

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