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Book: Ivor Cutler

Chapter: An Introduction

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.42532


Songwriter, poet, singer and storyteller Ivor Cutler grew up in an abusive Glasgow household headed by a violent, controlling and unpredictable grandfather who would routinely lash out at young Ivor and his siblings. The children, in turn, produced psychodramas to disturb their mother, occasionally entertained themselves with three grains of Troon sand, urinated into sponges when at home, and waited fearfully for grandfather to interrogate them about their use of the second-hand first aid book. At least, that’s the story that emerges from Ivor’s Life in a Scotch Sitting Room tales. The real story of his life is less fantastical, but equally fascinating and, in many aspects, little known or understood. This chapter briefly summarises many opinions about Ivor from his friends and from commentators such as Bernard Levin, and discusses my own love of his work, as a foundation for the rest of the book.

Chapter Contributors

  • Bruce Lindsay ( - blindsay) 'Music Journalist and Social Historian'