Gartnavel Asylum opened in 1844, replacing the 1810 building in Parliamentary Road. This song was composed by one of the inmates to commemorate the new institution (from J R Adam, The Gartnavel Minstrel, 1845, reprinted in Berry and Whyte, Glasgow Observed, 1987). We were singing this at the Hidden Glasgow pub meet on Tuesday evening, and I thought the rest of you would like to be able to join in. Altogether now ...
Good bye, old house, good bye!
Thro' the new one let us pry,
On this hill called Gartnavel it is standing, O!
'Tis the finest house you'll find,
Throughout Europe, of the kind;
The view from it is pretty and commanding, O!
There's a billiard table, too,
If you handle well the cue,
And like to knock the balls about the table, O;
A backgammon board and chess,
With the bagatelle no less;
Play at any, or them all, if you are able, O.
For working, there's the ground,
Sev'nty acres, all around,
If you like to take a spade and try the lev'ling, O;
We've to dig a curling lake,
And a bowling green to make,
Which ought to be without the slightest bev'ling, O.
While attendants one and all,
Into this new system fall,
Now in buckles, belts and muffs, there's no dependence, O;
'Tis the pleasing word and kind
Soothes the agitated mind -
A humane, but firm and uniform attendance, O.
A very long time ago, I used to play tennis (very badly) on the asylum court, which is now where the ambulances live, immediately to the north of the railway line. By the way, the grounds of the hospital are one of the best places in Glasgow to find conkers (start near the chapel and work outwards). If that's what you're looking for. Sorry, but I don't know of any tunnels on the site.
So, anyone know any other songs from Glasgow asylums?