I Belong to Glasgow

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"I Belong To Glasgow" is a song written and recorded by the music hall entertainer Will Fyffe, in 1920. It has also been performed by Danny Kaye, Eartha Kitt, Gracie Fields and Kirk Douglas.

According to Albert Mackie's The Scotch Comedians (1973), Fyffe got the inspiration for the song from a drunk he met at Glasgow Central Station. The drunk was "genial and demonstrative" and "laying off about Karl Marx and John Barleycorn with equal enthusiasm". Fyffe asked him: "Do you belong to Glasgow?" and the man replied: "At the moment, at the moment, Glasgow belongs to me."[1]

If your money, you spend,
You’ve nothing to lend,
Isn’t that all the better for you.

According to Glasgow dock labourer John Lappin from Govan, his fellow dock labourer friend "Big McWee" wrote the song which he gave to Will Fyffe. Maybe drunk at Glasgow Central Station? John, of no mean voice himself, always told the story, toasted Big McWee and sang the song at every New Year extended family celebration party.

The song speaks of drink, in a period where temperance campaigns were very common, and shows a typical music-hall attitude to the supposedly tyrannical wife. The monologue accompanying the song is the origin of several popular humorous catch phrases, including "under the affluence of incohol". The entertainer Harry Lauder was offered the song, but turned it down since it praised strong drink. As a result of this song, Will Fyffe became forever associated with Glasgow, even though he was born 70 miles (110 km) away, in the east coast city of Dundee.

The song was used in the film The Colditz Story, but the lyric was modified to "I Belong To Colditz".


  1. ^ Mackie, Albert David. The Scotch Comedians: from the music hall to television. (Edinburgh: Ramsay Head, 1973)

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