Donald Where's Your Troosers?

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"Donald Where's Your Troosers?"
Donald Where's Your Troosers cover.jpg
Cover of the 2011 Best Of album
which included the song
Single by Andy Stewart
from the album A Scottish Soldier
Released1960, 1989
GenreComic song, Music of Scotland
LabelEMI Top Rank
Songwriter(s)Andy Stewart, Neil Grant
Producer(s)Robert Wilson

"Donald Where's Your Troosers?" is a comic song about a Scotsman who wears a kilt rather than trousers. It was written by Andy Stewart with music by Neil Grant. When performed by Andy Stewart and the White Heather Group, it was a hit in 1960, reaching number 37 in the UK Singles Chart[citation needed] and number 1 in Canada.[1] When re-released in 1989, it became an even bigger hit, reaching number 4 in the UK.[1]

Stewart wrote the song in 10 minutes while he sat, trouserless, in the lavatory of a recording studio.[2] The song tells of a rustic Scotsman who wears the kilt in defiance of the shock this causes to polite society such as well-spoken ladies on the London Underground. The music supports the theme in its chord progression, which shifts from the double tonic of Scottish music to a V-i cadence more typical of highbrow music. As performed by Andy Stewart, a verse is also performed in the style of Elvis Presley to provide yet another amusing clash of cultures.[3]

The re-release happened when BBC DJ Simon Mayo played the song on The Radio 1 Breakfast Show in November 1989 and then responded to listener's requests for replays, "We were in the mood for novelty nonsense, so we kept playing it".[4] Sonet Records then quickly arranged a deal with EMI to release the song on the Stone label as a Christmas single – a market in which novelty songs often did well. Mayo continued to give it much airplay and the song was number 4 in the UK Singles Chart at Christmas behind Jive Bunny's "Let's Party" and Band Aid II's "Do They Know It's Christmas?". Stewart was not expecting this renewed success:[5]

It was a great surprise to me. I was sittin' in the hoose one night and the phone rang. It was another record company, and he said "...they tell me you're aiming for number one at Christmas this year..." - I said: "You're Joking?" and I quickly whipped out my diary to make sure it wisnae the 1st of April! It all just happened very suddenly, and very strangely. It's one of these things that happen in showbusiness

The song was ranked 17th in a poll of the UK's favourite comic songs in 2009.[6] It was performed as part of the opening ceremony for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.[7]

In the media[edit]

  • "Donald Where's Your Troosers" was featured in the second season's twenty-first episode, "Adam Raised a Cain", of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
  • One headline about the furore over allegations of Donald Duck being banned in Finland for not wearing trousers was "Donald, Where Are Your Trousers?"[8]


  1. ^ a b "15 famous songs every Scot will know". Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  2. ^ Gordon Irving (13 October 1993), "Andy Stewart", The Independent
  3. ^ Moore, Allan F. (2012), Song Means: analysing and interpreting recorded popular song, Ashgate, p. 202, ISBN 9781409438021
  4. ^ Kevin Maguire (8 May 2012), "Can I have a P please, Simon? New Blockbusters host Simon Mayo on taking over from Bob Holness", Daily Mirror
  5. ^ Stephen Harris (2015). "Donald, Where's Your Troosers?".
  6. ^ Mathew Clayton (2010), The Nation's Favourite: The UK's Best-loved Things, p. 14, ISBN 978-1849169943
  7. ^ Auslan Cramb (24 July 2014), "Commonwealth Games: Message of hope comes from the heart", The Daily Telegraph
  8. ^ "Donald Duck Banned in Finland".