One of the most exuberant and joyful events of the Festival each year is Mungo’s Bairns which took place this year on 12th January in Wellington Parish Church. Sponsored by Glasgow Churches Together (GCT), it is an opportunity for the primary school children of Glasgow to celebrate together being the children of St. Mungo’s city.
It was a wonderfully warm and joy-filled celebration which involved 11 schools* (over 400 children!) this year, under the expert facilitation of Marie Warrington and Elspeth Glasgow. The music students for each school had prepared with their students a song to present: some were traditional Scottish such as Wild Mountain Thyme or Loch Lomond, others more modern Scottish pieces such as The Song of the Clyde or Matt McGinn’s The Dundee Ghost (complete with characters and actions) or Billy Connelly’s If it wasnae for yer wellies. There were also modern songs with new or altered words to link them with Glasgow: Dancing in the Streets or The Beatles Let it Be.
The children were brilliant. They sang, they acted, they presented with calm professionalism and they even played for us. Special mention has to be made of St. Denis’ Primary whose children took in their stride the failure of their bus to turn up and the subsequent breakdown of the replacement bus which resulted in them having to walk up from Byres Road to the church. The adults (teachers and parents) were frazzled but the children treated it as a great adventure and went on to do their part of the event without any sign of nerves.
One of the best parts of the event was watching and listening to children from so many different parts of the world singing the fun communal songs such as The Jeelie Piece Song and Three Craws with real enjoyment and bounce. I suspect their parents must have wondered what strange language their children were being taught if they heard them practising.
The children had special visitors for their celebration in the shape of St. Mungo himself and his mother St. Enoch. St. Mungo (aka Liam Kearney of St. Aloysius College) told them something about his life in a poem Mungo the Pilgrim.
At the end of the celebration, representatives of each of the schools processed behind St. Mungo to give a donation on behalf of their school to Rev. Roger Sturrock, the Minister of Wellington Church, for the church as a thank-you for their hosting of the event. Then they all joined in singing the Glasgow Song (by the late Ian Davison) before setting off to find their buses, singing as they went: it just had to be Ye cannae shove yer granny aff a bus!
St. Denis’ Primary
St. Anne’s Primary
Pirie Park Primary
St. Francis Primary
St. Conval’s Primary
St. Ninian’s Primary
St. Benedict’s Primary
St. Paul’s Whiteinch Primary