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   Matt McGinn


Matt McGinn was born on January 17th 1928.
matt mcginn

The McGinns and their nine children lived in a two room house in Ross Street, at the corner of the Gallowgate in Calton, Glasgow's east-end.
Matt's formal schooling ended at 12 when he had two years in Approved School. But he was intelligent, read widely and won a Trade Union Scholarship to Ruskin College in Oxford.
He was a teacher in Rutherglen before becoming a full time singer comedian in his late thirties.
His career in music began during the folk revival of the 1960's but whilst others leaned towards traditional song, Matt carved his own niche as a humourist and playwright as well as a singer/songwriter. He passionately believed in the overthrow of capitalism and supported many union disputes and helped the needy. 
Matt died on January 6th 1977 from the effects of smoke inhalation. Although brought up a Roman Catholic he abandoned religion and at his funeral the Communist anthem 'The International' was movingly sung by the large congregation ........he will always be remembered. 


Matt never forgot his East End of Glasgow roots which he wrote about in many of his fine songs, 
the following being a good example...... song must be sung in a broad Glesga dialect....

Willie MacNamara

There wis a filla frae the Gallowgate, his name wis Willie MacNamara, 
and the way he earned his livin wis, gein short weight frae a barra,
A wee fly man from Chorlitte Street has lost the place awe-the-gerra, 
He went up tae Willie in the middle of the street, sayin, 'huv ye got eighteen and a tanner I can borra'
Says Willie it would cause me grief and even cause me sorra, 
fur although I am a very generous man, a widnae gie ma granny an orange frae ma-barra,
The wee fly man has the haud o Wullie and he's shakin him tae-ra-marra, 
An noo that he's shakin his entrails oot he's flung him on tap o-ra-barra,
The polis are lookin fur the wee fly man through streets baith broad and narra,
From Glesca Cross tae Springfield Road tae Parkheed and even fartha,


The polis hiv goten the wee fly man, they've put him in the black maria,
And he'll soon be up before Langmuir, for causing awe this borra

Noo this is the end o this sad sad tale, this sad sad tale o sorra, 
But I'll go on writing these rerr wee songs, An I'll hiv anither good wan ready fur you the-morra.


There is a boozer's named after Matt at the bottom of Hope St. next to the Glasgow Central station owned by his nephew                                                              (2004)
mcginn pub
Photograph taken May 2004


Webmaister  Oct.2008 :
Matt McGinn's youngest daughter Shonagh contacted me this evening, she has put a GlescaPals link on her Da's website
She and her sister now live in Spain (Canaries)         
                                                      See the Matt McGinn website
Extract from messageboard Oct.2008, 'GlescaPal Jeannie' Ontario, Canada.
 " I worked in the Rio Cafe in Rutherglen when Matt lived in Rutherglen, occasionally he would come in usually late at night and we were always saying to him "gonny write a wee Poem or song aboot the Cafe" too bad he never did. Love his work" ...jeannie
Extract from messageboard Oct.2008, 'GlescaPal bignorrie' New Zealand.
To Shonagh, I contacted her on her da`s websight as I was a fan, this lady did not know me from Adam and she sent me cd`s from Spain but I lost her address, so Shonagh this is a BIG THANK YOU FROM NEW ZEALAND, Your a nice lady




I was born in dear old Glasgow, In a Gallowgate tenement,
When people spoke of my bonny land I did'nt know what they meant.
But then I took to travel, I moved baith far and wide,
Now when I speak of my native land I speak with loving pride........

For I have seen the Heilands, I hae seen the Low,
And I will brag o' my native land wherever I may go.

Old nature took a tantrum, many's an age gone by,
To outdo all of her wonderous works she thought she'd hae a try,
She toiled and she thundered, she rumbled and she rolled,
She made the Heilands o' Scotland then she threw away the mould:

Come rambling up by Oban, strolling down by Perth,
In the rugged hills o' Argyllshire find the sweetest place on earth;
Go gazing by the Cuillins, see the Lomond in the mist,
In the lovely island of Moula hear the songbird at it's best:

The Irish and the English, the African and the Turk,
For a word of joy and harmony together we will work.
On the shore of foreign brothers we'll lay no robber's hand,
And all we wish is toil and work in our own native land.

For I have seen the Heilands, I have seen the Low,
And I will brag of my native land wherever I may go.



New Years bells had been ringing, All Scotland was singing,
The old year had died, and the new had been born,
As the news of disaster, from Ibrox came spreading,
The news that would cause a whole nation to mourn.

Two great goals had been scored, in the last dying moments,
Jimmy Johnstone for Celtic, for Rangers young Stein,
Their supporters all cheered them with voices of thunder,
Unknowing what waited on staircase thirteen.

Sixty people died, some in flower of their manhood,
When the fences gave way, and the barriers bent,
Seasond Glasgow policemen, their faces all tearstained,
With brave efforts endeavoured, far worse to prevent.

All of Glasgow enjoined for the first time in history,
In the Glasgow Cathedral no Billy, no Dan,
But the Old Firm united, to pray for the victims,
Of a tragedy set in the memory of man.

New Year bells had been ringing, all Scotland was singing,
The old year had died and the new had been born.
As the news of disaster from Ibrox came spreading,
The news that would cause a whole nation to mourn.

stairway 13


Coorie Doon
(The Miner's Lullaby)

Coorie doon, coorie doon,  coorie doon, my darling
Coorie doon the day  Coorie doon, coorie doon,
coorie doon, my darling  Coorie doon the day

Lie down, my dear, and in your ear To help you close your eye
I'll sing a song, a slumber song A miner's lullaby

Your daddy's doon the mine,  my darling     Doon in the curbly main
Your daddy's howkin' coal,  my darling   For his ain wee wean

There's darkness doon the mine my darling  Darkness, dust and damp
But we must have oor heat, oor light, Oor fire and our lamp

Your daddy coories doon, my darling  Doon in a three foot seam
So you can coorie doon my darling Coorie doon and dream

April 2015, Extract from email, Dave Gilfillan, Edinburgh, Scotland, Age 62
Hello. I am a member of the Scottish folk band "North Sea Gas" and we are recording and album at this moment and we are including Matt McGinns Coorie Doon song.
We would like to print the lyrics inside our c/d cover but to do this we need permission from who ever has the publishing rights.

Webmaister: Dave happy to help, I have passed on your details to Matt's daughter.



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