Archive for June, 2008

GLESGA

9 June 2008

Glasgow should be a city state — its own country; it’s so completely different from Scotland.  Now, it has to be admitted that I was born and grew up in Renfrewshire, which is near Glasgow.  However that’s a mere detail; Glasgow is not restricted to political boundaries.  A good way to determine whether somewhere is in Glasgow or Scotland, or whether someone is Scottish or Glaswegian, is to listen to how they speak; Glaswegians do not say “Ken”, instead they say “y’know” (which means the same thing).  In Glasgow, something is “Big” where in Scotland it is “muckle”.  A ‘weegie will say something is “good” or “great”, while a Scot will say the same thing is “braw” or “bonnie”.

The Scots have a passion for comics and cartoons, mainly the city of Dundee — the home of “The Beano”, “The Dandy”, “Oor Wullie”, and “The Broons“.

The characters in “Oor Wullie” and “The Broons” are Scottish — NOT Glaswegian; they say “ye ken”, they say “muckle” and “braw” and the chat is closer to Swedish than English. (Swedish for “Muckle” is “Myket”, “Brå” is “Braw”).

Glasgow was once the second city of the British Empire (after London, of course).  As the British empire was the biggest empire in history, it therefore follows that Glasgow was once the second biggest and most important place on planet Earth.  It was MASSIVE — five football teams and millions of people — in tenements marked out on a North-South-East-West road grid system.  It had trams, buses, ferries, bridges, tunnels, trains, and was the first place outside of London to have an underground train system.  in fact, Glasgow has a subway as well as low level trains!

Naturally, the people had an ATTITUDE — a swaggering approach to life — and a very famous sense of humour.  Comedians used to be afraid to play Glasgow as the hecklers were funnier than the acts!

Stanley Baxter and others used to make fun of the Scots — especially regarding how measly Scots were with money!  This native Scottish thrift is forever remembered in Glasgow by virtue of a bridge — the train bridge going south over Argyle Street from Central Station — for it is known as the “Heilanman’s umbrella” (Highland man’s umbrella — making fun of the Scottish misers from “up North” who wouldnt’ spend money on an umbrella, and would instead stand under a bridge to keep dry).

Glasgow was world-famous for it’s city-wide sense of humour — Stanley Baxter, Chic Murray, Francie and Josie, Billy Connolly, Arnold Brown, Rab C. Nesbit, Hector Nicol, and Lex Mclean, and can still raise a laugh today  — Rory Bremner, Frankie Boyle, John Sessions, Jerry Sadowitz, Armando Iannucci, Chewin’ The Fat, Karen Dunbar, Alan Cumming,  and Still Game.

Classic Glesga music hall “Francie and Josie”:

Here’s a wee taste of some recent stuff from the brilliant Chewin’ The Fat…

Making fun of the famous gangland culture — No mean City, with “The Big Man” —

— and taking the piss out of the Scots is still done — check out Karen Dunbar’s hilarious Teuchter Schoolteacher in a Glesga school (note also: Thomas Devine’s “Gypsy Haircut” LOL)…

And to finish, the (in)famous stonner/ stawner…

For me, the good old days of Glasgow humour was epitomised by the likes of cartoonist Bud Neill and Tom Shields’s Diary in The Herald.

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