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John McLean's March

  • (Trad / Hamish Henderson)

    Hey Mac, did you see him as he cam' doon by Gorgie
    Awa' o'er the Lammerlaw and north o' the Tay
    Yon man is comin' and the hale toon is turnin' oot
    We're a' sure he'll win back tae Glesga the day
    The jiners and hauders-on are marchin' frae Clydebank
    Come on noo and hear him he'll be ower thrang tae bide
    Turn oot Jock and Jimmy leave the crane and the muckle gantry
    Great John MacLean has come hame tae the Clyde

    Argyle Street and London Road's the route that we're marchin'
    The lads frae the Broomielaw are here tae a man
    Hey Neil whaur's your hauderums, ye big Hielan' teuchter
    Get your pipes mate an' march at the heid o' the clan
    Hello Pat Malone, I knew you'd be here, son
    The red and the green, lad, will march side by side
    The Gorbals is his the day and Glesga belangs tae him
    Great John MacLean has come hame tae the Clyde

    Ah weel when it's ower I'll awa' back tae Springburn
    Come hame for your tea, John, we'll soon hae ye fed
    It's hard work the speakin' and I'm sure you'll be tired the nicht
    I'll sleep on the flair Mac an' gie John the bed
    The hale city's quiet noo, it kens that he's restin'
    At hame wi' his Glesga freends, their fame an' their pride
    The red will be worn, my lads, and Scotland will march again
    Great John MacLean has come hame tae the Clyde

    (as sung by Iain MacKintosh)

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [1970:] Springburn, where I was born and brought up, depended for its existence on Railways and their equipment. We children were proud to think that our mothers and fathers had helped to build the wonderful engines we watched roaring away under bridges to far- away London, to Sheffield and to Aberdeen. [...] Widows deemed it the greatest good fortune to get a job as a carriage cleaner, and they devoted to the cleaning of the trains the same personal attention and thoroughness they showed in keeping their own spotless homes clean. [In] their day there were no complaints of dirty trains. As for the men, they never stopped discussing the finer points of engineering. It was their hobby as well as their bread and butter. They talked, breathed, ate and slept railways. (Weir 121)

  • [1974:] [John MacLean] died [on 30 Nov] 1923 aged 44, a Socialist Republican in Glasgow. Jailed twice for sedition - and twice released because of the public outcry. It is a fact that 200,000 people turned out to meet him on his return from prison. Almost forgotten but now, 50 years after his death, becoming something of a folk hero. (Notes Iain MacKintosh, 'By Request')

  • [1977:] The John MacLean March had its first performance in the St. Andrews Hall, Glasgow, at the memorial [concert?] to the great Scottish republican socialist on 28 Nov. 1948, where it was sung by William Noble. It is set to a traditional version of a pipe melody that is today played and sung all over Scotland to the more commercially patriotic verses of Scotland the Brave. The song is notable for its gradual build-up to the conclusion, where another of Henderson's mythic figures - the proletarian teacher and leader, imprisoned and tortured for his beliefs - rests and sleeps in an ordinary worker's home. The singer is a representative Clydesider addressing firstly other lowlanders like himself ('Mac', 'Jock' and 'Jimmy'), next a Highlander and an immigrant from Ireland, in a wonderful rendering of facetious working-class camaraderie which enables the Hero to be seen as in principle no different from those who are welcoming him - from 'Wull' who 'grips his banner weel (that boy isna blate)', and which therefore makes the other heroes who are Maclean's mates, Lenin and Liebknecht, our mates too. In the second last stanza 'Glasgie, oor city' becomes 'the haill world beside'; next, at the beginning of the last verse, the vision contracts to a little room and a domestic scene (once more, the values of Burns's Cotter!) where the hero rests with his freens, before expanding into the resounding crescendo of the monosyllabic hammer-blows to which all Scotland will march now 'Great John Maclean has come hame to the Clyde'. The final synthesis is between him and us, between Hero and home - an ordinary, small family home where comradeship and sharing prevail. (Thomas Crawford, notes 'Freedom come all ye - Songs and Poems of Hamish Henderson')

  • [1988:] The great protagonist of adult education was teacher John MacLean (1879-1923), who began his political life in the SDF [Social Democratic Federation] and who until his death conducted classes in economics all over Scotland. MacLean, the son of a Pollokshaws potter, was one of the theorists of socialism as well as being a great propagandist. He wanted to fight the war against capitalism, and not the capitalists' war of 1914-18. In 1918 Lenin appointed him as Scottish Consul to the Bolshevik government. MacLean's recognition of the potential for revolution in Scotland during the Great War and after made him a danger to the government. He was repeatedly jailed for his political opinions and so badly treated that he died prematurely at the age of 44. As well as having a portrait and photographs of MacLean, the People's Palace has his desk and some of his personal items, including his university passes and literature from the Scottish Workers' Republican Party which was founded by him. (King, Palace 72)

  • [1988:] He was a schoolteacher [...] too old himself to go to the war, but he advised the young men of Scotland not to go fighting but stay at home and help the country from the inside. He was taken to court, found guilty of sedition and sentenced to seven years in a very tough prison in Scotland. It's hard to believe now but the Glasgow people complained so loudly at this savage prison sentence that the government was embarrassed, and after a few weeks they allowed the man out of prison - very quietly, but somehow the word came back to Glasgow. And when he arrived there were two hundred thousand people to meet him in the railway station. (Intro Iain MacKintosh)

  • [1990:] [A] working-class leader from a Calvinist, teetotal background. First consul for the U.S.S.R. in Glasgow. (Damer, Glasgow 109)

    teuchter: mildly derogatory Lowlanders' word for a Highlander. Its etymology is totally obscure and I have never heard a satisfactory explanation. (Damer, Glasgow 109)

    With one or two exceptions, like John MacLean, the Red Clyde leaders were no revolutionaries. (Damer, Glasgow 117)

    The Socialist movement in Glasgow was closely tied in with Highland and Irish societies [and] it is not by accident that John MacLean's parents were both Highlanders and victims of the Clearances, his father from Mull and his mother from Corpach; MacLean was brought up on stories of the bitter injustice of the Highland Clearances. (Damer, Glasgow 120)

    [There was] the genius and courage of John MacLean who [in Glasgow during the First World War] was everywhere, agitating, organising, educating. At times he seemed like a one-man revolutionary party. Historians like Iain McLean have found it convenient to dismiss him, but Glaswegians are not easily fooled and they turned out in their tens of thousands when he was released from jail in 1917. Hamish Henderson's fine song expresses local feelings perfectly. (Damer, Glasgow 130f)

  • [1990:] It was most recently recorded in exciting electro-funk form by the Glasgow group Tonight At Noon on the album 'Down To The Devils'. (McVicar, One Singer One Song 30)

    Standard works on John MacLean by John Broom and Nan Milton, both 1973.

  • [2000:] Maclean's triumphant return to Glasgow from Peterhead Jail was 3 December 1918. [...] "haderums" is one of the (at least) 5 types of drum in a standard Highland marching band. [...] Can anyone confirm the lallans familiar spelling for John/Sean would be "Shony?" (Abby Sale, rec.music.folk, 14 Aug)

Quelle: Scotland

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