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Location: Glasgow Guide / Glasgow Songs & Scottish Music    

 Scottish Songs - Lyrics and Melodies 
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We are the Billy Boys

Hurrah! Hurrah! We are the Billy Boys;
Hurrah! Hurrah! We make a lot of noise;
We're up to here, we never fear - we all are Billy's sons,
We are the Glasgow Billy Boys.

We belong to Glasgow we're Orange and we're true
Scotland is our countr-ee our colours white and blue
We're Protestants and proud of it we're known near and far
Glasgow Billy Boys they call us.

2. On the 12th day of July you'll find us in the walk
With our brother Orangemen, Sandy, Bill and Jock
Billy is our hero, he beat them at the Boyne
Glasgow Billy boys they call us.

3. We believe in Freedom, we won our right that day
At the Battle of the Boyne - we're very proud to say.
James he was defeated - Justice had been done
Raise now a glass to King William.

4?. Hoorah, Hoorah, we are the Billy Boys,
Hoorah, Hoorah, we are the Billy Boys,
Up tae oor knees in [words removed]*
We are the Brigtoon** Billie Boys.

Alternative Lyrics 

Hello, Hello
We are the Rangers Boys
Hello, Hello
You'll know us by our noise
We'll give anything to see our team at Ibrox or away
For we are the Glasgow Rangers boys

* removed because of personal preference of this website owner, but see below:

Statement by UEFA (Union of European Football Associations)
 14 April 2006

Rangers [Football Club] were cleared of all charges of bigotry - and yesterday UEFA explained why ... "In examining the alleged discriminatory chants the [UEFA] Control and Disciplinary Body admitted that the nature of the song 'Billy Boys' related to a social problem in Scotland.

"The Body also believed that the disciplinary decision in this case had to be taken in the context of Scotland's social and historical background. After studying the evidence at hand as well as the statement of Rangers FC, the Control and Disciplinary Body conceded that supporters have been singing the song Billy Boys for years during national and international matches without either the Scottish football or governmental authorities being able to intervene. The result is that this song is now somehow tolerated.

"Given this social and historical context the Control and Disciplinary Body said it considered that UEFA cannot demand an end to behaviour that has been tolerated for years."

For more information see:

Rangers fans cleared of bigotry BBC News (12 April 2006)

** Brigtoon (formally Bridgeton) being the district where they were dominant. The last line was altered to "We are King Billy's Orange Boys" after the gang's timely demise in the 1930s.

In the 1920's and 30's, Glasgow was notorious for its "Hard Men", gangs of thugs who terrorised decent people and fought bloody battles against other gangs. The Billy Boys was one such mob, being token Protestant, they claimed to follow King William of Orange and fought mainly against similar Roman Catholic gangs. This war their war song.

Concerned at the wave of violence, authorities appointed a policeman named Sillitoe as the new Chief Constable for the Glasgow area. He quickly assembled his own gang of tough policemen and started combating the thugs on their own territory. One evening he received a message that the Billy Boys were on the march - very drunk - and that their leader was carrying a baby girl in his arms.

Sillitoe formed a blockade with his men, then seeing that the child was in danger, led the charge to snatch her from the thug's arms. In the subsequent melee the Boys were routed and their ringleaders were ultimately jailed. Sillitoe greatly eased the problem of violence in Glasgow although it remains to this day. - With thanks to Tom McRae of Australia for this enlightening commentary.

 Scottish Songs - Lyrics and Melodies 
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