by William Topaz McGonagall
McGonagall prefers to focus on the best attributes of the city of Glasgow and writes positively about them in his poem. The poem was written at a time when the city was an industrial desert with the worst aspects of Victorian squalor apparent everywhere. Disease was prevalent, mortality was high, much of the population suffered from malnutrition and many of the streets were strewn with refuse.
Today, the city of Glasgow is well maintained, living conditions are much improved and George Square still boasts some very fine statues, which are admired by the thousands of tourists who visit there each year.
Beautiful city of Glasgow, with your streets so neat and clean,
Your stately mansions, and beautiful Green!
Likewise your beautiful bridges across the river Clyde,
And on your bonnie banks I would like to reside.
Then away to the West, to the beautiful West!
To the fair city of Glasgow that I like the best,
Where the river Clyde rolls on to the sea,
And the lark and the blackbird whistle with glee.
'Tis beautiful to see the ships passing to and fro,
Laden with goods for the high and the low,
So let the beautiful city of Glasgow flourish,
And may the inhabitants always find food their bodies to nourish.
The statue of the Prince of Orange is very grand,
Looking terror to the foe, with a truncheon in his hand,
And well mounted on a noble steed, which stands in the Trongate,
And holding up its foreleg, I'm sure it looks first-rate.
Then there's the Duke of Wellington's statue in Royal Exchange Square,
It is a beautiful statue I without fear declare,
Besides inspiring and most magnificent to view,
Because he made the French fly at the battle of Waterloo.
And as for the statue of Sir Walter Scott that stands in George Square,
It is a handsome statue, few can with it compare,
And most elegant to be seen,
And close beside it stands the statue of Her Majesty the Queen.
Then there's the statue of Robert Burns in George Square,
And the treatment he received when living was very unfair!
Now, when he's dead, Scotland's sons for him do mourn,
But, alas! unto them he can never return.
Then as for Kelvin Grove, it is most lovely to be seen,
With its beautiful flowers and trees so green,
And a magnificent water fountain spouting up very high,
Where the people can quench their thirst when they feel dry.