The Angry Corrie 14: Aug-Sep 1993

Mountaineering Melodies No. 10:
Give peace a chance

Everybody's talking about Bagism, Shagism, Dragism, Madism, Ragism,
Tagism, Thisism, Thatism,
Isn't it the most?
All we are saying
is give peace a chance.

John Lennon: Give peace a chance, 1969

Let there be no doubt, this is one of the quintessential Scottish hill songs - oft heard in bothies up and down the land. But doubts do remain over which - if not all - of the possible interpretations of "bagism" John intended when he and Yoko let it all hang out in that hotel room all those years ago. There are at least three possible readings:

  1. Bagism in the sense of racism, sexism, heightism: ie, unfair, indiscriminate prejudice against people who, for whatever reason, chooset o while away weekends and holidays by "bagging" classified groups of hills, be they Munros, Corbetts, Marilyns or whatever. Certainly TAC has, over the years, been guilty of such victimisation, but hereby promises never to speak ill of "baggers" again, ever.
  2. Bagism as "bagging" behaviour per se, whereby fleecy-jacketed, Ronhill-betrousered, crazy-eyed zealots, either singly or in bunches, forsake - for Shug's sake - valuable hours of life routemarching up dreich dumplings whilst lining the OS and SMC coffers by forever replacing supersaturated maps and books. They're aff their heids, every wan o' them.
  3. Bagism as classical Murdo Munro behaviour, whereby peak, plateau, pass or whatever is entirely subservient to the night being spent alone, in the pouring rain, out on some blasted heath in a "bivvybag". Several Beatles scholars argue this constitutes the nearest to Lennon's actual intention, given he was in a bag - admittedly non-Goretex - at the time of singing.

A fourth school of thought - so esoteric as to almost be laughable - states that anyone particularly given to ascents of either (or both) Ben Vorlichs is in fact a "bagist", regardless of their overall zest for the Munros, as Hamish Brown, for one, suggests the name of said hills is translatable as height of the sea-bag.

TAC 14 Index