Conrad Bladey's Beuk O'
Newcassel Sangs
The Tradition of Northumbria

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the Keel Row Billy Boy When the Boat comes In The Row Between the Cages Andrew Carrr MyLord 'Size The Gunstan' Afloat Come Geordie--ha'd the Bairn or Aw wish thy Muther wad come Spottie
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music iconELSIE MARLEY pace animate
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chorus: Di' ye ken Elsie Marley, honey
The wife that sells the barley,honey
She lost her pocket and all her money
A-back o' the bush in the garden, honey

Elsie Marley's grown so fine
She won't get up to serve the swine
But lies in bed till eight or nine
And surely she does take her time.

Elsie Marley is so neat
It's hard for one to walk the street
But every lad and lass they meet
Cries "Di' ye ken Elsie Marley, honey?"

Elsie Marley wore a straw hat
But now she's getten a velvet cap
The Lambton lads mun pay for that
Di' ye ken Elsie Marley, honey?

Elsie keeps rum, gin and ale
In her house below the dale
Where every tradesman, up and down
Does call and spend his half-a-crown.

The farmers as they cum that way
They drink with Elsie every day
And call the fiddler for to play
The tune of Elsie Marley, honey.

The pitmen and the keelmen trim
They drink Bumbo made of gin
And for to dance they do begin
To the tune of Elsie Marley, honey.

The sailors they do call for flip
As soon as they come from the ship
And then begin to dance and skip
to the tune of "Elsie Marley," honey.

Those gentlemen who go so fine
They'll treat her with a bottle of wine
And freely they'll sit down and dine
Along with Elsie Marley, honey.

So to conclude those lines I've penn'd
Hoping there's none I do offend
And thus my merry joke does end
Concerning Elsie Marley, honey.

from Songs of Northern England, Stokoe (Same version appears in     Sir Cuthbert Sharp, Bishoprick Garland
1834, Graham,1969.
The Following Note Appears in the Bishoprick Garland-
Elsie Marley has given her name to a tune which is spirited and lively, which is freqwuently called for as a dance at the country fairs.  Her mainden name was Harrison, and she was the first wife of Ralph Marley, who kept a public house at Picktree, bearing the sign of the Swan, with the appropriate motto:  The Swan doth love the water clear, And so does man good ale and beer."  She was a handsome, buxom, bustling landlady, and brought good custom to the house by her civility and attention.  On the march of the Dutch troops to Scotland, in the forty-five, the soldiers amused themselves by shooting at the Swan, and it remained a long time afterwards in a tattered condition, from having served as a target to the mercenaries.  Elsie had a son, Harrison Marley, whose son Ralph was living a few years since, with a numerous progeny.  Elsie suffered from a long and severe illness, and was at length found drowned in a pond near Bygo, where it is supposed she had fallen in by accident, and could not extricate herself through weakness.  Concerning the line "A back o' the bush i' the garden, honey." was written- This is poetical license.  Elsie was an active manager, and the household affairs were entrusted to here sole control.  She went to Newcastle quarterly to pay the brewer's bill, &c; and on one of these occasions (it was the fair day) she had 20 guineas in her pocket, sewed up in a corner.  On the Sand-hill she was hustled, and clapping her hand to here side, she exclaimed aloud. "O honney, honney, I've lost my pocket and all my money."-R. Marley.  In regard to the verse "The Lambton lads mun pay for that--" is written: This verse is not in Ritson's copy, ("Song IV A New Song Made on Alice Marley, An Alewife, at *****, Near Chester"- Northern Garlands, Joseph Ritson, London 1810.) but it is current in the neighbourhood. By the Lambton lads, were meant the five brothers of the house of Lambton, all bachelors to a certain period, and all admirers of Elsie Marley.
The Ritson version uses as chorus:

And do you ken Elsie Marley, honey?
The wife who sells the barley, honey;
She won't get up to serve her swine,
And do you ken Elsie Marley, honey?

Note: mentioned in Byker Hill


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music iconBYKER HILL pace animate
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If I had another penny
I would have another gill
I would make the piper play
The bonny lass of Byker Hill

Byker Hill and Walker Shore
Collier lads for ever more (2x)

The pitman and the keelman trim
They drink bumble made from gin
Then to dance they do begin
To the tune of Elsie Marley

When first I went down to the dirt
I had no cowl nor no pitshirt
Now I've gotten two or three
Walker Pit's done well by me

Geordie Charlton, he had a pig
He hit it with a shovel and it danced a jig
All the way to Walker Shore
To the tune of Elsie Marley -

Verse in version in Bell:

When I cam to Walker wark,
I had ne coat nor ne pit sark
But now aw've getten twe or three,
Walker pit's deun weel for me.

Bell gives tune as:  Off she goes.


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musicanimateThe Lambton Worm
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                                                   One Sunday morn young Lambton
                                                     Went a-fishin' in the Wear;
                                                   An' catched a fish upon his huek,
                                                     He thowt leuk't varry queer,
                                                    But whatt'n a kind a fish it was
                                                    Young Lambton couldn't tell.
                                                   He waddn't fash to carry it hyem,
                                                      So he hoyed it in a well.

                                                    Whisht! lads, haad yor gobs,
                                                   Aa'll tell ye aall and aaful story,
                                                    Whisht! lads, haad yor gobs,
                                                    An' Aal tell ye 'bout the worm.

                                                   Noo Lambton felt inclined to gan
                                                      An' fight in foreign wars.
                                                 He joined a troop o' Knights that cared
                                                    For neither wounds nor scars,

                                                     An' off he went to Palestine
                                                    Where queer things him befel,
                                                     An' varry seun forgot aboot
                                                     The queer worm i' the well.


                                               But the worm got fat an' growed an' growed,
                                                      An' growed an aaful size;
                                                  He'd greet big teeth, a greet big gob,
                                                     An' greet big goggle eyes.
                                                   An' when at neets he craaled aboot
                                                      To pick up bits o'news,
                                                     If he felt dry upon the road,
                                                      He milked a dozen coos.


                                                   This feorful worm wad often feed
                                                    On calves an' lambs an' sheep,
                                                     An' swally little bairns alive
                                                    When they laid doon to sleep.
                                                    An' when he'd eaten aal he cud
                                                      An' he had has he's fill,
                                                   He craaled away an' lapped his tail
                                                   Seven times roond Pensher Hill.


                                                   The news of this most aaful worm
                                                      An' his queer gannins on
                                                 Seun crossed the seas, gat to the ears
                                                     Of brave an' bowld Sir John.
                                                  So hyem he cam an' catched the beast
                                                     An' cut 'im in three halves,
                                                 An' that seun stopped he's eatin' bairns,
                                                    An' sheep an' lambs and calves.


                                                   So noo ye knaa hoo aall the folks
                                                     On byeth sides of the Wear
                                                   Lost lots o' sheep an' lots o' sleep
                                                      An' lived in mortal feor.
                                                   So let's hev one to brave Sir John
                                                    That kept the bairns frae harm
                                                Saved coos an' calves by myekin' haalves
                                                    O' the famis Lambton Worm


                                                     Noo lads, Aa'll haad me gob,
                                                  That's aall Aa knaa aboot the story
                                                      Of Sir John's clivvor job
                                                   Wi' the aaful Lambton Worm!

Further history of the Lambton Worm

Source:  The Book of Ballads - Ancient and modern, London, Virtue, Spalding, and Co

"This ballad is taken from 'the Local Historian's Table-book,' where it is given as 'revised by the author,' the Rev. J. Watson, having apparently been first published in 'Tait's Edinburgh Magazine.' It is founded upon a 'family legend,' current in the county of Durham, 'the authority of which,' says Mr Brockett, in his 'glossary of North Country Words,' 'the inhabitants will not allow it to be questioned.' 'The lapse of three centuries,' he adds, 'has so completely enveloped in obscurity the particular details, that it is impossible to give a narration which could in any way be considered as complete.' In the Table-book, however, is given a 'history,' said to have been 'gleaned with much patient and laborious investigation, from the viva voce narration's of sundry elders of both sexes on the banks of the Wear in the immediate neighbourhood of the scene of the action.' This 'history' is almost identical with the story of the ballad; the allusions in which can be found explained in the notes. With regard to the origin of the Legend, Which has been 'preserved and repeated almost without variation for centuries,' it is conjectured in the 'Table-book' to have 'arisen from the circumstance of an invasion from a foreign foe, some successful chieftain, with well-disciplined bands, destroying and laying waste with fire and sword, whose advance over unequal ground would convey to the fears of the peasantry the appearance of a rolling serpent; and the power of re-uniting is readily accounted for by the ordinary evolutions of military tactics. And by the knight's 'destroying this legion by his single arm,' is supposed to be signified that he was 'the head and chief in the onslaught.'"



T'Is the joyful Easter morn,
And the bells ring loud and clear,
Sounding the holy day of rest
Through the quiet vale of Wear.

Forth at its sound, from his stately hail,
Hath the Lord of Lambton come,
With knight and squire in rich attire,
Page, seneschal, and groom.

The white-hair'd peasant and his dame,
Have left their woodland cot;
Children of toil and poverty,
Their cares and toil forgot.

And buxom youth and bashful maid,
In holiday array,
Thro' verdant glade and greenwood shade,
To Brigford bend their way.

And soon within its sacred dome
Their wandering steps are stayed;
The bell is rung, the mass is sung,
And the solemn prayer is prayed.

But why did Lambton's youthful heir,
Not mingle with the throng?
And why did he not bend his knee,
Nor join in the holy song?

0, Lambton' s heir is a wicked man!
Alike in word and deed;
lie makes a jest of psalm and priest,
Of the Ave and the Creed.

He loves the fight, he loves the chase
He loves each kind of sin;
But the holy church, from year to year,
He is not found within.

And Lambton's heir, at the matin prayer,
Or the vesper, is not seen;
And on this day of rest and peace
He hath donned his coat of green;

And with his creel slung on his back,
His light rod in his hand,
Down by the side of the shady Wear
He took his lonely stand.

There was no sound hut the rushing stream,
The little birds were still,
As if they knew that Lambton's heir,
Was doing a deed of ill.

Many a salmon and speckled trout
Through the quiet waters glide
But they all sought the deepest pools,
Their golden scales to hide.

The soft. west wind just rippled the brook,
And the clouds flew gently by,
And gleamed the sun, 'twas a lovely day
To the eager fisher's eye.

He threw his line, of the costly twine,
Across the gentle stream;
Upon its top the dun-flies drop
Lightly as childhood's dream.

Again, again, but all in vain,
In the shallow or the deep
No trout rose to his cunning bait
He heard no salmon leap.

And now he wandered east the stream,
And now he wandered west;
He sought each bank or hanging bush,
Which fishes love the best.

But vain was all his skilful art;
Vain was each deep disguise;
Vain was alike the varied bait,
And vain the mimic flies.

When, tired and vexed, the castle hell,
Rung out the hour of dine,
"Now," said the Lambton's youthful heir.
"A weary lot is mine.

For six long hours, this April morn,
My line in vain I've cast;
But one more throw; come weal come wo,
For this shall be the last."

He took from his bag a maggot worm,
That bait of high renown
His line is wheeled quickly through the air,
Then sunk in the water down.

Wben he drew it out, his ready hand
With no quivering motion shook,
For neither salmon, trout nor ged,.
Had fastened on his hook.

But a little thing, a strange formed thing,
Like a piece of muddy weed
But like no fish that swims the stream.
Nor ought that crawls the mead.

'Twas scarce an inch and a half in length,
Its colour the darkest green
And on its rough and scaly back
Two little fins were seen.

It had a long and pointed snout,
Like the mouth of the slimy eel,
And its white and loosely hanging jaws,
Twelve pin-like teeth reveal.

It had sharp claws upon its feet,
Short ears upon its head,
A jointed tail, and quick bright eyes,
That gleamed of a fiery red.

"Art thou the prize," said the weary wight,
"For which I have spent my time;
For which I have toil'd till the hour of neon,
Since rang the matin chime?"

From the side of the deli, a crystal well
Sends its waters bubbling by;
"Rest there, thou ugly tiny elf,
Either to live or die."

He threw it in, and when next he came,
He saw, to his surprise,
It was a foot and a half in length;
It had grown so much in Size.
And its wings were long, far-stretched and strong.
And redder were its eyes.


But Lambton's heir is an altered man;
At the church on bended knee,
Three times a day he was wont to pray;
And now he's beyond the sea.

He has done penance for his sins,
He has drank of a sainted well,
He has joined the band from the holy Laud
To chase the infidel.

Where host met host, and strife raged most,
His sword flashed high and bright;
Where force met force, he winged his course,
The foremost in the fight.

Where he saw on high th' Oriflamine fly,
His onward path he bore,
And the Paynim Knight, and the Saracen,
Lay weltering in their gore.

Or in the joust, or tournament,
Of all that valiant hand,
When, with lance in rest, he forward prest,
Who could the shock withstand?

Pure was his fame, unstained his shield;
A merciful man was he;
The friend of the weak, he raised not his hand
'Gainst a fallen enemy.

Thus on the plains of Palestine,
He gained a mighty name,
And, full of honour and renown,
To the home of his childhood came.

But when he came to his father's lands,
No cattle were grazing there;
The grass in the mead was unmown and rough,
And the fields untilled and bare.

And when he came to his father's hail,
He wondered what might ail;
His sire but coolly welcomed him,
And his sisters' cheeks were pale.

"I come from the fight," said the Red-Cross Knight,
"I in savage lands did roam;
But where'er it be, they welcome me,
Save in my own loved home.

"Now why, now why, this frozen cheer?
What is it that may ail?
Why tremble thus my father dear?
M3 sister, why so pale?"

"0! sad and woful has been our lot,
Whilst thou wast far away;
For a mighty dragon hath hither come
And taken up its stay;
At night or morn it sleepeth not,
But watcheth for its prey.

'Tis ten cloth yards in length ; its hue
Is of the darkest green
And on its rough and scaly hack,
Two strong black wings are seen.

It hath a long and pointed snout,
Like the mighty crocodile
And, from its grinning jaws, stand out
Its teeth in horrid file.

It hath on each round and webbed foot
Four sharp and hooked claws
And its jointed tail, with heavy trail
Over the ground it draws.

It hath two rough and hairy ears
Upon its bony head;
Its eyes shine like the winter sun,
Fearful, and darkly red.

Its roar is loud as the thunder's sound,
But shorter, and more shrill
It rolls, with many a heavy bound,
Onward from hill to hill.

And each morn, at the matin chime,
It seeks the lovely Wear;
And, at the noontide bell,
It gorges its fill, then seeks the hill
Where springs the crystal well.

No knight has e'er returned who dared
The monster to assail.
Though he struck off an ear or limb,
Or lopt its jointed tail,
Its severed limbs again unite,
Strong as the iron mail.

My horses, and sheep, and all my kin
The ravenous beast hath killed;
With oxen and deer, from far and near,
Its hungry maw is filled.
'Tis hence the mead is unrnown and long
And the corn-fields are untilled.

My son, to hail thee here in health,
My very heart is glad;
But thou hast heard our tale and say.
Canst thou wonder that we're sad?"


And sorrowful was Larnbton's heir:
"My sinful act," said he,
"This curse hath on the country brought
Be it mine to set it free."

Deep in the dell, in a ruined hut,
Far from the homes of men,
There dwelt a witch the peasants called
Old Elspat of the Glen.

'Twas a dark night, and the stormy wind
Howled with a hollow moan,
As through tangled copsewood, bush, and briar
He sought the aged crone.

She sat on a low and three-legged stool,
Beside a dying fire;
As he lifted the latch she stirred the brands,
And the smoky flames blazed higher.

She was a woman weak and old,
Her form was bent and thin
Arid on her lean and shrivelled hand,
She rested her pointed chin.

He entered with fear, that dauntless man,
And spake of all his need;
He gave her gold; he asked her aid,
How best he might succeed.

"Clothe thee," said she, " in armour bright,
In mail of glittering sheen,
All studded o'er, behind and before,
With razors sharp and keen:

And take in thy hand the trusty brand
Which thou bore beyond the sea;
And make to the Virgin a solemn sow,
If she grant thee victory,
What meets thee first, when the strife is o'er,
Her offering shall be."

He went to the fight, in armour bright
Equipped from head to heel;
His gorget closed, and his vizor shut,
He seemed a form of steel.

But with razor blades, all sharp and keen,
The mail was studded o'er;
And his long tried and trusty brand
In his greaved hand he bore.

He made to the Virgin a solemn vow,
If she granted victory,
What met him first on his homeward path
Her sacrifice should be.

He told his sire, when he heard the horn,
To slip his favourite hound
"'Twill quickly seek its master's side
At the accustomed sound."

Forward he trod, with measured step,
To meet his foe, alone,
While the first beams of the morning sun
On his massy armour shone.

The monster slept on an island crag
Lulled by the rustling Wear,
Which eddy'd turbid at the base
Though elsewhere smooth and clear.

It lay in repose ; its wings were flat,
Its ears fell on its head,
Its legs stretched out and drooped its snout,
But its eyes were fiery red.

Little feared he, that armed knight,
As he left the rocky shore
And in his hand prepared for fight,
His unsheathed sword he bore.

As lie plunged in, the waters' splash
The monster startling hears
It spread its wings, and the valley rings,
Like the clash of a thousand spears.

It bristled up its scaly back,
Curled high its jointed tail,
And ready stood with grinning teeth,
The hero to assail

Then sprung at the knight with all its might,
And its foamy teeth it gnashed
With its jointed tail, like a thrasher's flail,
The flinty rocks it lashed.

But quick of eye, and swift of foot,
He guarded the attack
And dealt his brand with skilful hand
Upon the dragon's back.

Again, again, at the knight it flew;
The fight was long and sore;
He bravely stood, nor dropped his sword
Till he could strike no more.

It rose on high, and darkened the sky,
Then with a hideous yell,
A moment winnowed th' air with its wings,
And down like a mountain fell.

He stood prepared for the falling blow,
But mournful was his fate;
Awhile he reeled, then, staggering, fell
Beneath the monster's weight.

And round about its prostrate foe
Its fearful length it rolled,
And clasped him close, till his armour cracked
Within its scaly fold.

But pierced by the blades, from body and breast,
Fast did the red blood pour
Cut by the blades, piece fell by piece,
And quivered in the gore.

Piece fell by piece, foot fell by foot:
No more is the river clear,
But stained with blood, as the severed limbs
Rolled down the rushing Wear.

Piece fell by piece, and inch by inch,
From the body and the tail;
But the head still hung by the gory teeth
Tight fastened in the mail.

It panted long, and fast it breathed,
With many a bitter groan
Its eyes grew dim, it loosed its hold,
And fell like a lifeless stone.

Then loud he blew on his bugle-horn,
The blast of' victory
From rock to rock the sound was borne,
By Echo, glad and free;
For, burdened long by the dragon's roar,
She joy'd in her liberty.

But not his hound, with gladdened bound,
Comes leaping at the call
With feelings dire, he sees his sire
Rush from his ancient hall.

0! what can equal a father's love,
When harm to his son he fears
'Tis stronger than a sister's sigh
More deep than a mother's tears.

When Lambton's anxious listening lord
heard the bugle notes so wild,
He thought no more of his plighted word,
But ran to clasp his child.

"Strange is my lot,'' said the luckless wight,
"How sorrow and joy combine
When high in fame to my home I came,
My kindred did weep and pine.

This morn my triumph sees, and sees
Dishonour light on me:
For I had vowed to the holy Maid,
If she gave me victory,
What first I met, when the fight was o'er,
Her offering should be.

I thought to have slain my gallant hound,
Beneath my unwilling knife
But I cannot raise my hand on him
Who gave my being life !"

And heavy and sorrowful was his heart,
And he hath gone again
To seek advice of the wise woman,
Old Elspat of the Glen.

"Since thy solemn vow is unfulfilled,
Though greater be thy fame,
Than must a lofty chapel build
To the Virgin Mary's name.

On nine generations of thy race,
A heavy curse shall fall:
They may die in the fight, or in the chase,
But not in their native hall."

He builded there a chapel fair,
And rich endowment made,
Where morn and eve, by cowled monk,
In sable garb arrayed,
The bell was rung, the mass was sung,
And the solemn prayer was said.


Such is the tale which, in ages past,
On the dreary winter's eve,
In baron's ball, the harper blind,
In wildest strain, would weave
Till the peasants, trembling, nearer crept,
And each strange event believe.

Such is the tale which often yet,
Around the Christmas fire,
Is told to the merry wassail group,
By some old dame or sire.

But though they tell that the crystal well
Still flows by the lovely Wear,
And that the hill is verdant still,
His listeners shew no fear.

And though he tell that of Lambton's race
Nine ot them died at sea,
Or in the battle, or in the chase,
They shake their heads doubtingly.

And though he say there may still be seen
The mail worn by the knight,
Tho' the blades are blunt that once were keen,
And rusted that once were bright,
They do but shake their heads the more,
And laugh at him outright.

For knowledge to their view has spread
Her rich and varied store;
They learn and read, and take no heed,
Of legendary lore.

And pure religion hath o'er them shed
A holier heavenly ray;
And dragons and witches, and mail-clad knights,
Are vanished away;
As the creatures of darkness flee and hide,
From the light of the dawning day.

But Lambton's castle still stands by the Wear,
A tall and stately pile
And Lambton's name is a name of might,
'Mong the mightiest of our isle.
long may the sun of Prosperity
Upon the Lambtons smile!

THE WORME OF LAMBTON.- 'Orme or Worme, is, in the ancient Norse, the generic name for serpents.' (Inferno,' c.6 22,) and Aristo, ('OrlandoFurioso,' c. 46, 78) call the infernal serpent of old, 'il ran verge,' that great worm;' and Milton, ('Paradise Lost,' Bk. ix, 1067,) makes Adam reproach Eve with having given 'ear to that false worm.' Cowper, 'Task,' Bk. vi.,) adopts the same expression:-
'No foe to man
Lurks in the serpent now; the mother sees,
And smiles to see, her infants playful hand
Strecht forth to dally with the crested worm.'
Shakespeare, too, ('Cylembine, Act iii., Sc. 4,) speaks of slander's tongue as 'outvenoming all the worms of the Nile.' To these passages, quoted in 'The Local Historian's Table-book,' may be added the following:- Shakespeare, ('Macbeth,' act iii., Sc. 4,) 'There the grown serpent lies: the worm that's fled,' &c. Massinger, ('Parliament of Love,' Act iv., Sc. 2.
'The sad father
That sees his son stung by a snake to death,
May with more justice stay his vengeful hand,
And let the worm escape,' &c.
'Piers Plowman,' (iii. 1. Ed. 1561,) speaks of 'Wyld wormes in woods;' and in the old ballad of 'Alison Gross,' (Jamieson's 'Popular Ballads and Songs,' ii., 187, Ed. 1806,) that ugliest witch of the north countrie' turns one who would not be her 'lemman sae true' into 'an ugly worm, gard him toddle about the tree.' The word is also used in the same sense in the ballad, entitled 'The laidly Worm of Spindlestane Heughs.'
St. 27. 'A crystal well' - 'known at this day by the name of the Worm Well.'
St. 38. 'Red-cross Knight.' According to a curious entry in an old Ms. pedigree, lately in the possession of the family of Middleton, of Offerton, 'John Lambeton that slew ye worme was Knight of Rhodes and Lord of Lambeton and Wod Apilton after the dethe of fower brothers, sans esshew malle.'
St. 46. 'The Hill' - still called 'The worm Hill, a considerable oval-shaped hill, 345 yards in circumference, and 52 in height, about a mile and a half from old Lambton Hall.'
St. 56. 'All studded o'er . . with razors.' 'At Lambton Castle is preserved a figure, evidently of great antiquity, which represents a knight' armed cap-a-pie, his visor raised and the back part of his coat of mail closely inlaid with spear blades: with his left hand he holds the head of the worm, and with his right he appears to be drawing his sword out of his throat. The worm is not represented as a reptile, but has ears, legs and wings.
St. 88. f popular tradition is to be trusted, 'this prediction was fulfilled, for it holds that during the period of 'the curse' none of the Lords of Lambton died in their beds. Be this as it may, nine ascending generations from Henry Lambton, of Lambton, Esq., M.P., (elder brother to the late General Lambton,) would exactly reach Sir John Lambton, Knight of Rhodes. Sir Wm. Lambton, who was Colonel of a regiment of foot in the service of Charles I., was slain at the bloody battle of Marston Moor, and his son William (his eldest son by his second wife) received his death-wound at Wakefield, at the head of a troop of dragoons, in 1643. The fulfilment of the curse was inherent in the ninth of descent, and great anxiety prevailed during his lifetime. amongst the hereditary depositaries of the tradition of the county, to know if the curse would hold good to the end. He died in his chariot, crossing the New-Bridge, thus giving the last link to the chain of circumstantial tradition connected with the history of 'The Worme of Lambton.' - L .H. Table-book.



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musicanimateHere's the Tender Coming pace animate
 For Midi Sound click here.

For notation click here

Here's the tender cominn'
Pressing all the maen
Oh, my hinny, what shall we do then?
Here's the tender comin'
Off at Shield's bar
Here's the tender comin'
Full of men-o'-war.

Hide thee, canny Geordie
Hide thyself away,
Hide thee till the tender
Makes for Druid's bay;
If they catch thee Geordie
Who's to win our bread?
Me and little Jacky'd
Better off be dead.

Here's the tender comin'
A-stealin' of me dear,
Oh, my hinny,
They'll press ye out o' here;
They will send ye foreign (wi' Nelson along the salt sea)
That is what this means,
Here's the tender comin'
Full o' red marines.

Here's the tender cominn'
Pressing all the maen
Oh, my hinny, what shall we do then?
Here's the tender comin'
Off at Shield's bar
Here's the tender comin'
Full of men-o'-war.


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musicanimateCome You Not From Newcastle?

For notation click here
For midi sound click here.

Come you not from Newcastle?
Come you not there away?
O met you not my true love?
Riding on a bonny bay?

     Why should I not love my love?
     And why should not my love love me?
     Why should I not speed after him,
     Since love to all is free?

There's not a stouter yeoman
That treads the heath'ry moor;
Theres not a heart more constant,
More gentle or more pure.

     From childhood we were plighted,
     And till the death we'll prove
     That gold, which conquers pride and power,
     Can never shake our love.

My father, once his true friend,
Now spurns him from the door;
My mother owns him worthy,
Yet bids me love no more.

     The Squire, his boyhood's playmate,
     Would fain his rival be,
     And Willie madly rides away
     To sail the stormy sea.

But spite of blame and danger,
With Willie I will roam,
His arm my safe defender,
His breast my happy home.

     Why should I not love my love?
     Why should not my love love me?
     Why should we not together roam,
     Since love to all is free?

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musicanimateCushie Butterfield
For notation click here
For Midi Sound click here
                                                 Dialect version!

                                                 I'm a broken-hearted keelman
                                                      An I'm o'er head in love
                                                   Wi a young lass from Gateshead
                                                       An I call her me dove.
                                                    Her name's Cushie Butterfield
                                                       An she sells yella clay
                                                     An her cousin's a muckman
                                                     An they call him Tom Gray.

                                                         She's a big lass
                                                        She's a bonny lass
                                                       An she likes her beer
                                                   An I call her Cushie Butterfield
                                                      An I wish she was here.

                                                     Her eyes is like two holes
                                                     In a blanket pulled through
                                                     An her breath in the mornin
                                                      Would scare a young coo.
                                                    And when I hear her shoutin'
                                                      Will you buy ony clay?
                                                     Like a candyman's trumpet
                                                    It steals me young heart away.


                                                   Ye'll oft see her doon at Sandgate
                                                   When the fresh herring comes in
                                                    She's like a bagful o sawdust
                                                       Tied round with string
                                                      She wears big galoshes
                                                   And her stockings was once white
                                                      An her bedgown it's lilac
                                                     An her hat's nivva straight.


                                                    When I axed her to marry us
                                                       She started to laugh
                                                   "Noo, Nyen o' yer monkey tricks
                                                     For Aa like nee sic chaff"
                                                     Then she started abubblin'
                                                       An roared like a bull
                                                    An the cheps on the Keel sez
                                                       Aa's nowt but a fyeul


                                                    She sez "The chep that gets us
                                                     He'll heh te work ivvery day
                                                   An when he comes hyem at neet
                                                    He'll need to gan an seek clay.
                                                     An when he awa' seekin it
                                                      Aall myek baals an sing
                                                      O weel may the keel row
                                                       That my laddie's in."


(George Ridley 1834-1864) 

I's a broken-hearted keelman and I's over head in love 
With a young lass in Gateshead and I call her my dove. 
Her name's Cushie Butterfield and she sells yellow clay, 
And her cousin is a muckman and they call him Tom Grey. 

cho: She's a big lass and a bonny lass and she likes her beer 
And they call her Cushie Butterfield and I wish she was here. 

Her eyes is like two holes in a blanket burnt through 
Her brows in a morning would spyen a young cow
And when t' hear her shouting Will you buy any clay? 
Like a candyman's trumpet it steals my heart away 

You'll oft see her down at Sandgate when the fresh herring come 
She's like a bag full of sawdust tied round with a string 
She wears big galoshes too and her stockings once was white 
And her petticoat's lilac and her hat's never straight 

When I axed her to marry me she started to laugh 
Now none of your monkey tricks for I like ne such chaff 
Then she started a blubbing and she roared like a bull 
And the chaps on the quay says I's nought but a fool 

She says the chap that gets her must work every day 
And when he comes home at nights he must gang and seek clay
And when he's away seeking she'll make balls and sing 
O well may the keel row that my laddie's in. 

*spyen - to dry up a cow's milk 
A parody of a music hall hit. 

*spyen - to dry up a cow's milk
A parody of a music hall hit.

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music iconThe Bonnie Pit Laddie pace animate
For notation click here
For midi sound click here

The bonny pit laddie, the canny pit laddie,
The bonny pit laddie for me, O!
He sits in his hole as black as a coal,
An' brings the white siller to me, O!

The bonny pit laddie, the canny pit ladie,
The bonny pit laddie for me, O!
He sits on his cracket an'hews in his jacket,
an' brings the white siller to me, O!

Source A Beuk o' Newcassel Sangs.
Joseph Crawhall,

The Bonny Keel Laddie

My bonny keel laddie, my canny keel laddie,
My bonny keel laddie for me, O!
He sits in his keel as black as the deil,
And he brings the white money to me,O!

Hae ye seen owt o' my canny man,
And are ye sure he's weel, O!
He's gaen o'er ladn wiv a stick in his hand,
To help to moor the keel, O!

The canny keel laddie, the bonny keel laddie,
the canny keel laddie for me, O!
He sits in his huddock and claws his bare buttock,
And brings the white money to me, O!

-Source: Northumbrian Minstrelsy.

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music iconThe Water of Tyne
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I cannot get to my love, if I should dee,
The water of Tyne runs between him and me;
And here I must stand, with the tear in my e'e,
Both sighing and sickly my sweetheart to see.

O where is the boatman? my bonny hinny!
O where is the boatman" bring him to me--
To ferry me over the Tyne to my honey,
And I will remember the boatman and thee.

O bring me a boatman--I'll give any money,
And for your trouble rewarded shall be,
To ferry me over the Tyne to my honey,
Or scull him across that rough river to me.

Source A Beuk o' Newcassel Sangs.
Joseph Cawhall,
The Tyne divides the Counties of Durham and Northumberland, and as one of the parties was evidently on the Durham side of the river, this song may be justly admitted into the (Durham/Bishopric) Garland. A blue stone marks the boundary of the counties on Newcastle bridge, and one third of it is supported by, and belongs to the Bishoprick.
Alderman Barnes mentions a Tower which formerly stood on this bridge, which was used as a prison; and to which he committed a drunken shipwright,who, finding a quantity of malt in the room, took a shovel and threw it out of the window into the river, "meerily reflecting upon himself, and singing=
O, base mault,
Thou did'st the fault,
And into the Tyne thou shalt.
(the above note accompanies the lyrics of the song in:
The Bishoprick Garland, London Nichols and Baldwin, 1834 (Graham, 1969)

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music iconThe Collier's Rant pace animate
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As me an' my marra was gannin' to wark,
We met wi' the deevil, it was i' th' dark;
Aw up wi' mi pick, it being i' the neet,
Aw knock't off his horns, likewise his club-feet.

Follow the horses, Johnny my laddie,
Follow them throo, my canny lad, oh!
Follow the horses, Johnny my laddie,
Oh laddie lye away, canny lad oh!

As me an' my marra was puttin' the tram,
The lowe it went oot, an'my marrra gat wrant:
Ye wad ha'e laughed had ye seen the gam,
The De'il laughed had ye seen the gam,
The De'il gat my marra an' aw gat the tram,

O marra! oh, marra! oh what dost t'u think?
Aw've broken by mottle an' spilt a' my drink,
Aw've lost a' my shinsplints amang the big stanes,
Draw me to the shaft, it's time to gan hyem.

O Marra! oh, Marra! oh where hes t'u been?
Drivin' the drift frae the law seam'
Drivin' the drift frae the law seam;
Da'd up the lowe, lad! De'll stop oot thy e'en!

O marra! oh, marra! this is wor pay week,
We'll get penny loaves an' drink to wor beak:
We'll fill up a bumper, and round it shall go,
Follow the horses, Johnny lad oh!

Theer's my horse, an' theer's my tram;
Twee horns full o' grease will myek her to gan,
Theer's my pit hoggars, likewise my half-shoon,
An' smash my heart, marra! my puttin's a' deun!

Source A Beuk o' Newcassel Sangs.
Joseph Cawhall,

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music iconThe Sandgate Lass's Lament
To notation click here
For midi click here
For Robson's version click here

I was a young maiden truly,
And liv'd in SandgateStreet,
I thought to marry a good man,
To keep me warm at neet;

Some good like body,
Some bonny body
To be with me at noon;
But last I married a keel man,
And my good days are done.

I thought to marry a Parson
To hear me say my paryers--
But I have married a Keelman
And he kicks me down the stairs,

He's an ugly body, a bubbly body,
An ill-faur'd ugly loon,
But I have married a keelman
And my good days are done.

I Thought to marry a Dyer
To dye my apron blue;
But I have married a Keelman,
An' sair he makes me rue.

I thought to marry a Joiner
To make me chair and stool;
But I have married a Keelman,
And he's a perfect fool.

I thought to marry a sailor
To bring be sugar an' tea;
But I have married a Keelman,
And that he lets me see.

Source A Beuk o' Newcassel Sangs.
Joseph Cawhall,
1888 To the Tune, the Manchester Angel.

Robson's Sandgate Lassie's Lament
They've prest my dear Johnny,
Sae sprightly and bonny,--
Alack! I shall ne'er mair d' weel, O:
The kidnaping squad,
Laid hold of my lad,
As he was unmooring the keel, O.

O my sweet Laddie,
My canny keel laddie,
Sae handsome, sae canny, and free, O;
Had he staid on the Tyne,
Er now he'd been mine,
But oh! he's far over the sea, O,

Should he fall by commotion,
Or sink in the ocean,
(May sick tidings ne'er come to the Key, O)
I could ne'er mair be glad,
For the loss of my lad
Wad break my poor heart, and I'd dee, O!

But should my dear tar
Come safe from the war,
What heart-bounding joy wad I feel, O;
to the church we wad flee,
And married be,
And again he shall row in his keel, O.

O my sweet laddie,
My canny keel laddie,
Sae handsome, sae canty, and Free, O:
Tho's far from the Tyne,
I still hope he'll be mine,
And live happy as any can be, O

- Henry Robson In:Bell


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music iconBobby Shaftoe
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For midi sound click here

Bobby Shaftoe's gyen to sea,
Silver buckles at his knee;
He'll come back an' marry me,
Bonny Bobby Shaftoe.

Bobby Shaftoe's bright and fair,
Kaimin' doon his yellow hair;
He's my awn for iver mair,
Bonny Bobby Shaftoe.

Bobby Shaaftoe's getten a bairn
For to dandle on his airm;
In his airm an' on his knee,
Bonny Bobby Shaftoe.

Bobby Shaftoe's gyen to sea,
Silver buckles at his knee;
He'll come back an' marry me,
Bonny Bobby Shaftoe.

Source A Beuk o' Newcassel Sangs.
Joseph Cawhall,
Bobby Shafto was a County Durham M.P,  elected in 1761, The song was used as an election jingle. A girlfriend  of Bobby Shafto, who is said to have composed the ballad  is believed to have lived at Brancepeth Castle near the outskirts of Durham City. It is said that she died of a broken heart !.

The Bishoprick Garland.,  London: Nichols, and Baldwin & Cradock 1834, Frank Graham, 1969 notes:

This song was used for electioneering purposes in 1761, when Robert Shafto, of Whitworth, Esq., was the favorite candidate, and who was popularly called "Bonny Bobby Shaftoe."
Bobby Shafto's looking out,
All his ribbons flew about,
All the ladies gave a shout--
Hey, for Bobby Shaftoe.

His Portrait, at Whitworth, represents him as a very young and very handsome, and with yellow hair. Biss Bellasyse, the heiress of Brancepeth, is said to have died for love of him.


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music iconNewcastle Beer
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For midi sound click here

When Fame brought the news of Great Britain's success,
And told at Olympus each Gallic defeat,
Glad Mars sent to Mercury orders express,
To summon the Deities all to a treat;
Blithe Comus was plac'd
To guide the gay feast,
And freely declar'd there was choice of good cheer;
Yet vow'd to his thinking,
For exquisite drinking,
Their Nectar was nothing to Newcastle Beer.

The great God of War to encourage the fun,
And humour the taste of his whimsical guest,
Sent messenger Murcury out for a tun
Of Stingo, the stoutest, the brightest, the best;
No Gods--tye all swore,
Regal'd so before,
With liquour so lively, so potent, and clear;
And each deified fellow
Got jovially mellow,
In honour, brave boys, of our Newcastle Beer.

Apollo perceiving his talents refine,
Repents he drank Helicon water so long;
He bow'd being ask'd by the musical Nine,
And gave the gay board an extempore song;
But ere he began,
He toss'd off his can;
There's nought like good liquour the fancy to clear;
Then sang with great merit,
The flavour and spirit,
His Godship had found in our Newcastle Beer.

'Twas Stingo like this made Aldides so bold;
It brac'd up his nerves and eliven'd his pow'rs;
And his mystical club that did wonders of old,
Was nothing, my lads, but such liquor as ours.
The horrible crew
That Hercules slew,
Were Poverty---Cahumny--Trouble-- and Fear;
Siuch a club would you borrow
To drive away sorrow,
Apply for a Forum of Newcastle Beer.

Ye youngsters so diffident, languid, and pale,
Whom love like the colic so rudely infests;
Take a cordial of this, 'twill probatum prevail,
And drive the cur Cupid away from your breasts;
Dull whining dcspise,
Grow rosy and wise,
No longer the jest of good fellows appear;
Bid adieu to your folly,
Get drunk and be jolly,
And smoke o'er a tankard of Newcastle Beer.

Ye fanciful folk for whom Physic prescribes,
Whom bolus and potion have harass'd to death!
Ye wretches, whom Law and her ill-looking tribes
Have hunted about 'till you're quite out of breath!
Here's shelter and ease,
No craving for fees,
No danger--no Doctor--no Bailif is near!
Your spirits this raises,
It cures your diseases,
There's freedom and health in our Newcastle Beer.

-by John Cunningham; to the Tune "Hunting the Hare",Source A Beuk o' Newcassel Sangs.
Joseph Cawhall,


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music iconCanny Newcassel
For Notation click here
For midi sound click here

'Bout Lunnun aw'd heerd sec wonderful spokes,
That the streets were a' cover'd wi' guineas:
The hooses sae fine, and sec grandees the folks,
To them huz i' th' North were but ninnies.
But aw fand ma esel bloknk'd when to Lunnun aw gat,
The folk they a' luik'd wishy-washy;
For goold ye may howk till ye're blind as a bat,
An' their streets are like wors--brave and blashy.

Bout Lunnun then divvent ye mak' sic a rout,
There's nouse for yens winkers to dazzle;
For a' the fine things ye are gobbin' aboot
We can marra iv' canny Newcassel.

A Cockney chep show'd me the Thames druvy fyece,
Whilk, he said, was the pride o' the nation,
Ah' thowt at their shippin' aw'd myek a haze-gaze--
But aw whop't ma foot on his noration.
Wi' huz, mun, three hunnerd ship sail iv a tide,
We think nowt on't, aw'll myek accydavy;
Ye're a gouck if ye dinna knaw Lads o' Tyne side
Are the Jacks 'at maek famish wor Navy.

We went big St. Paul's an' Westminster to see,
An' aw warn'd ye aw thowt they luik't pretty;
An' then we'd a keek at the Monniment te,
Whilk maw friend ca'd the pearl o' the City.
Wey, hinny, says aw, we've a Shot toor se heer,
That biv'it ye might scraffel to heaven;
An' if on Saint Nicolas ye yence cus an e'e,
Ye'd crack on't as lang as ye're levin'.

We trodg'd to St. Jame's, for theer the King lives,
Aw's warn'd ye a good stare we tyeuk on't:
By my faicks! it's been built up by Adam's aun neaves,
For it's auld as the hills, by the leuk on't;
Shem bin ye, says aw--ye should keep the King douse,
Aw say see, without ony malice;
Aw own that wor Mayor rayther wants a new hoose,
But then--wor Informary's a palace.

Ah hinnies! oot cam' the King while we wor there,
His leuks seem'd to say--"Bairns, be happy;"
Sae, doon o'my hunkers aw set up a blare,
For God to preserve him frae Nappy;
For Geordie aw'd dee--for my loyalty's trig,
An' aw own he's a guid luikin' mannie;
But if wor Sir Mattha ye'd buss iv his wig,
Be gocks! he would just luik as canny.

Aa hinnies! aboot us the lasses did loup,
Thick as curns iv a spice singin-hinnie;
Som aud, an som hardly flig'd ower the doup,
But aw kend what they waur by their whinnie;
A', mannie, says aw, ye hav mony a tite girl,
But aw'm tell'd they're oft het i' their trappin;
Aw'd cuddle much rather a lass i' the Sworl,
Than the dolls i' the Strand, or i' Wappin.

Wiv a' the stravaging aw wanted a munch,
An' ma thropple was ready te gizen;
So we went tiv' a yell house, and there teuk a lunch,
But the reck'ning, my saul! was a bizon;
Wiv hus i' th' North, when aw'm wairsh i' my way,
(But te knaw wor warm hearts, ye yur sell come)
Aw lift the first latch, and baith man and dame say,
"Cuck your hough, canny man, for ye're welcome."

A shillin aw thought at the Play-house aw'd ware,
But aw jump'd there wiv heuk-finger'd people;
My pockets gat rip'd and aw heard ne mair,
Nor aw could frae Saint Nicholas's steeple.
Dang Lunnun! wor Play-house aw like just as weel,
And wor play-folks aw's shure are as funny;
A shillin's worth sarves me to laugh till aw squeel,
Ne haillion there thrimmels ma money.

The loss o' the cotterels aw dinna  regaird,
For aw've gotten some white-heft o' Lunnun;
Aw've learn'd to prefer my own canny calf yaird;
If ye catch me mair fra't, ye'll be cunnun.
Aw knaw that the Cockneys crake rum-gum-shus chimers.
To maek gam of wor bur, and wor'parel
But honest Blind Willy shall string this iv rhymes,
And aw'll sing for the Christmas Carol.

-by Thomas Thompson, Source A Beuk o' Newcassel Sangs.
Joseph Cawhall,


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music iconBuy Broom Buzzems
For Midi sound click here
for notation click here

If you want a bussem for to sweep your hoose,
Come to me, maw hinnies, ye may ha'e yor choose,

Buy broom buzzems, buy them when they're new,
Fine heather bred'uns, better niver grew.

Buzzems for a penny, Rangers for a plack;
If ye winnot buy, aw'll tie them on my back.

If aw had a horse, aw wad hev a cairt;
If aw had a wife, she wad tyek me pairt.

Had aw but a wife, aw care not what she be--
If she's but a woman, that's eneuf for me.

If she liked a drop--her an' aw'd agree,
An' if she didn't like't-- there's the mair for me.

-by William Purvis,  Source A Beuk o' Newcassel Sangs.
Joseph Cawhall,
Bell's Broom Busoms

If ye want a busom,
For to sweep your house;
Come to me, my lasses,
Ye ma ha' your choose

Buy broom busoms,
Buy them when they're new;
Buy broom busoms,
Better never grew.

If I had a horse,
I would have a cart;
If I had a wife,
She would take my part.

Had I but a wife,
I care not who she be;
If she be a woman,
That's enough for me.

If she lik'd a drop
Her and I'd agree;
If she did not like it,
There's the more for me.

Additions by Blind Willy (native Minstrel
of Newcastle)

Up the Butcher Bank
And down Byker Chare;
There yoiu'll see the lasses,
Selling brown ware.

Along the Quayside,
Stop at Russell's Entry;
There you'll see the beer drawer,
She is standing sentry.

If you want an oyster,
For to taste your mouth,
Call at Handy Walker's
He's a bonny youth.

Call at Mr Loggie's
He does sell good wine;
There you'll see the beer drawer,
She is very fine.

If you want an orange,
Ripe and full of juice;
Gan to Hannah Black,
There you'll get your choose.

Call at Mr. Turner's
At the Quen's Head
He'll not set you away,
Without a piece bread.

Down the river side
As far as Dent's Hole;
There you'll see the cuckolds,
Working at the coal.



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music iconAndrew Carr
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For midi sound click here

As I went to Newcastle, my journey was not far,
I met a jolly sailor lad, his name was Andrew Car.

And hey for Andrew, Andrew,
Ho for Andrew Carr,
And hey for Andrew, Andrew,
Ho for Andrew Carr.

Good fortune attend my jewel, now he's sailed ower the bar,
And send him back to me, for I love my Andrew Carr.

-Source A Beuk o' Newcassel Sangs.
Joseph Cawhall,


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music iconSair Fyel'd Hinny
For midi sound click here
For notation click here


Sair fyel'd hinny,
Sair fyel'd noo,
Sair fyel'd hinny
Sin' I kenn'd thou.

I was young an 'lusty,
I was fair an'clear,
I was young an'lusty
Mony a lang year.

When I was young and lusty,
I could loup a dyke;
But now, at five-and-sixty,
Canna do the like

Then said the auld man
to the oak tree,
"Sair fyel'd is 'e
Sin'I ken'd thee!"

-Source A Beuk o' Newcassel Sangs.
Joseph Cawhall,
Young and souple was I, when I lap the dyke;
Now I'm auld and frail, I douna step a syke.
Buy broom &c.

Young and souple was I, when at Lautherslack,
Now I'm auld and frail, and lie at Nansie's back.
Buy broom &c.

Had she gien me butter, when she gae me bread,
I wad lookit baulder, wi' my beld head.
Buy broom &c.


I was young and lusty,
I was fair and clear;
I was young and lusty,
Many a long year.
Sair fail'd hinny,
Sair fail'd now;
Sair fail'd hinny,
Sin' I kend thou.

When I was young and lusty,
I could loup a dyke;
But now at five and sixty,
Cannot do the like.
Sair fail'd hinny,
Sair fail'd now,
Sair fail'd hinny,
Sin' I kend thou.

Then said the awd man
To the oak tree;
Sair fail'd is 'e,
Sin' I kend thee.
Sair fail'd hinny,
Sair fail'd now;
Sair fail'd hinny,
Sin' I kend thou.
When aw was young and lusty,
Aw cud lowp a dyke;
But now aw'm awd an' stiff,
Aw can hardly step a syke.

-Sources: Ritson, Gammer Gurton's Garland , Bell, Bishoprick Garland, 1834,
Bruce and Stokoe (1882).


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music iconUp the Raw
For notation click here
For midi sound click here

Up the Raw, maw bonny hinny,
Up the Raw, lass, ivvery day;
For shap an' colour, maw bonny hinny,
Thou bangs thy mother, maw canny bairn.

Black as a craw, maw bonny hinney,
Thou bangs them a', lass, ivvery day;
Thou's a' clag-candied, maw bonny hinny,
Thou's double japanded, maw canny bairn.

For hide an'hue, maw bonny hinny,
Thou bangs the crew, maw canny bairn;
Up the Raw, maw bonny hinny,
Thou bangs them a', las, ivvery day

Source A Beuk o' Newcassel Sangs.
Joseph Cawhall, 1888

In: The Bishoprick Garland, London Nichols and Baldwin and Cradock, 1834, Graham, 1969
is found:
This song is equally current on the banks of the Tyne and the Wear;
it is one of those nursery songs which descend from generation to generation
without variation. Fragments of songs of similar
import still obtain and are heard occasionally, as--

By bairn's a bonny bairn, a canny bairn, a bonny bairn,
My bairn's a canny bairn, and never looks dowly;
My bairn's a canny bairn, a canny bairn, a bonny bairn,
By bairn's a bonny bairn, and not a yellow-yowley.

All the neet ower and ower,
And all the neet ower again:
All the neet ower and ower,
The peacock follows the hen.

A hen's a hungry dish,
A goose is hollow within:
There's no deceit in a pudding;
A pie's a dainty thing.


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