Beautiful Ancient City of Perth,
One of the fairest on the earth,
With your stately mansions and scenery most fine,
Which seems very beautiful in the summer time;
And the beautiful silvery Tay,
Rolling smoothly on its way,
And glittering like silver in the sunshine -
And the Railway Bridge across it is really sublime.
The scenery is very beautiful when in full bloom,
It far excels the river Doon -
For the North Inch and South Inch is most beautiful to behold,
Where the buttercups do shine in the sunshine like gold.
And there’s the Palace of Scone, most beautiful to be seen,
Near by the river Tay and the North Inch so green,
Whereon is erected the statue of Prince Albert, late husband of the Queen,
And also the statue of Sir Walter Scott is moat beautiful to be seen,
Erected on the South Inch, which would please the Queen,
And recall to her memory his novels she has read -
And came her to feel a pang for him that is dead.
Beautiful City of Perth, along the river Tay,
I must conclude ms lay,
And to write in praise of thee my heart does not gainsay,
To tell the world fearlessly, without the least dismay -
With your stately mansions and the beautiful river Tay,
You’re one of the fairest Cities of the present day.
The Fair City of Perth has a history dating back to Roman times and beyond, its name perhaps deriving from the nearby Roman fort of Bertha. The Kings of Scotland were closely associated with medieval Perth, and were crowned in nearby Scone. The association was not always a happy one however: King James I was murdered in the city in 1437. A hundred years later, John Knox would launch the Scottish reformation by delivering a sermon from St John’s Kirk.
McGonagall lived for a while in Perth, in a garret above 57 South Street. His continuing mistreatment in Dundee (as well as his being evicted by his landlord) caused him to finally quit the city in October 1894, and as he had often been well recieved in Perth, Dundee’s loss was the Fair City’s gain (or perhaps the other way round!). As he makes clear in his autobiography, however, Perth was “too small for me making a living in” so he moved on to Edinburgh in the summer of the following year.