THURSO BERWICK (1919-1981) Hullo! Hullo! We are the Eskimoes.

IN THE ANTI-POLARIS campaign of the early sixties, Thurso Berwick (Morris Blythman) wrote many memorable and hard-hitting songs against the American nuclear presence in Scotland. His best known song is perhaps The Glesca Eskimoes’, written in collaboration with T. S. Law, in tumultuous mockery of hapless Captain Laning, of U.S. submarine Proteus, who described the demonstrators paddling their little canoes round his all-powerful nuclear bombs as ‘a bunch of eskimoes’. To the tune of the Glasgow Orange song, The Billy Boys’, the chorus sherrecks:
Hullo! Hullo! We are the Eskimoes.
Hullo! Hullo! The Glesca Eskimoes.
We’ll gaff that nyaff ca’d Lanin,
We’ll spear him where he blows,
We are the Glesca Eskimoes.

In a later song, The Eskimo Republic’, again to an Orange tune, The Boys of Garvagh, we can share Morris’s Utopian vision of a free Scotland: and through his famous ‘contrived banality’, the comical and the bizarre, with pure Glasgow-style humour, he says it all.
The Eskimo Republic
Now fortune’s wheel it is birlan roon
An nation’s rise that yince were doon,
So it’s time tae sing a rebel tune
For the Eskimo Republic.
Whaur there is nae class, there is nae boss,
Nae kings nir queens, an damn the loss,
An ye get boozed up for a six months doss
In the Eskimo Republic.

When they mak a law, sure they aa agree,
For they aa sit on the com-mit-tee,
An they’ve got nae Lords an nae M.P.s
In the Eskimo Republic.

Now the Eskimo’s no like me and you.
Every Eskimo has his ain i-ga-loo
An his mither-in-law has an i-ga-loo too
In the Eskimo Republic.

O, they flee aboot in thir wee kayaks
An they stick harpoons intae whales’ backs.
Then they cut them up intae tasty wee snacks
For the Eskimo Republic.

When an Eski wean goes tae Eski school,
He sits up nice on an Eski stool
An he sings an he laughs an he learns the rules
O the Eskimo Republic.

Now thir fitbaa gemmes are aa clean an fair
An the crowd’s aa pals wi the fitbaa players
Cos the park is patrolled by —– polar bears
In the Eskimo Republic.

When an Eskimo sings an Eski sang,
He gies it the real auld Eski twang
An his favourite wan is ‘I belang
Tae the Eskimo Republic’.

Now the Eskimo is geyan gallus
An his i-ga-loo is his ain wee palace
An it’s aa lit up by the Aurora Borealis
In the Eskimo Republic

Workers City “The Real Glasgow Stands Up”
Edited By Farquar McLay Clydeside Press



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