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Scots Language Centre Centre for the Scots Leid

Red Yo-Yo

Matt McGinn’s daughter came home from her Glasgow school one day to tell her parents that she had lost a button somewhere in school. She had gone to the janitor, who had gone to the headteacher, who had asked over the school loudspeakers if anyone had found the button.

Matt sat down and wrote this song, but we do not know if his daughter ever got her button back.

Red Yo Yo

Did ye find a red yo-yo, red yo-yo, red yo-yo
Did ye find a red yo-yo, wi a wee yellow string?

Wee Ann took her yo-yo, tae school she did go, though
She shouldnae hae taen it at a'.
It fell frae her haun and it rolled on the grun
And it went through a hole in the wa

The daring young Annie, she went tae the Janny
A decent wee man as a rule
It's pleasing to tell that he rang on his bell
And he asked every wean in the school

The weans left their pencils and papers and stencils
Tae knock on the doors all aroon
And as they were rapping and ringing and chapping
They asked a' the folk o the toon

The polis soon learned and they were concerned
They left a' their murders aside
The whole of the force was alerted of course
And they went on the telly and cried

All over the country, the common and gentry
Were watching their big TV screens 
Things really got gaun some when President Johnson
Received an appeal frae the Queen

The wires were tremblin when he phoned the Kremlin
Tae ask aboot Annie's yo-yo
But Kosygin agreed with the greatest of speed
'Sio phonyo orchen strativichen'

In Peking and Paris and a' roon the Barras
The people they searched high and low
Till finally Annie announced that her Granny
Had bought her another yo-yo

And it was a green yo-yo, green yo-yo, green yo-yo
It was a green yo-yo, wi a wee yellow string

Red Yo-Yo performed by Tryst and recorded for Learning and Teaching Scotland for Scotland’s Songs.

When Tryst began to perform this song, they could not find a red yo-yo to dangle at the end of the last verse, but they did find a green yo-yo, that is why they changed one word at the end.