It’s not often Steve McQueen is mentioned in the same breath as the Hilltown clock – but such is the weird and wonderful world occupied by the Stobie Valentino.
The ladies’ man is the principal character in a new song written, recorded and released by local musicians, under the name The Doolichters.
The song, The Ragman, has been released on YouTube – complete with archive images of Dundee’s past.
The tongue-in-cheek tune tells the tale of the ragman, who would pick up unwanted items in his cart and sell them on, and then spent the rest of his time wooing local women, including the narrator’s date.
The band is made up of Ian Kennedy, Ron Lindsay, Tom Bruce, Sandy Clarke and George Abbot.
Ian, 66, started playing music while still a teen and said the five men decided to give a new tune a go during lockdown as a way to reconnect with old pals and as a form of “therapy”.
Ian said: “We are just a bunch of old guys and thought we would give new technology a go to create the new song. It has really acted as a type of therapy to be honest.
“We all know each other and have played in different bands together before so we got in touch on social media and decided to do the song which is definitely inspired by the work of Michael Marra – he was just amazing.
“Myself and Sandy Clarke wrote the song – I came up with the original idea before firing ideas over to him and he would come back to me with new lines and it went from there. We all just recorded our own parts at home then I stitched it all together.
“It’s funny because I have spent my life singing in a fake American accent so this is the first time I have really sung with my strong Dundonian accent.
“We were going to originally put English subtitles on the video but we thought we would do it as a separate video instead for those who don’t understand the dialect.
“I suppose everyone of my age remembers the ragman so it was to give him a wee fresh look as he was a major figure in the community back then.
“You would get balloons or toys from him by swapping your clothes. Then you would get sent back out as you had given your good clothes to him just to get a balloon. I am sure a lot of people got in trouble for swapping their best clothes with him.
“We also wanted to give him a romantic back story too although people keep asking if he was really like that now which isn’t for me to say.”
The group hope to continue working together after lockdown and release a live video when they are allowed to be together in person.
And Ian revealed he had some unusual ambitions for the song.
He added: “I think I will have reached the top if there is someone in Japan or somewhere who belts out the tune on karaoke. I think then I could hang up my guitar and say I have made it. I might even make a karaoke version of the song too just in case.”
To view the song, search for “The Rag Man (The Stobie Valentino)” on YouTube.