“Don’t call me Scarface!”

We all have our favourite lyrics. I just love Neville Staple’s “Don’t call me Scarface!” line from Gangsters by The Specials. The whole song is a masterpiece.

Can’t fight corruption with con tricks

They use the law to commit crime

I dread to think what the future’ll bring

When we’re living in gangster times

(Don’t call me Scarface!)

The Specials
Neville Staple, The Specials, don’t call him Scarface.

“Say hello to my little friend,” screams Al Pacino, before blowing up home invaders with his grenade launcher in the movie Scarface. The film’s soundtrack was composed by Giorgio Moroder who co-wrote Together In Electric Dreams with Phil Oakey of the Human League.

I only knew you for a while

I never saw your smile

‘Til it was time to go

Time to go away (time to go away)

Philip Oakey, Giorgio Moroder

The song tells us that love can endure even when the opportunity to properly share in the love is lost.

Sometimes its hard to recognise

Love comes as a surprise

And its too late

Its just too late to stay

Too late to stay

Philip Oakey, Giorgio Moroder

Together In Electric Dreams is a simple, catchy wee track, recorded in only ten minutes, yet it’s poignant. Oakey talks about the Human League taking a year to record singles and failing to achieve the chart success he enjoyed with Moroder and Electric Dreams.

Talking of lost love, here come the Wölves.

You’re an animal

You never loved no one

You’re an animal

Changed our relationship to complicated

I must admit I felt a little jaded

Talking cheap and acting shady

I found your tweets and your Facebook, baby

Wölves
Wölves’ video for animal featuring our very own Donald and Stuart, and me! I’m in there somewhere as an extra. I did see myself once, honest.

Animal by the Wölves is now a modern classic; heartbreak and trauma, expressed through the medium of social media. From Keats and Yates to Wölves, love lost is love lost. The desolation remains the same. What is it with me and lost love, I wonder? Let’s not dwell on it.

Here’s a picture from the Wölves’ video for Animal.

Jason Duffy drumming on the Wölves’ Animal video.

What is it with Jason and baring his chest, I wonder? Let’s not dwell on it. I’m sure the girls like it.

Here’s an altogether more lovable snap from the same video shoot.

Mariam Amhaz during the Wölves video shoot for their outstanding track Animal.

Mariam’s accordion playing being cut from the final video edit is shocking.

Actually I promised Mariam I’d put that picture up in Tappie Toories but that’s now another tale of lost love.

I can’t face the heartbreak of reopening Tappies for a fourth time only to face who knows what restrictions and potentially a fourth closure due to Covid-19, and a third wave or whatever.

Instead, take yer chances at Tesco with unlimited alcohol sales fuelling drunken, unregulated everything. Other super-spreaders and superstores are available.

We’ve had pubs only open until 6pm but prohibited from selling any drink, under any circumstances. We’ve had an 8pm curfew but only if you sell a substantial meal, and a 10pm curfew with hundreds or thousands huddled together in the dank streets at exactly the same time with no taxis available. We’ve had lock-up, lock-down, you know, anything but a sensible, sober, regulated and socially distanced lock-in.

That reminds me.

Serbia 1-1 Scotland (4-5 on penalties).

A great night, a great sing-a-long and an outrageous 20-man conga lauded by all.

Oooohh! Yes sir, I can boogie

But I need a certain song

I can boogie, boogie woogie all night long

Yes sir, I can boogie

If you stay, you can’t go wrong

I can boogie, boogie woogie all night long

Soja Rolf / Dostal Frank

The Baccara disco classic Yes Sir, I Can Boogie was just as good as the Scottish conga line singing the name of penalty-saving goalie David Marshall to Whigfield’s Saturday Night.

Scotland have qualified for the European Championship finals 2020, our first major tournament since 1998. That’s 22 years! Or 23 as it’s being played at least one year late, maybe more. The first major finals I properly remember was 1978…

We’re on the march with Ally’s Army

We’re going to the Argentine

And we’ll really shake them up

When we win the World Cup

‘Cause Scotland are the greatest football team

Samuel Dennison

Ally’s Tartan Army by Andy Cameron contains one of the best lyrics ever. Here it comes…

When we reach the Argentine we’re really gonna show

The world a brand of football that they could never know

We’re representing Britain; we’ve got to do or die

For England cannae dae it ’cause they didnae qualify!

Samuel Dennison

Talking of England, I now work for NHS England and, on a serious note, it has reinforced my view that doing everything we could to keep people safe in Tappies was absolutely the right thing to do. I hope our parliaments, supermarkets, schools, universities, etc., can, in time – hopefully a very short time – do likewise.

Lyrically, it doesn’t get much better or funnier than Ally’s Tartan Army with; “England cannae dae it ’cause they didnae qualify!”

Although, never shy of a challenge, TwinsTown have given it a go. Former member Ronnie Dalrymple sings on Double Trouble…

My name is Ronnie and I play the drums

I’ve got eight fingers and I’ve got twa thumbs

So, lock up your daughters, sisters and mums!

TwinsTown

You really have to see it. Find Ronnie and TwinsTown in the Double Trouble video here: Double Trouble

Ronnie sings arguably the best lyric ever as Donald pretends he can play poker.

Stay alive!

“Ronnie Scotland is not his real name.”

“What is it then?”

“Ronnie McDevitt,” I reply, looking up Amazon Books for proof.

In doing so I find this review of Ronnie’s More Than Argentina: The Biography of Ally MacLeod.

The a is an excellent insight into the career and character of an exceptional family man who gave his all to his sport both as a player and a manager. This moving account of one of the biggest personalities the Scottish game has ever seen is a must read!

★★★★★

AVRIL MCKINNON
More Than Argentina: The Biography of Ally MacLeod by Ronnie Scotland, sorry, I mean McDevitt.

“How many books has Ronnie authored, exactly?”

“I don’t know exactly, loads I imagine, and I think they’re all about Scotland.”

A Life in the Tartan Army by Ronnie McDevitt.

If only I had a wee bawbee for every time someone has told me they bumped into Ronnie on every Scotland away trip ever. In my case, I think it’s true.

I’ve not always been so lucky. One time I bumped into Weegie Al aka Alan Huey, the only man on the West Fife Villages Pub Watch blacklist, and I met Billy ‘the chameleon’ George who was wearing full Tartan Army garb. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I was just surprised. I had no idea Billy even liked Scotland. Of course he’s now taken it too far.

Scotland in the Sixties by Ronnie McDevitt.

“So, why is he called Ronnie Scotland?”

“Aye, guid wan, very droll.”

Scotland in the Seventies by Ronnie McDevitt.

Of course, there’s always a wee bit of competition. Who has the bonniest toorie on their glengarry. Best photobombing whilst wearing a glengarry. My pal Bloo aka Paul Ward has an honourable mention in these categories.

Bloo being photobombed with a bright red toorie on his glengarry.

Who has the furriest sporran, the sharpest sgian dubh, and, for me at least, most important of all, the darkest blue (almost black) Scotland fitba’ shirt.

Ronnie’s minder and Ronnie Scotland NOT wearing a dark blue shirt. I hope that yellow thing is a goalie tap.

Of course the real test is TV stardom. Billy managed a 30 second bust on BBC Reporting Scotland. Ronnie managed a 5 minute feature all about himself during Euro ’96.

Ronnie Scotland featuring during Euro ’96.

However, Bloo wins. He had a 10 minute interview on Dutch TV. Don’t say it only counts on British TV. That won’t go down well in this company.

Bloo on the BBC.

Hang on, that looks like Bloo doing a legitimate interview on British TV. We’ll I never.

Losing to Bloo on TV stardom isn’t Ronnie’s only badge of shame. I’ve always suspected him to be a sychophant sooking up to Brazil by saying, “Aw naw, we shouldn’t have annoyed them,” after Dave Narey blootered his famous toepoke past a bunch of hapless Brazilians in the 1982 World Cup Finals. Graeme Souness was as good as Sócrates. Medals on the table: Souness three European Cups, Doctor Sócrates nil.

Sócrates and Graeme Souness, 1982.

I really hope we don’t have that kind of inferiority complex during Euro 2020. What we need is a TwinsTown Scotland song. A true fitba’ anthem, better than Ally’s Army by Andy Cameron, until now our only half-decent Scotland song. It definitely needs to be better than the best England songs, arguably World in Motion by New Order, Three Lions by David Baddiel, Frank Skinner, and The Lightning Seeds, and Fat Les’ Vindaloo.

I know we’re adopting Yes Sir, I Can Boogie by Baccara and Saturday Night by Whigfield, but TwinsTown can do an original track. Dunfermline toun legend Ronnie Scotland can do a John Barnes rap and Bloo can play the bagpipes.

Ronnie Scotland being interviewed by the BBC.

I love to see a happy Tartan Army and I’m sure Ronnie will support me why I say that Ally MacLeod and Jimmy Hill united to abolish the maximum wage. Trade unionists know no borders. Remarkably, Jimmy also revolutionised football with three points for a win.

Jimmy Hill.

Stay alive.

The Proclaimers twins meet TwinsTown twins.

I could get a broken jaw from being in a fight.

I know its evening when day turns to night.

I can understand why Stranraer lie so lowly.

They could save a lot of points by signing Hibs’ goalie…

Charles Reid / Craig Reid

The Proclaimers have written some tremendous lyrics and the verse from Cap In Hand about Hibs’ goalie is my runaway favourite. I love a football reference and this one rivals Billy Bragg’s beezer from Sexuality.

I had an uncle who once played for Red Star Belgrade

He said some things are really left best unspoken

But I prefer it all to be out in the open

Billy Bragg / Johnny Marr

I love these two songs; they reference football AND they have a strong message. Cap In Hand is a rallying call for an independent Scotland and Sexuality is an anthem to equality, rousing us to shed any and all prejudice based on sexual orientation.

I’m going to stop before All I Want for Christmas is a Dukla Prague Away Kit by Half Man Half Biscuit gets a mention. It’s too upsetting to contemplate. Dukla Prague did not get an exemption to join my Christmas bubble.