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This songs pays fast and lose with historical fact.  Wade did not build the king a road; although the roads bear his name, he died before construction began. James Watt did not build the first steam engine; his design was based on that of Thomas Newcomen. The railway train was not the “product of a Scottish brain”; George Stephenson, widely regarded as the founder of the modern railway, was English. Beeching was a grammar school boy and therefore not, as suggested by the song, likely to benefit from the practice of favouritism regarded as operating among pupils of British public schools.

The use of “Uncle Mac” to refer to Harold MacMillan was probably influenced by the popularity of “Uncle Mac” (Derek McCulloch) who presented programs for children that were broadcast by the BBC [ ref]. Harold MacMillan was widely referred to as “Super-Mac” following his depiction as “superman” in a cartoon published in 1958.

The Fife East Coast Railway closed to passengers in 1965 and goods traffic in 1966 [Ref:] and the Leavenmouth rail link closed to passengers in 1969. [ref:]

pukka = sure, certain, reliable; genuine, bona fide, correct. Hence more generally: real, not sham; (of information) factually correct; (of persons) authentic, not pretended; proper or correct in behaviour, socially acceptable [OED]

Quack = A person who doshonestly claims to have medical or surgicl skill, or who advertises false or fake remedies; a medical imposter. In extended use: any person who dishonestly calims to have a special knowledge or skill in any field [oed]


That a song expressing such strong pro-Scots sentiments was collected in Worksop suggest that the singer’s family may have been among those coal mining families who, during the 1960s and 1970s, moved from Scotland to Nottinghamshire to work in the pits. The surname Kirk has two areas of high incidence one being centered on Dumfries in south west Scotland and the other running from the Nottingham area to the area around Lincoln including Worksop where Mrs Kirk lived. [ref:].


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