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The Highlandman's Umbrella

Photo courtesy of BBC News: A line of trams emerges from the shelter of Heilanman's Umbrella in Glasgow, where Argyle Street passes under Central Station and dissects Union Street, 1955

Umbrella Day

Feb 10

Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day

Today's Musings, History & Folklore

"🎶And a wee bunch here and wee bunch there
At the Highlandmans' Umbrella!"

~ Highlandman's Umbrella, Thomas B. Shaw, 1951

Hum the tribute tune as you dance this splendid reel named for one of Glasgow's most famous landmarks, Central Station, and the large glass-walled bridge that extends over Argyll Street known as the Heilanman's Umbrella! In the 19th century, when Scottish highlanders displaced by the second phase of the highland clearances arrived in Glasgow, they would find shelter under the bridge until finding accommodation. The bridge later became a gathering point for Gaelic speaking people from the highlands long after arriving in Glasgow, usually at weekends, and became known locally as Hielanmans Umbrella (Highlandman’s Umbrella) marking the very wet climate in western Scotland. If rain is in your forecast today, get out the bumbershoot, brolly, or your best tartan umbrella! ☔

The Highlandman's Umbrella

The Hielanman's Umbrella (Highlandman's Umbrella) is a famous landmark in the centre of Glasgow, Scotland, the nickname for the glass walled railway bridge which carries the platforms of Glasgow Central station across Argyle Street.


Due to the forced displacement of people during the second phase of the Highland clearances in the 19th century, 30,000 Highlanders who spoke only Scottish Gaelic came to Glasgow to find work.   Over the years Highlanders kept in touch by meeting under the bridge, mostly at weekends.

Click the umbrella below to hear the popular song, "The Highlandman's Umbrella," sung by Glaswegian Andy Stewart (1933-1993).

And scroll further for the "The Highlandman's Umbrella," performed by The Red Thistle Dancers at the Caledonian Highland Games,  Pleasanton, California, 2007.

The Highlandman's Umbrella

Click the dance cribs or description below to link to a printable version of the dance!

The Highlandman's Umbrella

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