By: jbhthescots@mac.com, Categories: Words & Images, Comments Off on Dignity


The last time I bought a Deacon Blue compilation CD set, it would have probably have been “The Very Best Of” which was really rather magic. But in 2015 “Dignity: The Best Of Deacon Blue” came out which is similar to “The Very Best Of” but there are good compilations and not-so-good compilations, and this one seems to be stuck in both sections.


Dignity was, of course, the Glasgow band’s first official release; a song that set them on a trajectory to pop stardom. The rest, as they say, being history. And one of the best pop songs ever with lyrics that are so inspirational, it starts:


There’s a man I meet, walks up our street
He’s a worker for the council, has been twenty years
And he takes no lip off nobody and litter off the gutter
Puts it in a bag and never thinks to mutter


Deacon Blue frontman Ricky Ross (he’s originally from Dundee, but we’ve now taken him to be a Glaswegian at heart) tells the story of how he was inspired to write the song. Working as an English teacher and living in a flat in Kenmure Street, Pollokshields, Ross used to look out of the bay window of his Glasgow tenement at the street-sweepers of the city cleansing department as they changed shifts. Watching them walk by with their cart and brushes, wondering about their lives, it gave him the idea for the song.


It’s one of those rare songs which transcend their writer, Dignity, which came out in 1987, has now become part of the fabric of Scottish life. You hear it at the football, on the radio, at the shops; at weddings and funerals; works nights out; and a very popular choice at pub karaokes. Dignity is special, in a Glasgow sort of way: ​an anthem for the decent, aspirational working life of the ordinary citizen – and still sounds great nearly 30 years on.


Leica M3 & 2/50mm Summicron v5
B+W Yellow Filter
Sekonic L-308S
Ilford FP4+ (100)
Ilfosol 3 (1+14 – 7min)
Plustek 7600i & Vuescan