Top 5 Songs Written as an Ode to Glasgow
Glasgow is a beautiful city, particularly at this present time in history, thanks to its modern day renaissance, of art, culture, and music.
But surprisingly songs written about the Dear Green Place are quite sparse. In comparison to somewhere like London, Glasgow falls a considerable way behind.
At Glasgow Living we looked far and wide for a comprehensive list (under carpets, up lofts, down the back of the couch) to find you a definitive list on songs written about the love people feel for Glasgow.
If you’re ever feeling particularly patriotic about Glasgow, or you find yourself away from home, out of the country or simply had to move elsewhere and are needing a song to reminiscence about the good times you spent in this fine city. Look no further, dear reader. Glasgow Living gives you the ultimate five songs written as love letters to Glasgow.
No 5. Eddi Reader – The Glasgow Barrowland
Eddi Reader pours her heart out about a dalliance with a man at Glasgow Barrowlands. One of Glasgow’s most iconic nightclubs, in it she talks about being asked to dance by a fine looking man. Being swept off her feet, she is asked home for a night of passion and a life of romance and tragically once the man has had his wicked way with her she is tossed aside. It turns out that he was after nothing more than a “lumber” for the night.
Poor Eddi, don’t worry we still love you.
It turns out that he was after nothing more than a “lumber” for the night.
No 4. Texas – Southside
Texas and Bellshill born Sharleen Spiteri named their debut album Southside after the Southside of Glasgow, the song itself is a two minute instrumental on the album, although the song might be instrumental, Spiteri has officially spoken of her love of Glasgow and the passion of the people.
Southside also had the iconic song “I don’t want a lover” on its track-list.
She said of her upbringing “Growing up in Glasgow is a big part of who I am, and my attitude and how I appreciate what I do. I have a big gob and speak when I need to speak.”
Glasgow is my home, and I always talk about it as going up the road [from London].
No 3. Billy Connolly – I Wish I Was In Glasgow
It would be hard to talk about Glasgow and not bring up Billy Connolly in conversation, he has successfully bridged the gap between, actor, stand up comedian and let’s not forget he began his career in the folk group The Humblebums, where a lot of his early success originated from. His song “I Wish I Was In Glasgow” is an unashamed love letter to the city and how much he misses it when he’s on tour. He also speaks of Glasgow and his family, having made him the person he is today.
He also speaks of Glasgow and his family, having made him the person he is today.
No 2. Paolo Nutini – These Streets
Okaaaaaay, put down the flaming torches and tell the baying mob to simmer down. We know Paolo’s not strictly singing about the streets of Glasgow in These Streets, annnnnd we know he’s not strictly Glaswegian but he does hail from Paisley and that’s on the outskirts of Glasgow… So there. (At least we didn’t make it number one).
What can’t be denied though is the brilliance of the song and the beauty held within it’s heartfelt lyrics. If you’ve ever moved away from home, or moved out of the city, you will immediately relate to Paolo finding himself away from home, reminiscing about when he was younger, times were simpler and he didn’t have a care in the world.
The song was so important to him he even named his debut album after it.
Editor’s Justification: We’re sure that Paolo must have spent time in Glasgow, and could therefore be reminiscing about missing Glasgow as well… Waaaaaait come back, we promise we can win you back with number 1.
If you’ve ever moved away from home, or moved out of the city, you will immediately relate to Paolo finding himself away from home, reminiscing about when he was younger, times were simpler and he didn’t have a care in the world.
No 1. Hue and Cry – Mother Glasgow
There could only really ever be one winner. Mother Glasgow.
For any person who has ever spent a traditional new year in Glasgow, this song alongside Deacon Blue’s Dignity and about 49 Rod Stewart songs will have been ingrained into your subconscious mind, meaning you will occasionally wake up in the morning, singing like a demented alarm clock.
A literal love letter to Glasgow, Mother Glasgow references Celtic, Rangers and St Mungo (the sixth century Saint who founded Glasgow). As well as mentioning the items that appear on Glasgow’s official City Crest (tree, bird, fish, bell).
Unofficially known as the second greatest city in Britain for more than two hundred years (sorry Edinburgh), “Mother Glasgow” also speaks of Glasgow as being the second city of the empire (its unofficial title).
Mother Glasgow closes the track with the emphatic lyrics “Let Glasgow Flourish”, which is Glasgow’s official city motto.
Originally inscribed in the Tron Bell way back in 1631, it read: “Lord let Glasgow flourish through the preaching of thy word and praising thy name.”
For any person who has ever spent a traditional new year in Glasgow, this song […] will have been ingrained into your subconscious mind, meaning you will occasionally wake up in the morning, singing like a demented alarm clock.
Mother Glasgow was originally written as a poem by the late Dundonian, Michael Marra, also known as the Bard of Dundee…
What do you mean you want a judge’s inquiry? A Dundonian’s poem, you say? Well we make the rules and we say it won. So there.
If you feel we’ve left any songs off the list, or you’re outraged at our blatant attempts to bend the rules, leave a comment below and we’ll answer your queries (keep the abuse to a minimum please).