Friday, 17 April 2009

Parliamic Pentameter

Up getting the shopping in the local supermarket, I came across a book that just had to make it's way into my trolley.

The Parliamo Glasgow Omnibus, by Stanley Baxter (Birlinn) - with great illustrations added by Bob Dewar in 2008.

Parliamo Glasgow

It's a must for those who spent many a happy hour watching the Stanley Baxter Show.

Phrases like 'Erra perra perrs on ra flerr ar'rerr' - (There's a pair of pears on the floor over there.)

'Geeza punna burra furra murra' - (Give me a pound of butter for my mother)

have remained etched in my memory.

Opening the book to a chapter entitled 'On a Glaswegian Summer Holiday', starting with a description of the Glasgow Fair, you can find gems such as

"As I hastened into the street to join in the revelry I found the air filled with the traditional festival song - 'ERRARAINOANU... SCUMMINDOONINBUCKITS!'

It's all self-explanatory, of course, but just in case you are struggling a little, it translates as 'There's the rain on now... It's coming down in buckets!'

Parliamo Glasgow, seen on the Stanley Baxter Show and Stanley Baxter Picture Show in the '60's and '70's, parodied the adult education programme Parliamo Italiano, with Baxter acting as the 'language professor'.

You'll notice the way the words are strung together, giving Parliamo Glasgow a unique rhythm all of its own. Phrases often begin with gems such as Gonnigeese (are you going to give me?)
and the inquiring Zarra (Is that a?) with Zarra Marra Oanra Barra Clarra (Is that a marrow on the barrow, Clara?) being a true classic.

Here's a little taster

Time for me to Pirrasoackinit until next time!



  2. Whereas here it was merely grey, windy and cool (despite the forecast for sunshine.