Document 814

In Reverberation

Author(s): Andrina Connell

Copyright holder(s): Andrina Connell


Yince, years ago, in days lang syne,
Napoleon's Navy sailed the brine.
Up west o' Scotland, tae the Clyde,
Whaur sons o' the Green Oak Tree did bide.

Port Glasgow folk heard o' this yarn
And tae their neibours they did warn,
"A foreign Frenchman's jumped his boat
An siller' offered if he's caught!"

So Greenock men searched low and high,
While rain fell, pouring, frae the sky,
Until they fun him, up a tree,
Girning in French it seemed to be.

Tho' soaked and wild they grabbed him quick
And pit him intae Greenock nick.
Soon he was tried, his sentence read,
And he was hung - till he was dead.

To gie the Greenock folk their due,
Because they couldny parley vous,
A linguist they had tried to trace
To help the prisoner plead his case.

Had their endeavours been rewarded
Portonians would have ne'er regarded
The Greenock folk as gormless dopes
For hanging a monkey frae the ropes!

The eastern burgers jeered and taunted.
While poor Greenockians, sorely daunted,
Their monkey up, maun find a way
To avenge their pride some rainy day.

They thought up schemes of retribution
Against that primate's execution.
A campanologist o' fame
Was feed to help them save their name.

They kent Port Glasgow's civic bell
Was dinging dull, an' truth to tell,
Saw chance o' sweet retaliation
To rid them o' their sour frustration.

The Port's toon council was impressed,
In fact they never thocht, or guessed
That Greenock men wad stoop sae low,
To strike wi' sik a ringing blow.

The expert had the bell brocht doon
And there, afore the whole danged town,
Saut water tae the brim he raised
An' then a fire ablow it blazed.

Of coorse the bell soon cracked and broke
And only Greenock saw the joke.
The boiled bell couldny even "dung"
And aw because a monkey'd hung.

And still the day, this year o' grace,
Greenockians maun, to save their face,
When speired, "Who hung the monkey, well?"
Reply, "Aye, but - who b'iled the bell?"

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Cite this Document

APA Style:

In Reverberation. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 21 May 2024, from

MLA Style:

"In Reverberation." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2024. Web. 21 May 2024.

Chicago Style

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech, s.v., "In Reverberation," accessed 21 May 2024,

If your style guide prefers a single bibliography entry for this resource, we recommend:

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. 2024. Glasgow: University of Glasgow.


Information about Document 814

In Reverberation


Text audience

General public
Audience size 1000+

Text details

Method of composition Handwritten
Year of composition 1986
Word count 350

Text medium


Text publication details

Publisher Greenock Telegraph 1986 / West Coat Magazine 1988 / Scottish Memories 1993

Text setting


Text type



Author details

Author id 821
Forenames Andrina
Surname Connell
Gender Female
Decade of birth 1930
Educational attainment GCSEs/O-Grades
Age left school 15
Upbringing/religious beliefs Protestantism
Occupation Retired Civil Servant
Place of birth Johnstone
Region of birth Renfrew
Birthplace CSD dialect area Renfr
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Inchinnan
Region of residence Renfrew
Residence CSD dialect area Renfr
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Ships Draughtsman
Father's place of birth Port Glasgow
Father's region of birth Renfrew
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area Renfr
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's occupation Housewife
Mother's place of birth Inverkip
Mother's region of birth Renfrew
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area Renfr
Mother's country of birth Scotland


Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes At all times
Scots Yes Yes Yes Yes When occasion arises