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The Favourite Lass

By Joe Corrie


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Scottish Play: No. 166

From Wikipedia, Joe Corrie (13 May 1894 – 13 November 1968) was a Scottish miner, poet and playwright best known for his radical, working-class plays.

He was born in Slamannan, Stirlingshire in 1894. His family moved to Cardenden in the Fife coalfield when Corrie was still an infant and he started work at the pits in 1908. He died in Edinburgh in 1968.

Shortly after the First World War, Corrie started writing. His articles, sketches, short stories and poems were published in prominent socialist newspapers and journals, including Forward and The Miner.

Corrie's volumes of poetry include The Image O' God and Other Poems (1927), Rebel Poems (1932) and Scottish Pride and Other Poems (1955). T. S. Eliot wrote "Not since Burns has the voice of Scotland spoken with such authentic lyric note".  He turned to writing plays during the General Strike in 1926.

More information can be found on his Wikipedia page; Joe Corrie.


Old Mrs. Dunbar, a semi-invalid, has her favourite daughter, Helen, who has married well.

It is Mrs. Dunbar's birthday, the only day in the year when Helen comes to see her. Alice, another daughter, has been tied to her mother, but now she is to gain her freedom because Mrs. Dunbar wishes to go and live with Helen. She has refused to go and live with another daughter, Jessie, because she isn't affluent enough. Helen arrives at the cottage in her own car, and very expensively dressed, but says that she cannot wait to celebrate the birthday. Neither can she think of the idea that her mother should spend the remainder of her days with her.

It is left to an old neighbour, Mrs. Fairly, who hasn't been good enough for Mrs. Dunbar, to save the old lady from going to an institution, by taking very drastic action.