Here’s a new episode of the Improbable Research TV series. It’s the 4th of many episodes featuring the bad poetry of William Topaz McGonagall. (For no good reason at all, we are releasing this 4th episode before we release the 3rd episode.)
William Topaz McGonagall, who died in 1902, is widely regarded as the worst poet ever to write in the English language. “The Tay Bridge Disaster” is his most famous bad poem. This is the first group recitation of the poem done on a train while crossing the bridge. (The train departed from Dundee railway station. The train celebrated in the poem, in contrast, was headed towards Dundee railway station, but did not complete the journey.)
The performers on the train include several Ig Nobel Prize winners and many of the poetical citizens of Dundee, Scotland.
BONUS: Terry Jones recites McGonagall’s long-overlooked poem “Stirling Castle”
BONUS: Dr. Elena Bodnar performs the first known translation of “The Tay Bridge” into Ukrainian, accompanied by Terry Jones.
BONUS: Billy Connolly’s definitive reading of “The Tay Bridge Disaster” on a hilltop in Dundee, with the bridge visible wayyyyyyy down below.