Doon In The Wee Room

The Wee Room of the song was in Quin's Bar in Glasgow, Scotland, which no long exists, but the Scotia Pub in Glasgow had a famous Wee Room too.


Doon In The Wee Room (WORD)
Doon In The Wee Room (PDF)

Up In The Braw Room (WORD)
Up In The Braw Room (PDF)

I've taken a bit o' liberty with the lyrics of the song - it just seemed fitting for BUG's wee room at the Clocktower and now for our braw room at Red Bird. Starting in June 2022, we'll be singing Up In The Braw Room!

And now a little history of the song from Susannes Folksong-Notizen: Quin's Bar in Springburn no longer exists, but I believe the Quin family are still in the business, in faraway Bishopbriggs. I heard from Brendan McLaughlin, part proprietor of the Scotia Bar, singer and songwriter, 'The song was written by my grandfather, Daniel McLaughlin. We still have the manuscript of it.' The connections are surprising. The Wee Room of the song was in Quin's Bar in Springburn, but the Scotia too had a famous Wee Room. Brendan's father, Tony, remembers the names of the men who had identified seats in Quin's Wee Room, now Tony works part-time in the Scotia. [...]

There is in the Glasgow folk scene a reluctance to believe that the writer of the Wee Room song has been identified. People seem to prefer the idea of an unknown composer, so they can feel the song in some way belongs to them, to the streets of the city. But the McLaughlin family have no doubts. They have a copy of the song that includes the extra verses that Ian Davison heard sung once ten years ago in a rugby club. Daniel McLaughlin was 'bard to Quin's Bar', and the family have other pieces written by him, eg 'Burns Night In Quin's'. The family copy of the song has various small differences that suggest it is the original version.

Daniel's poetry was religious in tone, and he 'was not proud of The Wee Room or his other songs, which he considered ditties, written to be performed on one special occasion then put aside.' The tune is not original.

In part because of the 'controversy' over the writer, Brendan has not learned the song, nor does his father sing it. Doon In The Wee Room still belongs to the Glasgow folk fraternity at large.

Another anecdote: "Then Uncle Willie would sing an army song about Quinn's Pub in the Springburn area of Glasgow, an establishment obviously held in great affection and built under a rocky outcrop that had been made into stairs. It was called Doon In the Wee House and had to be sung whenever Willie was present, and if a do was on, Willie was there. [Words somewhat different.] When it came to the line, "Ah won't get auld an' grumpy", the entire company would rise as one, point an accusatory finger at Maw Clark and shout "Like that auld bugger there!"

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